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The cost of keeping a bike on the road


FirstV8
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Keeping a road /Mtb  roadworthy for everyday use . This question is for the non technical , non handyman or lazy  bike owner who has one bike or more that gets used daily or very often . The cost of using your LBS for servicing , fitting , fixing or even cleaning must be quite costly . It would be interesting to hear from cyclists as to what needs to be budgeted for . I know some months must be more costly if tyres , chains , cassettes , or even chain rings are replaced . .  

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Keeping a road /Mtb roadworthy for everyday use . This question is for the non technical , non handyman or lazy bike owner who has one bike or more that gets used daily or very often . The cost of using your LBS for servicing , fitting , fixing or even cleaning must be quite costly . It would be interesting to hear from cyclists as to what needs to be budgeted for . I know some months must be more costly if tyres , chains , cassettes , or even chain rings are replaced . .

From my not so perfect social circle... Seems that, if you stay on top of your maintenance items, and you have a lower mid to higher mid end bike, it seems that around 300-500 per month is a healthy budget. This assumes you've checked the chain regularly and avoided any corrective maintenence...

 

I think it goes way up with higher end bikes and groupsets...

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Keeping a road /Mtb  roadworthy for everyday use . This question is for the non technical , non handyman or lazy  bike owner who has one bike or more that gets used daily or very often . The cost of using your LBS for servicing , fitting , fixing or even cleaning must be quite costly . It would be interesting to hear from cyclists as to what needs to be budgeted for . I know some months must be more costly if tyres , chains , cassettes , or even chain rings are replaced . .  

 

This must be a crazy expensive sport for those that dont do any servicing themselves .....

 

 

The last year has been "interesting" with my Giant.  As it is still new and under warranty I had to book it in for various services.

 

- They did at least three minor services free of charge (basically a wash and lube, certainly NO materials involved).  That said, the bike was booked in CLEAN, and the chain already lubed ... so at best they checked the gear indexing and re-washed it.

 

and then the costs started adding up ....

 

- After replacing the brake pads the bike had to be booked in for a brake bleed : R250 .... after 150km I had to take the bike back to have it re-bled ... made it clear I am not paying again, not after 150km

 

- I topped up the sealant myself..... wonder what four of these would have cost ?

 

- I booked in the bike THREE times for a "ticking sound" .... third time I got a call: "The chain is stretched beyond 0,75%, and the cassette is destroyed" .... took me by surprise, as I checked it the month before .... but okay, if that is the cause, then please go ahead ..... best part of R2k  (basic 11 speed components) 

 

Checked the old chain at home ... less than 0,25%, actually wondered if the ICETOOLS tool was accurate, bought a Parktool and checked again.  JIP, less than 0,25%.  Showed the cassette to Hubber over the weekend, jip, still in PERFECT condition ..... so R2k down the tube, and YES, the ticking sound was still there ..... turned out to be a totally unrelated item, which was repaired under warranty.

 

HOW MUCH do these people pay for parts being replaced that has lots of life left ???

(with 3 off 11-speed bikes at home I am sure to get use out of these spare parts)

 

 

- I then took the bike to an independant shop to look at the brakes, as the original issue was still lingering.  The rear wheel bearings were notchy, so I asked them to replace this.

 

 

- Replaced the rear tire, topped up the sealant front and rear (did this myself)

 

 

- at the end of the year I took the bike in for a "major service" (to a different shop!!)  This service included:

. Fork service

. checking the pivot bearings (NOT replaced)

. replace front wheel bearings

. check the rest ....

. given the stuff already done in the last three months their list was seriously reduced ....

This major service cost R 1 700.

 

 

So at a rough guess, these trips to the shops added to about R250 to R300 per month (thats ignoring the R2k for the chain and cassette, as I will still get full use out of it) - over and above regular wash and lube, topping up sealant, etc that I did myself.  Actually, had I not asked for my spare parts, the monthly fee would jump up "nicely" ...  :wacko:   :cursing:

 

 

 

Would be interesting, and scary, to see what it costs if the bike goes to the LBS for every wash and lube, as well as regular servicing .....  :eek:

Edited by ChrisF
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For a full suspension MTB, a major overhaul every 150 hours at around R 6k ex parts, which is about twice a year if you're riding 6 hours a week.

 

Then add tyres and chains to that, and the occasional bearing and set of brake pads. If you keep up with this kind of maintenance your parts cost will be low - replacing key things before they fail (chains being a major culprit here) will save you a heap in consequential damage.

 

Halve that for a hardtail, a bit less than that for a road bike.

 

Add a bunch if you're racing or regularly riding in mud or crappy weather. And double it if you're pressure washing.

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At least R3.50/km to R4.50/km for me. Dual suspension. 

Edited by Titleist
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I learnt early on in my cycling journey that it makes way more sense to invest in the tools that allow me to do it myself rather than having to listen to a story as to why I still have the same sound on the bike after they "fixed" the problem

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on road:

 

2 new tyres 1x a season - between R1 and R2k for the pair

maybe a few new tubes - add R200

lube - R200

Chain - R500 (although even every second year is a lot)

 

On a mtb

slime top-ups

brake bleeding

maybe a bit more component wear

 

I struggle to see how you spend more than 3-4k a year if you're not upgrading components.

 

R250-350 a month

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At least R3.50/km to R4.50/km for me. Dual suspension. 

That would be rather excessive for a cyclist doing 1000 km a month . I do more than 1200 km per month using both road and Mtb mixed .. 

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That would be rather excessive for a cyclist doing 1000 km a month . I do more than 1200 km per month using both road and Mtb mixed .. 

 

You haven’t included servicing, tyres, brakes, chains, cassettes etc in your calculations.

A mtb doing mountain biking costs a lot more to maintain than one doing 95% tar all the time, as an example.

Edited by Titleist
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on road:

 

2 new tyres 1x a season - between R1 and R2k for the pair

maybe a few new tubes - add R200

lube - R200

Chain - R500 (although even every second year is a lot)

 

On a mtb

slime top-ups

brake bleeding

maybe a bit more component wear

 

I struggle to see how you spend more than 3-4k a year if you're not upgrading components.

 

R250-350 a month

 

Spec of the bike and riding conditions ....

 

Almost R1k for a fork service.  For many of the high milers this needs to be done at least twice a year.

 

pivot service .... add a load of money if the bearings must be replaced

 

tires you already listed

 

 

chain and cassette CAN add a lot this this.  A cheap set each year, or an expensive set every two or three years still add up to the averaged annual costs ....

 

 

Wheel bearings .... coming back to FirstV8's question - THIS is a prime example where the home mechanic could fit two bearings for R100, or pay a LOT more for a shop to do it .... which is probably at the core of his question.  Doing your own maintenance, even with decent parts, can save a LOT of money.  If you need to add shop labour for every wash and lube and every minor service this going to be one almighty expensive sport ..... 

 

 

I know a few people that ride weekends, drop off the bike before an event (typical stage race), Monday the bike is dropped off for another full service .... next event the pattern repeats ....  On one race the heavens opened and they knew it was going to be a mud bath of epic proportions .... they had a good dop, and decided to just enjoy the weekend, stating they knew that the repair bill on Monday would be seriously expensive if they rode through all that mud.

 

This game CAN get extremely expensive !

 

 

 

 

 

On the other extreme .... every so often I sort out an issue, or 3, on Maritz's friends bikes, often their parents bikes as well .... these bikes were bought and ridden and ridden and ridden .... often these dont get washed, never mind lubed, "service" is something they have done to their cars not bikes .... when the black muck comes out of the chain on the THIRD run through the chain scrubber you KNOW this bike has never been serviced before ....  All to often you can patch these bikes, but some parts are beyond repair .....  

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These exercises are fascinating to me and I’ve kept a spreadsheet over the last 18 months.

I have three bikes in the garage (2019 Stumpjumper, 2020 Diverge, 2017 Levo). Both the Diverge and Stumpy were bought during this period, with only the net cost of the Stumpy after selling the Enduro it replaced factored in. On the Stumpy and Levo I keep everything absolutely mint. I have fork lowers done every 25 hours without fail, cables whenever I feel just a little bit of friction, full suspension rebuild every 12 months.

In addition to this, there’s a long list of components I’ve upgraded as I found deals too good to pass up on, kit I’ve kept fresh (I’m a sucker for nice stuff), a new set of 2FO ClipLites, a road helmet, some low-light Oakleys and proper lights for pre-dawn riding, new carbon wheels for the Diverge, different bar and stem, etc.

All in all, my bike riding has averaged out to R7400/month over the last 18 months. When I first looked at the figure I thought “*%#* me”, but riding bikes has been what I do for 30 years so it’s just how my life is configured. Bikes and bike stuff is worth every cent to me!

Edited by LazyTrailRider
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Keep on top of the basics, learn some DIY skills and get hold of a few specialized tools and you'll save plenty. I also suggest tracking your mileage per component on an app like HubTiger for accurate usage stats.

 

I’ve had my Trance 29 for two and a half years now. Replaced one chain (0.5 wear on the Park Tool gauge), on to my third set of bearings (replace them every year), air can and lower leg service every 50 hours, dampers serviced every year, brake bleed every 6 months, brake pads as needed and headset, BB, cassette and crankset greased every 6 months. I avoid pressure washing the bike like the plague and keep an ear and eye out for anything that may indicate further work is needed. Following that regime means my bike is smooth, creak free and utterly reliable

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I learnt early on in my cycling journey that it makes way more sense to invest in the tools that allow me to do it myself rather than having to listen to a story as to why I still have the same sound on the bike after they "fixed" the problem

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