Thursday, July 7, 2011

Commuting bike should not be expensive

I am writing this post with reference to a comment from Cheong. For now, I will address on the bicycle maintenance issue.

I will try to answer his comments based on my personal experience and whatever knowledge I have on bicycle.

Yes, I do agree that cycling in Malaysia is being regarded more as a hobby rather than a necessity. A bicycle for a hobby purposes definitely would be expensive. It's all depends on your needs. Personally, I , myself can't afford for such kind of bike and not to forget the maintenance required.

The bike that I use for my commuting or rather for transportation is an old beater steel bike. I have 2 bikes that I use regularly i.e An old steel mountain bike that I purchased for RM200 and a fixed bike converted from and old road bike. I bought the frame for RM80 but end up spending in total RM65o. I made a mistake intially, because I fitted it with 12 speed gearing system before converting it into a fixed bike. Nowadays, you can get a brand new fixed bike at a much lower price.

The cost of maintaining my bike was very minimal. I remembered that I only changed the fork as the original fork was cracked. I bought a 2nd hand fork for RM70. The other thing that I changed was the crank arm as the original crank arm was loose after I used the bike for a while. The brand new crank arm was RM65. So total cost of acquisition for the bike would be RM335. So far, I have been using the bike for 4 years and been clocking more than 3,000 km. I don't really recall, the cost of maintaining the bike as I didn't have a record for it. But it is very minimal. I do change the tire maybe twice during this period of 4 years. That's all.

For the fixed bike, after 4 years, I only changed the chain. Tires twice as well during the period of 4 years if I am not mistaken.

Maintaining a bicycle for transportation purposes should not be expensive. If you bought a brand new bike, what is needed is to clean the chain which you can personally do it. Just buy RM1 to RM2 of petrol for you to clean up the chain. You also need to buy chain lube. I bought a can of chain lube for RM28 and it still last till now after 4 years. You need to allocate maybe about RM1 to RM2 a day for future replacement for you moving parts i.e crank, hub, bottom bracket and chain. If you clean your chain regularly, you can use your bike for about 1 and a half to 2 years before you need to change your moving parts.

Old Steel Mountain Bike

Converted Fixed Gear

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