The cost of using a bike

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The cost of using a bike: calculating the cost of using a bike

I tried to get an idea of ​​the cost of the bike, for comparison with the cost of the car.

Initial investment cost

If you have expensive tastes, you can probably buy a bike that costs several thousand euros, which you can add a great counter / heart rate / altimeter / GPS ... For my part, my bike cost 150 euros, which must be added:

- Headphones: 30 euros
- 3 tire levers: 1,5 euros
- An air chamber spare: 3 euros
- A mini pump: 12 euros
- A bag to put it all: 7 euros
- Waterproof: 40 euros

A total of about 250 euros, with whom I intend to 10000 km, € 0,03 / km.

Of course, you can have different needs (transportation of children for example), which can lead to a slightly higher cost.

Bike maintenance!

I admit to not having yet myself a good estimate of cost of maintenance of a bicycle. On 30000 km, experience price maintenance (performed in the cycle shops), and arrives at a sum of about € 0,04 / km.

"Biological" energy cost

Yes, as for the car, it takes energy to move the bike, and the cost thereof is not zero:

it is estimated that provide about 150 W to ride quietly on the flat. With muscular performance 25%, this requires a consumption of about 600 W (the rest is lost as heat: the rider heats up).

A 20 km / h, must 3 minutes to make a kilometer: thus energy consumption is 110000 Joules / km, or 26 kcal.

Chocolate provides about 550 100 kcal g, so you need to consume chocolate 5 grams / km. A 8 € / kg, it will cost about € 0,04 / km.

It is surely better to eat pasta, which provide 350 kcal / 100 g (dry pasta). Then you have to consume 7.5 grams / km. A 2 euros per kg, it will cost about € 0,015 / km. (Excluding cooking)

Cost of the shower ... (but we must shower even if we do not ride a bike !!)

For higher in 10 km distances, or in hot weather, cycling will be an additional cost compared with the car: it is the cost of cleaning the radiator that is the cyclist is to say, the cost of additional showers.

A shower 50 liters costs:

- Water 3 euros / m3 or 15 cents
- Heating the water to about 10 50 degrees or MJ 8.4 or 2.3 kWh. A 8c / kWh, it makes cents 18

A total of 33 cents for at least 10 km, 3 c / km

Total cost of use per km of bike

We thus obtain a total cost of bicycle use 0,12 € / km.

Econology note: the c) and d) seem unfair, indeed, have to eat and wash us to do a bike or not. As against the regulars gyms (usually quite expensive) it is obviously better to take their bike instead of the car + gym. The savings would be very high. Obviously the gym is primarily a meeting place ... this is pretty hard to compensate by bicycle trip.

The actual cost, we believe, would therefore be rather around the 0,05 € / km and much less by using a used bike.

Conclusion: comparative bike / car / motorcycle

A kilometer bike, it is therefore a "virtual" gain (ie an economy) of 0.15 €, this taking an average motorized vehicle cost of 0.2 € / km (low assumption in 2018!)

And so eventually, the more you do kilometer bike (especially in cities), more you save money around 0,15 € / km. This is far from negligible for someone who uses his car to do a few km to go to work!

Thus, a focus of 2 people working and realizing 20 km per day (5 km per journey means which is very reasonable and does not require special physical conditions) will save 63 € per month ... not to mention the social cost of pollution avoided , the cost of your insurance or any additional costs related to the use of a motor vehicle (breakdown, accident ...)

Go further:


- Calculate the cost of using a car or motorcycle
- Use the Ledconsumption software from calculate the actual cost per kilometer of your vehicle to make a very accurate estimate of your costs!


3 comments on "The cost of using a bike"

  1. The calculation is interesting. Personally, when I count what my bike really costs me, the user cost I get is close to 15 cents / km. Indeed, it is necessary to count with the wear of the bicycle, the cost of the tires, the transmission and the wear of the bicycle clothes (the over-shoes and jackets of rain do not hold much more than one season. this cost to the cost of use of a car is abusive: when one already owns a car, the economy made using his bike is the marginal cost (the gas that we do not consume ...) and therefore rather 10 to 15 cents / km Conclusion: going to work by bike costs me more than taking my car !!!! But the gain that brings me the use of the bike is different: the pleasure of making an effort, to communicate with nature is not a question of price.

      1. Je suis dXCHARXaccord, le coût dXCHARXune voiture ne se limite pas à lXCHARXessence, cependant, dans lXCHARXhypothèse où jXCHARXai déjà la voiture et où je la laisse au garage pour aller au travail, lXCHARXéconomie réalisée est proche du coût marginal dXCHARXutilisation de la voiture (cXCHARXest à dire lXCHARXessence) car le kilométrage fait à vélo (environ 4000 km/an pour le trajet domicile-travail) est faible.
        Je me méfie beaucoup des calculateurs tout fait et je préfère faire mes comptes par moi-même.

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