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Thread: Cost of cycling: $/mile

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    Default Cost of cycling: $/mile

    With my Spooky Skeletor (built up in Nov '12) I'm about at $1/mi. Aside from small costs for consumables (tires, chains, cables, bar tape...) the ratio continues to improve.

    But it is still shockingly high! If I were being charged $50 per ride I'd say no way! I'd prefer a ratio below $1/3. And hopefully I will get there.

    But I am constantly tempted by upgrades. I want to try a compact crank. I'm still using 105 shifters; they work fine, but I'd like to upgrade them to Ultegra to match the rest of my group, esp. once the price on 6700 goes down. Or should I go for 6800? Great deals on race wheels are always popping up. Those other tires sound nice. Etc etc etc.

    Other sports are worse I suppose. Skiing/snowboarding probably costs > $10 / run. Surfing (in New England) costs way more than $1 / wave. Are they worth it? Running is pretty cheap...

    I never think about this while riding of course (unless I break something). Only when I'm about to buy something -- which is a good thing I suppose!

    What are other people's estimated ratios? Is getting a good monetary value important to you? Are there other factors that matter, i.e. $/race results?

    In conclusion: "Don't upgrade - ride up grades"!
     

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    health care costs
    commuting savings

    Dare I say, I am a numbers geek but this is crazy.



    Quote Originally Posted by cbiker View Post
    With my Spooky Skeletor (built up in Nov '12) I'm about at $1/mi. Aside from small costs for consumables (tires, chains, cables, bar tape...) the ratio continues to improve.

    But it is still shockingly high! If I were being charged $50 per ride I'd say no way! I'd prefer a ratio below $1/3. And hopefully I will get there.

    But I am constantly tempted by upgrades. I want to try a compact crank. I'm still using 105 shifters; they work fine, but I'd like to upgrade them to Ultegra to match the rest of my group, esp. once the price on 6700 goes down. Or should I go for 6800? Great deals on race wheels are always popping up. Those other tires sound nice. Etc etc etc.

    Other sports are worse I suppose. Skiing/snowboarding probably costs > $10 / run. Surfing (in New England) costs way more than $1 / wave. Are they worth it? Running is pretty cheap...

    I never think about this while riding of course (unless I break something). Only when I'm about to buy something -- which is a good thing I suppose!

    What are other people's estimated ratios? Is getting a good monetary value important to you? Are there other factors that matter, i.e. $/race results?

    In conclusion: "Don't upgrade - ride up grades"!
     

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    I mostly buy food.
     

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    If you commute on the bike, or do any other riding instead of driving, you have to take into account the savings of not driving. For me, one day bike commuting saves me $3 in gas alone (that was computed on $3.50 a gallon, so now it's a little higher). I take that money and put it into a separate account that I use for bike expenses (or to at least reduce those expenses).
    DT

    http://www.mjolnircycles.com/

    Some are born to move the world to live their fantasies...

    "the fun outweighs the suck, and the suck hasn't killed me yet." -- chasea

    "Sometimes, as good as it feels to speak out, silence is the only way to rise above the morass. The high road is generally a quiet route." -- echelon_john

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    Cost per hour of enjoyment is probably a better metric. Time spent posting pics in the forum counts.
     

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    Quote Originally Posted by JoB View Post
    health care costs
    commuting savings

    Dare I say, I am a numbers geek but this is crazy.
    I'm a numbers geek too ;)

    In some sense, it's as good an explanation as any for why cyclists are so maniacal about chasing good deals.

    It's also a way to rationalize the large up-front and ongoing costs we incur.
     

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    Quote Originally Posted by gjuffer View Post
    Cost per hour of enjoyment is probably a better metric. Time spent posting pics in the forum counts.
    Good point, they are algebraically related though.
     

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    Quote Originally Posted by cbiker View Post
    But I am constantly tempted by upgrades. I want to try a compact crank. I'm still using 105 shifters; they work fine, but I'd like to upgrade them to Ultegra to match the rest of my group, esp. once the price on 6700 goes down. Or should I go for 6800? Great deals on race wheels are always popping up. Those other tires sound nice. Etc etc etc.
    Everything you just listed will be disappointing. Don't do any of it if you're concerned about value for your dollar.

    As for running, I get about 300 miles out of a pair of $130 shoes. So, even running is $0.43/mile.

    If you ride your Spooky for ten years without "upgrading" it I bet it'll start to look pretty cheap. Even at $1/mile, it's a whole lot cheaper than golf.
     

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    Quote Originally Posted by caleb View Post
    Everything you just listed will be disappointing. Don't do any of it if you're concerned about value for your dollar.

    As for running, I get about 300 miles out of a pair of $130 shoes. So, even running is $0.43/mile.

    If you ride your Spooky for ten years without "upgrading" it I bet it'll start to look pretty cheap. Even at $1/mile, it's a whole lot cheaper than golf.
    Yeah I agree 100%. The bike is less than 1 year old and I will ride it another couple thousand miles before its first birthday!

    BTW, I pose these questions as someone with very limited disposable income. I'm sure that once I'm making the big bucks I'll be happy riding my $10k wunderbike 30 miles on the weekends.
     

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    Quote Originally Posted by gjuffer View Post
    Cost per hour of enjoyment is probably a better metric. Time spent posting pics in the forum counts.
    Good point, in reality though I spend a ton of time thinking about cycling, so a good percentage of whatever money I have accessible to me is worth it. A ton of my non bike purchases are made in part due to cycling in some way or another.
    --------------------
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    REBAR

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    Considering the cost of merely operating a car currently averages about $0.50/mile, I'll take the barely amortized cost of owning the Spooky instead anyway.
     

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    If it makes you feel any better, just compare cycling to owning a powerboat. Aside from the fixed expenses (boat payment, mooring, storage) imagine burning 18-25 gallons of fuel per hour each time you use it! But with a bike, the more you ride, the lower your cost. (OK. Maybe you'll eat more.) If that's not inspiration to get out and ride, I don't know what is.
     

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    Quote Originally Posted by caleb View Post

    As for running, I get about 300 miles out of a pair of $130 shoes.
    Back when I was running seriously (>5000k per year) I used to go through four pair of training flats in a year but that was still an average of ~1300 km per pair and I'm really hard on shoes. What on earth are you doing to yours?
     

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    Quote Originally Posted by cbiker View Post
    The bike is less than 1 year old and I will ride it another couple thousand miles before its first birthday!
    You left out the residual value of the asset, which you can subtract from your cost calculation.

    -g
    EPOst hoc ergo propter hoc

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    Quote Originally Posted by GrantM View Post
    You left out the residual value of the asset, which you can subtract from your cost calculation.

    -g

    This is key. Hard to think of another sporting good with as little depreciation as a bike (frame).
    Last edited by cbiker; 08-08-2013 at 09:45 AM. Reason: added quote
     

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    I believe there is a spelling error in the title should be Cost of cyling: $/Smile

    Carryon
     

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    Quote Originally Posted by Chad View Post
    I believe there is a spelling error in the title should be Cost of cyling: $/Smile

    Carryon
    Upshot of this: If you can measure it, or even care to measure it, you're not riding enough.
    DT

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    Quote Originally Posted by Chad View Post
    I believe there is a spelling error in the title should be Cost of cyling: $/Smile

    Carryon
    Haha, riding makes me smile, but so does having money in my bank account ;)
    Last edited by cbiker; 08-08-2013 at 09:53 AM. Reason: quotation
     

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    I am always amazed at articles about how much people supposedly save by riding a bike instead of driving a car. I think, don't those folks replace their chain every 2000 miles? What about tires? Brake shoes? Seats? Tubes? maintenance? The list goes on and on.

    Of course, you can save money by buying lesser groups/bikes that'll function just fine and will last (say 105 vs. ultegra). But anybody who's on this list is probably riding a pretty nice bike. I mean, I know I don't need campy record on my cross bike purchased second hand for winter commuting (winter commuting! when I should be using a beater bike), but I was like a kid when I bought it. (I've finally got Campy Record!) And I know I could commute on 105, but I have to have ultegra. (Is there a rule that as you get older and slower you get better equipment?)
     

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    Default Re: Cost of cycling: $/mile

    If I took the time to figure it out, I'd probably realize a Ferrari is more economical
     

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