This morning I reached exactly 3000 miles on my Downtube IXNS purchased in February 2007! I have been doing an (almost) daily commute of 8.5 miles r/t in conjunction with an Amtrak ride.
The bike + upgrades cost $400 (I bought it directly from Downtube via ebay at a nice discount, and added a sealed cartridge BB, Planet Bike fenders, and upgraded the derailleur/shifters to SRAM X7).
Total maintenance / repairs cost $300, or 10 cents a mile. That includes 3 Marathon tires (front tire wore at 1900 miles, rear at 2500 miles, and the third... well, let's just say that a stupid nail went in the bottom and out the sidewall). Other repair items included a new front brake (not just pads), many sets of brake pads -- they seem to last 800-1000 miles, new folding pedals just this past week, a few flat-repair tubes, and a couple of quick-release clamp replacements.
Congratulations on your achievement. I am a big fan of Downtube bikes, they have great potential in so many different directions. I wish Yan would come up with a reviewed Mini that would fit into internationally accepted luggage without any disassembly and (somehow) be a little faster.
If it wasn't for my very specific needs, I would be riding my first FS. It was a great bike.
I'm curious how you feel about that - because that's actually worse than the price for gas for a 30 mpg car, including normal maintenance for a car ($2.30/gallon).
3000 mile maintenance that's "sustainable" shouldn't be more than $40 : $20-30 for two budget tires, and (unlikely) a new chain $10.
I feel absolutely fine about it, because as part of the bigger picture I'm still saving money -- although money is about #5 or #6 on the list of why I'm commuting w/ the folding bike.
I replaced a 53 mile round-trip drive with an 8.5 mile round trip bike plus a 25 minute (each way) Amtrak commute.
When I count "everything and everything" I'm overall saving $6 per round trip versus driving. That includes lots of savings items, such as $360 / year less car insurance due to driving only 4500 miles instead of 12000, but also the added cost of a $9/day train ticket as well.
So after 350 round trips I'm in the black by $2100+.