Commuting by bike - what are the costs

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by GappySmeg, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. GappySmeg

    GappySmeg Active Member

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    My company are moving to central Bristol, which is a right bugger to get to from where I live (Bristol being the second most clogged-up city in the UK!)
    Company will pay any extra travelling costs, so I've been pricing up the options... but there's also an offer of a motorbike parking space for me in the underground car park.

    So, having always been a fair-weather rider, I'm toying with the idea of commuting by bike... but have no idea of the costs that I can quote to the company... my thoughts so far:-
    - crappy used bike (Fazer 600, Bandit 600, etc...) for £2000, probably need replacing every 4 years as reckoning on 8-10,000 miles/year, so £500/year
    - bike consumables & servicing by myself (would fit scottoiler to save the chain) so averaging £100 year????
    - tax/insurance/MOT £300/year
    - waterproof and warm boots, trousers, jacket, gloves, rucksack.... no idea, guess it ought to be quality stuff, so say £1500 worth? How long does this stuff last, 4 years??? So £375/year?
    - any other essential equipment I haven't thought of?

    Can anyone that commutes year-round comment on my man maths, and offer any advice or discouragements???
     
  2. raphael

    raphael Elite Member

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    Not sure about the cost's mate as I don't really take a lot of notice regarding petrol and servicing but I would say, get the newest bike you can for reliability as its surprising how quick the miles rack up.
    Same for your gear as it really takes a pounding through the winter month's.
    I do a few miles every week mate and find letting the bike take the weight is a lot better for me so use a kreiga us bag onto the bike as its waterproof too.
     
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  3. mikegml

    mikegml Active Member

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    How do you get to work now? Car? If so the bike won't be a lot cheaper to run but your main advantage will be getting to work a lot quicker than anything else especially if it's a long commute.

    You have a bike now right? What's to stop you using it now especially during the summer (when we have one). I'd snap up the offer of a space if it's on offer and use it when you can.
     
  4. Jamiestrada

    Jamiestrada JamieMultiTraitor

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    I never really looked into the costs but when I was going to Bristol and back petrol was about same as my 530d at the time about 45mpg on blade and car, tyres were cheaper once I went to pr4 getting about 6-7 k out of a rear. Kit wise bought some good alpinestars gore tex kit from J and S in Bristol for approx £750 plus boots £250 and gloves £100 so a budget of £1250 is about right plus a couple of bags for food and kit etc if your bike doesn't have boxes ... The choice of bike is the pita blade ok but can get uncomfortable over 100 plus miles a day plus high mileage bikes are nearly unsalable, naked wind blast unbearable if you do motorway miles, touring brilliant until you get into town and can't filter because of the size of it lol if it was me if get a slightly older bike with good service and know your going to lose money on it or track it at the end of its useful road life, you will need a car some days in the winter as it's just not viable some days IMO but I managed about 8 months bike 4 car but you will then need heated jacket gloves etc if your doing a longish journey .. Probably more I could say but send me a message if you want to chat about anything :)
     
  5. Kentblade

    Kentblade Elite Member

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    Been bike commuting 12 months a year forever, until a office move recently have put up between 15&30k a year.

    IMO a Blade is hard to beat all year around for comfort/economy/maintenance costs, unless you get all dewy eyed over dealer servicing and condition, I expect 4-5 years out of the bike and still get enough on trade in to make me smile. Just remember it's a workhorse not a garage queen and you will get an idea of how to commute on a Superbike without breaking the bank.

    Biggest costs are fuel,tyres and pads. PR3&4s have changed the game and reduced tyre costs dramatically. Decent riding kit will last 7 or so years/100k + miles! don't skimp on the front end and it will pay you back in the long term, and you will stay dry during htat time. Replaced my Textiles, gloves and boots and cost me around £1400 recently and that was £600 cheaper than the same kit bought in the UK.

    In the south east as an average you miss more days on the bike by going out on the lash after work than you will ever do due to weather, so you can ride virtually every day all year.
     
  6. Lozzy

    Lozzy God Like

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    Same as the guys above have said, I used to have a separate 600 commuter but got shut to cut costs running 2 bikes & have used the blade year round since, can't fault it in any weather. Im going to run it into the ground so mileage not a problem. I'd look around the discount outlets tho for good commuting gear you can pick up bargains & save some money on your original estimate by a long way
     
  7. Greco

    Greco Active Member

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    I am the same as the guys explained above in terms of mileage and commuting all year round. I would say get something reliable to get you through in all weathers...winter is tough with minus out there!! I run a 650GS which is ideal for this job.
    Costs are inevitable for using it all year and thats add extra on the parts you might need (i.e chain and sprockets) but is good fun at times. If you do the service yourself is a bonus otherwise, use the bike with common sense and you may delay the service...

    Take a deep breath and enjoy it mate
     
  8. GappySmeg

    GappySmeg Active Member

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    Cheers all.
    I certainly cannot accept the offer of a space, and then only use it when I fancy a dry-weather blast on the blade... if I accept the offer, I ought to use it wholeheartedly or risk pissing off the big knobs.
    There's no motorway, and in fact it's mainly 30/40, with a stretch of NSL that's usually too busy to go much above 50 anyway... which is why I'm thinking a 600 naked (i.e. more upright) would be best as it would give better manouverability and visibility in the city traffic.

    Luggage is a good point... I use a rucksack when I commute at the moment, but I'm only on the bike for 15 mins and the bag just has shoes/trousers/shirt in it... after we move office, I'll be on the bike for 30-40 minutes and carting a 17.3 inch laptop around!!! Can you get a tank bag or tail pack that big?

    And heated kit... that's so far off my current biking radar I hadn't even considered it... think I should factor the price of heated gloves/vest into my considerations.
     
  9. Scotty

    Scotty New Member

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    As above Blade is good for commuting. If the distance isn't great try for a trial style bike 450 or something like that. Better for riding in the snow and ice with a set of wets.
    I cover about 160 miles a day so need high mileage tyres on PR4s so about £200 every 4 to 7000 miles always change in pairs. Fork service about 14000 miles.
    New brake pads front and back, you will use them a lot in the city. Only let them wear to about 3/4 way down last about 7 to 9000 miles. Carry a spare set in case they fail.
    16 to £20 a day on fuel.
    Service once a year, don't be sucked into manufacturing over service! You will rack up miles quickly. Only get work done if something rattles or breaks But throw in service costs as manufacturer States. Pounds to pocket.
    Regular oil change cleaning and greasing done by myself chain painted with engine oil everyday.
    If you can get it try for Rukka kit.
    The cold not so much a problem but the ice is. So take car in the worst weather, but you have to live with the time loss of sitting in traffic so leave earlier.
    Remember it a big decision to ride all winter and very difficult to motivate yourself to go out in the pissing wet cold weather.
    I use a Givi clip on tank bag o laptop fits in, even has a clip on iPad window.
     
    #9 Scotty, Sep 6, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
  10. GappySmeg

    GappySmeg Active Member

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    I really cannot face using my blade in all weathers, fighting through Bristol rush hour traffic... I love that bike too much (sad, isn't it)

    Would fall back to the bus in the worst weather... car isn't an option due to no parking, and the horrifically slow speed of traffic in central Bristol.

    You all keep quoting 7000 miles for a pair of tyres... is that for the blade though? Wouldn't they last a fair bit longer on something like a CB500? You'll have to excuse my lack of knowledge, when I ran smaller bikes back in the day, I only kept them for 4 or 5 months at a time, so chain/tyre/brake wear never came in to it.
    Also, I was young and stupid back then, so would happily arrive at work frozen to the bone and soaking wet, unable to use a keyboard for the first hour while I waited for my hands to thaw out!
     
  11. Scotty

    Scotty New Member

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    7000 miles in the winter on the blade, roads are to wet n slippy for tyre missuse.
     
  12. shackbleep

    shackbleep New Member

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    CB500's can be fun if you don't do too much NSL roads, and the tyres will be a bit cheaper than bigger bikes. 60+mpg and easy maintenance. If you're going to be on the bike for 30-40 mins each way and very little NSL, perhaps it could work.

    I'd get some decent riding kit, and guesstimate budgeting say £300-400/year to replace bits of riding kit.

    I've tended to find the matter of bike more personal choice than "sensible choice", so commuted more on a couple of 929 fireblades than any other bike I've ever owned. I think its perfectly possible to be a sensible commuter on a motorbike on almost anything (I work with some colleagues who commute through winter on a variety of machines - the aprilia mille, gixxer thou and several fireblades that come into the office through all weathers clearly mean you need 1000cc for winter :) )
     
  13. Remal

    Remal It's ME
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    Knowing Bristol all to well it's not hard to commute with a bike. AS you can use the bus lanes etc.. In a car after 7:30AM it's a bitch until after 9am.

    As you said it's really not going to cost a huge amount after getting a second bike if that's what you want. Most important thing is a good set of textiles.
     

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