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  1. #1
    Ovdabak, OR DArthurBrown's Avatar
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    How many pennies per mile...

    I'm just curious as to how cost effective most of us are. What's the current cost of your bike per mile (km) that you have on it?

    Example: My current ride has about 7100 miles and paid $750 for it (BD bike) plus about $50 for a different saddle, new brake cable, bar tape, etc. Excluding the cost of tires and tubes, that comes out to about $0.11 (US) per mile.

    I'm sure some of you veteran tourers have done far better.

  2. #2
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DArthurBrown View Post
    I'm just curious as to how cost effective most of us are. What's the current cost of your bike per mile (km) that you have on it?

    Example: My current ride has about 7100 miles and paid $750 for it (BD bike) plus about $50 for a different saddle, new brake cable, bar tape, etc. Excluding the cost of tires and tubes, that comes out to about $0.11 (US) per mile.

    I'm sure some of you veteran tourers have done far better.
    I don't look at the cost per mile of my bikes, I look at the savings in delaying the replacement my older vehicle, and the reduced vehicle operating/maintenance costs. Factoring in the above savings, my bikes are paid for in a few months, so I don't have to justify the cost of my bike by having to rack up the miles.

  3. #3
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    Don't really track it myself, either; I just try every tax season to stock up on tires and replace what needs replacing. Sometimes I don't succeed....

    All I have to do to put a smile on my 'wallet' is to factor in what I DON'T spend on a car -- registration, insurance, tune-ups/oil changes, brake jobs, flush-n-fills, stops at the gas station. Heck, just gas & insurance have paid for the bike as of about 8-9 months ago!

    The other, obvious-to-us benefits are priceless, so there you go.

  4. #4
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    I think my bikes cost me a little more...

    My MTB probably cost me $2000 all told, and I may have 2000 km on it (maybe) so $1/km
    My road bike is a little better. I think it was $1600 when I got it. I have probably ridden that one 10000km so that's $0.16/km.
    My Touring bike cost me about $300 to build up from a new frame and newish parts.. I have probably put 5000 km on that one... so that's $0.06/km.

  5. #5
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    I manage to rack up several thousand miles a year on my various bikes and wish I could say I've saved some money. Any savings that I would have enjoyed just goes back into my bikes. On the plus side I now have a full Ultegra CX bike, a full XT hybrid etc hanging in the garage just waiting to see which one I will choose each morning. I really ought to get off this forum as the postman just delivered a MTB frame today to go with the XT/Rhynolite wheelset and lx crankset etc that are patiently waiting in my shop to be assembled :-). (I guess that means no savings this year either - will just have to "suffer" with a new bike.)

  6. #6
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I found $.65 in dimes and nickels on today's ride (in the middle of the street). It was just a short ride, maybe 5 miles round trip to breakfast so... what is that 13 cents a mile that the ride paid me!

    Seriously, though, I still think I'm ahead relative to gas and wear & tear saved on my car. I think I could confidently say that I'm still less than $1500 into this hobby and a tracking site I use for commuting says I've saved not quite twice that in automotive costs.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  7. #7
    Ovdabak, OR DArthurBrown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    I found $.65 in dimes and nickels on today's ride (in the middle of the street). It was just a short ride, maybe 5 miles round trip to breakfast so... what is that 13 cents a mile that the ride paid me!

    Seriously, though, I still think I'm ahead relative to gas and wear & tear saved on my car. I think I could confidently say that I'm still less than $1500 into this hobby and a tracking site I use for commuting says I've saved not quite twice that in automotive costs.
    The savings versus driving a car are immediate and grand, if you don't also own a car. The standard operating cost of a car is usually estimated at $0.32-0.45/mile, including all maintenance and the cost of the vehicle. The same calculation with bikes is in the ballpark of $0.25/mile, but we haven't included insurance/registration costs. Versus the initial price of a car and unplanned maintenance, the $0.10/mile mark is considered the cost-effective benchmark.

  8. #8
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Meh. I just ride and don't worry about it too much.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  9. #9
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    I ride becuse I enjoy it. The more I spend the more I enjoy it. Sometimes when I ride my bike to work my son takes the car, and sometimes even fills the gas tank.

  10. #10
    tsl
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    Funny, today's Yehuda Moon was on the same topic.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  11. #11
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by DArthurBrown View Post
    The savings versus driving a car are immediate and grand, if you don't also own a car. The standard operating cost of a car is usually estimated at $0.32-0.45/mile, including all maintenance and the cost of the vehicle. The same calculation with bikes is in the ballpark of $0.25/mile, but we haven't included insurance/registration costs. Versus the initial price of a car and unplanned maintenance, the $0.10/mile mark is considered the cost-effective benchmark.
    Don't forget food costs. Food fuels our bodies. My biggest cycling expenses are food.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by umd View Post
    Don't forget food costs. Food fuels our bodies. My biggest cycling expenses are food.
    Yes, I figure that's my greatest expense for cycling.

    My road bike cost $400 and I've put about 75 kmiles on it, so the capital cost is about half a cent per mile. Tires and chains are the bulk of the maintenance expense of almost 4 cents per mile. Fuel adds almost 6 cents per mile and gives me a total cost of about $0.10/mile. In comparison, my last car had a total operating cost of just over $0.15/mile. Capital and insurance were higher for the car, maintenance was similar, and fuel was a little cheaper. YMMV.

  13. #13
    Ovdabak, OR DArthurBrown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    My road bike cost $400 and I've put about 75 kmiles on it, so the capital cost is about half a cent per mile.
    Woah. Doesn't get better than that.

  14. #14
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    prathmann, are you counting total fuel costs or marginal fuel costs? I eat more when I cycle than when I don't, but I still eat.

    This is why I feel fossil fuels are tremendously underpriced. A gallon of gas has 31,000 calories in it. Of course, you need more to move your car a mile than to move your bike, but if calories cost the same in all forms of fuel, we wouldn't be burning many fossil fuels. They're cheap because we're essentially borrowing from both our ancestors (who left the stuff in the ground without using it) and from our descendants, who will have to pay higher prices because we're depleting the supply.

    And until you get rid of your car, you don't save all that much by letting it sit in your driveway, since the fixed costs are so high.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    prathmann, are you counting total fuel costs or marginal fuel costs? I eat more when I cycle than when I don't, but I still eat.
    Just the marginal costs. I notice that when I don't ride for a few days my appetite goes down quite substantially. Based on some rough estimates of energy to propel a bike and assuming 25% efficiency of the human body, a moderate century ride requires an additional 3000 kcal of food. As you point out, this would be really cheap if we could consume hydrocarbons, since this is only about a tenth of a gallon of gasoline. But looking at a typical mix of my food purchases it costs about $6 for that many kcals.

    And I do have a car that spends most of its time sitting in the driveway. The main fixed costs are insurance ($21/month) and registration ($9/month). It does get used occasionally, so I think it's still worth keeping around.

  16. #16
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    You have unusually low car costs. I guess the car is totally paid for. Not true for many of us.

    I wonder if there's a "knee" in the fuel consumption curve where more miles increases fuel needs drastically. Lately, I've been riding for utility purposes but not recreational purposes. I don't think my appetite is much bigger than it would be without riding.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  17. #17
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    I think I actually spent more money on bike related stuff last few years than on my car...

    Adam

  18. #18
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    And until you get rid of your car, you don't save all that much by letting it sit in your driveway, since the fixed costs are so high.
    By letting my vehicle set 95 percent of the time, there's enough savings in maintenance and replacement cost to make my current fixed costs worthwhile. As the vehicle aged, the fixed costs dropped tremendously, to the point of being able to purchase a new bike every year, if I chose to do so, and still have enough left over to generously pad the bank account.

  19. #19
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    At the end of each year I take the total cost of riding, which includes every expense for the bike and what it cost to ride in organized rides and divide against the total of my miles. It has yet to be more than $0.25 a mile.

    It costs me about $0.72 a mile to drive my Jeep. When I commute or run errands I figure I am not spending that amount and am saving it or making it back. At the end of last year I was up $507.30. To get ready for riding this year I am going to spend about $570. Which will leave me with -$62.70 that I will have to make up by commuting and running errands.

    I have never taken the total per mile it cost me to ride and the total I save/make by commuting and running errand on my bike and put each figure against the other. I think I will start doing that this year.

  20. #20
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    about 67p a mile so far (roughly), hope to decrease this when I start commuting 100 miles a week again starting next Monday. Probably going to spend more on my bike this year, but to be honest I allow myself to spend less than the public transport would have cost me - therefore I am always better off by cycling! I don't have a car so no costs there - but I may get one in a few years.

  21. #21
    Senior Member travelmama's Avatar
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    I never thought of it because I ride to ride, not to worry about money. I did find $12.25 and a knitted poncho in less than a week. I am sure I would not have found these things if I hadn't been on my bike.
    Two Wheels One Love

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