ANNUAL COST TO MAINTAIN A MOUNTAIN BIKE
February 6, 2005
Back to questions
Hi there. I have been cycling
for quite a while. I’ve organized a budget sheet for
myself and I want to know how much is considered reasonable
to spend each year on my mountain bike. I can do basic stuff
like change brake pads, cables, etc. I would be grateful
for any info.
If that mountain bike sits indoors
all year, zero. A dumb joke, I admit—but it illustrates
an important point: How much you spend annually on maintenance
depends directly on how and how much you use it. But I can
give you some guidance.
Some people use their mountain bikes
for recreational, off-road cycling and nothing else. Others
use mountain bikes for transportation—cuz mountain
bikes have wide tires that forgive the sharp objects and
bumps endemic to urban and suburban roads.
Let’s say you use that bike
for transportation. According to one
bicycling fact source, the typical annual cost to operate
a bicycle for the average commuter falls between $20 and
$300. To narrow that down, take the example of some folks
who ride their mountain bikes for transportation and push
them hard: bicycling police officers in a suburb of Dallas,
Texas. They say they spend an average of $100 annually per
bicycle on maintenance.
(Your e-mail address implies that
you live outside the U.S.; to convert from the U.S. currency
amounts I’ve presented click
If you use that mountain bike purely
for recreation, I’ve got another way to help decide
on a budget: Figure your annual disposable income (what
you don’t need for food, housing, and other such necessities).
Then write down everything else you want to spend money
on, like bicycling, motion pictures, and fact-finding trips
to the U.S. Prioritize these items, then divvy up the money.
And if you don’t use your
mountain bike for transportation, I suggest you think about
it. With the right
accessories you can replace many expensive motor-vehicle
trips with cheap bike trips. With the money you’d
save you’d have plenty more to spend on your bike.