A London zone 1-5 London travel card costs a whopping £2,248 a year, that is £40 a week. Commute to work on your bicycle instead and use the savings for a property deposit, a foreign holiday or even that new kitchen. The questions are how much is a bicycle? How much does it cost to maintain it? How much can cycling to work save you?
In this article, we speak to an industry expert, Simon Nash, MD of Green Oil Bicycle Lubricants to get his views on bicycle saving tips, cycle commuting and we’ve researched some approximate costs to keep your bicycle on the road. (See images of Simon Nash below)
How much is a bicycle?
The typical cyclists spend £650 on a commuter bicycle. Under the Cyclescheme at work, you can also get 20% tax back, so only £520.
What do I need to cycle to work? What cycle gear do you need to keep it safe?
-A rucksack: £30
-Wind Jacket: £20
-Tool kit/pump/tubes: £10
-Front and rear lights for dark mornings or evenings: £30
-A couple of bright cycle clothes – Lyrca: £20
= £160 in total
Maintaining your bike
Simon Nash, Owner of Green Oil UK Ltd– maker of the greenest bicycle maintenance products highlights “The cost is actually a lot less than you think. Our customers tend to spend £26 a year on maintaining their bicycle. Even just a £6.99 bottle of oil and a chain wipe down with a rag means huge savings. Can’t be bothered? A new chain with paid labour to fit it, can cost over £60 – plus all those taxi fares whilst you don’t have a bike to ride.”
Make your bike much more efficient and feel the difference with Simon’s top 3 tips:
- Keep the bike clean
You don’t have to be cleanly obsessed; a dirty chain and other parts can grind away at your boke, so clean your bike monthly and it will run more smoothly.
- Oil the chain then wipe it down for the optimal lubrication
Simon recommends you purchase Green Oil Wet Chain Lube at £6.99 to keep your bicycle chain lubricated and your frame clean. There is no reason your bicycle chain can’t last five years. A chain can be over 99.68% efficient if cleaned and oiled.
- Pump up the tires
Hard tyres speed things up significantly. That means less effort on that commute, and no need to upgrade to an expensive carbon fibre bicycle. Plus you won’t have to eat as much – food is the petrol of any bicycle! Less friction, less effort and less fuel.
Insuring your bicycle
It is always recommended you get an annual insurance policy. Expect to pay around £45 for some piece of mind. Try Wiggle.co.uk
Alternatively, Simon Nash recommends “If you put £3.75/month into a money box. Over ten years this makes £450 – the price of a decent bike. If you think a bike theft every ten years is about right for you, go down this self-insurance route. If you’re lucky, you can spend the savings on something lovely, and you win instead of the insurance company. It all depends on if you can afford the loss or not.”
In Summary – Cycle commuting savings
By cycling, you save over £2000 a year and get a whole lot fitter. Studies say 800 calories for one hour’s cycle, so if you have an hour commute, that is 1600 calories a day. That could also save you an expensive gym membership – and break the ironic car trip to the gym, to then sit on a stationary bicycle.
Enjoy being fitter and saving some cash. Any cycle commuting tips you can recommend, please share. For more travel articles, click here
*Simon Nash is Managing Director and Founder of Green Oil UK Ltd, and commutes in London every day on a Dutch-style bicycle, and a Carbon Fibre Orro Bike for speed and longer distances. For details, please visit Green Oil on http://www.green-oil.net/