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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 12-28-12, 06:01 PM   #1
WickedOne513
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How much have you spent

How much have you spent on your commuter setup?
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Old 12-28-12, 06:16 PM   #2
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I feel like that is a loaded question. Are we talking in the last year? All time? Only bike related items, or clothing included? Do consumables count? All the tubes I've ever purchased, or only the two currently on my ride? Do upgrades count? My bike was functional when I purchased it, but I've certainly put money into replacing/upgrading parts. Does that add "value" to my ride? If so, how much?

If I were to guess, I would say that my CURRENT setup (i.e., equipment currently in use) cost me somewhere in the ballpark of $950. Total money spent......I don't know...thousands.

Last edited by nashvillwill; 12-28-12 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 12-28-12, 06:17 PM   #3
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$650 for bike Raleigh Detour Deluxe--included fenders, rack, lights
$160 tires-studs
$150 panniers
$15 lock
$18 wool socks

Already had helmet. I will be buying some rain pants and other clothing soon, which I estimate will cost $200.

Last edited by dcr; 12-29-12 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 12-28-12, 07:20 PM   #4
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Clothing, bike, accessories for original cost and then maintained cost per year (cables, chains, etc.) I am trying to average things out.

this is for a project.
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Old 12-28-12, 07:26 PM   #5
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I don't have a bike dedicated for commuting. As it turns out, the bike I tend to ride to work most days is my SSCX. I bought the frame (On-One Pompino) for $129. Pretty much built up from the spare parts bin.

See the avatar picture. Currently has slicks and fenders for the commute.
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Old 12-28-12, 07:28 PM   #6
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My bike (Nashbar etc) was around $400-450 by the time I got around to new wheels. Chains, tires, tubes lube etc is running about $150/yr. $40-$50 for lights.

Maybe $1200 total over the past four years, including everything but clothes or cyclist costumes. That's probably close to a lower bound because I'm pretty cheap with it.
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Old 12-28-12, 07:42 PM   #7
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Caad8 105 $1350
helmet $60
shoes $80
wheels $80
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Old 12-28-12, 07:42 PM   #8
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Sounds like a poll might be a nice option for a thread like this. In fact, didn't someone put one up last year?

Anyway, I'll assume that the question relates to the current primary commuting rig. EDIT - this made me curious, so I did a spreadsheet to tally everything and corrected my initial guesses.

In that case, I think I'm in for about $3,100 or so for the bike itself, when you include all of the panniers, lights, etc. add $150 for the set of studded snow tires that I keep on hand, so let's round it to $3,300.
Clothing is harder to nail down since alot of it is also used for trail running and other outdoor ventures. Bike specific: Shoes $250 or so (2 sets), helmets (2) $150, rain gear $350, gloves (3 weights) $200,glasses $60 so about $1,000

So, I guess all told, that's about $4,300 for bike and gear. This bike is only a year old now, so it is still new-ish, and maintenance costs have been 0 so far. However, here's what I'll assume based on past IGH bikes:

Maintenance on the bike is near nil. A $20 chain once a year and $30 disc brake pads every, well, I haven't had to replace them yet. Tires are $75 each, and I buy on average 1 per year (rotate front to back, put new rubber up front)
The IGH is allegedly maintenance free for its lifetime (Nuvinci N360), so I'm a guinea pig on how long the hub lives. 2k miles thus far, still like new.

Last edited by canyoneagle; 12-28-12 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 12-28-12, 07:47 PM   #9
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I thought about doing a poll just didn't know how the best way to increment the results. I am working on a project that calculates initial set up and yearly cost of commuting.
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Old 12-28-12, 07:52 PM   #10
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I thought about doing a poll just didn't know how the best way to increment the results. I am working on a project that calculates initial set up and yearly cost of commuting.
ahh. cool.
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Old 12-28-12, 07:59 PM   #11
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I've spent an awful lot. It's been worth it for the joy I get out of cycling. I could have gotten most of that joy for a lot less.
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Old 12-28-12, 08:38 PM   #12
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I should be a good test case for you.

I reentered the world of daily year-round commuting in May 2011 when I bought a hybrid commuter bike for $569 new. The bike had a rack and fenders; I have added panniers, lights (including a dynamo), blinkies, lock, clipless pedals, studded tires for winter, etc etc. and am now at $1657 for equipment, including the bike. I've spent $583 for warm weather clothing and rain gear, and $1044 for winter clothing, some of which is rarely used. I've spent $319 on parts and maintenance, including a cassette, two chains, a tube, a crankset, and a replacement RD cable, for a grand total of $3603. I've ridden 5777 miles to date, putting me within $400 of breaking even at the IRS rate of $0.555 per mile.

96% of my miles have been commuting miles, and the vehicle I'm not using is an SUV.

I haven't bought any new clothing or gear for a while, so I expect to be recouping the initial investment in the next few months--certainly within two years of the time I made my initial purchases. If I don't do N+1, I should end up saving about $1200-1500 per year, steady state.
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Old 12-28-12, 09:24 PM   #13
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Thats a bit of a loaded question. Got one of my favorite commuters for $100 used in need of TLC. Thing is - there isn't a bike on the market that comes with either Schwalbe Marathon Supremes or Nokian 240s. And of course, I have a habit of buying up discontinued goodies simply because they're usually cheaper than the newest stuff - and in many cases - better quality. So have replaced a lot of components. On that particular bike cash outlay is probably under $600 and it runs like a watch. Kinda hurts to say it performs as well as a couple bikes I've sunk thousands of dollars into - and its a lot older.
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Old 12-28-12, 09:38 PM   #14
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Bike, lights, racks, fenders, bags - easily $2000. Every bearing set on the bike is the sealed variety requiring zero maintenance - which I think pays for itself. Clothing not included, although I pretty much wear street clothes and normal foul weather gear and not too much cycle specific stuff other than cleated shoes, helmet, and padded gloves.

Average gym membership is $500.00-600.00 annually (source)

Average cost of owning a dependable car is 59.6 cents per mile, or $8,946 annually (source).

My $2000 bike plus one new $30 chain every year has otherwise cost $0.00 dollars over the past five years.

Car/5 years = $44,730.00
Gym/5 years = $2,500.00
Bike/5 years = $250.00 for the new chains I install myself plus regular use of chain lube @ $20.00/year.

It does not take a math genius here.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 12-28-12 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 12-28-12, 09:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvillwill View Post
I feel like that is a loaded question. Are we talking in the last year? All time? Only bike related items, or clothing included? Do consumables count? All the tubes I've ever purchased, or only the two currently on my ride? Do upgrades count? My bike was functional when I purchased it, but I've certainly put money into replacing/upgrading parts. Does that add "value" to my ride? If so, how much?
+1

I guess about 900$ for the current set-up.
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Old 12-28-12, 09:52 PM   #16
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I estimate roughly $3,500 or so maybe more on bikes and gear. Maintenance maybe a few hundred bucks a year for tires, tubes, chains/chain rings etc. People freak out when they pry and I admit to spending over a grand on a bike but its easily justifiable when I havent bought ANY gas to get to work all year or paid the expense of owning a second car or gym fees for fitness. I figure I could spend a couple hundred bucks a month on commuting gear and still be ahead ...can't get the wife on board with that idea yet
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Old 12-28-12, 10:25 PM   #17
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Thank you for the input. I would enjoy hearing from others. I do want to apologize for those that feel this is a loaded question. I do like hearing from those that also got a used or Craigslist bike, or discount gear. The more variety of input the better my results will be, a more complete average.

For those that ride street clothing how far is your commute or do you wear cycling style urban clothing?
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Old 12-28-12, 10:25 PM   #18
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For my current "commuter" (although I'm no longer actually commuting):
--Bike - Free (traded an older bike to an lbs for a new city bike)
--Panniers - about a hunnert bucks
--Tires - Contis, about $40 each
--B-17 - $100
--Lights - about $700 (yup)
--Misc carp - ?

I guess what I roll around on is about $1500 worth of investment
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Old 12-29-12, 01:14 AM   #19
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Cumulative over 5 years at least $1000 from trial and error of testing out various setups.
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Old 12-29-12, 01:48 AM   #20
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I used to limp along on Xmart bikes mostly bought used or given to me. My current Trek 520 with replacement rack,titanium, winter tires, panniers, studded tires,...... About $2,000. But that will last for a while. I added a spare front wheel with dynamo, spare narrow wheel with flat spokes. Things get changed around for weather conditions. Forgot the moose mitts (poagies) for winter.
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Old 12-29-12, 02:20 AM   #21
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For those that ride street clothing how far is your commute or do you wear cycling style urban clothing?
I can comfortably ride 30 miles in anything. After that flat seam pants/shorts that may or may not be cycling specific work better for me.
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Old 12-29-12, 02:47 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by WickedOne513 View Post
How much have you spent on your commuter setup?
I've put over $2000 into a frame* I picked up on Craigslist for $10! That includes a Zimbale 17L saddlebag and a Topeak trunk bag, but not any of my shoes, clothes, locks, portable tools, helmet, or helmet accessories. It does include shipping for most of the parts, components, and accessories below, only a few things my LBS had, although I make a point to get some things through them. The bike is now set up exactly the way I'd like it (other than two more lights and some more reflective tape!), and I would have ended up spending even more to set up any new bike the way I want anyway and be left with a pile of parts that I had to remove.

I managed to get a fair amount of my gear on sale by signing up for several e-mail lists and constantly searching online, if I had to replace everything at full value it'd be a few hundred dollars more, but I suppose that offsets the extra pricey tires (purely because they matched the frame color) and the tire I destroyed on accident. The front wheel I got a deal on from Craigslist, it'd cost a lot more retail.

Nitto Big Front Rack
Paul Components Gino light mount
3W flashlight
Velo Orange front wheel stabilizer
Bikebrightz light
Airzoundz air horn
aftermarket waterbottle cage mount and three cages (air vessel, water, coffee)
Honjo fenders
leather mudflaps
PDW Fenderbot light
"L" fender brackets
Ergon pedals
pedal extenders
Carradice SQR bag support
Zimbale 17L saddlebag
Carradice Cape Roll
Mars 4.0 light
swept back handlebars
ergo grips
extended stem
flashlight holder for handlebar
1.7W flashlight with strobe
Soma bar end lights
bell
heavy duty rear wheel
Salsa heavy duty skewers
spent too much importing two of the last red Panaracer T-Serv's in 1.75" from Australia
(ended up only mounting the front one and keeping the other for a spare)
Schwalbe Marathon on the rear wheel
Zefal locking seatpost skewer
Selle Anatomica Titanico saddle
wheel reflectors
reflective tape
vintage reflector for front of front rack
"shark tooth" for front deraileur
new rear deraileur (longer cage, better quality)
twin legged kickstand
long seatpost
11-34 cassette for better range on the hills on my commute
Topeak trunk bag mounted on the Nitto front rack

replaced shifters (three speed (front) broke, upgraded rear to 8 speed)
destroyed a perfectly good low mile Vittoria Rando Pro by misadjusting brakes :/ minus another 50 bucks right there
upgraded brakes to Tektro 720's, cartridge pad holders, and nice cartridges
splurged on anodized brake straddle carriers to match bikes paint
front wheel (LX hub, RhynoLite rim)
metallic braided cable housings and new cables
new crankset + a 22 tooth chain ring
new bottom bracket

* Well, it was a little more than a frame, it lacked wheels, seat, and seatpost, and the front shifter broke within a couple of weeks. Quite literally the only thing that survives from the original equipment now other than the frame and fork is the headset and front derailer.


Helmet + EVT Safe Zone mirror + PB Blaze headlight + PB rear helmet light + aftermarket visor, and reflective tape, would cost about $200 including shipping to replace, but I got the helmet and I think one of the lights on sale.

I have no idea how much I've spent on clothes, my clothing costs are complicated by being both big and tall. Between nearly full time work and also school much of the time, I need several days worth of outfits on hand as I simply don't have time to do laundry every day. That said, I do wear the same wool sweater and wool tights almost every day for most of the year.

As far as yearly costs go, I don't need the bike shop for much, but do occasionally find myself there for their mechanic to do something that I haven't learned how to do yet, like index deraileurs or measure replacement spokes. I'm putting over 2,000 miles a year (I ended up borrowing a car for about 2 months this year) on my bike, and that is on rainy, gritty roads much of the time and I'm not as diligent as I should be about keeping my chain, cassette, and rims clean. I don't know how often that is going to cost me, but I expect to eat (fairly inexpensive 8 speed) cassettes and chains pretty regularly. I'm tempted to get an ultrasonic clenser big enough to put a cassette in, that'll be another expense that is purely commuting related.

I'm lucky enough to be able to park my bike in a locked cage at work, so I actually don't bother to carry a lock with me on nights I am only going in to work and don't plan on making any stops on the way in or home. When I just have morning classes in the late fall, winter and early spring I use a big, heavy, bike specific chain and a small u-lock to lock up. I think the chain was $60, don't recall how much the OnGuard MiniBulldog was. In summer and the nicer parts of fall and spring, when I have afternoon classes, or if I need to lock up somewhere higher risk than the community college I use a second u-lock with the first and the chain. I got the second u-lock on sale for a steal at $10 online. I suspect it's not the greatest lock out there, but given the fact it mostly gets used as a second lock I didn't figure it needed to be. In fact, I was considering one of those aluminum locks as my second lock so as to save a little weight, but I couldn't resist the price on the one I got. I figure a Palmy lock spray painted black wouldn't obviously be an aluminum lock to a thief.

I also have another mountain bike that I actually occasionally use for mountain biking in the summer that I am setting up as my snow and ice commuter. That'll probably only be a handful of days here in Seattle, but I hate to rely on the bus, especially on those days. I managed to pick up studded snow tires (Nokian Hakkepelittas) for $30 from Craigslist from a seller who converted to 700cc. That saved me about $100 if you include shipping. Other than wet weather brake pads, I may only be adding a few mounts for lights I already have for this set-up and run a courier bag I've owned for years and use mostly for things other than riding. Hard to quantify the costs of that bike, it'll get used very rarely for commuting and as far as my significant other is concerned its raison d'etre is for us to go mountain biking together. Otherwise I don't think I'd get space at our apartment for a bike I may or may not need for only a few days a year! Some years in Seattle it doesn't really freeze or accumulate any snow at all. Thankfully she's a mountain biker!

Oh, and one more thing. I invested in a plethora of AAA and AA rechargeable batteries for all my lights, as well as a charger and a battery tester and some cases for the batteries. Definitely a commuting expense!


I think it is great that we often encourage people to commute and even tour on whatever bike and gear that they happen to have on hand, but realistically, for myself, it's probably well over three thousand dollars to get completely set up with all the accoutrements, just for commuting. That cost has been spread over nearly two years now as I've put money from almost every paycheck into parts and accessories and that doesn't include my touring rig that I commuted on for the first year. I'm really hoping that with a few more lights and a few more pairs of bib shorts, and another pair of wool tights, that I'll be basically done dumping money into commuting except for replacing worn out socks, chains, and cassettes. Although even the best tires may not last me more than a few years if I'm lucky and given the conditions I ride in nearly every day, I expect I'll be replacing rims and buying a spoke tension meter so I can build my own wheels, so you can add that pricey tool and those parts to the cost. I don't mean that in any way to discourage anyone from doing it, it can definitely be done for cheaper, especially if you aren't a Clyde, riding in the rain, up hill both ways.

Last edited by Medic Zero; 12-29-12 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 12-29-12, 04:01 AM   #23
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i comute on my fixed gear so here goes, 120 for the bike as a 10speed, 80 for the wheel, 30 for chain lockring cog, 100 for a brooks, 25 for campy cranks,90 for nitto stem, 30 for tires, 15 for tubes,,40 for pedals, 80 for shoes , 50 for a helmet , 100 for a bag that should cover it.

grand total $660
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Old 12-29-12, 04:59 AM   #24
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in uk pounds for current setup:
to replace bike right now with uogrades and lights etc: 1200
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Old 12-29-12, 06:13 AM   #25
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All told, I am into my commuting rig, for between 3-4 thousand dollars. That includes extra warm clothing (that I might not have felt a compelling need to buy, if not commuting.) initial bike purchase, upgrades, etc...

I didn't include normal wear and tear/routine maintenance items.
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