Cost Per Mile of Cycling

5 Cyclists

With the price of petrol becoming a real issue, more people are looking for cheaper alternatives. This is a rough estimate at the cost of my cycling.

I bought my commuting bike a trek 1000 for £300. This was 4 years ago. In the past 4 years, I have spent about £180 in repairs. This is mainly for new cassettes, new chains, new tyres, lights, batteries, new inner tubes, new brake blocks and new bar tape. I can do most repairs myself, but, haven’t included cost of buying tools I use for other bikes.

Total Cost of Bike in 4 years – £480.

(This doesn’t increase the cost of extra food I eat because I am more physically active)

During those 4 years I cycle roughly 40 miles a week. That’s 2,000 miles a year. 8,000 miles in the past 4 years. That is roughly 6p per mile. Or 30p per 5 mile daily commute.

Of course, If I keep the bike for another 5 years, (which I probably will), the average cost will fall even lower.

My Road Bike.

My road bike is more expensive but has done a lot more miles.

The cost was £1,100, with approximately £500 repairs. The more expensive the bike is, the more expensive the repairs are. However, I minimise costs by replacing Dura Ace cassettes with Ultegra.

In the past 4 years I have averaged 5,000 miles a year or 20,000 miles.

That’s a cost of £1,600 divided by 20,000. That’s 8p per mile or £4 per a typical 50 mile training ride.

Time Trial Bike

My time trial bike is not the state of the art carbon fibre piece. But, a Steel frame with Shimano Dura Ace.

The cost of this bike was

  • £1,000
  • Wheels £1,000
  • pedals £180
  • Tri bars £300
  • repairs £100

Total cost £2,600

In the past 4 years, the bike has done 1,400 miles. Which is £1.86 per mile.

The most expensive component I ever bought per mile was a set of ultra light track tubs. I only used them twice on 2 hill climbs. Total distance 2 miles. Cost £36. Since then I have thought the risk of puncture outweighed the benefit of lower weight and have never reused them.

I would like to get a new time trial bike, I have even toyed with the idea of a fixed gear bike, just to do hill climbs – that would have the highest average cost per mile.

The Bikes used by the GB team are said to cost £15,000. They will have a pretty expensive price per mile.

Anyone do any better?

8 Responses to Cost Per Mile of Cycling

  1. tejvan August 27, 2008 at 4:59 pm #

    Good point Simon. I know a friend who says when he commutes 20 miles a day, he spends about £3 a day more on food.

  2. Simon B August 27, 2008 at 11:02 am #

    If you are trying to relate the cost of your bike per mile to the cost of a car per mile, you haven’t done the full calculation. I think the cost per mile for a car also includes depreciation on sale price as well as the costs in fuel and repairs. So you should take of the 2nd hand sale value of the TT bike (which probably hasn’t depreciated much) before you divide by the number of miles ridden. Same for the other bikes too. However, the extra costs for your fueling will probably be appreciable!

  3. Dan H August 26, 2008 at 7:37 am #

    It may interest you to know that MPs are entitled not only to 40p per mile car expenses, but cycling expenses of 20p per mile. I guess this isn’t supposed to cover the cost of the bike, but just the tubes and the wear on the seat of your pants. Because it’s such a trivial amount, and most MPs are pretty well off, very few bother to claim for their bike mileage.


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