Author Topic: What does it cost to run your bike?  (Read 627 times)

Andre Jute

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What does it cost to run your bike?
« on: May 02, 2017, 09:51:53 AM »
....it seems to me like out of every dollar you paid for that Rohloff box, you're not using 50 worth...

That raises another question.

Assume, somewhat unrealistically, that your bicycle is totally depreciated in ten years, zero residual, just to make the arithmetic easy. So what did it cost you per kilometer? Count all the components you fitted to it, all the replacement and service parts you bought, regardless of whether any of them are left.

On those sweeping terms my bike cost about 50c a kilometer. However, if I count just the replacement and service parts, the bike cost less than 10c a kilometer to run.

I'd guess you high-milers would have much better numbers.

RobertL

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Re: What does it cost to run your bike?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2017, 10:51:12 AM »
Depreciating the RST to zero and estimating conservatively a total of $2,500 in servicing (some components every five years plus the usual hub oil/chain/tyres/brakes/cables), and around 4,500 km per year, this works out to 9c per kilometre.

Not sure when the Zac 19 rims wear out, haven't provisioned for these, they look as they should last more than 45,000 km. The same goes for the Alfine 8 hub. With a Rohloff you might need to add 2c per kilometre, for the extra depreciation.

Am guessing that after 10 years the bike will be worth a few hundred dollars more than zero.

pavel

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Re: What does it cost to run your bike?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2017, 04:56:56 PM »
my Nomad has cost me a lot more than that. It buying a ticket to Los Vegas. It's not the tickets that gets you, but what it leads you into.  In my case that dang Thorn has made me buy tents, bags, matts, down sleeping-bags, Awful and awfully expensive Garmin devices (five so far) and other such necessities of the glamorous bicycling lifestyle.  OH, and lets not forget my wool clothing. One would not amortize a car over ten years without counting in the extras, any more than getting a horse cheap and forgetting about the high costs of stabling and feed.

Lastly, speaking of feed, my appetite's expectations are completely different when traveling by thorn vs traveling by Miata.

After exchange rates, shipping, import duty, the cost of the Nomad and all the needed bit for my first tour - the upfront costs were somewhere in the 11,000 range.  Mind you I got cheap on several items and had to learn the hard way that when you go cheap - you buy twice.  But that is something all go through as they purchase and learn, what suits them in gear.  I got about 5000 km in that first year, and since then perhaps another 3000 km.  I haven't been able to ride for major chunks of the last five years.  Food that I consumed extra due to pedaling and water bought in desperation from little stores selling little bottles for grand prices, I can't even begin to guess, but they would. be quite substantial.

But it's really all completely uncountable. But really the only thing that comes close in reality to costing 50c (is that US dollars?) a kilometer to operate, is sitting in my chair, walking to the fridge for beer and then to the bathroom.  No come to think of it, beer costs are pretty high.

So I think smiles per mile are really the only sensible way to even bother to count.

jags

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Re: What does it cost to run your bike?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2017, 07:38:15 PM »
Havent got a clue.

Andre Jute

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Re: What does it cost to run your bike?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2017, 12:17:22 AM »
Actually, Robert, if the bike is depreciated to zero, the rims on it when new were written off as included in the original cost, and if you haven't replaced the rims in the meantime, you can't count them again.

Pretty rough accounting of course, not the sort the IRS will let you get away with. But... What is striking is that your numbers match mine pretty closely, when one takes into account that you've done 45K in ten years and I've done 10K because, like Pavel, there were some years when for health reasons, though I strove mightily to be out as often as possible, I rode only a few hundred klicks.

Pavel, I think I pretty much match you for waste on Garmins with waste on BUMM lamps. And I burned out an electric motor and had to scrap the whole front hub system because I decided to go for a centre motor next. But that's all in the calculations, depreciated to zero.

Yo, Anto, of course you haven't got a clue. Ask your wife if you want a clue about arithmetic. I did, which is how come I have a clue. NO! On second thoughts, don't let her find out how much you spend on your bike(s).

***

Through all this my absolutely best added component purchases were, all equally valuable and receiving the full "recommended rating":

*Brooks B73 multi-rail, three helical spring leather saddle. (Thanks for the adaptor that lets me use it with micro-adjustable seat posts, Julian!)

*Chainglider to save on service, especially when I couldn't bend over the bike, and keeps my trousers clean.

*n'lock Swiss lockable stem, special handlebar with locking cable inside, and riser steering tube extender; saves my back, secures my bike against thieves.

*60mm Schwalbe Big Apple Liteskins tyres  and T19A Extralight tubes for comfort

*8FUN hub and centre motors that let me keep cycling in very hilly country after heart surgery. I haven't had a car for a quarter-century and wasn't tempted to buy another one.

*Basil's Cardiff pannier basket (I have two but normally use only one), deep but open topped, for just chucking stuff in; impossible to imagine a utility bike without something like it.

*First series BUMM Cyo lamp, first adequate (barely but still) dynamo lamp for bicycles, lets me ride at speed at night.

*BUMM Line Plus, first adequate popularly priced adequate dynamo rear lamp. (Actually the BUMM D-Toplite of earlier vintage was adequate but it was ugly as sin.)

*SKS Renkompressor, a famous full-length racing mechanic's pump that saves my back.

*BBB's low-torque wrench kit that stops me overtorqueing delicate parts on my bike.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 12:19:40 AM by Andre Jute »

JimK

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Re: What does it cost to run your bike?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2017, 04:18:04 AM »
I think it's the meals out that really kill my numbers. Today it was coffee and a cinnamon roll at the Straw Market http://www.straw-market.com/ - my first time there. $2.00 - a nice price, anyway! My hardware costs are maybe $0.30/mile. All the snacks... no wonder I am fat and penniless!

jags

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Re: What does it cost to run your bike?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2017, 09:53:17 AM »
Andre my Raleigh is a bit like triggers brush,   5 sets wheels god knows how many tyres and tubes   4 different   groupsets  lost count on the bartape  3 different saddles .and thats only one bike ,the dolan has a new set wheels and tyres  bartape  seatpost pedals ,
the new audax has new pedals new  seatpost  new tyres  new bartape latest is the new barbag .yeah it's one expensive hobby is cycling .


anto

John Saxby

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Re: What does it cost to run your bike?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2017, 04:03:15 PM »
My cash outlay for the Raven would be nominal, Andre, because I sold an asset I wasn't using, but which was highly prized by its buyer (my mid-'50's AJS scrambler). BUT, like Pavel, I've been unable to resist the allure of tweaks. Most of these have been discretionary, esp the more expensive ones (better-'cos-lighter tent, sleeping bag, mattress, waterproof Arkels, und so weiter), though reworking my ring/sprocket ratio was both necessary and inexpensive.

Nor do the tweaks just go away when named:  for my 70th b'day later in the summer, I'm considering buying treating Osi & myself a pair of Compass tires (Naches Pass 26 x 1.8) recommended by friends on the West Coast. My neighbour works in the HR field, and assures me that he endorses any expenditure to improve health and well-being. Reckon I pretty much have to buy those tires, eh?

Andre Jute

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Re: What does it cost to run your bike?
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2017, 12:33:57 AM »
Exactly! Your physical and mental health depends on having precisely the right tyres. An HR professional is probably wondering about you now, because you even thought it worth discussing the choice. Occupational health, both mental and physical, and not forgetting that retirement is a particularly hard occupation (I should know, I've been retired since I was 27), has made huge strides since WW1.

I also find it therapeutic, most beneficial to my blood pressure, to shop the bicycle catalogues at SJS and my regular German parts pushers even when I have nothing specific in mind to buy.

John Saxby

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Re: What does it cost to run your bike?
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2017, 02:02:30 PM »
Quote
I also find it therapeutic, most beneficial to my blood pressure, to shop the bicycle catalogues at SJS and my regular German parts pushers even when I have nothing specific in mind to buy.

Yep.

When we first came to Canada 60-plus years ago (!!), I learned that Getting Through Winter On The Farm was an annual project. My parents had a mah-jongg set (the envy of the neighbourhood) brought from our time in Hong Kong some years earlier; there was the radio, with the regular reports from CBC weather stations further north, a string of pearls with exotic names like Killaloe, White River, Rainy River, Red Lake, Fort Frances; and there were the Sears, Eaton's, and various seed catalogues. For a kid from a village in SE England, the catalogues were full of mystery--what was that, and why would anyone buy it!?-- even though there was no money to buy anything that wasn't absolutely essential.

(I got my first bike in the summer of 1956, a single-speed Raleigh with a coaster brake -- never bought anything for it for years.)

Catalogues had their pitfalls, however.  Here's a bit of Core Canadiana that you might enjoy (or not), "The Hockey Sweater", by Roch Carrier:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZyDsF-Gp3o

pavel

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Re: What does it cost to run your bike?
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2017, 03:25:55 PM »
Exactly! Your physical and mental health depends on having precisely the right tyres. An HR professional is probably wondering about you now, because you even thought it worth discussing the choice. Occupational health, both mental and physical, and not forgetting that retirement is a particularly hard occupation (I should know, I've been retired since I was 27), has made huge strides since WW1.

I also find it therapeutic, most beneficial to my blood pressure, to shop the bicycle catalogues at SJS and my regular German parts pushers even when I have nothing specific in mind to buy.


A conversation with one of my doctors recently suggested that recent research may have discovered that there is actually a region of the brain which is responsible for the placebo effect. So, even if it isn't real - it's real, if you catch my thinking. For many of us, it truly is therapeutic, whatever it is that we choose or are chosen by as a passion.

I've noticed that I and many men seem to get tremendous enjoyment from building a system. It can be Fly Fishing, Photography or Cycling, it hardly matters as long as there are pieced of the "ultimate" which must be chosen and honed.  Sometimes I think THAT is as much fun as the actual doing. I've noticed that if I stop building and buying and refining - I lose interest.  It may be wrong is some peoples minds - but I call those people "wives" and consider it one of the natural challenges of life - sort of like hills. :D

If happiness promotes health, and poor health be expensive - I'm saving wisely at the SJS website and a few other places.  Lately it's been the Hilleberg dreaming that's got me again. Next month I may need some Tyre therapy and I'm pretty sure there is a new Schmidt Edelux II pill that shall improve my mental and physical well being sometimes this year.

SJS Apothecaries.  Good for you.

Andre Jute

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Re: What does it cost to run your bike?
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2017, 11:19:41 PM »
Quote
Catalogues had their pitfalls, however.  Here's a bit of Core Canadiana that you might enjoy (or not), "The Hockey Sweater", by Roch Carrier:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZyDsF-Gp3o

Ha! Did you ever while you lived in southern Africa come across the stories of Herman Charles Bosman? If you haven't, they're recommended.


Exactly! Your physical and mental health depends on having precisely the right tyres. An HR professional is probably wondering about you now, because you even thought it worth discussing the choice. Occupational health, both mental and physical, and not forgetting that retirement is a particularly hard occupation (I should know, I've been retired since I was 27), has made huge strides since WW1.

I also find it therapeutic, most beneficial to my blood pressure, to shop the bicycle catalogues at SJS and my regular German parts pushers even when I have nothing specific in mind to buy.


A conversation with one of my doctors recently suggested that recent research may have discovered that there is actually a region of the brain which is responsible for the placebo effect. So, even if it isn't real - it's real, if you catch my thinking. For many of us, it truly is therapeutic, whatever it is that we choose or are chosen by as a passion.

I've noticed that I and many men seem to get tremendous enjoyment from building a system. It can be Fly Fishing, Photography or Cycling, it hardly matters as long as there are pieced of the "ultimate" which must be chosen and honed.  Sometimes I think THAT is as much fun as the actual doing. I've noticed that if I stop building and buying and refining - I lose interest.  It may be wrong is some peoples minds - but I call those people "wives" and consider it one of the natural challenges of life - sort of like hills. :D

If happiness promotes health, and poor health be expensive - I'm saving wisely at the SJS website and a few other places.  Lately it's been the Hilleberg dreaming that's got me again. Next month I may need some Tyre therapy and I'm pretty sure there is a new Schmidt Edelux II pill that shall improve my mental and physical well being sometimes this year.

SJS Apothecaries.  Good for you.

What your doctor describes isn't a placebo effect, it is merely a causal electrical or chemical effect not yet teased out by neurologists. Serotonin and serotonin are weird enough brain chemicals, one of them serving to tell you during dreams that you aren't insane, but there's bound to be much more in the brain that we don't know about.

As for hobbies, having built perfect oil paint systems in traditional oils and oil bars and alkyd oils and water-miscible oils, I'm just in the middle of building the perfect watercolor system. It's probably just as well that every hobby I've ever had threw off an income, or I'd be very broke indeed.

"SJS Apothecaries.  Good for you." Perfecto!

PH

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Re: What does it cost to run your bike?
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2017, 11:42:29 AM »
Interesting idea and worth resurrecting the tread for.
I've been pondering the costs as my Rohloff heads for it's third frame (first one sold, second one broke.)  It's 14 years old, not had an easy life, on it's third shell and seen me through at least 70,000 miles (112,500 km)
Costs to date have been 4,600 as far as I can calculate, which if I follow the instruction to write it off works out at around 4p a km.
But how much has it saved me? 
At least half that mileage has been commuting and if I hadn't cycled the cheapest alternative would have been 35p a mile.
So 60,000 X 35p - 4,600 = 16,400 :o :o :o :o :o

I feel better about forking out for a new frame already :) :) :) :)

Andre Jute

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Re: What does it cost to run your bike?
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2017, 02:05:48 PM »
Right. The opportunity cost of not using a car or public transport for commuting should be a positive offset to bicycling costs. It didn't occur to me because my study and studio is at home and it's forty years since I last bothered going to an office.

John Saxby

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Re: What does it cost to run your bike?
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2017, 02:29:44 PM »
Apparent costs of a bike have substantial direct benefits, not easily priced (I was going to say "costed", but lost myself in a blur of binaries). There's a reference I use frequently (including a post above):  our neighbour, also a cyclist, is a professional in an international Human Resources consulting firm. Besides sharing gossip and tips on home maintenance, we talk about bikes, ageing (dis)gracefully, and getting/staying healthy. Guy (his name, but in these matters he's the go-to guy as well) reckons that spending on a bike is an investment in self-esteem and wellness, and so long as the bike is used, it's a good use of money. The benefits are not easily priced in part because the bike helps to prevent/diminish other costs; of course, it's hard to know just what those might have been.

When people whose business it is to assess risks and supports to a person's health offer opinions on, say, the benefits cycling, I listen. Confirmation bias?--nah, just good sense. Self-serving logic and selective evidence?--nah, I've been around the block a few times, honing my Crap Detector as I go, and I know bafflegab when I see it.

Bottom line (to coin a phrase)?  If you can afford the bike you want, get it; and then use it. The costs are modest, the benefits immense.

 
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 02:32:35 PM by John Saxby »