How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby CommuRider » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:14 pm

So far this week:

Not taking the car: Fuel = $100; Parking = $100

Bike commuting: Gear (so far) = $1,000; Ferry ticket = $50; Renewable of BicycleNSW membership to get the bike insurance = $100

Bike commuting has so far been more expensive for me.

I've not incorporated the time I have lost doing the bike commute, the extra washing to do; conversely, neither the health benefits and less C02 etc.
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by BNA » Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:33 pm

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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby marieparr » Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:33 pm

I have around $400.00/month more in my pay packet since I cancelled the monthly car parking and started cycling to work instead. Well worth it I'd say!
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby elStado » Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:52 pm

CommuRider wrote:So far this week:

Not taking the car: Fuel = $100; Parking = $100

Bike commuting: Gear (so far) = $1,000; Ferry ticket = $50; Renewable of BicycleNSW membership to get the bike insurance = $100

Bike commuting has so far been more expensive for me.

I've not incorporated the time I have lost doing the bike commute, the extra washing to do; conversely, neither the health benefits and less C02 etc.


Extrapolate this over a year.
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby CommuRider » Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:28 pm

elStado - I'd extrapolate it over the year if I didn't realise I'd be spending so much on gear every week. The upgradeitis is far more pressing with bikes than cars as it's more affordable.

Since it's been a rainy long weekend, I've managed to pop down to 2 more bike stores today: Bikebarn and Blackmans (both at Parramatta). Damage: $150. No females at either store but as I was only looking for accessories, really didn't need the feminine advice.
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby elStado » Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:53 pm

CommuRider wrote:elStado - I'd extrapolate it over the year if I didn't realise I'd be spending so much on gear every week. The upgradeitis is far more pressing with bikes than cars as it's more affordable.

Since it's been a rainy long weekend, I've managed to pop down to 2 more bike stores today: Bikebarn and Blackmans (both at Parramatta). Damage: $150. No females at either store but as I was only looking for accessories, really didn't need the feminine advice.


Lol, tell me about it. But that's the fun thing. I manage to hold my upgradeitis back by only buying the occasional small thing like spare lights etc.

I've bought about $150 worth of gear this year which I think is very conservative and within my budget. Hankering for a better helmet though which will do some damage to the budget.
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby CommuRider » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:12 pm

elStado wrote: I've bought about $150 worth of gear this year which I think is very conservative and within my budget. Hankering for a better helmet though which will do some damage to the budget.


Congratulations on your self-restraint. You deserve a big pat on the back. Have contributed to your helmet thread.
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby Chris L » Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:37 pm

Not owning a car and basically only using my bike for transport saves me a fortune, but I've never really sat down and worked it all out. Having never owned a car, I don't really have anything to compare it to beyond the media whining about fuel prices. All I know is that the savings have basically paid for my recreational riding, including overseas touring.
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby Warnesy » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:42 pm

Having not commuted yet, but hoping to shortly, I'm trying to work out how much I will save. Did some basic maths and worked out it will cost $3.30 to drive per commute. So i'm going to have to commute a fair few times to make back the $1900 i've spent so far to get geared up :D

If you have to pay for parking, or can get rid of the car, that's where you really start saving.
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby CommuRider » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:51 pm

Yup, that's what they don't tell you about commuting - it's a whole different way of travelling: new paradigm, paradigm shift, paradigmatic way forward...which for me has basically meant becoming familiar with the range of commuting accessories and jumping on a learning curve about "bikes".

Bike marketers must love us commuters - what can we flog off to this new target market: a coffee cup holder perhaps? (that was a rhetorical question...)
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby elStado » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:59 pm

Warnesy wrote:Having not commuted yet, but hoping to shortly, I'm trying to work out how much I will save. Did some basic maths and worked out it will cost $3.30 to drive per commute. So i'm going to have to commute a fair few times to make back the $1900 i've spent so far to get geared up :D

If you have to pay for parking, or can get rid of the car, that's where you really start saving.


It works out, even if you keep the car and don't have to pay for parking. Commuting is easy and can be done all year round. If you ride for 1.5 years all your gear will be paid for.

Also consider the following potential non-tangible benefits from cycling: better health, more productive, happier, reduce pollution + Co2, make cycling safer and more visible, contribute to society etc. In regards to money cycling wins, and in regards to other factors such as social and environmental, cycling wins 100x.

Btw, you don't need to spend $1900 to commute to work.. I bought a $600 bike and about $500 worth of gear (multi-tool, gloves, track pump, repair kit, chain lube, lights, rear fender, u-lock & helmet) and I am fully set. Considering I sold my car and ride everywhere (+ train for longer distances), I save thousands each year by cycling (and not needing a gym membership too!).
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby Warnesy » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:01 pm

Of course i don't need to, but I like nice stuff :D

Just did some more concrete maths, will need to commute 580 times, assuming I don't buy anything else :P
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby CommuRider » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:14 pm

Warnesy wrote:Of course i don't need to, but I like nice stuff :D


You will realise very quickly that what you spent on the car now goes on bike commuting accoutrements. If you can't afford a Ferrari, you can buy its equivalent on a bike. Hence the upgradeitis.

Warnesy wrote:...assuming I don't buy anything else :P


Uh-huh.
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby stated » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:33 pm

My commute is 4km it costs about 30-40$$ to do it in the 1994 ford fairmont each week, costs next to nothing to do it in the bike and the time is about 8min for both as I ride through the long driveway and park the bike near the security gatehouse while the car needs to be parked 300m outside assuming the B-doubles and semis have left enough parking space on the road, so add that to the 1 min worming up of the engine and I am no slower on the bike that in the car.
I recently bought a commuting back bag $70 I think, but used to commute on a free old mtb for a long time, only thing I spend on it was $70 for tyres from ripoff lbs. Car can't beat a bike, minimum running cost for car is about $1300/year, many people can easily sell their commuting car if they have more than one car and commute on a bike every workday especially if they live close to work.
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby elStado » Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:24 pm

Warnesy wrote:Of course i don't need to, but I like nice stuff :D


Good, and isn't it kinda nice to actually be able to buy said nice stuff? As Commu pointed out, on eof the great things about cycling is that you can get some pretty nice gear for a fraction of the cost of the equivalent upgradeitis factor of a car.
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby Chris L » Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:01 pm

elStado wrote: Btw, you don't need to spend $1900 to commute to work.. I bought a $600 bike and about $500 worth of gear (multi-tool, gloves, track pump, repair kit, chain lube, lights, rear fender, u-lock & helmet) and I am fully set. Considering I sold my car and ride everywhere (+ train for longer distances), I save thousands each year by cycling (and not needing a gym membership too!).


You're probably better off commuting on a cheap bike anyway. Something you can bang around a bit when you have to confront detourless roadworks and so on. Save your expensive bike for the weekend rides.
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby elStado » Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:04 pm

Chris L wrote:
elStado wrote: Btw, you don't need to spend $1900 to commute to work.. I bought a $600 bike and about $500 worth of gear (multi-tool, gloves, track pump, repair kit, chain lube, lights, rear fender, u-lock & helmet) and I am fully set. Considering I sold my car and ride everywhere (+ train for longer distances), I save thousands each year by cycling (and not needing a gym membership too!).


You're probably better off commuting on a cheap bike anyway. Something you can bang around a bit when you have to confront detourless roadworks and so on. Save your expensive bike for the weekend rides.


Yeah that's why my commuter has semi-slicks, despite the tires not being as fast as road slicks they are much more versatile and still have decent rolling resistance levels.

I have occasionally had to ride through loose sand, gravel or grass and on those rare occasions I am glad to have a tire with a bit of extra width and grip.
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby malnar » Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:40 pm

My bike cost $800 (I did well) and I've spent a total of $2,300 with all the stuff included. My main weakness is cycle clothing which is weird because usually I have little regard for clothes.

I've still got about $600 of stuff on my wishlist but even I concede that these things can wait.

On my tracking spreadsheet my cost per km is finally dipping below $1. I'm happy with my 'stable' at the moment: 1 flat bar roadie for long commuting & longer recreational rides, 1 clunky MTB for short commute to train station and local errands, Melbourne Bike Share bikes for occasional errands around the CBD.

Apart from consumables, the bike & gear I've bought this year should last for years so If I don't buy any more bikes over the next couple of years the cost per km should come waaaay down eg 30c per km.

Sometime next year I should do away with my car (wife has a car, mine's now a little used 20yo clunker). That will be a further saving of about $1,400 each and every year attributable to the cycling.
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby Comedian » Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:21 pm

Look I haven't replied to this to date because it's hard to know where the commuting costs end and the other cycling "pleasure" costs start. :)

I bought a new bike and lots of goodies to facilitate commuting. Probably 2 -2.5k all up. We're saving $450 a month in bus fares and child care because I now go early and pick the kids up from school and kindy rather than putting them in care for the two days a week when my wife works. Also, now no town parking on those days.

Given I've been doing it for pretty much 5 months now I'd say we're close to breaking even. However this has all caused the purchase of "Gordon" and I don't want to even go there. Plus purchases of cycling clothing, do -dads etc that are shared between the two bikes. Also, my wife wants in so she now has a new bike and various bits as well so I wouldn't say cycling has saved us any money so far. Largely, I just see it as a wealth transfer from the bus company, childcare organisations, parking station etc to my LBS.

Having said that, loosing 17kg (so far) and becoming a fit Daddy and Hubby is priceless :)
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby Chris L » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:30 pm

Comedian wrote:Look I haven't replied to this to date because it's hard to know where the commuting costs end and the other cycling "pleasure" costs start. :)



One hand washes the other, right?
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby CommuRider » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:35 pm

Comedian wrote:Given I've been doing it for pretty much 5 months now I'd say we're close to breaking even. However this has all caused the purchase of "Gordon" and I don't want to even go there.


So how many people here have names for their bikes? I see my bike as a utility so have not anthromorphised it. In fact, I don't even have a name for my car but a couple of males I know usually have female names for their "baby".
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby Max » Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:34 am

CommuRider wrote:So how many people here have names for their bikes? I see my bike as a utility so have not anthromorphised it. In fact, I don't even have a name for my car but a couple of males I know usually have female names for their "baby".


Mine is called "The Beast". When I get the commuter bike, I will probably name it, too. :)

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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby CommuRider » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:12 pm

Max: - The Beast Mark II?

Re: topic

I went OTT at the Aldi bike special this week and my cycling wardrobe has doubled. Bought the following:

2 x bike helmets
2 x drink bottles with cages
4 x cycling underwear (2 briefs and 2 shorts)
1 x cycling short (at $17, it's $83 cheaper than the ones on specials I've seen at LBS)
1 x linen short (which may or may not be good for cycling....)
1 x cycling bag
1 x bicycle LED set
1 x bike tool kit
1 x cycling jacket

Damage: $230

I passed on the cycling computer as it looked rather flimsy. I might return the following items: cycling bag and cycling underwear. I'll test-drive the first pair of cycling underwear tomorrow and if it's uncomfortable I'll return the other 3. This one has some sort of embedded panty liner in the brief and am unsure how comfortable that would be.
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby elStado » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:17 pm

CommuRider wrote:2 x bike helmets
2 x drink bottles with cages


Buying for two, or just looking to have different colours to match your jersey on the day?
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby CommuRider » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:23 pm

elStado wrote:
CommuRider wrote:2 x bike helmets
2 x drink bottles with cages


Buying for two, or just looking to have different colours to match your jersey on the day?


LOL. Spares elstado, spares. Though unwittingly colour coordination has come into it: 1 silver pair (helmet/bottle), 1 red pair (helmet/bottle). Analogous to the unwritten rule that handbags and shoes must match. 8)
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Re: How much is commuting on a bike saving you?

Postby elStado » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:28 pm

CommuRider wrote:LOL. Spares elstado, spares. Though unwittingly colour coordination has come into it: 1 silver pair (helmet/bottle), 1 red pair (helmet/bottle). Analogous to the unwritten rule that handbags and shoes must match. 8)


Meh, I am short enough on space as it is. Saving any free room for when I eventually get my project bike together.
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