Are There Any Hidden Costs of Owning a Bicycle?

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The price of buying a brand-new bicycle has increased greatly over the past decade or so, reflecting the growing popularity of the sport. It’s not uncommon to find people spending up to £12,000 on a bicycle, though the majority of casual riders will probably spend less. Yet the cost of owning a bike doesn’t stop with just the upfront amount. Whether you spend money on a new and professional racing bicycle or opt for a second-hand mountain bike, the same hidden costs will apply.

Safety Gear

There’s only one piece of safety gear that every cyclist must have and that’s a good quality helmet. This isn’t something you should scrimp on even if money is tight, as it could save your life if the worst happens and you have an accident. Depending on what type of cycling you’ll be doing (BMX, road cycling, off-road), you may want to invest in extra safety gear such as elbow and knee pads, especially if you’re kitting out your child.

Essential Accessories


A bike pump will be necessary both to inflate your tyres at home but also when out cycling, so you might want to buy two. Puncture repair kits, a water bottle and backpack to carry your equipment are required too, while a chain and padlock to keep it safe will be indispensable. There are plenty more optional accessories that you may find useful, including a bike rack for your car, GPS unit and sunglasses, both during summer and to protect against the glare off wet roads.


For those who keep their bicycle in the house and already have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance then luckily your bike will be covered by this policy if it’s stolen. Should you not have this insurance (or keep your bicycle in a shed/garage/elsewhere) then you’ll need to look at taking out a separate policy. Otherwise, you’ll lose your bike and have to pay the full costs for a new one, which can be unavoidable if you use it to get to work, for example.

Service and Repairs


Much like running a car, the more you use it the greater wear and tear it will experience. Over time it may require a service and tune-up, while having a professional look over it can reassure you if they spot any further problems. Brake pads and tyres will wear down and affect your riding experience, while a new lick of paint may become necessary. Plus, if you want to make any repairs yourself you’ll need to pay for the tools, oil and spare parts, which need factoring in.

The cost of owning a bicycle is much more than the price you pay to buy it, so be aware of the above to make sure you can budget for a new or second-hand model.