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Is cycling an expensive hobby?

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Is cycling an expensive hobby?

Old 02-28-19, 04:24 PM
  #26  
indyfabz
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
Like any hobby, it's cost is what one is willing to spend. What is expensive for one person is low cost for another. For me, the cost of my cycling is well worth it.
Yup. But at least you don't have sales tax when shopping in state.

My set of touring racks alone set me back close to $400. The same makes and models are now more than $400/pair. Panniers were over $400 for all four. Bike was about $1,200 back in 2011. Replacement cost for my favorite stove is $170. Tent is around $350. Mattress around $135. Sleeping bag was about the same. Travel to and from the start of tours far away from home can be quite pricey. Etc., etc., etc. "Cycling" takes on many forms, some of which involve significant expense.
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Old 02-28-19, 04:31 PM
  #27  
Jim from Boston
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Is cycling an expensive hobby?

When it came to buying a high-end carbon fiber bike, besides getting a good deal, I have posted, "At least I have no buyer's remorse about what I might be missing."

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-28-19 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 02-28-19, 04:33 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Yup. But at least you don't have sales tax when shopping in state.

My set of touring racks alone set me back close to $400. The same makes and models are now more than $400/pair. Panniers were over $400 for all four. Bike was about $1,200 back in 2011. Replacement cost for my favorite stove is $170. Tent is around $350. Mattress around $135. Sleeping bag was about the same. Travel to and from the start of tours far away from home can be quite pricey. Etc., etc., etc. "Cycling" takes on many forms, some of which involve significant expense.
Right, we agree on that but compared to other methods of travelling all of those expenses could be considered very inexpensive. A week travelling in Europe would cost many times that amount. Heck, A 10 day roadtrip we took on the east coast last year cost a lot more than that. Two adults and 2 kids sleeping on budget motels and eating cheap.

That's why I asked how does cycling compare to other hobbies one may have.
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Old 02-28-19, 04:52 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
That's why I asked how does cycling compare to other hobbies one may have.
Again, it depends how you do whatever you do. Several people have noted that. You can buy cheap gold clubs and play a cheap/free municipal course or you can buy expensive clubs and play Pine Hill. Both are "playing golf." You can buy a $150 bike from Walmart and tool around the subdivision or you can buy a custom bike and go hog wild. Both are "cycling." The costs will vary wildly depending on how you approach your hobby.

In short, trying to make a meaningful comparison is pointless because, in part, there are many variables that are driven my personal preferences. Not sure what's so difficult to understand about that.

Adios.

P.S. This subject has been beat to death in the past.
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Old 02-28-19, 05:03 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Again, it depends how you do whatever you do. Several people have noted that. You can buy cheap gold clubs and play a cheap/free municipal course or you can buy expensive clubs and play Pine Hill. Both are "playing golf." You can buy a $150 bike from Walmart and tool around the subdivision or you can buy a custom bike and go hog wild. Both are "cycling." The costs will vary wildly depending on how you approach your hobby.

In short, trying to make a meaningful comparison is pointless because, in part, there are many variables that are driven my personal preferences. Not sure what's so difficult to understand about that.

Adios.

P.S. This subject has been beat to death in the past.
Indy, I think we are discussing different things my friend. As stated, I agree with all you said. I'm just interested in how it compared to your other hobbies. Let me ask more directly. Where does cycling compare when it comes to spending your money on leisure activities/hobbies?
Is it your first priority? Middle? All the way on the bottom of the list?

Myself, I can go months when things are tight without spending anything on cycling related gear and yet I continue to ride all year round for the last 10 years. Sometimes I splurge and buy stuff, enter organized rides and even vacation with the bike as the main point of the vacation.

Again, it varies, we agree. Even though you think I'm arguing with what you're saying.
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Old 02-28-19, 05:32 PM
  #31  
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When I compare costs it is done on a use basis. Example: I ride 7 days a week. One chain, tire and tube per year on average. Bike components and frame are from 1985 so have next to nothing in a daily cost anymore. If I golf on an elcheapo course every day for a year the cost far exceeds the cost of riding every day for a year. Running the same. Bowling the same., Even the softball league costs more. Fishing is one of the cheapest hobbies around, and can easily beat cycling provided that 1985 rod and reel still do the job. Bird watching may beat cycling provided transportation to and from game areas is not needed.
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Old 02-28-19, 05:34 PM
  #32  
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I used to ski....A lot. I became an instructor to reduce costs, and even then it was a lot more expensive than cycling, and I ride road and mtn.

Now I also trail walk, and hike some. My Conti GP4kS2's cost more than a decent pair of day hiking boots, and the boots last longer....Can't get much cheaper for a hobby than that.
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Old 02-28-19, 06:19 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
All hobbies can be expensive. It just depends on how much you get into it.
Spending a lot of money is not a requirement to be deeply involved in bicycling. Bicycling can get relatively expensive if the cyclist chooses to get deep into spending a lot of money on bicycle related products and/or bicycling activities such as organized racing or long distance travel.
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Old 02-28-19, 07:00 PM
  #34  
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I think cycling is a fairly expensive hobby. I seem to pretty regularly "need" things for biking and not much of it is cheap. Thankfully it is usually spread out but a rotation shorts, tires, helmet, socks (not sure why I need socks so often but I do!), shoes, cleats, bike maintenance crap. Its a pretty constant revolving cost! Then if you participate in events, you must get the jersey!
Is it worth it? I think so. I think life is meant to enjoy! And I think that most of us make allowances for things that make life enjoyable, otherwise what is the point?
Now that you brought this up I'm seriously looking at what I spend on the fun things in life, wow!
Maybe I need cheaper hobbies. I'm going to have to spend more time disc golfing, that's cheap right??!
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Old 02-28-19, 07:11 PM
  #35  
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It's not a hobby...more like a religion. I have spent some money on my bikes, but less than 5k I would guess in 50 years, including all the ones I have fixed up and given to frinds and family. However, I pay no gym fees reduce stress, am fairly cardio-vascularly fit and my Doc says I am healthy. So balancing out commuting costs and lesser medical bills etc, my guess it isn't an expensive hobby.
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Old 02-28-19, 07:19 PM
  #36  
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Can we just be honest here? Cycling is expense. It requires specialized gear, specialized accessories, tools and supplies, specialized shops and mechanics for maintenance beyond the cyclists abilities, etc. All of this specialization comes at steep prices. Obviously cyclists are willing to absorb the costs to enjoy cycling in all of its forms. We don’t need to rationalize the expenses which only increase the more you get into cycling. Cycling is a great pastime, hobby, sport, livelihood or whatever your level of participation and comittment. But inexpensive it is not. Spend what you can afford and enjoy cycling your way!
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Old 02-28-19, 07:20 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Yup. But at least you don't have sales tax when shopping in state.

My set of touring racks alone set me back close to $400. The same makes and models are now more than $400/pair. Panniers were over $400 for all four. Bike was about $1,200 back in 2011. Replacement cost for my favorite stove is $170. Tent is around $350. Mattress around $135. Sleeping bag was about the same. Travel to and from the start of tours far away from home can be quite pricey. Etc., etc., etc. "Cycling" takes on many forms, some of which involve significant expense.
Yeah touring would get expensive, I wouldn't tour either without buying the light-weight high quality equipment. Or do the credit-card touring which would be expensive in its own way.

But @Sapperc no, a hundred times no. I don't need specialized gear, except what I've accumulated on closeout sales over the years, tools are really cheap, and I've never needed to spend a nickle on shops and mechanics. Repairs are trivial and inexpensive. It's all dirt cheap if you put any effort into it.

Last edited by wphamilton; 02-28-19 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 02-28-19, 07:24 PM
  #38  
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As more than one respondent has pointed out, it depends on your financial situation and point of view on how expensive you consider cycling to be. Cycling, as a fitness activity, has many real benefits for mental and physical health that aren't easy to put in easy to understand personal monetary terms. For the past five years my main ride has been a $6k tandem. I'm a little embarrassed to tell people how much it cost when asked. Not because I think it was too expensive but rather because I don't want people to think that you have to spend lots of money to enjoy riding. I prefer riding nice bicycles but I'll take a WalMart special if it's the only ride available. Save your pennies, choose wisely and celebrate every revolution of your pedals and wheels.
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Old 02-28-19, 07:31 PM
  #39  
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In the 70's I toured all over the Midwest in cut-off shorts, t-shirt and Converse tennis shoes. Specialized equipment is not required. Today I still ride in a t-shirt and use tennis shoes. The only addition is cycling shorts and the last pair went 16 years! Gloves last 4 or 5 years. Helmets I get 8 years, and often ride without. Per use cost is very low.

If you must have the latest crap advertised and promoted by the pros and companies, then the hobby will quickly become expensive. A friend of mine gets a new bike every year. He also gets a new gun every 6 months. Two years ago he got 4 new guns in one year. Obsessive with his hobbies.
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Old 02-28-19, 08:24 PM
  #40  
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I have student loans so cycling is cheap compared to those!

I haven't felt a real need to get expensive with cycling, my road machine probably has a total investment over a few years of maybe $700 including purchase (LeMond Zurich, DT Swiss wheelset), my mtb probably $1,000 including purchase (Giant Talon 29er, dropper, air shock, slx drivetrain). I've had the mtb for six years now, and had alot of fun! I do buy nice pricey tires, but still ride tennis shoes.

Things that I'll spend money on annually or every other year are cables/housing, gloves. Shorts. This year I'll finally get clipin pedals, probably replace my eight year old helmet.

I do spend way too much on Gu packets and eating food in general. Lots of calories to burn.

Would be nice to drop $$ on a full suspension mtb! I wonder what costs more in the cycling niche, mountain or road cycling? I'd say mountain.
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Old 02-28-19, 08:28 PM
  #41  
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If you buy a relatively good bike or trike the cost up front seems a little high. But if you take care of them and service them right they will last decades. That means the cost per year is quite low.
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Old 02-28-19, 08:36 PM
  #42  
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I think one of the less expensive.
+ Great exercise & may reduce future medical issues
....
no green fees & balls to buy every time I ride.
...
my boat way more $$ than my bikes (add annual tax/ license & launch fees, gas, oil)

But can get carried away with any hobby

Last edited by bogydave; 02-28-19 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 02-28-19, 09:28 PM
  #43  
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Cheapest of the few i have. I'm sure if i wanted it to become expensive, i could find ways to blow thru cash.
the heartache with bicycling for me is the auxiliary stuff that often doesnt fit well or last long.
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Old 02-28-19, 09:55 PM
  #44  
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Computer-based flight simulation has some similarities, in that you can get into it with a wide range of up-front costs, and then it is possible to enjoy the hobby with minimal per-use expense. But of course you have the option of constant upgrades and never achieve perfection. At the high end there are guys who want real hardware in the loop and that gets expensive really quick. But compared to renting an aircraft with CFI, its pretty cheap and you don't need a medical.

scott s.
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Old 02-28-19, 10:22 PM
  #45  
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My other hobby is acoustic guitar. The 2 hobbies are remarkably similar in cost. I've got about $1400 in my Larrivee guitar and I'm about to buy a bike in the $2,000 range.

The guitar will last forever and the only cost from here on out are new strings. Strings last 3 or 4 months before I need to change them out and they cost about $15. 50 bucks per year.

The new bike will last many years and there will be a few dollars spent on tires and possibly a couple upgrades but they are one time upgrades that will last a very long time. A set of tires will be like 100 bucks, maybe once per year.

Both hobbies are basically a one time expense.
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Old 02-28-19, 10:28 PM
  #46  
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Volleyball- cheap.

Tennis- shoes, racquets, balls, public courts- cheap.

Climbing- equipment, gas for weekend trips, gym fees- moderate.

Cycling- equipment, clothing, occasional travel & fees- moderate $ 2k+/year.

Last edited by woodcraft; 02-28-19 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 02-28-19, 10:32 PM
  #47  
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Not mentioned yet but ham radio can be very expensive. But like any hobby it depends how much you are inspired to put into it.
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Old 02-28-19, 10:45 PM
  #48  
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Take everything into consideration

i spend too much money on bicycle accessories...I never have bought a real high end bike, but I do like to get jerseys, jackets, gloves, any tool I think I could need. But unlike an activity like tennis or guitar, I've never had to hire a teacher to advance (not that i advanced very far on either of those activities which may be part of the reason why I bike). The way I look at it, the main cost of cycling is the risk of a serious injury and time spent away from job or family responsibilities (biking can be a relatively time consuming and energy draining activity--ever feel like doing something useful around the house after cycling 50 hard miles?).
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Old 02-28-19, 10:46 PM
  #49  
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Cycling is only cheap when you listen to your wife. If you have ever hidden a purchase or not told her about something, it ainít cheap and your probably spending more than you should.
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Old 02-28-19, 10:55 PM
  #50  
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Once you get the bike, it's pretty cheap
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