MoneySaving for cyclists discussion

Former_MSE_Anthony Posts: 21 Forumite
I've been Money Tipped! Newshound! Best Buy Bear
edited 15 June 2020 at 4:05PM in Public transport & cycling

We've written a new guide on MoneySaving for cyclists and would love your feedback. This is only the first iteration, and we'll be adding more to it in the coming weeks.

But please let us know if it was helpful and if there are any other tips you'd add.

Thanks for your help!
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  • bouicca21
    bouicca21 Posts: 6,512 Forumite
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    What do people think of the route planning facility on
  • hugheskevi
    hugheskevi Posts: 3,818 Forumite
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    edited 15 June 2020 at 7:04PM
    One thing I find helpful is getting a supply of spare inner tubes and brake pads for our bikes, and always keeping spares in my cycle pannier. I'm going to need them sooner or later, and having them conveniently to hand means I can do basic fixing and maintenance using equipment purchased in advance at the cheapest price, rather than having to pay a much higher price and the inconvenience of buying spare parts when things stop working..
    I'd also suggest more emphasis on the value of learning at least some bike maintenance, even if you are not minded to learn how to adjust and replace everything. Just learning to fix a puncture and how to adjust/replace brake pads is very helpful and not difficult. Whilst learning more about maintenance is possible and useful, just knowledge of these two things should mean most visits to the bike shop should only be for servicing.
  • fred246
    fred246 Posts: 3,620 Forumite
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    I just use Google now. Transport Direct used to be fab until the government shut it down. It was a good indication of their lack of commitment to cycling.
  • bouicca21
    bouicca21 Posts: 6,512 Forumite
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    I’ve tried google maps bu it doesn’t know about cycle super highways or quietways.
  • Nebulous2
    Nebulous2 Posts: 5,101 Forumite
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    I’m not a good person to advise on MSE cycling. I’m better at money spending cycling.

    I agree with the above suggestion of tubes and basic maintenance.

    That extends to very simple things like oil. Regularly wipe any black residue from your chain and put fresh oil on it. The same with pivot points. Derailleur gears have several pivots and the gears become stiff if they don’t move freely. A tiny drop of oil works wonders. Rim brakes are the same a tiny drop of oil on the pivots keeps them going. 

    Checking tyres is also worthwhile. Small sharp stones will lodge in the tyre and work their way through. Gently working them out will preserve the life of the tyre and reduce punctures. Finally maintain tyre pressures. A track pump with a gauge is a worthwhile investment. Keeping tyres at a suitable pressure will keep you comfortable, and again reduce the risk of punctures. 

    That sounds a lot, but when you’re used to it, it doesn’t take long. About 5 minutes does it and I feel more confident in my bike as a result. 
  • bouicca21
    bouicca21 Posts: 6,512 Forumite
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    Presumably my local council is not the only one to offer a cheap bike maintenance course.
    Worth mentioning bikeability courses?  

    As someone who still feels new to cycling, there is so much to learn.  Picking up tips from more experienced cyclists is invaluable - I’d never have thought of checking the tyres for gravel and glass in the was Nebulous suggests, if it hadn’t been for someone else on a Breeze ride.  
  • fred246
    fred246 Posts: 3,620 Forumite
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    I think you have to make an effort to look after your own bicycle. They need a lot more maintenance than cars. You can't be taking your bike to a bike shop for puncture repairs, gear adjustment etc. When I started cycling I spent quite a bit. I always buy tools freely. I learned how to do everything from YouTube videos. Wheel building and truing was the most expensive and trickiest skill. Eventually I had the bikes I wanted and the skills to fully maintain them on my own and the costs now are very close to zero. Just occasional tyres, chains, cassettes, brake pads, inner tubes. When I was daily commuting I always had 2 bikes ready for action. There's nothing worse than finding you have a puncture when you are setting out for work. Just grab the other bike. I do patch inner tubes but in the comfort of home rather than at the roadside.
  • Johnmcl7
    Johnmcl7 Posts: 2,816 Forumite
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    I help out with local social cycles (not right now of course) which are mainly intended to help people get into cycling and my main advice for those buying a new bike would be not to focus too much on saving money and more on getting the right bike.  Spending a little more from a local bike shop where they ensure you get the right bike, the right fit and usually set them up properly as well can be worth it in the long term as opposed to many who buy a bike that's the wrong type, a bad fit or poorly set up or with subpar components.

    When I decided to start cycling myself I chose my bike and then found the manufacturer didn't sell online and I had to buy in store.  I bought the bike from a local store who were excellent not just in buying the bike when they made sure it was the right size, adjusted for me and explained the bike's controls and features but they were also very helpful with a warranty issue on the gear hub and an out of warranty issue.  Since then I've gone a lot further with cycling and I think getting a good start is one of the main reasons why whereas those who get an ill fitting or otherwise unsuitable bike are put off and never get in to it.
  • Hi there, I really liked your post and I’m glad you got cycling UK involved in checking. The only feedback I have for you in terms of clarification is on the parts about lights and reflective gear. Legally, lights and reflectors *MUST* be used between sunset and sunrise. Although it’s good to put them on when it gets darker. Legally, bikes *MUST* have a rear red light and front white light- PLUS they *MUST* have rear red reflector and amber reflectors on front and back of the pedal. All other reflective equipment is optional. This isn’t just a requirement for shops to sell it that way and for you To then have the option to remove. This article from cycling UK goes into more depth (but I’m too new to share links) but the reason I mention all this, is that a lot of bikes don’t conform to the legal standards above (especially with pedal reflectors). Where most police won’t know or really care too much- legal teams in court and insurance companies will probably know and care if they’re trying to mitigate some of the blame onto you in the event of an accident/ incident.
  • I have found the Viewranger website a  really good source of local and national cycle routes, as well as being able to plan and download gpx files of routes.
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