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pants on fire
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lurking around here has taught me a lot about startup costs (bike, helmet, shoes, shorts, tools, etc.). Anyone have any thoughts or experiences with ongoing costs of ownership I might expect? Anyone tracked operating expenses? I understand my mileage will vary, just trying to get a feel.

I'm also interested in whether initial bike investment affects longer term costs. My impression is that a 1500 bike has better components than a 1000 bike but better usually means lighter rather than perhaps longer lasting or cheaper to maintain.
 

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i would say that the operating cost is the same from a 29er to a 26er besides maybe cheaper tire selection for the 26er ...

as for the longer lasting .. that is going to depend how you ride .. and what kinda preventative maintenance you do
 

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Really, the costs are the same. You can track them in Quicken if you are anal about stuff like that.

My observation: the more you spend, the more you spend.
 

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Always Learning
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Mr Bojangles said:
Lurking around here has taught me a lot about startup costs (bike, helmet, shoes, shorts, tools, etc.). Anyone have any thoughts or experiences with ongoing costs of ownership I might expect? Anyone tracked operating expenses? I understand my mileage will vary, just trying to get a feel.

I'm also interested in whether initial bike investment affects longer term costs. My impression is that a 1500 bike has better components than a 1000 bike but better usually means lighter rather than perhaps longer lasting or cheaper to maintain.
Your costs will depend on your use. If you do all or most of your own wrenching, costs go way down and routine maintenance becomes part of your labor of love.

You may be able to make it through a full season on one set of brake pads, the same chain and same cassette. Or, if you ride in a lot of mud and grit, you may have to replace those items during the season. But they will wear out at some point and require replacing. Hard to quote prices without knowing what brakes, chain and cassette you use, but a check online will give you a range of quotes.

Other routine maintenance costs may include a fork overhaul every season, new cables and new grips - again depending on your amount of use. You may be able to get two or more seasons out of those without any maintenance costs.

Any component that gets broken adds to the cost, but is more the odd occasion rather than a regular part of your maintenance. Tubes and tires are a known cost that is part of every season. Whether you use patches to repair tubes or run your tires tubeless requiring you to insert additional sealant every now and then, these costs are a regular part of ownership.

Eventually the saddle will show wear and tear and need replacing. We could go on and on, but basically if you do your own wrenching and maintenance you ought to be able to keep your costs low. I'd say figure on spending at least $100 - 200 a year in maintenance and goodies (fork overhaul, oil, chain, cassette, grease, grips, brake pads, cables, cleaning supplies, tools, tires, tubes, patches, etc...) per bike. I spend way more than that, but it's still cheaper than playing golf every weekend.:D

BB
 

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BruceBrown said:
basically if you do your own wrenching and maintenance you ought to be able to keep your costs low. I'd say figure on spending at least $100 - 200 a year in maintenance and goodies (fork overhaul, oil, chain, cassette, grease, grips, brake pads, cables, cleaning supplies, tools, tires, tubes, patches, etc...) per bike. I spend way more than that, but it's still cheaper than playing golf every weekend.:D

BB
Good points, BB. Sounds about right, though I think the maintenance cost for the second bike is a little less. My own expenses run about $150 for the first bike, $80 for the second, and this is because I usually only replace tires and pads on one bike each year. I also stockpile things like chains (when I see a good sale) and try and run as many of the same components on my bikes as possible (derailleurs, brakes, cassettes) allowing a swap should a part ever fail.

And yeah, it sure beats driving a cart at the golf course.
 

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Misfit Psycles
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if you can wrench (maintain brakes, chain tension and various odds and sods) then i agree plan on one drive train, brake pad and fork overhaul a year.

i also agree that you pay what you pay, in most cases more expensive means lighter/prettier but not always longer lasting. solid preventative maint. will make even the crappiest crap last longer.

Cheap Stuff - Ring 20$, Chain 5$, Cog 3$
Good Stuff - Ring 35$, Chain 15$, Cog 25$
Crazy Good - Ring 50$+, Chain 30$+, 30$+

if you have been lurking long enough then you understand the range of options spans from ENTRY to BLINGLESPEED...but no matter which you choose you need to be aware of UPGRADEITOUS...that my good jangles is where all the money goes. buying 'right' up front will help dissuade the affliction and keep your maint. costs within your budget.
 

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pants on fire
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone for the feedback and tips. Definitely helps my thinking.

I'm coming from an ultimate frisbee background where equipment costs are super low (disc and shoes) but I spent about 3 grand a year travelling to tournaments on weekends. My knee cant handle that kind of activity but I'm hoping to get back into biking now that I have weekends free again. I'm excited about 29ers since I'm tall. My XL Fisher and Trek rigids of the past always felt undersized somehow.

Cheers.
 
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