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How Much Has Your "Best" Bike Cost You in Pounds per Hour of Usage?

buckmulliganbuckmulligan Posts: 1,031
edited September 2019 in Road general
I was just chatting to some colleagues at work about going out cycling at the weekend; the cost of my bike came up and as non-cyclists they were naturally horrified at the thought of any bike costing over £1000 :? I feel like I've racked up a fair few miles on my current "nice" (read: expensive) bike so took a wild stab in the dark and exclaimed "well it's probably cost me less than £1 per hour I've spent riding it in the two and a half years that I've had it so it's not too bad value-wise".

Naturally, this being the age of the technology, I decided to check Strava and see if that was in fact true and disappointingly I've only racked up 828 hours of bona fide cycling (i.e. not commuting) so probably somewhere around ~500 hours on my nice bike. For a bike that cost £1600 when I bought it (which I think most people here would regard as fairly reasonable for a nice bike) that still puts me at a current cost over £3 per hour!

Compared to other hobbies, I'm sure that's a bargain, but just wondering how you guys are faring? Let's keep it to your "best" bikes, because I'm guessing most people's 10 year old beaters will come in at less than £1 per hour even with maintenance costs!

How Much Has Your "Best" Bike Cost You in Pounds per Hour of Usage? 63 votes

£20+ per hour
15% 10 votes
£10-20 per hour
7% 5 votes
£5-10 per hour
15% 10 votes
£2-5 per hour
20% 13 votes
£1-2 per hour
20% 13 votes
Less than £1 per hour
19% 12 votes
«13

Posts

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,828
    The short answer is "don't know/don't care".

    If anyone is getting to the point where they justify bike ownership using a cost/benefit analysis, then they're in the wrong sport/hobby, in my view...
  • buckmulliganbuckmulligan Posts: 1,031
    Thanks for your input Imposter; insightful and friendly, as always! :lol:
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,828
    Thanks for your input Imposter; insightful and friendly, as always! :lol:

    Insightful or not, I certainly wasn't intending it to be unfriendly..?
  • monkimarkmonkimark Posts: 729
    I'm around £1.30 an hour I reckon, although it's a fair bit more once you add in bike clothes, spares and maintenance.
    I kind of do justify bike purchases based on how much use they will get (in a much more vague way usually). When I was barely riding, it wouldn't make sense to spend a grand on a bike that's gathering dust in the shed, now I'm back into it a bit I'm happy to spend more on something I will use.
    Seems like a perfectly reasonable way of looking at it
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,147
    Interesting statistic. Just over £5 an hour - so at least its cheaper than renting ! Still a lot of life left in the bike yet though.
  • joey54321joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    Not sure how to calculate hours but Strava says I've done over 12k miles on my "Summer bike" which cost ~2k. Though since I also use this bike on the turbo it has been used for more than just the recorded 12k. At an average speed of 18mph that would be ~650 hours so it's a similar £3/hour.

    Surprising it is that much when put into perspective but I do really enjoy the bike (Scott Foil, DI2, Zipp 404s) so don't think I'd change anything.
  • bradsbeardbradsbeard Posts: 210
    Nowt better to be spending pound notes on! As said add kit and spares and whoa does it add up! But it makes me happy.
  • I’ve had a few that cost me zero as large metal objects with 4 wheels squashed them and the car insurance companies paid out. My current good bike has done about 20,000 miles and it cost me £2k. Though I must admit I’ve added a few fancy bits to it.
  • david7mdavid7m Posts: 635
    You'd need to deduct current market value to get a true cost per mile :lol:
  • mugensimugensi Posts: 558
    I built my best bike in January this year/ I have used it for approx. 10 hrs since then (I have 3 other bikes and used them more often) and so therefore mine is working out at approx. £300 an hour.
  • About £1 per hour. I would count my short (4 mile each way) work commute in this as I have saved time (about half the time to get to work) and fuel cost compared with car. Over the 4 years I have commuted, approx 1000 work days, that's 8000 miles less in the car during which it would have spent half its time crawling inefficiently!
  • Imposter wrote:
    The short answer is "don't know/don't care".

    If anyone is getting to the point where they justify bike ownership using a cost/benefit analysis, then they're in the wrong sport/hobby, in my view...

    For once we are in agreement.
  • joenobodyjoenobody Posts: 540
    I need to ride mine more - I'd estimate around £75/hour...
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,475
    Also depends a lot on how long you have owned said bike, and how many other bikes you use.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • crescentcrescent Posts: 1,070
    Interesting (and a bit scary) to count it up. My newest/best bike (BMC) cost £2200 and has covered 1250 miles in the year that I've owned it. It doesn't get used in winter and shares summer duties with my "second best" bike. At an average of 16mph(ish) that works out about £28 an hour or £1.75 per mile. Thankfully, I really like it and don't intend to get rid of it anytime soon so it'll soon pay for itself......won't it ?
    Having said that, the enjoyment, fitness, health benefits and sheer pleasure of cycling are not something I would put a price on. I still intend to spend plenty more on my hobby :D
    Ribble Gran Fondo
    Bianchi Impulso
    BMC Teammachine

    “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells
    Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 2,381
    About 10k miles on it so far, build cost was £2,500. Wouldn't like to speculate how much I've spent on cycling clothing and other paraphernalia in the time I've had it though.
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,389
    Remember that you save 25p per mile by bike vs. car commuting (going by the taxman's allowances of 20p vs 45p per mile) so your bike is probably earning you money.
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,389
    mrb123 wrote:
    About 10k miles on it so far, build cost was £2,500. Wouldn't like to speculate how much I've spent on cycling clothing and other paraphernalia in the time I've had it though.

    It has been noted when the laundry is sorted I always have the biggest pile - and I have three teenage daughters in the house!
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 3,132
    3k bike 2,200 miles. Not ideal but hey ho.
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    It's interesting that you exclude commuting miles as they are basically how I justify my bike expenses, although I am a daily commuter where perhaps you aren't.

    An annual train season ticket for me to get to work is £1,728, which is actually pretty good given I work in London and live outside the M25.

    I'm pretty confident I haven't had a year where I've spent that amount on bikes, parts, clothes etc - well, perhaps one or two years ;-) - the more expensive years have been with the benefit of cycle scheme so I'm not paying the full sticker value after tax savings anyway.

    I wouldn't consider driving to work - doesn't appeal to me in the least and would cost a small fortune as I'd need to get qualified and pay my first couple of years insurance, in addition to running costs.

    Then I factor in that back in the day I used to spend near £50 a month on a gym membership, which I no longer need....

    So yeah. Best bike is somewhere around £6 an hour although hard to be exact as bike has been through a couple of upgrades since it was new - it was £900 on cyclescheme but then had new 105 on it and some nicer wheels. It's cheaper than going to the pub, certainly....
  • crescentcrescent Posts: 1,070
    mrfpb wrote:
    Remember that you save 25p per mile by bike vs. car commuting (going by the taxman's allowances of 20p vs 45p per mile) so your bike is probably earning you money.

    Ergo, the more bikes you have, the more money you are making.

    Perhaps it can be proven mathematically : N+1 = (£+ 0.25) x D
    (D= distance; N = bikes; £= money)
    Where (N+1) < (S-1)

    Maths and Latin, so it must be true. :)
    Ribble Gran Fondo
    Bianchi Impulso
    BMC Teammachine

    “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells
    Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 3,807
    Smiles per mile is the only measure that matters

    Everything else is superfluous as there are no pockets in a shroud.
    And God created the bicycle, so that man could use it as a means for work and to help him negotiate life's complicated journey.
  • AlejandrosdogAlejandrosdog Posts: 2,007
    8k 5 years ago so 40000 miles +

    Cheap as chips even adding in chains cassettes and the odd bartape and cables.
  • Thanks for all of the replies and votes!
    timothyw wrote:
    It's interesting that you exclude commuting miles as they are basically how I justify my bike expenses, although I am a daily commuter where perhaps you aren't.
    I thought excluding commuter bikes (not necessarily commuter miles if you do them on your good bike!) would be best because, as I mentioned in the OP, I think most people will have a beater bike that we traded for two buttons and a mars bar that has been going on year-after-year. And paradoxically, I suspect most people spend the least time on the nice bikes that cost them the most.

    I am a daily commuter, I have a bike-train-bike commute, the first leg to the station on my own beater bike and the last on the Boris Bikes around London. Doing the maths for both of those is quite interesting; my beater costs £250 and only racking up 20 mins per day means I'm still only just under £2 per hour; the Boris bikes are £90 per year, so at 40 mins per day for say 180 working days per year (exc. rainy and lazy days where I catch the tube!) we're talking 75p per hour, so comfortably the cheapest out of all of my options, but obviously I have zero equity in that.

    slowmart wrote:
    Smiles per mile is the only measure that matters

    Everything else is superfluous as there are no pockets in a shroud.
    Whilst I think this is a laudable philosophy, I think most people will rationalise things based on cost and not spend every last penny that they have available on a new bike. I was wondering where people draw that line in their head and how it actually pans out in reality.

    If you do truly live life based on this philosophy, you can vote based on where your smiles-per-pound metric starts to trend downwards :wink:
  • Roughly just under £2 for ~2.3 years of ownership if I've worked it out correctly, excluding clothing; consumeables (tyres, chain cassettes, disc pads); component "upgrades;" accessories (GPS, turbo etc.); jelly babies etc. etc.

    And I'm feeling far too woolly/tired to be capable, or even be interested in totting up all those extras besides the bike price right now!
    ================
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • And I'm feeling far too woolly/tired to be capable, or even be interested in totting up all those extras besides the bike price right now!

    Yeah, all those things definitely add up, especially when you approach the point where your frame is the only original part of your bike left(!) but I thought I'd try to keep it simple; I might have an audit of my email receipts at some point and see just how serious it is!
  • FatTedFatTed Posts: 1,214
    40,000 K on my bike so I guess less than a quid per hour
  • Not including any other kit, I'm around £9 an hour and 35p a km (56p a mile).
  • so far 20,000 Km and an estimated 800 hours... so I guess I am in the £ 1-2 bracket
  • 1c96h1qVr36iqQiUI2FGb9JpPcMODjF_z0fSI2R66mJ_OLXBp-f8wTzunSsfA7777HirZp_t-ZL55-i111pmgBhNnhm_Xo-KBcTAqdQkJQn4bec6upqgsi4HAhwGR0b3Fg3hY_9Ojg=w2400
    Advocate of disc brakes.
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