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  1. #1
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Aren`t bicycles supposed to be cheaper than cars?

    Scrapped my last car a couple years ago - A nice Mazda MX6 loaded with a V6, leather interior , air conditioning and a pretty good sound system. and so I`m not paying gas or tires any more.

    But currently I`m going through three liters of juice a day and at $2/liter that makes gas look cheap! I`m only biking 15 to 30km/day to so I`m thinking my liters/ hundred kilometers is pretty dismal!

    And then there`s all this specialized bicycling clothing that I need a lot of because I sweat in it and have to change out and wash the stuff every day. Makes a business suit look cheap and air conditioning feel like heaven!

    And tires? A great bicycle tire costs over $50 and only lasts a few thousand miles. Even my performance car tires were good for 20,000kms! Whats wron with this picture?

    On the other hand bicycling is a physical activity that`s great at getting rid of stress! So my stress level is way down, and at 58 I`m still not on any medication and am in reasonably good physical shape. Lots better than anyone else I know of in my age group.

    Ok - so maybe bicycles are just more FUN than cars - particularly when it comes to rush hour traffic!

  2. #2
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    You're kidding, of course. Insurance, depreciation, license fees and you would bicycling for recreation anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    But currently I`m going through three liters of juice a day and at $2/liter that makes gas look cheap!
    Gasoline is cheap. It has an energy content of over 30,000 kcal/gallon. I find that even when I'm choosing pretty economical foods at the grocery store, it's hard to average over 1000 kcal/$, so based on the energy content gasoline would have to cost over $30/gal to be as expensive as our food. Yet another reason why it makes little sense to turn corn into car fuel.

    But it's much more enjoyable to refuel my bike engine than my car engine so I'm not averse to spending a little more. And much of our bicycle spending is discretionary. Yes you can buy bike tires at over $50 each, but you can also find perfectly serviceable ones for under $10. Similarly it's easy to spend thousands of dollars on a bike, but for utility cycling one can get around just about as well on a used bike picked up at a garage sale for under $100.

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    But currently I`m going through three liters of juice a day and at $2/liter that makes gas look cheap! I`m only biking 15 to 30km/day to so I`m thinking my liters/ hundred kilometers is pretty dismal!
    Drink water and ride more.

  5. #5
    Faster than yesterday
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    I do find cycling cheaper than driving.

    [this is where I did all the math for myself to prove to myself that is was true. You can do it for yourself, if you want, and I find that, only talking about short-term costs, I save about 5k a year by commuting by bike; this includes added food cost. I decided you'd only be satisfied by running the numbers for yourself.]

  6. #6
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I guess it depends on what and how your ride... I have a one bike that I paid $25 for in 1982, rode it as my only form of transportation for 5+ years, still have it nearly 40 years later. Haven't seen too many cars manage to do that. FWIW I ride slow, I ride upright and I wear regular clothing and eat regular food.

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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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  7. #7
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    Three liters of juice a day? Wow, that's a lot of sugar!

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    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    I just love your title, Burton.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  9. #9
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I don't down more than 2 litres of juice per day very often. Mostly keep it to a litre or less. I can get frozen concentrate that makes 2 litres for about $1.25.

    I like to cut my juice quite a bit also so I actually make 3 litres from a can that's meant to make 2 litres.

    For tires, the last pair I got I paid $10 apiece for a set of Forte Stradas. They were on sale for $7.50 apiece a couple weeks ago.

    Canari cycling shorts $30 a pair on sale. Wicking T-shirts $10.

    You can pay a lot to ride but you don't need to really.

    I know what you're saying in a way, though. When I had a 35 mile round trip flat commute and a 31 mile round trip hilly commute it was my food consumption that went way up. I could eat like there was no tomorrow.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  10. #10
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    What you may want but don't need to ride a bicycle.......
    Juice..drink water instead
    Special cycling clothes
    Expensive bike parts

    Ride on anyway!!
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

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    While I would like to see prices I can afford [sic, ha..I'll NEVER own that dura ace bike, [chagrin ]...I'm also encouraged to see 'demand' high in the sport, which essentially 'drives' innovation and new products and more 'good' LBS's, and 'events'...especially more events; we NEED events; more events pleeze.

    If the profit wasn't there, the producers would stop supplying us with super swift bikes that are a pure joy to ride. Anyway, it's another angle we should consider. I don't know what sort of margin these LBS's operate on, but I always feel a kind of 'partnership' when I visit...I mean, I don't want him to go out of business to where I have to drive to another city or something.

    Hmmm...Maybe I'll sell my car to buy that dura ace bike after all, ha.

  12. #12
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    We would all eat and drink even if we were not cycling. Most of us probably do not need more calories even cycling daily.

  13. #13
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    Tires are cheap. First off, there's half as many. Second, if you're running through that many tires, that's a lot; my tires last 2 years at most and I change 'em because they dry rot over time. I've only tread-worn my tires when I was commuting to another state and filling my gas tank 3 times a week. So halve the cost on the bike tires to compare.

    Juice? I use powdered gatorade in water bottles and tablets (Nuun, sugar free) in the CamelBak. 3L costs about $1-$1.50. Sometimes I use less than recommended for tablets because I don't need the full electrolyte balance. This is my biggest expense.

    I have Clif Bars but I eat food; Clif Bars are there because lunch is around noon and I leave work around 6pm, so sometimes I'm hungry. If I have access to other food, I'll eat that. Often simply not being hungry or strategically having lunch fall somewhere in the middle of or right before your riding time eliminates added food costs. My total food costs went down because my eating habits changed, and I started eating more food when presented instead of throwing half of it away. Don't get hungry as soon unless I eat and then ride a lot; body is now efficient.

    And as others have said, depreciation, maintenance, insurance.
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  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    $4000 gets you a darned nice bike , or a 1 payment car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    But currently I`m going through three liters of juice a day and at $2/liter that makes gas look cheap! I`m only biking 15 to 30km/day to so I`m thinking my liters/ hundred kilometers is pretty dismal!
    3 liters of OJ is 12.8 cups/8-ounces. That's 1400 calories.

    That seems like a lot of extra calories for such little bicycling (30km=19miles).

    http://caloriecount.about.com/calori...ge-juice-i9206

    I'm assuming you are eating meals normally.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    Tires are cheap. First off, there's half as many. Second, if you're running through that many tires, that's a lot; my tires last 2 years at most and I change 'em because they dry rot over time. I've only tread-worn my tires when I was commuting to another state and filling my gas tank 3 times a week. So halve the cost on the bike tires to compare.

    Juice? I use powdered gatorade in water bottles and tablets (Nuun, sugar free) in the CamelBak. 3L costs about $1-$1.50. Sometimes I use less than recommended for tablets because I don't need the full electrolyte balance. This is my biggest expense.

    I have Clif Bars but I eat food; Clif Bars are there because lunch is around noon and I leave work around 6pm, so sometimes I'm hungry. If I have access to other food, I'll eat that. Often simply not being hungry or strategically having lunch fall somewhere in the middle of or right before your riding time eliminates added food costs. My total food costs went down because my eating habits changed, and I started eating more food when presented instead of throwing half of it away. Don't get hungry as soon unless I eat and then ride a lot; body is now efficient.

    And as others have said, depreciation, maintenance, insurance.

    Two years? Your tires last two years I can't get two years on my MTB tires. I sure can't get two years on a set of road tires. However because I get bike tires more often I can get several years on a set of car tires.


    But much like golf, cycling can cost more if you are really into cycling. Maybe not more than a car but my best road bike is worth more than the compact I just sold.

  17. #17
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    But currently I`m going through three liters of juice a day and at $2/liter that makes gas look cheap! I`m only biking 15 to 30km/day to so I`m thinking my liters/ hundred kilometers is pretty dismal!
    Why on earth are you drinking three litres of juice a day if you're only riding 15-30km? Swap the juice for something like 2.5l of water and 500ml of juice. After a 30km ride if I'm sweating (which I often am if I've been pushing myself) I'll drink a glass of isotonic drink from a powder, which costs me something like 65p.

    And then there`s all this specialized bicycling clothing that I need a lot of because I sweat in it and have to change out and wash the stuff every day. Makes a business suit look cheap and air conditioning feel like heaven!
    You probably don't actually need any specialized bicycling clothing. I cycle in regular clothes, the only things that are cycling specific that I have are padded gloves (15), helmet (about 50 IIRC) and I bought a pair of sunglasses so I don't put my expensive prescription Serengeti's in harms way (I think they were about 40).

    And tires? A great bicycle tire costs over $50 and only lasts a few thousand miles. Even my performance car tires were good for 20,000kms! Whats wron with this picture?
    Can you get a performance tyre for your car for $50? I'd be surprised. Personally I can replace both my bike tyres with good tyres, replace the cassette, chain, chainrings and still spend less than my annual car insurance costs. If I drove something more desirable than an ageing sensible family car I could throw in more major components.

    On the other hand bicycling is a physical activity that`s great at getting rid of stress! So my stress level is way down, and at 58 I`m still not on any medication and am in reasonably good physical shape. Lots better than anyone else I know of in my age group.

    Ok - so maybe bicycles are just more FUN than cars - particularly when it comes to rush hour traffic!
    Definitely more fun in rush hour. Especially when there's a good bike lane, it's great to pass all the stationary cars. It's really good when you get to blow by something very expensive and very fast... I just loved a couple of occasions recently near home. One was a Nissan GTR, the other was a Ferrari 458 Italia. Both capable of insane speeds, both overtaken by an overweight guy on a mountain bike because they were stuck in traffic.

  18. #18
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    I ride quite a bit and you drink more juice in one day than I do in a year. Food for thought.
    Though I don't really like juice with all the added sugars. I would rather eat fruit like nature intended.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    Two years? Your tires last two years I can't get two years on my MTB tires. I sure can't get two years on a set of road tires. However because I get bike tires more often I can get several years on a set of car tires.
    I can never make car tires outlast 2 years. They still have 80% of their tread but they're not road ready because they're starting to dry rot.

    Quote Originally Posted by contango View Post
    One was a Nissan GTR, the other was a Ferrari 458 Italia. Both capable of insane speeds, both overtaken by an overweight guy on a mountain bike because they were stuck in traffic.
    Both unbelievable crap cars. At least the Nissan is probably durable, though; the Ferrari will fall apart faster than the worst GM car ever made. Well, maybe not EVER made ... Chevy Vega was pretty bad, so was the Chevette.

    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
    I would rather eat fruit like nature intended.
    This is a logical fallacy.
    Last edited by bluefoxicy; 07-03-11 at 08:09 PM.
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  20. #20
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    Both unbelievable crap cars. At least the Nissan is probably durable, though; the Ferrari will fall apart faster than the worst GM car ever made. Well, maybe not EVER made ... Chevy Vega was pretty bad, so was the Chevette.
    Both very fast cars, when conditions permit. Which was the whole point of the comment.

  21. #21
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    No guys - it wasn`t really a serious post but at least one person was forward enough to admit that his bike was worth more than his last car!

    So whats all the uproar about the juice? I bicycle to the shop and back, maintain a cruising speed of over 30kph and work almost nonstop for up to 12 hours a day with maybe a half hour for lunch if I can sneak it in. A litre of unsweetened juice is the same price as a bottle of Gaterade (mostly sugar) or a coke (mostly sugar) and only slightly more than a bottle of water. I figure at least I`m getting some vitamins and need something to avoid dehydration anyway.

    But some of the vocabulary I`m reading is hilarious - functional? adequate? Live a little! If you could only see in black and white - that would be `adequate` and if there was only one thing that was edible - that would be `functional` as long as there was enough of it.

    But the world we`ve been given is a riot of color and choice and if anyone believes than manwas made in God`s image then that demonstrates both generosity and a love for the experience of living. I personally have no intention of wasting that or the opportunity to share it.

    And = guess I don`t really begrudge myself those extra bicycling clothes either. After all - the wife has a whole shoe collection and every time I think I`ve bought her the last purse we manage to trip across another she falls in love with.

    Hmmmm .... maybe I should be looking at another bicycle.....

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    I can never make car tires outlast 2 years. They still have 80% of their tread but they're not road ready because they're starting to dry rot.



    Both unbelievable crap cars. At least the Nissan is probably durable, though; the Ferrari will fall apart faster than the worst GM car ever made. Well, maybe not EVER made ... Chevy Vega was pretty bad, so was the Chevette.



    This is a logical fallacy.
    Incorrect but thanks for playing.

  23. #23
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    Cycling is far cheaper than driving a car. You have no gas which now comes to about $.15 a mile for a 30 mpg car. Cars require periodic maintenance. They also periodic replacement of batteries, tires, brake pads, timing chains etc. On top of that, cars require insurance.

    Figuring the cost of the fuel of a cyclist is pretty nuts. Most people spend money to lose weight. Shoot, a cyclist gets that for free.

    Shoot the insurance cost alone on a car will probably cost more than the annual budget that a cyclists would use commuting. The cost is not even close. Now bikes do have an up front cost. The size of that depends on the cost of your bike. One can get a pretty functional bike at a moderate price and much of the bike will last for 50,000 miles.

    When I see people complain about the cost of a bike compared to a car, they are comparing a high end racing machine at $4,000 to an inexpensive 8 year old used car (a compact). The comparison is not a valid one. If you compare say a brand new Porsche to your $4,000 racing bike, I think you would have a more valid comparison.

  24. #24
    Pokemon Master Darth_Firebolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    Both unbelievable crap cars. At least the Nissan is probably durable, though; the Ferrari will fall apart faster than the worst GM car ever made. Well, maybe not EVER made ... Chevy Vega was pretty bad, so was the Chevette.
    never heard of the GTR transmission failures?

  25. #25
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    The beauty of bicycling:
    A $2000 car = a piece of junk
    A $2000 bicycle = a very nice bicycle

    Once you have the bike you can spend as much or, as little, as you like, all at once, or slowly in periodic purchases, on all the other stuff.

    Factoring in the food eaten as "fuel" for the bicycle is ridiculous, unless food is factored in as "fuel" for the car driver. The car requires 2 fuels; one for the car, one for the driver.

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