Author Topic: Return on buying a bike  (Read 6044 times)

tvan

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Return on buying a bike
« on: August 02, 2015, 07:27:49 PM »
I'm considering buying a bike to try and commit to commute to work at least one day a week.

The bike I'm looking at is a used Trek 1.5 road bike which I think I can score for $350 or less. It's in excellent shape.

I drive a Jeep Cherokee which gets 15mpg and my commute is 9 miles each way. I think it's safe to say that with this car it's costing me at least $1 per mile.

So even at $350 for a bike I'd  recover that cost after 350 miles or 19-20 trips to and from work.

Am I missing any other costs/benefits? 

Also I'd start riding the bike to the gym and home which is an additional 2.4 miles at least 5 days per week.

aceyou

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2015, 07:37:50 PM »
What services do you use at the gym?  Your mileage on your bike can easily cover your cardio for the week.  Every day you have the potential for 18 miles if you want it.  Some free weights which could be bought at a reasonable price could cover your strength training. 

Your questions is are you missing any other benefits.  Cutting a gym membership as well as the commute to/from the gym would be a huge benefit. 

However, if you are going to the gym 5 days/week, it's possible that you truly are getting your money's worth there anyways, so I'm curious to see your response:)

tvan

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2015, 08:28:29 PM »

What services do you use at the gym?  Your mileage on your bike can easily cover your cardio for the week.  Every day you have the potential for 18 miles if you want it.  Some free weights which could be bought at a reasonable price could cover your strength training. 

Your questions is are you missing any other benefits.  Cutting a gym membership as well as the commute to/from the gym would be a huge benefit. 

However, if you are going to the gym 5 days/week, it's possible that you truly are getting your money's worth there anyways, so I'm curious to see your response:)

I primarily weight lift at the gym unless I'm trying to get to uber low bodyfat percentages (at which point I will do additional cardio). I used to own a fitness/bodybuilding supplement store/website and still own a bodybuilding supplementation blog so being in good shape isn't a necessity but it helps and weightlifting is largely my stress outlet. It's 27.50 per month and I'd say I get there for about 22-28 days per month for some form of lifting.

aceyou

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2015, 09:00:08 PM »
Ok, yeah, I think you're extracting your value from the gym membership, keep it.  And it sounds like you enjoy being there, perhaps more than you would if you lifted at home.

JAYSLOL

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2015, 09:57:44 PM »

Am I missing any other costs/benefits? 


Do you end up going through the Drive-Thru at all with the car on the way to work?  Might cut down on coffee to-go if you ride a bike, i know it does for me.  On a side-note, axe the Jeep if you can in favour of something less face-punch worthy :)

tvan

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2015, 07:05:38 PM »


Am I missing any other costs/benefits? 


Do you end up going through the Drive-Thru at all with the car on the way to work?  Might cut down on coffee to-go if you ride a bike, i know it does for me.  On a side-note, axe the Jeep if you can in favour of something less face-punch worthy :)

I do not.

Update the Trek sale fell through so I'm still bike shopping.

If I can bike to work with some level of consistency is love to completely get rid of the jeep.

Brilliantine

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2015, 07:12:18 PM »

tvan

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2015, 07:57:31 PM »

I'm thinking about buying this:

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_552047_-1___205952

That looks real nice but for whatever reason I feel like I can find something better on Craigslist. Set up some alerts for different brands under $350.

tvan

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2015, 12:21:22 AM »
This one looks okay.  Might check it out tomorrow.  Seems a better price would be $120'ish

https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/bik/5158850427.html

vhalros

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2015, 01:18:06 AM »
You are missing costs for whatever accessories you might need. At a minimum, locks and lights (if you ever think there is even a possibity of being out after dark, lights are a necessity). A helmet is probably also a good idea.

spokey doke

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2015, 08:25:39 AM »
Accessories:

Helmet
Shoes
Shorts
Gloves
Light
Lock
Bag
Pump
Repair kit
Multitool

GuitarStv

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2015, 09:05:30 AM »
I bought both a road bike and a hybrid (for winter riding) rather than a second car.  Commuting 11 miles each way twice a week year round paid them both off in about a year.

There will be additional costs . . . you'll need to replace your chain, every couple chains you need to replace your cassette, brake pads, every year or so it's worth tearing apart your hubs and replacing bearings, brake and shifter cables will get gunked up if you ride year round, etc.  All of that stuff is pretty cheap though if you do the work yourself.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2015, 10:51:52 AM »
The other day I started doing the math on the savings.  I'm 3.5 miles from work, so I estimate that I save about $0.75/day on gas.  My car just ticked over 200k miles (woot!), so there's a decent chance I'll need to replace it in a few years.  Let's say I plan to spend $5k on my next car.  Every day I ride my bike to work means that I can delay that purchase by 1 day.  Assuming a 200-day work year, each biking day saves 0.5% of the returns on that $5k.  7% return on $5k is $350/year, divided across 200 days means $1.75/day additional savings by riding my bike to work.  With the gas savings, I'm up to $2.5/day after taxes.

Last year I bought an old clunker of a bike for $20, put new tires on it, rode it to work a few dozen times, and sold it for $20.  It paid for itself easily.  This year, I have a slightly younger, much less clunky bike that I bought for $65, and I'm on my way to biking way more than last year, since it's more comfortable to ride.  It hasn't (yet) paid for itself, but it certainly will.

The additional exercise is a nice bonus too, since I'm pretty lousy at motivating myself to exercise on my own.

GreenPen

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2015, 11:34:56 AM »
Every day I ride my bike to work means that I can delay that purchase by 1 day.  Assuming a 200-day work year, each biking day saves 0.5% of the returns on that $5k.  7% return on $5k is $350/year, divided across 200 days means $1.75/day additional savings by riding my bike to work.  With the gas savings, I'm up to $2.5/day after taxes.

I think this kind of calculation is good to do. But if you can *replace* your car with a bike (rather than owning both), then you get an even better return on your investment.

tvan

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2015, 12:40:41 PM »

Accessories:

Helmet
Shoes
Shorts
Gloves
Light
Lock
Bag
Pump
Repair kit
Multitool

I don't need half this shit. But seriously I used to be a competitive cyclist in my late teens and I remember all the added costs of this and that but I was racing at a high level. Not commuting to work. And I own a book bag, shorts, and shoes (not clip ins but oh well).

Amazon has a highly rated helmet for $22. That's maybe the one place I would spend a little extra money.

tyort1

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2015, 01:11:59 PM »
I"ve just gone through converting from a car driver to a bike rider/commuter.  Besides the bike itself, the accessories I found most useful were:

Bike lock
Helmet
Light (for night driving - skip if you are a daytime rider)
Puncture resistant tire liners (so you get less flats)
Fenders (if you drive in wet conditions)

Sjalabais

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2015, 02:21:31 AM »
The green bike above looks great! But why not buy a used bike? If the tires are ok and the chain is not jumping, you might easily get 4-5000km out of a simple used bike that might cost you 50$.

For lights, buy a Cree lamp at aliexpress.com or similar - fantastic value, free shipping. Look for positive reviews.

A helmet is sort of important, for commutes, you might want fenders and a rack, too.

tvan

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2015, 09:33:54 PM »
Scored a 2009 Specialized Tricross bike on CL for $170. Just needs a tune up.

tvan

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2015, 10:14:39 PM »
+20 for Amazon helmet (was rated 5 stars and fits well)
+30 for kryptonite lock
+35 for new chain

I think I'm good to go at this point. Gonna start biking to the gym everyday. Make sure my lungs are in good order before I do the 9 mile work commute.

Jakejake

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2015, 07:20:51 AM »
If you are within biking distance of a kmart or sears, you can also get up to $5 per week for biking/running/walking 15 miles if you have a smart phone or fitness band to track it. It's not worth buying a device just for that but if you have one anyway, may as well get that set up.

The 700c puncture proof tubes for my bike dropped in price at my local kmart to under $5, so I got two of those for free this month just by biking there.

Sjalabais

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2015, 09:06:54 AM »
<5$ for puncture proof tubes? :o Wow! I usually buy Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires, but they are priced to bleed eyes.

Jakejake

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2015, 09:46:57 AM »
Maybe I'm describing them wrong - they're the inner tube only, self-sealing: http://local.kmart.com/ClintonTownship-MI-48038/#!/search/Schwinn-self-sealing-tube-700c

$4.74 at the moment, but only at this one kmart in my area, the other kmarts have them at double the cost and I have no idea why.

pk_aeryn

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2015, 11:18:59 AM »
If you are within biking distance of a kmart or sears, you can also get up to $5 per week for biking/running/walking 15 miles if you have a smart phone or fitness band to track it. It's not worth buying a device just for that but if you have one anyway, may as well get that set up

Is that Pact or a different app?

Jakejake

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Re: Return on buying a bike
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2015, 12:17:57 PM »
It's a totally different thing - and one where you can only earn money, there's no cost if you wimp out.  It's a three step process to get set up. First you need to sign up for a sears/kmart account on their Shopyourway site. Then you go to the sears/kmart fitness site, fitstudio.com, and sign up for an account - it should give you a prompt to link to your shopyourway account.

On fitstudio, on the rewards tab, there's an option to connect your device, with options for a few wristband trackers and phone trackers.

The progress tracks the following day, so if I finish off 15 miles today, my progress bar won't show it til tomorrow. And the points expire in a week, so the most you can accrue at once is $10 if you overlap them.

I make my own yogurt and my husband has cereal and milk each morning, and kmart sells milk so I haven't paid for our milk/yogurt in over a year now. We used to have a couple of superkmarts with full grocery sections, and I was getting kale and bananas with the rest of the points; I'm bummed they were phased out.