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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 08-30-05, 01:11 PM   #1
cabana 4 life
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cost of owning a bike per year

does anybody have any ststs on this? im working on something and need a number and cant find one.

thanx
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Old 08-31-05, 03:36 PM   #2
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If it gets stolen or sabotaged - more expensive.
If you get to keep it unsabotaged and not stolen - less expensive.

The costs are normally not shocking if you get generic parts... I'd guess it'd cost about $100 per year to maintain a low-cost ($300-$500) bike that you use heavily (everyday for a fairly long ride).
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Old 08-31-05, 03:45 PM   #3
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I have difficulty quantifying my cost of owning 5 bicycles. I tend to buy anything bike related when I see a great deal and I know I will use it, maybe not now, but later.

It would be interesting to know though. Just like triple 'A' saying it cost an average of 55cents per mile, that was before the fuel price hikes.
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Old 09-04-05, 05:27 AM   #4
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I spent $1,200 at my local bike shop on my three bikes last year. This included two major overhauls, tires, a few new lights, etc. I get about 2,000 miles on my rear road tire, and 3,000 on the front. I ride about 2,000 miles a year.
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Old 09-04-05, 06:04 AM   #5
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I think there are too many variables to cost a bike like you can cost a car. Your bike can be no-maintenance for a year, and then you suddenly need new tires, and a complete overhaul, or perhaps something more major. And unlike a car, each time you replace something you have the choice of generic or upgrade. Do I want the new wheels to be the same as the ones I had before, or do I upgrade to the lightweight ones etc etc etc. And how do you price the extra fitness you get out of the bike, and the lower costs for medical expenses or gym membership?

Just ride and enjoy.
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Old 09-04-05, 10:03 AM   #6
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I answered this once already, dunno if it was here or commuting forum.

I ride 15-16000 miles a year, about 2 cents per mile.

do it the yuppie race bike impractical for the purpose way and its probably around 5-6 cents a mile
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Old 09-04-05, 10:07 AM   #7
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It all differs extremely. For my first two years as a bike commuter, for example, I used junk bikes, put almost no maintenance into them, and had no special bike clothes or any accessories beyond the absolute bare minimum. Back then my bike ownership costs were 0.00 although the bikes did get used extensively.

Now is a different story. I got more accessories, clothes, a more expensive bike etc, etc. Also, my back wheel was stolen this year and the replacement costs were substantial. A totally different financial situation, as you can see.

If you want to have this stats for yourself, just record all your biking expenditures and see what the figure is like at the end of the year... I know, it's slow.
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Old 09-04-05, 10:45 AM   #8
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This Article recently posted here and in the commuter forums puts the average cost of owning a bike at $400/year, and the cost of owning a car at $4000/year without fuel. To find the section that talks about it, scroll down to Demographics.
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Old 09-04-05, 11:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boudicca
I think there are too many variables to cost a bike like you can cost a car. Your bike can be no-maintenance for a year, and then you suddenly need new tires, and a complete overhaul, or perhaps something more major.
True, but the same goes for cars. Even if your automobile is purring like a juvenile cat, all the sudden your mechanic says that you need a new Johnson Rod. Then the flux capacitor control module burns out, and you know how much those things cost.

I just ran a Quicken report and found my bicycle-related spending this year is around $350, which does not include the $20 I spent on the bike I'm riding most often these days. My expenses represent the parts, tools and accessories I bought to outfit it for utility use (fenders, lights, rack, panniers) and repairs and parts to put it back together after I was hit by a car.

For the rest of the year, however, I'm hoping not to put too much more $$$ into my bicycles. My spending reduction strategy is twofold:

1. Quickly transport Nashbar catalogs from the mailbox to the recycling bin.

2. Try not to get hit by another car.
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Old 09-04-05, 11:39 AM   #10
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I tracked my expenses a few years back and I spent about $150, not including the annualized cost of purchasing that bike or a replacement. This year I bought two new bikes (one cheap, one used, so about $650 total), plus I estimate about $300 in upgrades and other expenses.

Another way I look at it is that I ride to work about 130 days per year, and the next cheapest means - busfare - would cost about $520, so I have that much to spend on my bikes each year before they cost me anything! Until this year I came in hundreds of dollars below that allowance every year.

All figures in Canadan dollars, so X 0.8 for USD.
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Old 09-04-05, 04:35 PM   #11
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This is not a good time to ask me. I spent almost $90 at the LBS last week for new tire, tube, floor pump, chain, chain lube. I also found out I need the hub adjusted soon for another $20 - $25.

However, I bought the bike used for $100 about 18 months (10,000 miles) ago, and have spent virtually nothing on replacement parts because it has a great frame and excellent components. Even if I had a car, I would still "need" the bike for exercize and fitness, so you have to factor those uses into the expense. True, I do spend more on clothing, since I like to use cycling clothes (unlike many commuters, who ride in regular clothing), but, again, I would buy some of those items even if I had a car.

Remember, many utilitarian riders buy cheaper bikes, wear everyday clothing, don't spend much on accessories, and do a lot of repairs themselves. Those of us who ride for multiple purposes (utility, fun, fitness, geekiness, etc.) probably spend more on bikes and bike stuff.
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Old 09-05-05, 06:57 AM   #12
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One of the guys I work with was calculating the cost of him riding 20mi/day instead of driving the 20mi in his small pick up. He told me it would save him about $60/month if he rode. He told me his time was worth more than that. He was also eating a donut.

So I wondered.....how much more is he spending on medical expenses than I am?
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Old 09-05-05, 11:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jharte
One of the guys I work with was calculating the cost of him riding 20mi/day instead of driving the 20mi in his small pick up. He told me it would save him about $60/month if he rode.
He's probably just calculating gas costs. Where I work it costs $100/month to park, so I assume your employer is providing free parking? If your colleague belongs to a gym or does some other activities to stay fit, he may have forgotten to account for the time and money he'd save if his cycling replaced those.
Also, most of us in the forums probably value our time on the bike, and find it much more enjoyable than driving, so when he says his "time is worth...[too much to ride]" he's assuming he will be spending the time he saves by not biking doing something more valuable or enjoyable, and we know better!
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Old 09-05-05, 07:21 PM   #14
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i've been telling people in the past few months i've had the following repairs on my vehicle:

new transmission (cassettes) $45
fix brakes $6
a few blown tires here and there $20

can you imagine the cost if all those things went bad on a car over a few months time? of course my vehicle is my bike, and repairs being a fraction of the cost they would on a car
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Old 09-05-05, 10:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chocula
1. Quickly transport Nashbar catalogs from the mailbox to the recycling bin.
You know you can call Nashbar and ask to be taken off their mailing list...

-Trevor
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Old 09-06-05, 07:31 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by TrevorInSoCal
You know you can call Nashbar and ask to be taken off their mailing list...
Yeah, I know. They're fun to look at on rainy days, though. As long as I don't put them where they are easy to get to I should be able to resist. It's like my new approach to TV: I've unhooked the coax from the back of set and let it fall down among the dust bunnies. It's still there if I really want to watch TV, but I'll have to work for it. Keeps me from coming home from work and switching on the TV out of habit.
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Old 09-07-05, 05:50 AM   #17
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You could attach the TV to a bicycle-powered generator. You'd have to work for your TV then, too.
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