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Annual cost of cycling- all the bits and bobs?

LiebkuchenLiebkuchen Posts: 19
edited April 2013 in MTB beginners
Well, I got my tiny bike to the bike maintenance class last night. 4 more weeks to go and it was really interesting and informative and I'm looking forward to taking things apart!

As a real beginner (ie I have a bike, lock and helmet), I'm obviously going to have to purchase a few essentials and upgrades.Looking like: multi-tool, spanners, puncture repair stuff, cleaning stuff, grease and lube, a seat post extender/longer seat post, mtb flat or toe clip pedals, something with padding in the bum, gloves, lights and that's all before I've had a proper ride. I'm sure I'll find out about other things over the weeks.

How much do you spend (or should I expect to spend) on maintenance (doing the basics myself) and small bits of gear annually- excluding upgrades?
I'm already trying not to lust over quick release wheels...I'm hoping to do around 2 longer rides a week, say of 2-3 hours, lots of cycle path to begin with, then onto forest trails as I progress.


  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Somewhere between £1 and £1trillion bazillion gillion.
    Good luck.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Upgrades can be as much as you want really, and maintenance will vary with usage - a bottle of oil and grease can last years! A good basic toolkit is worth its weight in gold, and can be had for about £30. I would start with that.

    Always good to have spare tubes, cables, chain links - these will only be a few pounds.

    But do ride the bike first before you think about upgrades to get a feel for it.

    Tool kit: ... wo=&hvqmt=
  • rhextrhext Posts: 1,639
    Upgrades are overrated for day-to-day use. I'd not even think about them until you've ridden a few hundred miles and asked yourself the question 'will I really notice the difference?'

    For basic maintenance, from scratch, as well as a basic tool set I'd spend up to about £30-£40 on:

    - some degreaser
    - some bike cleaner (Fenwicks is good: neat it works as a degreaser, diluted as a bike cleaner. A litre lasts for ages. But you can use cheaper stuff like car shampoo if you prefer)
    - some brushes (can use old rags and save a few quid, but brushes are much nicer)
    - some rags to dry it down with after youv'e washed it
    - a bottle of lube, a can of GT 85, and a can of lube (you can manage with either the bottle or the can, but the bottle's easier to apply to the chain, and the can to everything else)

    After that the most effective maintenance is to keep everything clean and well lubed. You might need to spend maybe £5 or so every few months to keep things topped up. The lube will last for years.

    But then you've got consumables and wear and tear and they depend on how hard you use the bike and what for. I reckon a new chain and cassette every couple of three thousand miles, new chainring and bottom bracket as well every second cassette. Tyres and brake pads too. Maybe an average of about £200 per year on consumables, given that I'll be doing about 4,000 miles in a year.

    After that, you can spend as much as you like!
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 21,717
    I'd really rather not think about it...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • WoodmonkeyWoodmonkey Posts: 412
    The lidl toolkit on sale tomorrow might be a good start point for tools
    pity those who don't drink, the way they feel when they wake is the best they will feel all day

    voodoo hoodoo
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    Since Xmas I have bought a bottle of winter chain lube for £7, a new Buff scarf for £6 and a packet of sealed bearings for the swinging arm for £30. However the saddle is falling to pieces, the back tyre is baldy, the brake pads are near the metal, chain and cassette are skipping, big ring looks like a collection of fish hooks and the grips are worn so I feel the credit card will be taking a beating soon.

    ps The soles on my summer SPD shoes are split and the censored is see through on my baggies.
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • Greer_Greer_ Posts: 1,716
    Liebkuchen wrote:
    Annual cost of cycling- all the bits and bobs?

    A lot more than I expected! Just had to buy another :cry: rear mech after trashing it from racing ... + grips, tyres, chain lube, bearings, eventually a cassette/chain/freehub ... its a never ending list!
  • How much annually you ask?
    More than I should,
    less than I want,
    and a f*ck load more than what I tell the long haired general ;D
    Family, Friends, Fantastic trails - what else is there

  • Lewby5Lewby5 Posts: 19
    How much annually you ask?
    More than I should,
    less than I want,
    and a f*ck load more than what I tell the long haired general ;D

    Ha ha, brilliant! I am just learning that white lies never hurt anyone.
  • desmorrowdesmorrow Posts: 115
    Very good questions..
    I guess there are start-up costs and running costs. For me start up was: hemlet, gloves, jacket, base layers, bottle, backpack. tool kit, sealskinz socks, spare tubes, lube, degreaser, grease, good lights(torches), light brackets.....

    As for running costs, I guess it all comes down to use. I don't cycle for long - maybe 60-90 mins at a time but I do that 3-4 times a week and during the winter it's muddy as heck and water getting everywhere. Last year I went through a lot of parts: cassette, chain, chain ring, BB, rear freehub, tyres, headset a couple of sets of pads and bought some new pedals, oh and a bleed kit.... (and probably come other stuff that I've forgotten.....)

    Looking back I was probably over-cleaning the bike during the winter which may have led to some of the problems I had. I also didn't know about checking the chain stretch.... And one thing I've never had done is a fork service....

    Hopefully, by less vigorous cleaning and keeping an eye on chain wear I can reduce costs this year. Although I bought a FS bike last month so I'm probably wishful thinking.

    I'm not a member of any gym and biking is pretty much all I spend my spare cash on. So if I can keep my costs to <240 a year (20 quid a month) then I reckon it's a cost-effective way for exercise and more importantly LOADS of FUN!!!! When you think how much you spend on a tank of diesel - 80 quid? then cycling ain't too bad :)

    Maintenence courses are a GREAT start and well worth the money. Wished I did one when I first started!!
  • LagrangeLagrange Posts: 652
    Inspired by your post I have looked at my costs - to my horror I find that I have spent 50% cost of my bike in 3 years although granted I have tools - last for ever, consumables - tyres and so on bought used and thrown away and stocks such as hald a tube of grease and some bits like spare cassere, chain, and so on. So it can be an expensive game. Looks like there is good advice in the post though.
  • edhornbyedhornby Posts: 1,780
    get good quality allen keys as you use these a lot

    the other tools you can buy when you need them - quicklinks are good to have in the bag for emergency repairs

    be prepared for regular changes of disc brake pads, mud grinds them apart like you wouldn't believe

    don't upgrade anything, just keep it lubed and keep riding
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
  • Thank you to everyone for your enthusiastic replies! I run as my main sport and think about how cheap it is compared to cycling but I, too, forgot to count at the at least annual long weekend race trip and the year I did a half marathon in the States...

    I treated myself to Lidl, at your behest, as its about 5 mins away from my hospital appointment. Bought pump (with gauge), the toolkit (my first ever!), lights with batteries, gloves, gel saddle cover and shorts for £50. A heck of a lot less than I thought I would be spending. So bar the degreaser, grease, lube, maybe the quicklinks, a puncture repair kit and some coke and tinfoil, I'm all set to clean a bike for the first time and fight with the seat post on Saturday! Might even get to ride it next weekend.

    I'll keep an eye out in tk max for the odd cheap t-shirt/ skate shoes. And most of my running stuff can double up. If I can just keep it running with nothing major for a year I'd be ecstatic.

    I really recommend the maintenance class. I had no idea that even avid cyclists could be clueless about the basics. Oh, and thanks again for the lovely replies.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Just one thing - throw the gel saddle cover out now. Horrible things. Saddles need to be firm, and support your sit bones.
    Your bum will get used to it and toughen up.
    Squidgy will feel comfy for five minutes, but will put pressure on the soft tissue, and hurt.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

  • The dog's getting a new toy then!
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