With a decent pair of tyres setting you back around £80+ and a new bike going anywhere from the £100s to the £1000s, cycling can look like a pastime for those with the cash, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
I know cyclists with the latest version of some of the flashier bikes on the market and I know cyclists like me who’s everyday bike came off Facebook Market place for next to nothing.
Cycling – as expensive or as cheap as you want
Just like life, being a cyclist can be as cheap or as expensive as you like. Pick up a bike on Gumtree for a thirty quid or a bike shop for £1000 – either way, when you get in that saddle, you’re still a member of the cycling community.
You have chosen to live a life which is not just healthier and kinder to the environment, it will often be faster too as you get to pedal past the miles of traffic on your morning commute with a feeling of unrivalled smugness.
Bike costs vs car and bus costs
A quick look online for my closest city, Oxford, shows that a monthly bus ticket for the city costs £52. And in a report commissioned by KwikFit the average monthly cost of running a car, and this was not including the cost of the car itself, was £162.
Per year that works out around £700 for the bus and £8400 for a car!
A quick mosey on Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace and eBay have shown me bikes in my local area ranging from £30 up to a few hundred.
For argument’s sake, let’s say we took a £30 bike and took it into the bike shop for some new brake cables, pads and some entry-level tyres. We’d be looking £25-30 for the brakes and a tenner each for the tyres. Now the bike may have not needed these, so happy days. But if they did then that would have made your £30 bike into a bike costing £80.
I get it though that for many people finding £80 will be hard, some months it would be for us. However, when you think of this as an investment, the fuel savings alone, if you’re a driver, will more than cover this cost in no time at all.
And if you take the bike instead of the bus then within 6 weeks you’d be quids in and within a year you could have saved over £600! Not to be sneezed at eh?
My current bike is a Dutchie which I picked up off Facebook Marketplace. I part exchanged my old Dawes Diplomat which was another FB find I bought for £50 last year.
On my Dutchie I have done many many miles since I got her between the Christmas and New Year period just gone. We’ve been on a 50 mile out and back to Princess Risborough, a few trips out to Abingdon and the weekend before last I cycled to Banbury on her. All that and it’s also my bike of choice to commute into and out of Oxford on a regular basis.
For the nearly three months I have owned this bike I have saved hundreds on not having a car to drive or needing to take the bus. Better still, I have not had to spend an additional penny on her at all. I have though now decided to fork out, now that I can afford it, on some decent tyres which have great puncture resistance. This will save me time on punctures and money on buying more innertubes as I’ll have fewer punctures – having said that though, I have only had one puncture on this bike since getting her.
Cycling is the cheaper option
Even when you take into account my mates new £2000 electric bike, cycling is still cheaper than driving over a year and cheaper than the bus over 3-4 years.
But when you do cycling how I and most of the cyclists I know do cycling, with secondhand bikes then a life behind bars (handlebars) with the exception of walking is the cheapest, joyful and coolest way to go!
You’ll be ‘quids in’ in no time at all!
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