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Longer distance commute: road bike vs. fancy road bike

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Longer distance commute: road bike vs. fancy road bike

Old 09-20-21, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
OP apparently already owns and pays for a motor vehicle (or uses public transportation) for transportation when he does not ride, or plan to ride a bicycle due to preference, weather, health or other reasons. Even if he bike commutes the 100 miles/week all year long, 5000 miles a year will not add that much additional costs to the car he already owns.
Car-light lifestyle and it would break my heart if I had to change that (i.e., buy a car). For regular commuting and errands, 98% is done by bike, the remaining 2% are walking or public transit. Out of town trips were public transit first, if available, car share or rental as fallback. Since covid, public transit is out and car share has been the replacement. Still not using car rental/car share more than once a month.
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Old 09-20-21, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina
Calsun , most estimates put car ownership around $8,000 per year.
"Most" means who exactly and it obviously makes a huge difference in the type of car for starters. A large SUV costs more to buy and finance and has higher DMV fees and higher annual insurance rates and replacing the tires is far more expensive than for someone driving a Ford Focus or similar small car. The large SUV costs more even while it is parked.

Our large SUV and our Prius cost us less than $4,000 a year in total to own and operate. When I was making a 160 mile daily commute my costs were much higher in most respects but that was also why I decided to start a business that I could operate without a brick and mortar buillding in the equation but could be at my home office. I no longer spend 15 hours each week in my car traveling to an office and back home and that also provides me with an additional 15 hours for personal use. My auto related expenditures are down by 85% and that is money I can use for other things, like buying new bikes.

In the USA it is common to havve two or three or more vehicles per household as there is less ability to rely on safe bicycle routes or mass transit in most of the cities and towns. If one bikes to work then there is going to be fewer miles made with the vehicle and less gas to be purchased and fewer oil changes and fewer tire replacements and fewer auto repairs and lower annual insurance premiums and less paid for city parking. Spending $3,000 on an e-bike designed for commuting would save many people that amount in auto expense. The problem is that people tend to only account for what they spend at the gas pumps and overlook all the other variable and the fixed costs of car ownership.
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Old 09-20-21, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by alias5000
Car-light lifestyle and it would break my heart if I had to change that (i.e., buy a car). For regular commuting and errands, 98% is done by bike, the remaining 2% are walking or public transit. Out of town trips were public transit first, if available, car share or rental as fallback. Since covid, public transit is out and car share has been the replacement. Still not using car rental/car share more than once a month.
In your OP you wrote "I would be doing this [bike commuting] 2-3 times a week, 3-3.5 seasons of the year. Excluding SW Ontario winter, I am hoping to be able to do as much of it on bike, as overall feasible."
Does that mean that using a bike for commuting 2-3 times a week for 3-3.5 seasons of the year, plus errands, covers 98% of your yearly commuting and errand transportation needs? How will you avoid biking in winter conditions in SW Ontario and maintain that high percentage of bike use?

Assuming that COVID precautions recede to history, just curious how much would public transportation cost you for each commute to/from home to your new job site? Does it run timely enough to fit your schedule?
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Old 09-20-21, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
In your OP you wrote "I would be doing this [bike commuting] 2-3 times a week, 3-3.5 seasons of the year. Excluding SW Ontario winter, I am hoping to be able to do as much of it on bike, as overall feasible."
Does that mean that using a bike for commuting 2-3 times a week for 3-3.5 seasons of the year, plus errands, covers 98% of your yearly commuting and errand transportation needs? How will you avoid biking in winter conditions in SW Ontario and maintain that high percentage of bike use?

Assuming that COVID precautions recede to history, just curious how much would public transportation cost you for each commute to/from home to your new job site? Does it run timely enough to fit your schedule?
Sorry, these are two different things. Initial post is after start date of new job. Quoted post from above is status quo before the new job has started (a short 12km/day commute). As many have pointed out here, I'm not worried about cost because anything cycling is easily cheaper than car ownership. I save this money for later, rather spending the majority of it elsewhere. More bike stuff has to be worth it by some definition (and there was good input on what that definition could be).
Public transit is affordable, but the slowest of all options and schedules are sparse. Car: ~25 minutes. Bike: ~1 hr ish. Public transit (or combined with partial cycling): ~1.5hrs. Each way.
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Old 09-20-21, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by alias5000
Sorry, these are two different things. Initial post is after start date of new job. Quoted post from above is status quo before the new job has started (a short 12km/day commute). As many have pointed out here, I'm not worried about cost because anything cycling is easily cheaper than car ownership. I save this money for later, rather spending the majority of it elsewhere. More bike stuff has to be worth it by some definition (and there was good input on what that definition could be).
Public transit is affordable, but the slowest of all options and schedules are sparse. Car: ~25 minutes. Bike: ~1 hr ish. Public transit (or combined with partial cycling): ~1.5hrs. Each way.
Thanks for clarifying. How do you plan to commute to the new job in the winter or on the days when you choose not to ride your bicycle?
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Old 09-20-21, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Thanks for clarifying. How do you plan to commute to the new job in the winter or on the days when you choose not to ride your bicycle?
That is still a bit tbd. Options are:
  • Car share (there are plans that would put monthly expenses a bit above the cost of ownership for that period, but I would not be paying for the car for the majority of the year. And if I can convince myself to ride on a tolerable foul-weather day, I'll save!)
  • Maybe I'm lucky and can find someone to carpool with
  • I might be able to plan work in such a way that I can work from home or from the other work location (that is very close and where I will be for 1.5-2 days a week regular)
  • Public transit, or bike & public transit
This is pretty much, why a fancier road bike seems to be unjustifiable (the question of this thread is answered for me). I'll pay $4-5k for something that won't work for 5-6 months of the year. An ebike upgrade should make that a smaller window (for less money), because my existing winter commuter is much better suited for weather that isn't the best. When the ground allows, I can push the assist to 32 km/hr and that's it.
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Old 09-21-21, 12:37 AM
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Well if you are willing to ride in inclement weather that isn't "too dangerous", and if you aren't going to the office everyday, will take public transport etc, maybe an e-assist foldie bike is a great option if you want to save time and get your aerobic in while you commute? That's why I commute, for exercise and CO2 emissions. But I don't have much bad weather to worry about.

Originally Posted by alias5000
That is still a bit tbd. Options are:
  • Car share (there are plans that would put monthly expenses a bit above the cost of ownership for that period, but I would not be paying for the car for the majority of the year. And if I can convince myself to ride on a tolerable foul-weather day, I'll save!)
  • Maybe I'm lucky and can find someone to carpool with
  • I might be able to plan work in such a way that I can work from home or from the other work location (that is very close and where I will be for 1.5-2 days a week regular)
  • Public transit, or bike & public transit
This is pretty much, why a fancier road bike seems to be unjustifiable (the question of this thread is answered for me). I'll pay $4-5k for something that won't work for 5-6 months of the year. An ebike upgrade should make that a smaller window (for less money), because my existing winter commuter is much better suited for weather that isn't the best. When the ground allows, I can push the assist to 32 km/hr and that's it.
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Old 09-23-21, 05:09 PM
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Just logically, is car share or rental a problem on inclement weather days? You may not be the only person with this plan.
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Old 09-23-21, 05:35 PM
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Where are you located? In a month or so here the midwesterners will be posting about the weather. Down here in California's elbow I miss only a few days a year due to weather. We have about 300 days a year fair and the 65 remaining are not all sharp and overlap with a lot of holidays, though it sometimes settles into a pattern that seems to have the least convenient phase.
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Old 09-23-21, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
Where are you located?
Ontario, Canada.
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Old 09-29-21, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
"Most" means who exactly and it obviously makes a huge difference in the type of car for starters. A large SUV costs more to buy and finance and has higher DMV fees and higher annual insurance rates and replacing the tires is far more expensive than for someone driving a Ford Focus or similar small car. The large SUV costs more even while it is parked.
.
I own both a 2007 Ford Focus and a 2007 Toyota 4Runner. The Focus never moves and still costs me more to own than the 4Runner. 4Runner is daily driven by my wife to work and we spend $25/month getting her to and from work. The Focus had exactly 12 miles out on it this year which is up exactly 12 miles from last. Itís costing me $75/ month just to let it sitÖ my annual insurance is $4,000 on 3 vehicles, a motorcycle, and a boat. So in all actuality its costing us $200 a month for it to sit there.

Also the tires on my 4Runner are half what we paid for the Focus (Maxxis Razors vs Pirellis) Ö I think a lot depends on the area you live in as well. Out here itís 4wd country and everyone has a truck or SUV while not everyone has a sedan.

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Old 09-30-21, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by M Rose
The Focus had exactly 12 miles out on it this year which is up exactly 12 miles from last. Itís costing me $75/ month just to let it sitÖ my annual insurance is $4,000 on 3 vehicles, a motorcycle, and a boat. So in all actuality its costing us $200 a month for it to sit there.
Why don't you sell it or donate it to a charity? It was easy-peasy for us to give away our old car to the local public radio station through CarEasy https://careasy.org/home.
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Old 09-30-21, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by M Rose
I own both a 2007 Ford Focus and a 2007 Toyota 4Runner. The Focus never moves and still costs me more to own than the 4Runner. 4Runner is daily driven by my wife to work and we spend $25/month getting her to and from work. The Focus had exactly 12 miles out on it this year which is up exactly 12 miles from last. Itís costing me $75/ month just to let it sitÖ my annual insurance is $4,000 on 3 vehicles, a motorcycle, and a boat. So in all actuality its costing us $200 a month for it to sit there.

Also the tires on my 4Runner are half what we paid for the Focus (Maxxis Razors vs Pirellis) Ö I think a lot depends on the area you live in as well. Out here itís 4wd country and everyone has a truck or SUV while not everyone has a sedan.
Gas costs are lower with the Focus and tires are cheaper to replace so why would anyone drive a 15 mpg 4Runner instead for trips where a four wheel drive SUV is hardly needed? A year ago I had a heavy duty diesel 4WD pickup that averaged 16 mpg and a gas powered SUV that averages 24 mpg and a Prius that averages 44 mpg. Going to the building supply store or a nursery or towing a boat, the truck was used. For trips to stores for groceries and such we use the Prius. The Prius was also the primary commute vehicle. People underestimate the true costs of ownership and overestimate their need for off road capable vehicles like the Toyota 4Runner. No doubt it is the cool factor as many people do not want to be seen in a compact car or a minivan and so burn more gas and contribute more to global warming as a result.

The advantage of the Traverse SUV is that we can put two of our bikes in the back and leave the wheels on the bikes. No worries about them on the outside of the car where they can be stolen in seconds. Anyone who thinks bike locks address the problem has never seen a 18 volt corldess cut-off tool with a 4" cutting disc go through hardened steel chain or wire cables in seconds. For an investment of less than $200 a thief can have a portable tool the will rapidly cut through any bicycle lock.
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Old 09-30-21, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
Gas costs are lower with the Focus and tires are cheaper to replace so why would anyone drive a 15 mpg 4Runner instead for trips where a four wheel drive SUV is hardly needed? A year ago I had a heavy duty diesel 4WD pickup that averaged 16 mpg and a gas powered SUV that averages 24 mpg and a Prius that averages 44 mpg. Going to the building supply store or a nursery or towing a boat, the truck was used. For trips to stores for groceries and such we use the Prius. The Prius was also the primary commute vehicle. People underestimate the true costs of ownership and overestimate their need for off road capable vehicles like the Toyota 4Runner. No doubt it is the cool factor as many people do not want to be seen in a compact car or a minivan and so burn more gas and contribute more to global warming as a result.

The advantage of the Traverse SUV is that we can put two of our bikes in the back and leave the wheels on the bikes. No worries about them on the outside of the car where they can be stolen in seconds. Anyone who thinks bike locks address the problem has never seen a 18 volt corldess cut-off tool with a 4" cutting disc go through hardened steel chain or wire cables in seconds. For an investment of less than $200 a thief can have a portable tool the will rapidly cut through any bicycle lock.
first off, we are getting 22mpg in the 4Runner, second the Focus canít make it up our driveway, hence itís parked in a neighbors field costing me $50/month to park it there.



Our driveway

Entrance to our driveway 6 months out of the year


As you can see we actually use our 4Runner
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Old 09-30-21, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Why don't you sell it or donate it to a charity? It was easy-peasy for us to give away our old car to the local public radio station through CarEasy https://careasy.org/home.
because my daughter is getting her DL soon and will need it to commute from her boyfriendís place to
school and work.
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Old 10-01-21, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by M Rose
because my daughter is getting her DL soon and will need it to commute from her boyfriendís place to
school and work.
Edmunds estimates the value of a 2007 Focus at $489- $4172 dependent on condition and equipment.
How long have you been keeping this car for this purpose? That Focus must have a lot of sentimental value to your family. Paying $2,400/year for outdoor storage and insurance for a used 14 year old car to be used at some time in the future for commuting seems pretty steep to me.
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Old 10-01-21, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Edmunds estimates the value of a 2007 Focus at $489- $4172 dependent on condition and equipment.
How long have you been keeping this car for this purpose? That Focus must have a lot of sentimental value to your family. Paying $2,400/year for outdoor storage and insurance for a used 14 year old car to be used at some time in the future for commuting seems pretty steep to me.
we parked it in July of 2020. And she got her license today.
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Old 10-04-21, 02:00 AM
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If you want to ride through some cold weather, probably e-assisted bike would be the best. The cold will affect battery capacity, but with your commute, one charge should suffice for the day. The thing is to stay warm without being too warm, which makes you perspire excessively. I still stay a belt internal hub drivetrain is the best option as a commute bike. You can always change the sprockets to get more top or low gearing.
Originally Posted by alias5000
Ontario, Canada.
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Old 02-01-22, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne
Don't tell that to the tens of thousands who do ride these distances.
They don't, not according to these statistics

Originally Posted by CrankyOne
10 mph would also be quite slow. The average is about 11-13 and many of us will ride faster.
https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2...pular%20belief.
https://www.holland-cycling.com/blog...owest-cyclists
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