Yes, cycling can be a very expensive hobby owing to the exorbitant cost of high-quality bikes and the related gear and equipment needed for cycling. However, this does not in any way mean that you should not consider cycling as a hobby.
Have in mind that there are viable and sustainable ways to take up cycling as a hobby without investing your life savings.
By making good choices from the very beginning and being smart about the way you use your gear, you can save money while enjoying your new hobby. Ideally, the cost of a commuter/city bike or good budget hybrid will be around $500 for a brand-new bike. Aside from the bike, you will also need to invest a couple of hundred dollars in accessories.
Although all these can be quite expensive for some individuals, it is very little especially when put in contrast with other hobbies, such as autos and skydiving. In addition, you can save money by going for a secondhand bike. With research, you can find a used or good bike for as low as $100 to $200.
Cycling as a hobby can cost as much as $10,000 just for the bike alone and some extra thousand dollars on accessories and apparel, coupled with the cost associated with travel and training if that is your interest. Howbeit, note that only a few recreational cyclists will want to purchase bicycles in this price range. These high prices are due to certain top-notch features that you won’t use apart from in particular racing scenarios.
3 Reasons People Think Cycling is an Expensive Hobby
Indeed there are numerous reasons why cycling is considered an expensive hobby. While these reasons will vary from one individual to another, here are the top reasons why people think cycling is an expensive hobby;
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The Cost of the Bike
When it comes to cycling, it is always advisable you go for a top-quality bike. Note that top-quality bikes are not only expensive or lighter but are known to be stiffer. These bikes will give you comfort and ensure you benefit from an optimal biking experience.
The quality of the wheel is also another top factor to take into consideration as it will influence the final cost of the bike. Even if you choose to always rent a bike anytime you intend to indulge, the bike is not yours, and therefore, you do not have the freedom to do what you want to do with it.
Cost of Cycling Accessories
There are numerous accessories you will need when looking to take up cycling as a hobby. For one, you will need a top-quality helmet. In case of an accident, the parts that tend to get hurt the most are the head and the knees. Have in mind that damage to the head could lead to permanent disability. Owing to that, any time you are using a motorbike or bicycle, it is recommended that you have a helmet on.
According to research, a good number of stores in the United States sell cycling helmets for as low as $22; however, note that a good quality helmet won’t come cheap. You need a product that will protect you and not one that can break easily. To have an optimal biking experience, you will also need to purchase the following accessories:
- Glasses: For protecting yourself from direct sunlight and glare
- Jersey: It keeps you cool in the summertime or protects your arm when you are passing through rough trails
- Padded shorts: They help you pass through a rough terrain
- Waterproof trousers: Are very beneficial during the wet season
The Cost of Maintenance
When you pick up cycling as a hobby, you will need to ride regularly, and this will entail that your bike and biking gear will need regular maintenance. Note that frame damage is common when biking. To avoid such issues, you need to regularly carry out preventive maintenance. Note that maintaining a second-hand bike and biking gear will cost you more.
5 Tips on How to Make Cycling Cheap and Fun
Although this hobby can be quite expensive, there are viable and sustainable ways to take it up without investing all your life savings. To ensure you also have fun along the way, here are tips to consider.
Buy Second Hand
You can leverage sites like eBay and Gumtree, and many classified forums to find second-hand bikes. Although some people tend to have inflated ideas of what their used stuff is worth, there are numerous bargains out there, and you can find one that aligns with your budget.
However, keep in mind that every second-hand bike will need an extensive mechanical inspection and maintenance, most especially its frame. Also ask questions about the history of the bike, what it’s been used for and what modifications have been made. Someone with a stolen bike won’t know this stuff or will make silly mistakes.
Learn To Carry Out Simple Repairs Yourself
Learning to carry out your own repair and maintenance work can save you a lot in labor charges. Also, note that you will have a better understanding of bikes and this will ensure that you get good bargains as you are likely to notice things going wrong because you know how they are meant to be.
When taking up cycling as a hobby, you should learn how to fix a punctured inner tube, saving yourself a fiver every time you get a flat. If that seems like too much stress, then buy spare tubes in bulk; you can usually find them for as little as £2 each in packs of ten.
Buy In Sales And Out Of Season
Anyone looking to purchase a bike is advised to wait till around September as it guarantees that they can find this year’s model at a good discount. It is within this period that next year’s bikes start hitting the shops so dealers discount them to clear floor and warehouse space.
Truth be told, you may find it challenging to find some popular models at the end of the season, so shop around. You should also use similar approaches when looking to purchase accessories that have a season, like lights and clothing.
According to experts, the peak buying season for lights is in September; if you buy at the end of winter, they’re genuinely cheaper. Sample sales are another source of heavily-discounted gear. Ensure to keep your eyes open and you could pick up gear from high-end brands like Vulpine and Rapha at prices considerably more wallet-friendly than usual.
Use The Right Kit
It is also important that you learn to use the right kit for the right things. For instance, if you commute, then consider using mountain bike shoes and pedals, not road ones. Have it in mind that road shoes may look more pro but you will wear the cleats out much quicker if you have to walk.
If you ride in winter, then you should consider fitting some mudguards. Coupled with keeping your bike cleaner and drier, they reduce the amount of crud that ends up on your drive train so it won’t wear as quickly or need cleaning as often.
Keep Your Bike Safe And Secure
Replacing a stolen bike or stolen accessories remains some of the biggest and most painful costs most cyclists ever have to face. Note that you can keep your bike safe by getting a quality lock. Ensure to use it every time you leave your bike anywhere, however briefly you’re planning to leave it. If you stop by any place, never leave your bike without locking it.