Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby mikedufty » Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:01 pm

The purchase cost of the vehicle is included in most of the analyses I've seen. It is usually called depreciation.
I prefer costs per km because it is easier to work out, both vehicles have an odometer. Also easier to apply to a particular journey. My motor vehicles in particular don't get used for commuting, so the km done varies a lot from month to month.
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by BNA » Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:46 pm

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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby tinhorn » Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:46 pm

If people only view cycling as a form of transport and that only then the cost savings will only be marginal - though still cheaper 99% of the time.

You have to remember you're saving on the cost of a possible gym membership or if not you can't argue that cycling is more beneficial for your health (providing you do it safely) and the environment.
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby casual_cyclist » Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:37 pm

tinhorn wrote:If people only view cycling as a form of transport and that only then the cost savings will only be marginal - though still cheaper 99% of the time.

-1. For me: car = $2,500 per year to commute (minimum) and bus = $1,400 per year. I have spent less than $100 this year so far to commute, which includes clothing. For someone who is prepared to keep it simple, the cost savings can be significant.
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby bantem » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:57 pm

[url]http://books.google.com.au/books?id=yVw0z-Vm1IAC&dq=divorce+your+car&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=w-soSrneGaXmtQORspDeCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4[/url divorce your car says that a car costs more to run that the time you save running it. figures really. But if you own five bikes...
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby VictorE » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:26 pm

sogood wrote:It would be an interesting exercise to calculate the respective costs of the two modes of transport. One that considers,

- Same mileage traveled.
- Fuel/food usage.
- Time use, with factoring of time/money.
- Maintenance costs.
- Equipment costs eg. Special bike gears.
Not to mention all the indirect benefits and savings, such as:
- Personal savings due to fewer doctor's bills
- Government savings on road maintenance due to less wear and tear on roads (so perhaps our taxes could be better directed? Yeah I know, I'm a dreamer)
- Others (I'm sure there are others, but can't be bothered thinking what they are right now - had a busy week)

All I know is bicycles cause less stress on our transport infrastructure, take up less room, etc. so there are heaps of indirect savings as well as the obvious ones.
“Newspapers are unable, seemingly to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization”
- George Bernard Shaw.

(alas, how much has changed)
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby casual_cyclist » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:48 pm

VictorE wrote:Personal savings due to fewer doctor's bills

And employer savings for less sick leave (for me anyway). I have now had 2 days sick leave since starting to cycle commute in February this year.
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby Cranky Jim » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:57 pm

I decided last year to do without a car. It's been the best decison I have made in a long while. I have lost 30kg. I am fitter than I have been for decades, and healthier than most of my middle aged peers ... and I have money. I always have money.

It's not just petrol, servicing, rego, fines, car washing, insurance, depreciation, finance and other car related expenditure that makes the difference either. Depending on a bike changes the way you do things. Take shopping for instance. A whole industry has been built around the realisation that there is more margin for service stations in selling lollies, milk and bread than petrol ... and they charge what they like. Motorists stress out over the board price for petrol but once they are in the service station they barely seem to care about the price of whatever else they pick up when paying for the fuel. They regard this 'impulse buying' as convenience.

I haven't been in a service station (or 'convenience store') since I got rid of the car. And I don't habitually buy the stuff I would buy at a convenience store if I were driving a car either. No pineapple doughnuts and bad coffee for me. Nor have I been to a 'drive thru' either. Getting out of the car helped break my burger habit.
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby justD » Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:49 pm

sogood wrote:It would be an interesting exercise to calculate the respective costs of the two modes of transport. One that considers,

- Same mileage traveled.
- Fuel/food usage.
- Time use, with factoring of time/money.
- Maintenance costs.
- Equipment costs eg. Special bike gears.

I can see a huge difference in outcome if one takes into account of traffic jams for short distance commutes vs long distance commutes with no congestion.


Can't put a price to health. The comparison ends there as far as I'm concerned. However, if you do want to compare - do take medical bills in years to come into account. I wish I didn't wait till this late age to start cycling!!
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby Fletcher » Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:43 pm

I decided last year to do without a car. It's been the best decison I have made in a long while. I have lost 30kg. I am fitter than I have been for decades, and healthier than most of my middle aged peers ... and I have money. I always have money.

It's not just petrol, servicing, rego, fines, car washing, insurance, depreciation, finance and other car related expenditure that makes the difference either. Depending on a bike changes the way you do things. Take shopping for instance. A whole industry has been built around the realisation that there is more margin for service stations in selling lollies, milk and bread than petrol ... and they charge what they like. Motorists stress out over the board price for petrol but once they are in the service station they barely seem to care about the price of whatever else they pick up when paying for the fuel. They regard this 'impulse buying' as convenience.

I haven't been in a service station (or 'convenience store') since I got rid of the car. And I don't habitually buy the stuff I would buy at a convenience store if I were driving a car either. No pineapple doughnuts and bad coffee for me. Nor have I been to a 'drive thru' either. Getting out of the car helped break my burger habit.


Awesome post, Cranky Jim. Impressive stuff.
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby hartleymartin » Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:19 pm

Apparently the real cost of operating a car is about 86c per kilometre that you drive it. So my round trip to Uni would cost me $43 each day I drive, which would make $1,806 per semester, plus $110 parking for a total of $1,916 per semester. Considering that train tickets for the same period cost $210 for me plus $105 for the bike (I travel off-peak in mornings) totalling $315 per semester, I make a $1,601 saving every semester. That's $12,808 saved by the end of my degree. So I can justify spending nearly $13,000 on bicycle stuff for the next 4 years, :lol:

This one hit home recently when I busted the rear wheel on my Elan X Country bike. I've been using the Malvern Star 3-speed for everything, and am constantly concerned because... lets just say it needs work and is NOT in prime mechanical condition at the moment.
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby rkelsen » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:10 am

hartleymartin wrote:Apparently the real cost of operating a car is about 86c per kilometre that you drive it.

This number actually depends on lots of different factors.

My current car cost me $0.57 per km in the first year of ownership for depreciation only. Add fuel, maintenance, rego, insurance and parking and the total came to about $1.25/km for that year (2004). It progressively got cheaper as the k's were racked up, but now the thing is mostly just sitting in my garage. Since May 2008, it's only done about 1,500 km.... costing me well over $1.00/km now in rego & insurance alone. I can't bring myself to sell it because in the current market I'll get nothing for it... but it breaks my heart to see it just sitting there unused. Quoting Natalie Imbruglia, "I'm torn." :( It's the first car I've owned since it was new. All previous cars have been 2nd hand.

As of this morning, my current bike has cost me a little bit over $2/km... but I've only had it since June... and that figure assumes that there's no resale value, since I'll be riding it until it falls apart.
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby Fletcher » Sat Sep 19, 2009 8:46 am

There is some merit to this idea of owning two bikes. I would probably sulk like an infant if my bike was out of action for a week. Resorting to the car would be, well, just completely unacceptable.
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby damhooligan » Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:17 am

Fletcher wrote:There is some merit to this idea of owning two bikes. I would probably sulk like an infant if my bike was out of action for a week. Resorting to the car would be, well, just completely unacceptable.


I just can't help to think owning a second bike purely as a spare is insane.
For a week you can hire a bike , for a week you can go by public transport.
or even ask a colleague for a lift or...
There are probably more options....

The only time i 'loose' my bike for a few day's is for a service...
(and i do have sick-leave.....evil laughter; whoehaha )
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby Thoglette » Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:51 pm

damhooligan wrote:I just can't help to think owning a second bike purely as a spare is insane.


No, the spare is there because it is different in some special way. As is the other spare. And the other spare. :-)

More seriously, a spare set of wheels seems to make some sense as pretzelled wheels are my #1 can't-ride-that-bike reason
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby beauyboy » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:10 pm

I do believe it is handy to have a spare bike for the times your main bike is out of action. Time like this can include when you ware something out
- you have no spare tubes
- you have no spare brake
- your main bike is in the shop for work
- etc

Your spare bike should really be your old bike or in my case my old bike that is the spouses bike.

As for comparing cost
these really need to be compared using both the per-km and per-week cost
My cost is when only using commuting is 15c per km
and
cost of it's life so far $8.96 per week

Both of these have included maintance, accessiories and the replacement cost.

when using both it would be impossible to compare with a motor vehicle that is barely nearing three years of age.

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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby damhooligan » Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:24 pm

beauyboy wrote:I do believe it is handy to have a spare bike for the times your main bike is out of action. Time like this can include when you ware something out
- you have no spare tubes
- you have no spare brake
- your main bike is in the shop for work
- etc



Ahum , i am sure you can convince yourself that you need a spare bike,
but please don't use ; I have no spare tubes as an excuse...
Evrybody should always have them , no excuses there...it just takes a bit of organising to have them in stock.
Not that difficult
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby beauyboy » Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:40 pm

That is true but many do not keep spares. But also I said a spare bike should only be a spare when it is your old bike or it is your spouses bike. Buying a bike for simply the perpose to have a spare is wasteful.
My main point is that when you replace your first bike ( as most of us do) keep it for the times when you do not have spare parts.

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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby damhooligan » Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:01 pm

beauyboy wrote: Buying a bike for simply the perpose to have a spare is wasteful.

+1


beauyboy wrote: but many do not keep spares.


Seriously ?
Why not ?
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby beauyboy » Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:16 pm

A bikeshop is not my second home.

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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby artificial life » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:35 pm

I got my first bike in 10 years about 6 weeks / 520kms ago. I picked up a discounted Fuji Absolute from the LBS. Nothing particularly flash, but comfy and easily the best bike I've ever owned!

I had a realisation one day that:

1. While I love my MX5 for weekends away, it's a crap car for parramatta road (especially once I've set up the suspension how I like it)
2. The drive from home (Newtown) to work (Homebush, atm.) takes me about 50 minutes at peak hour, and more to get home.
3. Assuming no major wind, it's the same time or FASTER to ride a bike to work as to drive, but I arrive feeling awake and ready to go, rather than frustrated.

However, I would say that running a bike isn't particularly cheap. In the beginning at least while you acquire a floor pump, lights, lock, helmet, shoes, more shorts, etc. it's even more expensive than the normal car associated costs. That said, the cost of owning a car has to include the depreciation involved in owning it. So even if you completely write off the cost of buying the bike as soon as you get it from your LBS it's still WAY cheaper than the 5k+ p.a. it costs just to own a newish car. Then factor in that most cars are purchased using finance, where as bikes you can generally stump up the cash for and the gap is even wider. For me, the benefits to health and life style are easily worth the sunk cost of the bike itself, and the convenience factor of the bike as personal transport in my area far outweigh the cost of the bike by themselves.

So based on the economics, I think I will probably end up getting a better bike later (if i stick with it, all signs point to yes!) and keeping the existing one, since even in the short period I've had it I've managed 2 punctures; 1 completely shredded tyre; and 2 wheels in need of truing up. The last bit kept me in the car when I would much rather have been on the saddle.

Now if only there was a good way of attaching a bike to an MX5!
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby Thoglette » Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:14 am

artificial life wrote:However, I would say that running a bike isn't particularly cheap.
..... That said, the cost of owning a car has to include the depreciation involved in owning it.


RAC WA's magazine current issue has a per-week cost of ownership for a range of new vehicles. As well as running expenses, the costs include depreciation and interest (based on a personal loan).

In a nutshell, a small fourseat buzzbox costs around $120 per week, every week for it's four year life.
A large 4WD or lux sedan costs nearly three time that.

The suprise for me was how relatively expensive the people movers were.
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby peddlepower » Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:27 am

I agree...but i've got three bikes,a Raleigh,a Malvern Star and a Giant.They are all very different and therefor not much good for spare parts as such.I also have a 1970 VW Kombi and use it to commute to my night job until now.
OK i'll probably hop back into the Kombi on wet nights.... :lol:
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby toofat » Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:52 pm

A new vehicle I own has depreciated over $6000 a year for the past four years, this is real money out of your pocket as you realize when you come to sell, this plus insurance and rego whether you use the car or not
If you can give up the second car you can buy 3 bikes and still be way in front
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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:43 pm

artificial life wrote:Now if only there was a good way of attaching a bike to an MX5!


There is but you'll have to search through the place. Anyone remember which member ran an MX5?

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Re: Bicycle commuters need to own 2 bikes!

Postby hartleymartin » Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:48 pm

Get one of those space-age moultons which seperate. Reputedly they are one of the fastest non-recumbent bicycles you can buy (too bad not UCI legal)
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