Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
it's just gone a year since I started riding to work and I decided to work out how much money I'd saved by doing so.
Commuting distance: 22km - 220 per week
Money I didn't spend this year:
Fuel: $2000 (35l per week at $1.20L - it's further to drive than to ride)
Parking: $350 (per year for parking permit)
+ given that I'd have to buy a car if I drove
Repayments: $5000 (~$100 per week)
Total money I haven't spend: $2950 ($9250 if I bought a car)
Money I have spent:
Tyres, tubes etc: ~$100
Total spent : $1500
Total that I've saved: at least $1450 (or $7800)
Plus I now weigh 10 kg less than I did a year ago.
Makes flying passed a whole heap of drivers in a traffic jam even sweeter knowing that you can basically go on holidays for free compared to them.
So how much extra cash do you have in your pocket?
To be honest, ever since I really got into biking, I have far less cash in my pocket than before!
I haven't been commuting long enough to make a full comparison. I'm using my Prolog cycling spreadsheet to record my expenses this year. Ask me next year how much I saved
In saying that, I have basically halved my fuel expenses. That saves me around $30 a week. Plus, I don't get road rage when I ride. So I guess you could say that if biking to work saved anything, it's my sanity.
One of the best things about bicycle commuting is that it can mitigate the displeasure of having to go to work. - BikeSnobNYC
Cycling is sometimes like bobbing for apples in a bucket full of dicks. - SydGuy
Same here max - less money. Mind you, it might be the three bikes, the powertap hubs, the spares (wheels/chains/cassettes/brake shoes/tyres/cables/groupset)...
I'm sure it would be a lot cheaper if I only commuted.
I ride, therefore I am.
...real cyclists don't have squeaky chains...
I'm with Max and twizzle. Cycling is costing me a fortune. Shelled out $1600 last week alone (AT) Ribble and Wiggle.
For one to conquer oneself is the first and noblest of all victories!
Petrol - $80/week
Parking - $240/month (hospitals! )
Rego - $520/year
Insurance - $550/year
Servicing - $500/year (2 x $250)
Tyres - $1200 every 3 years
Washing - $25/month
So that's $773 per month that a car would cost me.
At this rate, I've spent less than 2 months' worth of driving on my bicycle ($1,365.00). I've been riding every day for the past 4 months, missing only about 10 days in that time (on which I PT'd it at approx $6/day).
So, in 4 months: Bike $1,365 + PT tickets $60 = $1,425
$3,092 I would've spent if I were driving.
Long story short = $1,667 saved (so far!) by cycling (and 12kg lost!)
Last edited by rkelsen on Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
It's not the financial cost of pouring smoke into the sky while travelling slowly that gets the bike outta the shed.
I hate driving in peak hour.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
I don't have time to drive, it would take too long. Even if I did, parking is more than $10 per day in the city, so waaaay to expensive.
Train is $1400 or so a year. I could have saved that - tyres but decided I "needed" a new bike
It was less than $1,100 delivered though, so I am still ahead from that point of view. What value do you put on the enjoyment of riding?
Now, if only I had not bought those shiny new hubs, rims, tyres, derailleurs, wheels, rim tape...
I refuse to ride a train or tram, so I save $109/month not requiring a zone 1 pass. I don't calculate how much it would cost me to drive to work every day because it isn't even a realistic option as parking alone would cost $250-400/month. I have no other option to get to work other than riding (or walking), so I gain fitness and door to door service.
I've only been commuting since late July last year, and I would have forked at least $2,000 in parking, fuel and fines in that time if I drove. I started doing it to lose weight, now I do it because I thoroughly enjoy it. Saving $$ is a bonus.
I have been commuting on the bike for the last 18months and the very basic savings = $60per week, made up of a train ticket and fuel costs driving to the train station.
Riding early morning has added benefits of getting to work wide awake, and as I leave home around 5.45am I have little traffic to worry about, which is a bonus as when I was driving in traffic I was a very angry most of the time.
I am reaching the point where I am thinking of selling off my car and relying on my wifes car if I need to drive somewhere, purely because my car costs $$ sitting in the driveway 5 days a week...
We don't even need to worry about the health benefits provided we don't have an accident.
Now it's not all beer and skittles, I started with one bike now have three and do see a forth forming in my mind, along with associated spare parts etc etc etc....
Merida 905, Giant Xtc2, Trek 3900
Well, I have never had so much ready cash since I got rid of the car - and perhaps getting rid of the car makes all the difference....
The RACV estimates that the cost of running a car over a 5 year - 75,000km period is at least $10k a year, at least $200 a week.
"The calculations include the cost of financing the vehicle, depreciation, scheduled services, registration, insurance, fuel, tyres, etc. The calculations are provided as a guide to the cost of owning and operating a vehicle over a five year, 75,000 km (15,000 km per year) period."
Depreciation is an often neglected factor in these discussions. A $38k Commodore Omega will be worth $10k in five years time. A $42k Ford Territory will be $14k and a $73 Toyota Landcruiser will be worth $32k.
The damn thing costs you money just sitting there.
I have not been game to sit and write down the true cost of a six cylinder motor car sitting in my driveway.
The figures from the RACV are much the same as the local RAA here in SA, and it's a little scary as you have noted, it explains where the $$ go..
My thought of selling the car comes from a fellow commuter I ride into work with and of course we chat, and he told me he sold his car off a few years ago and never looked back. (he has 5 bikes now)
Now my thoughts of selling the car are helped greatly knowing full well I would like a carbon roadie and a dual suspension mtb at some stage.
Merida 905, Giant Xtc2, Trek 3900
For me, cycling basically replaces commuting by public transport.
So as far as cash goes that's ~ $12 per week (concession tickets, 4 days a week) * 48 weeks =~ $570 a year. (I still have a car for other stuff so I can't claim to be saving rego etc.)
My bike's just a cheapie which I keep running with the minimal maintenance so I'm easily coming out ahead financially.
For me, the real benefit is the avoidance of public transport and the exercise that I enjoy the most. My ride takes about 1 hr each day and doing the same by PT would take well over 2 1/2 hrs (that's trams in Melbourne). Also, if I wasn't riding I would be running or something for exercise so I reckon I'm saving the whole 2 1/2 hours per week. So I'm spending 480 hours = 20 whole days more with my family each year thanks to riding. Screw money, the time's a massive saving for me.
You can't make a brain omelette without cracking a few skulls.
RunningAHEAD - training log
I was going to write to say that cycling doesn't save me a cent. Sure I don't use as much petrol, but then I don't wear $200 worth of shoes to drive the car. My car is old, so depreciation isn't an issue.
But then I consider that I've lost weight, and how much that would have cost in money and time at a gym.
Unless cycling takes no energy and commuters enjoys sweaty bodies, the cost of additional food/drinks, showers and laundries need to be included in the calculation. I am sure there'll still be a significant savings, but it's a question of what works for the individual.
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple
>> cost of additional food/drinks
not relevant if you are trying to lose weight (I am)
work pays for mine so from that point of view I am better off than showering at home
I do one load of cycling clothes per week so that is an extra cost
Last time I checked people who drive cars to work also eat, shower and wash their clothes.
there's also a few people around my work who work up more of a sweat walking from the carpark to the office and up the stairs I do on a 22k ride so I'm not bothered by it.
It has nothing to do with bothered or not, but it's a case of establishing a more valid comparison. Biased comparisons aren't convincing.
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple
It's actually costing me at the moment! I've got access to free transport to work at the moment and have spent $120 on new tyres for the commuter this year and a few extra $$ for batteries.
Last year when working in the City the train would have cost $1,240. I spent $50 on a tyre, ~$20 on batteries, $30 on new cleats, and $200-$300 on bike servicing. I saved around $800 and my sanity!
I meant that I'm not bothered by the fact that riding makes me sweat. If that was an issue I'd never ride anywhere.
If anything the comparison is biased against the savings I make from riding.
I compared the cost of buying my bike outright to the payments on a car loan. Had I compared equal depreciation rates for the two, lets say 30% per year, the bike only cost me $330 ($770 less) where as a $20,000 car would cost $6000 ($1000 more).
The reason I didn't include foot, drinks, showers and laundry is that the cost of those is not relevant or insignificant. I eat the same amount of food now as I did when I drove to work and I still shower at home once a day the same as when I drove, so those two things cost me no more when I ride. I drink water when I ride which I get out of the tap at a cost of 0.088c/L, so the 5L a week that I drink costs me less than half a cent or 25c for the entire year. If I say that I do one extra load of washing each week for my riding clothes I use 60L of water (5.3c) and about 30c worth of laundry powder, which adds up to $18.35 a year. If I added the cost of a set of wiper blades and a magic tree air freshener to the cost of running a car that would pretty much negate that cost anyway.
Btw, I wasn't actually trying to convince anyone of anything, I was just sharing my experience of saving money by riding to work instead of driving.
Haven't worked out all of the details but at the least I save 10 x $4.95 of M2 tolls and minimum $60 petrol so approx $110 in basic car expenses. This doesn't take into account depreciation of the car, car insurance , ongoing bike consumables (chains, other transmission components, tyres, etc) but a definite saving.....
Avanti Quantum, Salsa Casseroll, Specialized Tricross
Had surgery last Friday and can't get back on the bike until next week (yay lap surgery, 1 wk recovery not 6). Caught public transport for the first time to work in many years (I refuse to drive to work). The trip took the same amount of time as it would by bike, but cost me $4.30 each way. If I were a regular commuter, that amount would be a lot less, but it would still be more than bike running costs.
Still, I can't gripe. Walk to the bus stop in the morning: 2 mins. Delivered right in front of my building at work. Walk from the bus stop to home in the evening: 30 sec.
Why would anyone drive?
Savings: ~$8 a day PT costs.
Nothing in fact it has cost heaps.
Started just September 09 & recon I have spent about $6000.
costing about 30 per week less for fuel, lost around 7 kg.
less than $1000 per kilo weight loss, compariable with a gym or diet program but something you can't cost.
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