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Maintance costs for your fleet of commuters

Old 03-13-13, 06:38 PM
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krobinson103
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Maintance costs for your fleet of commuters

My three bikes are almost exactly the way I want them now. But, given that they are my transport everywhere things wear out fast. I find myself spending $100 a month keeping everything tuned a road ready. That's actually more in repairs on 3 bikes than it cost on one 125cc motorcycle per month (sans fuel costs of course).
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Old 03-13-13, 07:07 PM
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That seems excessive. I spend a couple hundred a year. Tires are half of that, because I like to splurge on them. What are you buying for 100 dollars?
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Old 03-13-13, 07:26 PM
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I only use FG/SS bikes so maintenance costs are very cheap for me... Chains and brakepads get replaced once or twice per year, depending on the mileage. Tires get replaced once per year. Average cost is about $280 dollars per 1 year for my 3 bikes. Chainrings, bottom brackets and rear cogs last me for a few years before needing replacement.

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Old 03-13-13, 07:36 PM
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In the past 2 years I've spent around 250 a year on maintenance, I have no clue how you would have to spend so much! Are you confusing maintenance with upgradeitis?
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Old 03-13-13, 07:46 PM
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It may be an artifact of how the bikes came into being.



That one was sourced part by part and for the main is very reliable. It ought to be since I built it with the most durable and cost effective parts I could. Still, she does need new cables every now and then given that this bike goes 200-300km a week every week rain or shine.



That one is fairly stock and only gets ridden for shopping or kid carrying, but the loads it carries means that I go through a stand every 3-4 months. They don't like 30-50kg even for the short period it takes to load and get on my way. But the quality of the brakes/bearings meant that I needed to replace the BB after just 3000km and replace the pads with Cool stop salmons to get any kind of decent stopping power.



This fellow pushed the price up. Parts quality is low and every month something fails. First the brakes were total junk. Had to replace them - probably dropped $100 on new calipers and pads. Then the levers/shifters just didn't work right. Flat barred it with parts from the parts bin. Worked great for a while until the derailler (cheap shimano sis unit) got too weak in the spring to shift down. Change out the chain (it had gone 2000km anyway) derailler, and cables. Then yesterday I noticed the BB was way loose and no amount of adjusting will fix it. Another $30 for a new cartridge unit to replace the cup and cone. I really hope that I'm done replacing crap components for a while.
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Old 03-13-13, 08:22 PM
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I only have one bike at the moment. my cost for it every year about, i do about 6-7000 miles for fun, commuting,recreation,exploring, groceries, errands, social outings.
~ 100$ in tires 3000 miles
~ 40$ chain every 3500 miles
~ 7$ per tube, few every couple months
~ 40$ F/R brakes once a year
i do most of the work my self and ride all year.
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Old 03-13-13, 09:05 PM
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2 bikes. Ride year round.
Not counting a couple significant upgrades, the following got replaced in 2012 due to wear or damage:
- seat
- 1 pair of SPD pedals
- couple sets of SPD cleats
- 1 road tire
- 2 studded tires
- 3 tubes
- 1 set of fenders
- a few cables
Total would be somewhere in the $300-$400 range and I do most of the work myself.
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Old 03-13-13, 09:08 PM
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1+
Originally Posted by GodsBassist View Post
That seems excessive. I spend a couple hundred a year. Tires are half of that, because I like to splurge on them. What are you buying for 100 dollars?
You should invest on a good repair manual. Would save you about $100 bucks a month if all your paying for is adjustments. I do all work on all my bikes so all I spend money on is replacement part costs which is very minimal. Working on them yourself is super easy and helps for those "oh crap" moments when your out on a ride and something gos wrong you can fix it on the spot. About once a week I give my bikes a once over to keep everything running true. Been riding/commuting for about 2 years have spent zero on paying for tune ups.
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Old 03-13-13, 09:17 PM
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Did 1 R'off oil change , replaced chain, flipped over cog. took off, surface sanded the disc pads, glazed a bit,
then put them back in.
up graded the tubes to thorn resistant; 2, 406_ 20" that's it
the head/taillight installation was last year..

I worked on the icy-freeze up bike, raised the bars , cable redo....
that sub zero-C day didnt happen.. this winter

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Old 03-14-13, 07:47 AM
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I replaced the bottom bracket on one bike. $30. That was for the year so far.
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Old 03-14-13, 07:58 AM
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Holy crap op. $100 per month?? what do you buy new tires every month?

We have 7 bikes, of which, we use 4 everyday for commuting. we have not spent a cent on any of the four bikes since december or so. Unless you have two left hands I cants see why you cant do the maintenance yourself.

I mean, two of our bikes spend day and night in public bike parking, thru rain, snow and ice, and no maintenance required for months.
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Old 03-14-13, 08:08 AM
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They get maintained by me every week or so. Its not the adjustments, but the sub standard parts on two of them that just can't stand up to commuting. Perhaps instead of maintaince it should be called getting these BSO's to a useable state.
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Old 03-14-13, 08:16 AM
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Last year I put 9500 kms approx. on 3 bikes, 8000 on my main commuter and 1500 on the two other and I spent about 400-500 $ all years for all 3 bikes maintenance and upgrades included. I figure that I saved about 1300$ on gaz so it's worth it.
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Old 03-14-13, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
They get maintained by me every week or so. Its not the adjustments, but the sub standard parts on two of them that just can't stand up to commuting. Perhaps instead of maintaince it should be called getting these BSO's to a useable state.

Can you find a used bike for $100?
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Old 03-14-13, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
They get maintained by me every week or so. Its not the adjustments, but the sub standard parts on two of them that just can't stand up to commuting. Perhaps instead of maintaince it should be called getting these BSO's to a useable state.
do the bikes stay most of the time at parking with other bikes where people bump and bang all day?

I mean my main commuter spends 5+ hours a day on public parking by the train station and it sure gets banged up, but nothing that MUST be replaced, bent fenders, rims, whatever, but nothing that MUST be replaced because it does not interfere with my riding, just my OCD that hates to see a fender not perfectly aligned.
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Old 03-14-13, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by alexaschwanden View Post
~ 7$ per tube, few every couple months
Why do you replace tubes every couple of months?
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Old 03-14-13, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Why do you replace tubes every couple of months?
Because he don't know how to patch them?
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Old 03-14-13, 08:53 AM
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I don't keep track of my maintenance costs but probably should. I've got 5 road bikes, so the costs are relatively low on a "per bike" basis but I probably spend at least $1,000/year to maintain all of my bikes. I also ride a lot of miles because I commute 30 miles/day to work year-round and do longer rides most weekends and tours a couple of times a year. For the past 5 years or so, I have averaged more than 8,000 miles a year. Since rear tires last me about 2,000 miles and some are destroyed due to bad flats, I probably buy at least 4 tires a year as well as a bunch of tubes. I also replace cables, chains, cassettes and brake pads on one or two bikes every year. My favorite bikes get ridden 2,000-3,000 miles a year, and I put at least 500-1,000 a year on the others.

Despite the costs, maintaining a bike is much cheaper than maintaining a car or truck. I have cut my driving in half due to bike commute -- from about 10,000 miles/year before I started to about 5,000/year since then.
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Old 03-14-13, 08:54 AM
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I don't have a fleet of commuter bikes. Just one bike that can go anywhere in all weather conditions, which I clean and maintain myself regularly. No way I could come close to spending $100/mo on maintenance. Upgrades and other purchases, maybe, but not maintenance alone. If something breaks and cannot be immediately fixed, I have a backup road bike, but it's not really suitable for everyday commuting. Lots of spare consumables and wheelsets, so little to no downtime.
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Old 03-14-13, 09:02 AM
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As I posted before, my 40+ commuter still has the original chain, within specs., which I service perhaps twice a year, 15 minutes tops. Other than patches and changing worn tires, there is no expense for my fleet other than discretionary 'upgrades". Bikes are meant to be adjusted by the owner; dropping into the LBS every time something needs adjusting is a great way to burn $20 bills.

However, I'll admit my commute and ride time on the weekends is modest by some people's standards. If my commute was 30 miles daily, I guess I would see things wearing out.

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Old 03-14-13, 12:11 PM
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I spent a lot of money on my primary commuter selecting what I felt were the best, lowest maintenance parts that I could find. That bike has just under 10K miles on it now, and my only maintenance costs have been chains. My rear tire is needing replacement, and I have bought a new one, but not yet installed it. I doubt that my costs are over $10 per month in maintenance.
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Old 03-14-13, 12:15 PM
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Wow. I doubt I spend $100 per month on my race bikes.
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Old 03-14-13, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
They get maintained by me every week or so. Its not the adjustments, but the sub standard parts on two of them that just can't stand up to commuting. Perhaps instead of maintaince it should be called getting these BSO's to a useable state.
I'd call getting decent components for a BSO part of the purchase price, rather than maintenance.

In that vein, if the BB goes again, perhaps it'd be worth $130 to get one of those fance SKF sealed BBs. And maybe it's time to splurge and get an Esge two-legged kickstand. (You can pay me now, or ... you can pay me later kind of thing.)
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Old 03-14-13, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by dramiscram View Post
Because he don't know how to patch them?
If so, then I doubt that he knows how to mount a tire with the new tubes, upping the cost by the LBS mechanic charges every time he gets a flat.
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Old 03-14-13, 05:06 PM
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I spent 300.00 on my completed commuter bike and after 6 months, 16.00 for a gnar-rad blue tail light. So 16.00 in six months so far. Hope to get down to "0" in the next six months
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