GCN’s top 10 ways for cyclists
to save money. Commute to work. One of the great things about cycling for
transportation is that the day-to-day cost is significantly lower than driving
a car or taking public transport. The added benefit is that you can put
riding into your daily schedule, which is perfect for those people who are
tight on time. In terms of your general health, too, less time spent in traffic
could go a long way to reducing your stress levels, and according to
one survey, improve your sex life. Make your own energy products. Energy
drinks, gels, and bars are fantastic for a big event for when you need a high number
of calories. But these can be expensive if you buy them all year round. For the vast
majority of the time when you’re riding, homemade alternatives are just as good
at getting you the energy you need. They’re also much, much cheaper. Think,
jam sandwiches is a place to start, but we’ve also got some great recipes
here on the channel, too: uber bars, recovery juice, and rice cakes
from the Tinkoff-Saxo team chef, Hannah Grant. Buy secondhand. There
might be a little bit of uncertainty about buying secondhand, but if you know what
you’re looking for, you can easily save a ton of money on higher-end road bikes.
Check out your local bike shop, or even online, for ex-demo bikes. These
are bikes which would have been kept in-store for customers to try. They’ll
still be in near-pristine condition, and if you’re lucky, you can pick them up
at a nicely discounted price. Keep your bike clean. A clean bike is much
less likely to have expensive mechanical problems. Excess grit and grime mean
components will wear a lot quicker and you end up having to replace them more
frequently. Cleaning doesn’t have to take forever. Check out our video, “How to
Clean Your Bike in Five Minutes”. Join a cycling club. Having loads of
friends and contacts in cycling is a great way of getting some good deals, and what
better way than joining a cycling club? Whether it’s word of mouth secondhand
deals or a club discount at a local shop, you’ll hear it there first. Check your
drivetrain regularly. It pays to keep a close eye on the condition of your
drivetrain. If your chain begins to wear out, it’ll start doing irreversible damage
to your chain rings and your cassette. Replacing your entire drivetrain is really
expensive, but it can be avoided by just replacing your chain before it wears,
which is much, much cheaper. Just make the small investment of a chain
wear indicator so you get the most life out of each chain. Learn how to do basic
repairs. While there are some repairs that can only really be done by a professional
bike mechanic, you’d be surprised at how much you can do at home with a few
inexpensive tools and a little bit of time. Even better, you’ll be back on the
road even quicker than if you take it to your local bike shop. And of course, you
will save yourself money by not paying someone else to do it. Go alloy, not
carbon. It’s easy to be tempted by the latest, shiniest bits of kit, and those
made from carbon fiber are the most alluring of all. But carbon also has a
price tag to match, so think before splashing out. Is the alloy alternative as
good? If there are only a few grams difference, we’d say that alloy
is the way to go. Think stems, bars, and bottle cages as places to
stay with alloy and save money. Buy your cycling goods at specific points
in the season. You seen your perfect bike? Are you about to drop a serious sum of
money on it? Well, hang on a second. Bike manufacturers bring out new bikes
every year, which means that they’ll want to offload the previous year’s models.
This equals discount. The main window of opportunity is in September and
October, and then again around March. The same is also true of clothing. You
just have to buy your winter kit in the summer when you don’t need it, and then
vice versa, the gram, money ratio. Many people spend money on their bikes in
order to improve performance by saving weight. It’s an admirable goal. It
will make a difference to your bike, but you need to assess how much
of a difference it’s going to make, and a good way to do that is to use the
gram, money ratio. Divide the amount of weight that the new product will save
you by the amount that it will cost. So, for example, if you can save 80 grams
on your handlebars with some new carbon ones which cost $300, divide 80 by
300, and you get 0.26 grams per dollar. However, you could save 80 grams by
swapping your butyl inner tubes for latex. And then you’d save 4.44 grams per
dollar, a much better-value weight-saving, simple but effective. If you’re somebody
who’s looking to save a large chunk of weight on your bike, then the first thing
you should look to upgrade are your wheels. Of course, there are lots of
different wheels on the market at the moment, but there’s
something to suit