Cycling on a shoestring

MattDB

Senior Member
Hi, This is a very open question but I'm interested in some opinions......

I know there are loads of different reasons for cycling and it's likely that most people have multiple reasons. My initial reason was to try to save money, getting rid of the car and commuting daily. Apologies if there's a similar thread I missed but I would love to hear people's tips on doing things cheaply, running a bike, looking after it, changing components etc. What will you save on or do without? What do you refuse to cut corners on? Is there anything in particular you spend more on because it lasts much longer than cheaper alternatives?

Matt
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
Lucozade Orange. The shop brand stuff is rubbish, and after a long ride you want the tastiest beverage.
 

palinurus

Legendary Member
Location
Watford
I guess the first thing is to learn how to do most maintenance yourself. Find a quick regular maintenance routine (mine takes a matter of minutes, I do it perhaps once a week in winter)

Buy secondhand (you need to develop a bit of an eye for bikes and know what sort of type and size you are after) or discounted.

Choose parts for reliability and/ or easy servicing.

Dispense with stuff you don't need, whether this be a front chainring and shifter, or gears altogether.

For commuting the only thing I don't like to cut corners on are tyres, wheels and lighting (although I only choose stuff that is good-enough, it isn't expensive). And perhaps the saddle.
 

BlackPanther

Hyper-Fast Recumbent Riding Member.
Location
Doncaster.
I learned very quickly that to save money you have to spend money. If you're going to replace the car, you need to make sure you can commute in all weathers. That means buying the right kit (many threads on this) You need the right tyres (again, many threads, but Marathon Plus just about bullet-proof.)

When it comes to maintenance need at least a basic tool set, but in the long run you're better off buying a decent complete set so you can replace cassette's/chain rings/chains etc.

Alternatively find someone who you can lend things from. All cyclists are nice people who love to help out.
 

winjim

✊🏻✊🏾 🌈 😷
Regular maintenance, little and often. Get to know your bike and what it feels and sounds like so you can tell when it needs a bit of attention. Things can usually be sorted out before they break. Keep it clean and lubed in all the right places and things should keep running smoothly.
 

Moodyman

Guru
If you're serious about replacing your car, then as Blackpanther above. Spend to save and learn to do your own maintenance.

Once you understand your bike you'll know what parts you need and will save by buying online.

Buy middle range stuff. It offers best bang for buck.
 

gavroche

Getting old but not past it
Location
North Wales
I ride to keep some sort of fitness and also because I enjoy being on a bike, riding at my own pace. I keep my bikes clean but any maintenance that needs doing, I take it to my LBS. I am not bothered about saving a few bobs and would rather help my local community. Also , an expert will always be better than an amateur ( me). For what it costs, let the shop do it.
 
OP
M

MattDB

Senior Member
If you've found a good LBS then that's great - I recently took mine in to have the gears and brakes set up by an expert and it came out shifting the same with the pads rubbing - I could have done that myself!
 

Sara_H

Guru
Check out if your local authority do any kind of cycling scheme.

My local authority do a scheme that provides cut price bikes andaccessories, bikeability training and cut price bike maintenance courses.

I did the bike maintenance course which was a revelation to me and i can now do lits of tweaks and snall jobs on my bike though I do still use the bike shop for some jobs.
 

steveindenmark

Legendary Member
Cycling clothes, especially jerseys.

I like to ride in comfortable kit and even though I mostly Tour it means lycra. Its comfortable and dries quickly. I bought about 5 jerseys from an end of season sale about 5 years ago. I am a Daily rider and 3 of the jerseys are in their packs, the other 2 look like new. They cost around £3 each.

Dont pay £50 for a jersey if you dont need to
 

boydj

Guru
Location
Paisley
Regular maintenance, little and often. Get to know your bike and what it feels and sounds like so you can tell when it needs a bit of attention. Things can usually be sorted out before they break. Keep it clean and lubed in all the right places and things should keep running smoothly.
+1
After a wet commute, a quick rub down and spray of GT 85 as soon as you get in to chase the water from the chain and pivot points, and then re-lube the chain a couple of hours later. Give your tyres a check weekly to remove any flints before they can cause problems. Clean the brake blocks at the same time to remove any grit to avoid extra wear on the rims.
 
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