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  • Cost of cycling (and other hobbies) crisis?
  • scotroutes
    Full Member

    From a personal viewpoint I don’t think it will affect me very much. I have a number of decent bikes, none of which are likely to need replaced. I’ve “standardised” some of them on 11 speed XT so I can cannibalise parts if necessary. Two of them even have a choice of wheels and forks. Stuff like chain, pads, jockey wheels have been acquired in advance. I do my own maintainance.

    It’s possible that shops might need to review the services and products they offer for a while, though anything to get away from the constant upgrade cycle would be good in the long term anyway.

    However, judging by the number of folk who actually bothered to slow down a bit as a fuel saving measure this past year, I reckon there’s a lot more “disposable” outcome out there than we think.

    woodlikesbikes
    Free Member

    There is a lot of other stuff I could trim our before my bikes suffer. Bikes are far more on my “need” list than day my record collection. I also have loads of stuff that I just don’t use. Selling that off slowly helps fund the bikes.

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    Those of us on here will be mostly ok (with respect to biking)

    We already have bikes, and most of us know sort of how to fix them or know that a problem is beyond their abilities and take it to a shop.

    From that starting point, what do you need?
    2 tyres, half a drive train and a couple of pairs of brake pads a year.
    That’s maybe £15 a month to keep an existing bike going.

    Of course it’s possible to spend far far more than that – which I’m a good example of.

    Happy I got a new discounted frame early this year, so I should be set for a bit, fingers crossed.

    So really, it’s the shops; trail cafes; race organisers I feel for, not us users. We will keep riding, but we won’t be paying them.

    Must add, i haven’t accounted for driving to ride, which a large number of us have to. Not have I included coffee/cake stops and so on. Because if you weren’t out mtbing, what would you be doing instead?

    frankconway
    Full Member

    Hmm – some people have definitely been economising in different ways but many, who probably should, haven’t so I still think there will be an off-loading of shiny stuff starting early next year and this won’t be restricted to bikes.
    I have four bikes – no, not a humble brag; two were bought 2nd hand as complete bikes.
    The other two have been built, using new parts, around 2nd hand frame/fork/wheels.
    Also have another 2nd hand frame as the basis for a new build so am trawling ebay and other sites for components.

    jamesoz
    Full Member

    I think the travel aspect of MTB is for me the first cut back.

    However, judging by the number of folk who actually bothered to slow down a bit as a fuel saving measure this past year, I reckon there’s a lot more “disposable” outcome out there than we think.

    I drive a lot for my job and motorway speeds have certainly dropped in recent times, although you can easily spot a company car/van driver without a tracker fitted.

    TheBrick
    Free Member

    Riding mtb is about road trips for me. Not usually very far 1-3hrs away and if I stay overnight I sleep in the van so fuel and a fry up are my biggest running costs. I am having to think much more about trips though.

    Wally
    Full Member

    Just “won” a £30 eBay MTB. New pub/shop bike . Only 20 years young.

    LAT
    Full Member

    i broke my mech and replaced a worn out rotor this week. i replaced the XT parts with deore.

    the price of everything else going up aside, i really feel the prices for bike parts are astronomical and probably would have chosen the deore parts anyway.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    I drive a lot for my job and motorway speeds have certainly dropped in recent times, although you can easily spot a company car/van driver without a tracker fitted.

    Not sure how much of it is fuel economising and how much is down to speed cameras though. I think people have just gotten used to the idea of actually sticking to the posted limit.

    But the number of people “making progress” has dropped to almost nothing. 70mph on the cruise controll actually get you held up in the 3rd lane!

    5lab
    Full Member

    I think the total volume of bikes sold won’t drop massively, there will just be a shift towards a cheaper trend. Singlespeeding/rigid bikes were massive in the 2008 down turn, as people wanted something affordable but different. Fat bikes followed in the dip in 2012ish.

    Expect to see a lot more posts about on one’s and a lot fewer about yetis

    didnthurt
    Full Member

    It’s the kids clubs, clothing and travel that I seem to spend a fair chunk on every month. Bikes and kit, I don’t need a new bike or any major kit for a few years unless something catastrophically breaks.

    I ride mostly local and have a single speed bike so can go mountain biking pretty cheaply if I choose to (or have to).

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    Travel is the one thing we still do a lot (too much) of…but perhaps we need to use public transport more.

    Travel to hike and bike is probably the dominant outdoor hobby cost for me. All the interesting places are 1-2h away. It’s just not possible to get to them by public transport.

    I know people who’ve encouraged their kids to go running and orienteering, but biking is not an option as it’s way too pricey.

    I was thinking about this recently, noticing what different people’s kids are doing, and what (if anything) me and my friends were nudged towards or away from as kids.

    halifaxpete
    Full Member

    Main difference for me is I’m riding from the doorstep much more due to the cost of diesel ect (Even though I’ve just got back from the Alps but that was arranged ages ago)  In terms of what I spend on the bike/riding gear I only buy what I need which isn’t usually much anyway, plus I dont do pointless bling.

    montgomery
    Full Member

    Nah. I moved from Wales to Calderdale two months ago to allow myself to play locally.

    I currently run two bikes, one rigid 26″ MTB and one mishmash gravelish thing, both sourced from second hand bits and sale items. The MTB drivetrain (Sunrace MX8 based, 4000km use) will kark it towards Xmas, so I intend combining the best bits of both bikes onto a 29er rolling chassis (Scandal frame, Ridefarr forks, Mavic wheels) that I acquired in sales with tax rebates over the last three years.

    Cheap as, does the job. But I’m grateful to all the upgrade whores that subsidise my activities.

    ctk
    Full Member

    Used bike prices are down for sure.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    Not sure how much of it is fuel economising and how much is down to speed cameras though. I think people have just gotten used to the idea of actually sticking to the posted limit.

    I’m having to overtake a lot more cars in my truck, that used to be virtually unheard of. Even driving along at 60-65 in my car I’m having to make a lot of overtakes, it’s only the company cars and vans with fuel cards that are doing 70+ these days on my commute.

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    My road bike cost £400 off eBay a few years ago, most of the group rides I do have people on bikes where the power meter cost more than my bike. I don’t think they are having more fun. Bought an on one whippet this year £1200. First MTB since 2001 ish……oh actually had a orange five for a while bought used (about £600) and then sold a few years later (£350 I think). It doesn’t have to be an expensive sport

    fasthaggis
    Full Member

    As others have said, travelling to rides/events is where it’s going to hurt,plus if you race in all types of conditions,that can be really hard on kit.When it comes to (in your mind)balancing spend on toys against essentials, it gets easier if your bike is also your main form of transport. Over all the years I have commuted (30ish) I have saved around £65,000 ,that’s a lot of toys and kit.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    My road bike cost £400 off eBay a few years ago, most of the group rides I do have people on bikes where the power meter cost more than my bike. I don’t think they are having more fun. Bought an on one whippet this year £1200. First MTB since 2001 ish……oh actually had a orange five for a while bought used (about £600) and then sold a few years later (£350 I think). It doesn’t have to be an expensive sport

    This is/was general experience of things new bikes are a mugs game mostly.
    TBH though I think even the used market has run away a little bit thanks primarily to COVID and probably now due to the man maths not stacking up for shiny new toys every year, people with little understanding of value just pay over the odds…

    I’m happy to stick rather than twist for a bit, but it’s probably not going to suit people looking for a sensibly priced bike or the next size up for their kids.

    Plus I think the route to a new toy for many will still be via C2W, it’s the middle class tax dodge that helps the bike industry through the odd rough patch, Boardman seemed to shift plenty of £1k hardtails post 2008 IIRC.

    stevenmenmuir
    Free Member

    I’ve just bought a used gravel bike. It’s partly about saving money and not wearing out my MTB riding through the winter. It’s also about a bit more variety.

    FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    I havent bought an MTB since 2013. Since then MTB’s have appeared to over inflate in price. Road bikes didnt appear to be so extreme in their over inflation at the same point in time, but they do appear to be catching up in more recent years. We need golf to become more popular again and magazines like this stop publishing reviews of £10k bikes saying that they are ‘normal’

    As to travelling, I have never really done that to bike as I had great riding on the doorstep. In fact it really surprised me in lock down just how many people do travel just to ride a bike.

    Other things do appear a bit nuts though when an outdoor waterproof jacket its being sold for £500, and you cant buy decent running shoes for less than £100

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    I suspect I’ll be fine with just replacing renewables, but I’m less likely to splurge on posh upgrades like, say, a higher spec fork. Can’t see myself buying a new frame unless I sell off some existing stuff, but generally bikes are pretty high up my priority list, almost, maybe even ‘essential’, though if it comes down to a bread v brake pads scenario, the pads will probably be, erm, toast. Or maybe not.

    It’s hard to generalise though. It’s always going to come down to how important bikes are to you and how picky you are on economising on components and of course, how hard hit you are personally by the cost of living crisis en masse.

    And I can’t see any overseas bike trips in my near future.

    stcolin
    Free Member

    With all my bikes bought and paid for, it’s the travelling that will really take the hit over the winter and probably beyond. There’s a reason I didn’t go the Lakes much, it would cost me around £35/40 in fuel alone for a trip to Grizedale and back for example.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    My road bike cost £400 off eBay a few years ago, most of the group rides I do have people on bikes where the power meter cost more than my bike. I don’t think they are having more fun.

    Mine cost £300 back in 2005! It’s been through a few rebuilds since then though. I think excluding consumables it’s cost me about a grand to build it up as it is now (7800 Dura Ace gears/brakes, Ritchey WCS finishing kit, Carbon FSA cranks, handbuilt wheels). It’s gone through the stage of looking cheap and now get’s admired as retro!

    It’s just had it’s 4th complete strip and rebuild with new moving parts, which due to the lack of decent quality 10s stuff ended up costing <£100, of which the lions share was new chainrings form SJS.

    I’d quite like shimano to go back and do a run of ultegra / XT level spares. It’d be nice to get the basic stuff like decent quality 11-27 and 11-36 cassettes, but I guess that stuff isn’t going to sell as well as making 12s OEM stuff.

    With all my bikes bought and paid for, it’s the travelling that will really take the hit over the winter and probably beyond. There’s a reason I didn’t go the Lakes much, it would cost me around £35/40 in fuel alone for a trip to Grizedale and back for example.

    I never did travel much, and when I do it tends to be optimized, so if I do a trail center it’ll be a late drive up on Friday, probably the equivalent of two rides on the Saturday (e.g. a red route and a natural route) and then another early start Sunday, break for lunch and some recovery, then another long ride in the afternoon before riding home. I’ve never been one to drive to Afan or Surrey for the day.

    v7fmp
    Full Member

    i am cutting back in all walks of life, but my bike fund is being spent much more wisely.

    These days i will buy say Nukeproof shorts (on sale at CRC) rather than Fox and then wear them until they die.

    My bike is pretty well specced, so its going to be costly to replace like for like. For example, my AXS reverb has been on its way out for a while (mainly due to my poor maintenance which has sent it past the point of return.. an expensive lesson learnt), so whilst i did look at a new one, spending £500 odd on a new one doesnt seem sensible, so i will probably replace it with a One-Up, which in turn will give me a chance to split it the Reverb apart and see if i can repair it.

    I have regular desires to add another bike to the garage, but know its not needed and is spending money i dont really have.

    In regards to travelling, I drive an hour sometimes to get to the trails (surrey hills or QE) and i am much more aware of driving a bit slower to save a few extra pennies.

    I also cycle to work as much as i can. Again, to save fuel… tho it does help me with mental and physical health too.

    I am less likely to do any local events either. Nearly £50 for a round of Southern Enduro just doesnt seem good VFM anymore. I rather put that towards a couple of big events like Ard Rock or similar.

    Oh and i am preparing myself for not having a riding holiday abroad next year. Thankfully there is plenty of the UK i have yet to explore.

    fossy
    Full Member

    I’ve not been carting bikes to and from the caravan this year, I just left one of my road bikes there ! I’ve not driven anywhere to ride the bike, although we’ve a weekend planned this month on the MTB’s.

    Spending has been as needed – I’ve got 4 bikes to run, but only the commuter has needed some cash, new wheels and worn drive chain. It is saving me upto £10 a day, each time I ride to work.

    Just as ‘luck’ would have it, I’m mainly riding the road bikes or the commuter. The FS has hardly been touched due to extra mileage on the others. I did munch most of the drive chain during lockdown, but that’s all recently replaced.

    As for a new bike, I don’t need one, so not buying one.

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    I won’t believe there’s even an issue until Weeksy stops buying bikes.

    mtbqwerty
    Full Member

    For a year or two now I’ve been struggling to justify the cost of mountain biking…the latest squeeze on disposable income isn’t making it any easier.

    I can afford replacing parts etc, but it’s hard to justify purchasing X, Y or Z for a hobby, when we’re sat in the cold with no heating on.

    And I’m not talking new bikes, general wear and tear components like tyres, brake pads and cassettes seem to be getting a bit out of hand.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    I won’t believe there’s even an issue until Weeksy stops buying bikes.

    It’ll be a cold day in hell fella.

    I do expect to sell my KTM though… but mostly because i don’t really ride motorbikes these days.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Could we see the boom mid-pandemic become a collapse of sales?

    Already happening. I think the market hasn’t just reverted to normal post-Covid, but dipped beneath it a little with the general economic doom and gloom.

    I don’t expect many of us will be forced to give up our hobby, but many are already cutting back on new bikes & upgrading of parts.

    As above, used prices are back down to sensible (or even cheap) levels now, and recent sales have offered some real bargains again.

    Colin – I’m being much more picky about my traveling to ride too. We might even have to lift-share, eh? 😀

    ferrals
    Free Member

    I’ve cancelled my subs to trainerroad and to GCN (bit gutted I can’t watch the cx but needs must).

    My mtb is out of action, needs extensive maintenance, leaking brakes etc., and I’m not rushing to get it fixed due to money… but then I’m mostly riding my cx bike which is in working order anyway. I’d probably normally have spent more maintaining the cx bike in the past too, but that was probably over maintaining due to my racing vice 🙂

    FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    I’ve cancelled my subs to trainerroad

    Yeah Ive notice the subs for this sort of stuff have really short up over the last year or so.

    configuration
    Free Member

    A modern mountain bike doesn’t have that much in common with the bikes that we started the sport with in the 80’s’ish, the mountains are still mostly the same though. The modern mtb is closer in relation to a motocross bike with pedals. Maybe going back to simpler more durable equipment rather than the consumerist disposable market driven gear fetishism we seem to have fallen into would be better for inclusivity and affordability given our economy is rapidly being asset stripped back to the 1880’s.

    +1. ‘Cycling’ as an activity is fairly healthy in economic terms; more people on bikes than when MTBs first appeared. ‘MTBing’ is an increasingly niche activity, if you discount the pootling around woods/along towpaths/bridalways etc that most people who used to buy ‘MTBs’ actually did. Those same leisure/casual cyclists now buy other types of bike; ‘gravel’ bikes have become very popular as a result. MTBing has been marketed increasingly as an ‘extreme sport’, so the bikes have become more sophisticated and specific. Yes, you can still buy cheaper MTBs from Halfords and Decathlon, but the ‘entry’ point for ‘serious’ MTBing seems to be relatively a lot higher in cost than it used to. But I imagine golf is probably more expensive these days too. Has anything actually got cheaper?

    jameso
    Full Member

    It’s an expensive hobby,

    Riding all the latest tech gear and driving to all the tech trails for van-life weekends is expensive.
    Local XC MTB on a less service-needy bike, or road/gravel riding, is basically pretty cheap.

    Good fit, good geometry, great ride quality – none of those things are actually expensive to have in a bike. It’s only marketing telling everyone that more expensive or 500g lighter etc solutions are needed.

    Living near good riding may be a bigger cost or less easy to have. But that’s the reason I’m not a rock climber or windsurfer, as much as I’ve enjoyed those things I don’t have them on my doorstep and I’m not interested in having to travel every time I want to enjoy something. What I do have is miles of riding and bikes that suit the riding I have. Bike-location equilibrium.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Has anything actually got cheaper?

    Not at all.
    The price for new bikes now is insane – I know (because I was looking to buy…) that Specialized recently had a mid-season price increase, the bike I was interested in went from £2650 to £2950 and most models have seen similar 10 – 15% increases across the range.

    I ended up going for a Canyon (and even that was in the Factory Seconds sale).

    To be fair, I’ve needed a new road bike for years now so it was now or never – if I’d have left it any longer I’d literally not have been able to afford it with price rises.

    I rarely drive to ride now; I used to pop up to the Lakes sometimes but won’t do that now, it’s almost all local rides unless it really is a special opportunity.

    intheborders
    Free Member

    CBA read further, but this made me laugh:

    We were chatting this morning about the cost of our other sports – hill walking, canoeing, road/touring cycling Vs MTB costs. All our other activities are cheaper and/or kit lasts longer. Travel is the one thing we still do a lot (too much) of…but perhaps we need to use public transport more.

    Compare cycling to other folks hobbies – try horses like my OH has. End of thread.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    YOu can get a regulation size football for about £4 in sports direct

    intheborders
    Free Member

    it’s only the company cars and vans with fuel cards that are doing 70+ these days on my commute.

    “Company cars”? How on earth do you know they’re “company cars”?

    5lab
    Full Member

    but the ‘entry’ point for ‘serious’ MTBing seems to be relatively a lot higher in cost than it used to.

    I don’t think that’s true. You can get a (new) hardtail that’s suitable for serious mtbing for £1k. I started riding in ’98 and the cost of a half-decent bike then (something with better than rst 281 forks) was around £600. inflation-adjusted, those are the same amount. At the same time, kit lasts a huge amount longer than it used to, particularly in terms of failures

    The top-top end has got higher, but the entry-level-serious is pretty much the same.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Travel is the one thing we still do a lot (too much) of…but perhaps we need to use public transport more.

    Have you tried getting a train anywhere on a weekend?!
    If there are even any trains running in the first place (engineering works, strikes…), they’ll go to somewhere just far enough away to be inconvenient, cost a fortune, only allow 2 pre-booked bikes on and that’s before you even consider return journey logistics (often only to find that there’s one train back and if you miss it, you’ve got to find an overnight stay somewhere).

    So it’s cheaper and easier to just pile everyone into an estate or van and just drive.

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