Total Cost of Ownership & A Calamitous Bike Owner

Calculating the total cost of ownership of owning a bike

How is total cost of ownership calculated? Take the initial purchase price and add the additional costs expected during its lifespan.

I’m a fairly unlucky cyclist and I’m rubbish at fixing anything myself. I’ve tried to fix a puncture once and it took me two hours(!) – let’s take a look at the total cost of ownership for me.

I bought my bike in a sale for £499 seven years ago! That’s our initial purchase cost, but if I bought a bike for £200, would this work out cheaper over 10 years?

Our total cost of ownership will evaluate how much my bike has cost over its current lifespan. We could use that to compare to other bikes to see whether I made a good choice or not.

Planned & Unplanned Maintenance

Most capital purchases will need maintenance through their lifetimes. I have planned maintenance on my bike – servicing every year, at a cost of £35 for a minor service and £90 for a major each year.

The first unplanned problem was the chain breaking whilst I was 2 miles from anywhere and I needed to walk to the bike shop for a repair! This happened twice (😡) but as it was within the first few weeks of owning it, they fixed it under warranty.

After a while I kept getting punctures. I paid £15 each time to fix it. Eventually, I replaced the rear tyre, which cost £40. This is probably the least embarrassing unplanned maintenance though.

🙈One time a pedestrian stepped out in front of me. I fell off my bike and hit my head on a metal railing and needed to replace my helmet for £39.99.

One time I went over a tree root too quickly and my gear shifter broke.

(It might not sound like it but I can ride a bike so I didn’t need have training costs).

outline of a bike as seen on a cycle path or pavement
The total cost of ownership model can be applied to buying a bike (especially if you’re an unlucky owner) Photo by Cristiana Raluca from Pexels

🔦Someone stole my front bike light, so I replaced it for £59.99. It’s USB-chargeable so it costs electricity to charge it up every week.

🙃My bike lock seized whilst locked at work and the Fire Officer had to come and unlock it with huge bolt cutters. A replacement lock cost be £59.99.

After a few years my seat post started to weaken and, terrified of some embarrassing accident, I replaced it at a cost of £39.99.

Insurance in the Total Cost of Ownership

I pay £3.50 a month for bike insurance to cover theft and public liability.

£294 over the 7 years.


Some might have called the inner tubes consumables, but I’ve included them in my maintenance costs.

For my bike, I’ve needed chain oil fairly regularly.


All in, over 7 years I’ve spent approximately 🚲£1,557🚲 maintaining my bike in addition to the initial purchase price.

Once I come to dispose of the bike, I’ll have to either pay for that. Or, if I can resell it then I can use that to offset the cost of ownership through its lifespan.

(Once I got stung by a wasp on my way to work, but thankfully that didn’t cost me anything other than my pride.)

And that’s the Total Cost of Ownership. 

If you want to learn more on Procurement – check out the eGuides in my shop.

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