Monetary cost of commute

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  • Monetary cost of commute
  • eulach
    Member

    Non financial factors aside, how much do you reckon it costs? Aside from the initial investment – chain/cassette, tyres, pads, clothes, additional calorific intake, lost working hours, life insurance, etc.

    wukfit
    Member

    i dont understand the question,
    running maintenance etc. about £50 a year?

    Cycling to work often saves time and/or money – that’s usually the point!

    Russtea
    Member

    Depends on distance traveling and cost of gear. Bike parts, clothes and protection for me £40 per month.

    Premier Icon StirlingCrispin
    Subscriber

    I reckon £200/yr might be a decent estimate for me.

    I have a low-maintenance bike (hub gear, roller brakes, dynamo).
    My current bike cost £400 to set up and will probably last 8-10 years. I’ve just spent £120 on waterproof trousers (my first for a dozen years) and tyres need replacing every couple of years, not forgetting ice-spikers for the winter. Oh – and I’ve just treated myself to a new waterproof baseball cap at £10 in the sales.

    Walking the same distance would probably cost just as much, and driving would come in at least £3000/yr.

    ndthornton
    Member

    I’m not sure I save money on diesel purely on the shear amount of food I have to consume to get me through the 45 mile round trip (once or twice a week).

    Also I have to buy this food myself at work where as I get a packed lunch from the Mrs if I drive (and this is essentially free as the amount I pay her for shopping each month is a fixed amount)

    I’m getting screwed!

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    buttons.

    On my second cassette and chain in 7500+ miles. Second set of pads too.

    I lost my knee warmers the other day, and spent £25 on new ones. I wear the same pair of endura singletrack shorts I’ve had for years, and normal clothes otherwise.

    I bought a few sets of tyres for different purposes at the beginning, and they’ve all got life left.

    Really don’t think I eat more than I would otherwise – only do 6 miles each way) I got the tube in this morning and I’ve already had 3 more chocolate hobnobs than I’d had at this time yesterday. Plus if I get the tube, I’m more likely to nip into Pret on the way past and get one of those filthy bacon and cheese croisants.

    Saved £4,400 in 3 years not travelling on the tube, and journey time is 30 mins rather than 45 mins. I’m less likely to go for drinks after work if I’m cycling, so money saved there too.

    ndthornton
    Member

    Also I reckon I spend way more on tyres, drive train components, clothing than I would do on the car for a similar millage.

    Also I have to buy this food myself at work where as I get a packed lunch from the Mrs if I drive (and this is essentially free as the amount I pay her for shopping each month is a fixed amount)

    They invented these things called ‘bags’ many years ago!

    ndthornton
    Member

    They invented these things called ‘bags’ many years ago!

    really!

    I would have to fill the bag myself though as I get up an hour earlier when I ride 🙁

    Also bag + 22 mile = 🙁

    Do we factor in what we *need* to spend on the bike? or what we *have* spent? I bought some new bar tape as i liked the colour for instance. And a new rear light because it was slightly brighter….

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    OK, having thought about it, there are a few otehr things I probably wouldn’t have bought if I wasn’t commuting:

    2 new rear lights when they’ve fallen off. £25?

    flouro tabard thing £9

    full guards £30

    Carradice bag £55

    Gloves £20

    Saccades
    Member

    Bike ~1200
    Lights/clothing 485
    Annual service 70×5 (350)
    Wheel rebuild 120
    Tyres 75
    Total = 2110

    Annual mileage = ~2600×5 (conservative) = 0.16c per mile.

    However it would cost me ~2080 euros in diesel alone for the equivalent distance so in 5 years it has cost me about 30 euros to cycle to work. Interesting, that’s the first time I’ve done that. Obviously that will start to swing into a positive this year as I’m upping my distance and the capital cost is spread over a longer period.

    A negligible amount.

    For my half-mile commute I use a singlespeed ‘pub bike’ I cobbled together out of bits-and-bobs I had lying around.

    Don’t think I spent anything on it.

    [Edit] Think I bought some £2.99 lights from Wilkinsons.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Making the biggest, most expensive assumptions and thinking of the last five years:

    Two bikes bought especially for commuting on cycle to work: 2x£700 = £1400
    200 calories per day = 200*200 per year = 5*200*200 = 200000 calories = 200000/200 mince pies = 1000 pies = 1000*£0.15 = £150 in food
    Three new tyres = £40
    Six chains = £90
    Sundry parts = £100?
    2*Waterproof trousers = £50
    3 jackets = £150
    Helmet = £60
    Gloves = £20

    1400 + 150 + 40 + 90 + 100 + 50 + 150 + 60 + 20 = £2600

    So,

    £412 per year
    £2.06 per day
    41p per mile

    But, commuting is about half my riding per year so about £1 per day or 20p per mile?

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    in 12months of offroad commuting on a singlespeed cx bike I got through 5 tyres (3 worn out 2 ripped), a few tubes, 1 bottom bracket, 3 pairs of disc pads, 4 chains, one chain ring (shite oem) and halfway through a second (flipped it) reckon the transmission should last till end of winter then the whole lot will need replacing (including a WI freewheel) stainless steel chainring next time I think. So rough guess £140, add another £100 for a new hopefully longer lasting transmission at end of winter. Still significantly cheaper than catching the train, doesn’t save me time per se but does save me gym time (and money). Try not to eat any extra when I commute, I am after all trying to keep the weight down.

    £140 for 3904 miles, not as cheap per mile than Mike but doesn’t sound too bad.

    OTOH my old road ss used about 2 pairs of tyres, a BB or two and around 4 pairs of brake pads in 12months. My fair weather road bike used 1 pair of tyres and 1 set of brake blocks in 5years. Riding road isn’t hard on your bike, riding in the rain causes more wear, riding in the rain in mud kills your bike.

    mrmo
    Member

    last year, bits that got replaced

    c8000miles of road bike riding,
    1 cassette, 1 chain,
    6 tyres
    4 pairs of brake blocks
    2 new wheels
    1 cable change
    1 set of pedals
    2 sets of cleats
    I don’t remember how many inner tubes. not that many but more than 4 I think.

    Total cost. No idea,

    Should point out that the wheels were 4-5 years old so is fair to say they cost me £200 as hit or should the cost be factored over time?

    All I do know if I drove it would be about £4 a day in petrol. So about £800 at a guess per year, I am sure the above is less than that.

    ndthornton
    Member

    in 5 years it has cost me about 30 euros to cycle to work

    but your not taking into account the cost of fueling your body – which can cost 3 times as much as a car…..

    Is a Bicycle Really More Efficient Than a Car?

    energy efficient yes
    cost efficient no

    ndthornton
    Member

    essentially although a single occupancy car is much less efficient than a bike. The cost of petrol is actually many times cheaper in terms of energy per £ than food. overwhelmingly so

    Peanuts, upgrades are largely driven by tartiness rather than worn out. New chain, bearings, tyres and brakepads on the SS once a year, about £2 a week.

    Thats about 10% of the cost of running the car over the same miles, but about 60% of the car costs are fixed so the actual saving is only arround 30%.

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    But comparing the full costs of a bike vs just fuel of a car is wrong too.

    Insurance is cheaper if you do fewer miles, servicing may be done less often, tyres, brakes etc wear out less, the car is worth more with fewer miles when you come to sell it.

    I don’t do it to save money though, so I don’t really care!

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    energy efficient yes
    cost efficient, specifically regarding fuel costs only and ignoring a bazillion other factors, no

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    should probably point out if I’d properly cleaned and lubed the chain after each journey then transmission would probably last a lot longer but it’s a commuter so no chance, a wipe down and a relube once or twice a week at most.

    ndthornton
    Member

    Insurance is cheaper if you do fewer miles, servicing may be done less often, tyres, brakes etc wear out less, the car is worth more with fewer miles when you come to sell it.

    Insurance is pretty negligible if your planning on running a car anyhow. My maintenance costs for the bike are greater than my car on a per mile basis (and I only run tiagra)

    But you are right – I ride for pleasure, fitness and environmental reasons

    dont do it to save cos you wont (if you run a car as well)

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    Your after a cost benefit analysis for cycling to works eh?

    First of all I guess it has to be offset against the alternatives:

    Car is obvious: Fuel wear and tear – the round trip to work is ~£5 in fuel and my estimate for daily wear and tear plus insurance costs is about £2.35 so the trip to/from work costs me £7.35 approx in a car… monthly cost approx £147.

    Train: The trainline say £8.40 return is the best price I can get without any sort of rail card, if I were to do that every day it would come out about £168 a month

    Bus: Return journey by bus appears to be £7.50 (the fare charts are bit confusing) Monthly cost £150

    So the Car comes out marginally cheaper and much more convenient than the public transport alternatives, hence I’m a motorist when I’m not a cyclist… Not an environmentally ideal choice though is it…

    I did make a conscious decision to make my commuting bike as cheap as practicable, hence my commuter bike is a rather basic fixie which, once I bunged on a few extras (Mudguards, lights, spare tubes replacing worn tyres) and a set a proportion of my spend on riding kit (most gets used for non commuting miles too), I would estimate I’ve spent ~£250 in the last six months on cycling to/from work twice a week most weeks that breaks down to about £41.66 a month, or £2.09 per round trip, of course that offsets approx 2/5ths of the car costs ~£58.80 each month. My total getting to work spend comes out at around £129.86 based on the last 6 months, but I expect that to drop to around £120 per month if I assume a cycling spend of ~£350 across a full 12 months, and if I can maintain the same routine across 2 years I’ll be getting down to around £100/month the longer you keep the same bike going the better the VFM works out…

    I’m choosing to treat cycling as “cost neutral” for food, simply because I eat like a bloater whether I exercise or not, there are of course the Health benefits of burning off some of my excess consumption through exercise, these are trickier to equate to money saved…

    The more I cycle the more I save, the outlay on bikes and kit is easily offset against the financial cost of driving, I’d have to be spending twice as much a year on cycling to work those two days a week before it became a poor investment, of course that’s only based on the last 6 months of riding my fixie, the longer I keep the same bike running for the commute the better VFM it all becomes overall…

    I think you’d be hard pushed to make cycling to work more expensive in pence per mile terms than most other forms of transport…

    ndthornton
    Member

    I’m choosing to treat cycling as “cost neutral” for food

    an odd assumption to make since this is the biggest cost

    munrobiker
    Member

    One thing a lot of people forget with the cost of riding to workis the extra food you put away. If I did my 75 mile round commute on the bike more than I do it’d cost almost as much as the car in sustenance.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    an odd assumption to make since this is the biggest cost

    I did actually justify that the grounds that my diet doesn’t vary just because of cycling, I eat too much to start with, if I ate even more just because I’d ridden a bike then I’d be too fat to get on the bastard thing in the first place…

    My commute is 15 miles each way not enough of an excuse to pack an extra 500 calories into an already excessive diet, if anything I should be cutting back, so I choose to treat it as “Cost neutral” for me, YMMV…

    Gary_M
    Member

    I replace tyres, chain and cassette twice a year. Wheels, bar tape, cables, and jockey wheels maybe once. Brake pads every so often.

    So maybe £250 a year for a 40 mile round trip commute 3 times a week. If I was driving it would cost at least £20 in fuel per week.

    I’m not sure I save money on diesel purely on the shear amount of food I have to consume to get me through the 45 mile round trip (once or twice a week).

    This always crops up on commuter threads. I don’t get it, why do you need a huge amount of food to ride 20 odd miles each way. I just eat a regular amount and done so for years with no issues.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    an odd assumption to make since this is the biggest cost

    A lot of people eat too much, quite a few people cycle to offset that (me certainly) so unless you scoff a lot more when cycling than a normal day (which most people probably don’t need) I think cost neutral is reasonable especially if you’re allowed to ignore costs of owning a car.

    Cookeaa not bad comparison but if you were going to catch the train or bus full time you’d definitely get a saver card/ticket which should probably be used for comparison, wouldn’t be surprised if it was still close to the total cost of the car tho 🙄 To actually get people to consider public transport it should be less than the fuel cost of a car journey, seeing as how that is the benchmark everyone seems to compare things to.

    TooTall
    Member

    One thing a lot of people forget with the cost of riding to workis the extra food you put away. If I did my 75 mile round commute on the bike more than I do it’d cost almost as much as the car in sustenance.

    There are break points in distance, time etc. We used to use ‘quicker, cheaper, easier – pick two’ as our mantra for getting people out of cars and on to bikes or public transport. If it isn’t at least two of those they won’t.
    For cyclists, this is not the case. Cyclists would do it anyway, hence the answers some of you are giving ref money, distance, time etc.

    JonEdwards
    Member

    My London fixie commuter cost me about a set of brakes pads every 9 months and a tyre every year. New chain/sprocket/ring every 2 or 3?

    There were some upgrades, but largely unneccessary, and always second hand parts, so can probably discount those, and I tended to sell on the old bits too.

    Fuel? Well, none extra for the basic commute (eat less/move more!). If I was doing a lot of business miles, I got paid mileage, and that generally covered a coffee and a pastry per journey!

    Doing about 6k miles /year.

    ndthornton
    Member

    I eat too much to start with

    But that extra fuel wouldn’t be lost – its being used later or stored up. Its not going to disappear unless you have surgically removed. Your using gluttony to trump science.

    Gary_M
    Member

    Also bag + 22 mile = 😯

    I carry a small camelbak in winter as I usually carry things like a buff, extra base layer, gloves, etc which I also put my lunch in. Although my lunch is either sandwiches or a rice/bean/tuna in a tuperware. So not huge.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Your using gluttony to trump science.

    noooo, just as you already own a car so can choose to ignore the costs of depreciation, insurance and other expenses some of us are pointing we we already purchase and consume more energy than we need so following the same train of thought we can consider the fuel costs neutral.

    We aren’t arguing that we don’t need to buy the energy in the first place, merely that we would have paid and eaten it whether we had to ride to work in the morning or not, greedy pigs that we are.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    TBH what financial value to you put on say 1000 calories?
    I mean you might be getting yours from foie gras and caviar, while I scoff down a 9p pack of noodles and a pound of value butter for the same energy…

    Good ol’ Strava estimated my ride home last night at 361kJ which equates to 86.2 Calories or slightly more than 11% of the energy in the Veg’ lasagne My missus had made me for tea when I got in, I didn’t eat any extra food just because I’d ridden home…

    We’re not talking about superhuman athletic efforts here…

    Saccades
    Member

    I’m with Cookeaa on this one – I don’t eat any extra as I eat/drink too much anyways.

    I’d only be eating more when I’m out for 3+ hours on a spin.

    Gary_M
    Member

    Only extra cycling cost related to commuting last year over the usual maintenance was a light at £20 and another at £6, oh and a set of sks longboards. Didn’t buy any new clothes. So it was a cheap year.

    I have two commuting bikes – winter/wet weather and summer/dry days bikes so one bike isn’t getting hammered constantly.

    Still don’t get the ‘cost of fueling your body’ thing. Doesn’t cost me any more in food if I’m eating or driving. Some people eat way too much.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    Your using gluttony to trump science.

    No I’m not, I’m admitting to my extant gluttony, and using Science to prevent myself justifying yet more Gluttony on the basis of a pretty meagre physical effort…

    Just out of academic interest I went and dug out an estimate of ~259 calories for a ham sandwich (I have a fair few of those in any given week)…

    That sandwich is easily enough energy to get me to and from work and have some “change” so I’d say one ham sandwich = ~40 miles, Hence fourth I shall measure all my riding in Ham sandwiches*.

    *won’t really…

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    outgoings:
    batteries for rear light – 12 quid
    brake pads – about 25 quid
    a new tyre once a year – 15 quid
    an inner tube maybe -5 quid

    incomings:
    health and fitness and a good frame of mind from a bike ride most days and frankly thats somethings money cant buy.

    calories come and go. I dont eat any more just cos i ride. I do 30 miles a day.

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