Cycling is a wonderful hobby that can double as exercise and cost-savings. By biking to the store and putting your groceries in a basket, you can save on fuel costs. By riding around your neighborhood for exercise, you can save the monthly expense of a gym membership. You can also just bike around town as a family for some fresh air and bonding time.
Whatever your reasons are, read on to check out our compilation of resources below to help you get started in a budget-friendly way.
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General Cycling Tips
- Cycling on a Budget: This blogger found some interesting ways to save money on apparel, accessories, and even a homemade sports drink.
- Getting into Road Cycling: If you’re looking to race or go very long distances, you’ll want to check out this list of items you’ll need.
- Biking on a Budget: Here you’ll find some tips for making biking a fun, affordable lifestyle.!
- Renting a Bike: Here’s a list of shops in the United States that rent bikes. If you’re new to cycling, it might be best to rent a bike first to make sure you enjoy it.
- Bike Sharing: If you live in a bigger city, you might have a public bike sharing co-op. You just pay to rent a bike by the hour to run errands, similar to a ZipCar.
- Traveling by Bike on a Budget: Consider making a weekend of biking. Bring your bike to (or rent one while at) a destination vacation and get off the beaten path. You can even save money by having better lodging options.
- Bicycling Meetup: Find a cycling group near you that meets up regularly. There are over 1200 groups nationwide. If there’s not one near you, consider starting one!
- Cycling Forums: Read threads and post your own questions for free on the online cycling forums.
Buying the Bike
- Getting a Bike on a Budget: You won’t get very far cycling without a bike! Here are some tips to get bikes on sale or second hand.
- What to Look For in a Bike: Read this Frequently Asked Questions article for an idea of how to shop for a bike, including tips on negotiating a better deal.
- Hints for Purchasing a Bike: Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re looking for a bike to buy. Consider the type you want and ask for help selecting the right accessories so you don’t overspend.
- Can You Save Buying Online?: This article argues that the risk of buying a bike online outweighs the minimal additional cost of buying in-store.
- The Most Important Thing to Look For: Bikers say this tip is the key to finding the perfect bike the first time. The right store will be able to help you tremendously in this process.
- Bike Maintenance 101: Learning how to maintain your own bike can save you hundreds in repairs. This picture-illustrated guide from Schwinn will get you started.
- 3 Super Easy Maintenance Tricks: Billed as the things “your bike mechanic wishes you did,” this article gives tips on things like how and where to put oil on your chain.
- Fork and Shock Cleaning: If you ever find you need to clean the fork and shock on your bike, this guide will give you step-by-step directions for this simple money-saving maintenance.
- Free Repair Videos: Maintenance can’t prevent all repairs! This website gives you 100 free HD videos to help you repair your bike on your own.
- Fixing a Flat: Why buy a new tire or fix someone to fix your flat when you can do it yourself with this easy, illustrated step-by-step instruction manual?
- When to Splurge, When to Save: Some things just aren’t worth cutting corners on. This cyclist’s guide gives you some direction on when to splurge and when it’s okay to be cheap.
- Bike Swap: This bike swap is located in Maryland and attracts cyclists from all over the East Coast. The event helps cyclists swap out parts and accessories for a good deal. Check for a swap in your area.
- How to Make a Bike Lighter: Check out some ways you can improve your speed by swapping out your accessories for lighter versions.
- Guide to Bicycle Saddles: Learn more about the different types of bike seats, including racer, comfort, cruiser and other types. They also have a section on quality and price ranges.
- How to Choose a Bike Helmet: In many states, the police can give you a hefty fine if they catch you cycling without a helmet. Use this guide to find a comfortable and cost-effective helmet.
- Bike Headlight Guide: If you’ll be riding at night, you need a headlight for safety. Here’s a comparison guide with pictures showing the quality, visibility, and price for several headlights.
Tips and Advice to Save on Cycling
Before you begin purchasing anything, ask yourself what your plans and goals are. Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to get more fresh air? Are you trying to cut down on energy usage by biking instead of driving? This will help narrow down the kinds of low-cost bikes you can get away with, so be sure to mention your ideas to a local bike store associate.
Shop around before you buy. Visit several local stores. It can be most cost-beneficial to find a good bike shop than a bad one that happens to sell cheap stuff. When you have problems, a good bike shop will stand by their product. This can save you money in the long run.
Spread out your investment buy first buying only the bike and a helmet. You can save the other accessories, like a fancy seat, bright headlight, or bottle holder for later.
Consider swapping out the seat. Sometimes you can get a less expensive bike and purchase a comfortable seat separately for less than the cost of a prepackaged bike with the perfect seat.
Drink water instead of sports drinks. There are a lot of costly products out there that claim to have added benefits, but unless you’re a competitive or long-distance cycler, you’re just fine refilling a bottle with your own tap water.
Buy used when possible. Even if you don’t buy your bike used, you can probably save on the accessories buy shopping online for gently used products. Consider this for headlights, baskets, handlebar grips, etc.
Only purchase one cycling outfit. To begin, you don’t need a whole wardrobe of cycling pants and shirts. You also don’t need to start with expensive cycling shoes. Spread these costs out over time if you continue to enjoy cycling.
Learn how to maintain your bike. Read your bike’s user manual and learn the bike’s ins and outs. If you can catch a wearing part before it breaks, you could save yourself a bundle in repairs. Also see if you can join a cycling community where you can borrow the necessary tools rather than having to buy all the wrenches, nuts and other parts.
Build yourself up to speed. If you push yourself too hard, too fast, you may get discouraged and give up on cycling. Then all your investment has gone to waste. Know your body’s limits and push yourself gently and gradually.
- Budget Resource Guides
- Fax: Everything you need to know by saving with online fax. On a budget? you can save money when you fax from computer instead of a using fax machine. Recommended Companies: RingCentral & Nextiva. Other useful guides: How-to Email Fax, How-to Fax Online, and How-to Get a Fax Number.
- Payroll: Everything you need to know about payroll. On a budget? These are 6 different ways you can get free payroll software for your business and here is a guide on Buying Payroll Software. Recommended Companies: Intuit Payroll & QuickBooks.