Aug 25, 2023
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Bicycle Maintenance Costs

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By: John Montesi

Owning a bicycle is an affordable option for mobility and recreation. Bicycles also happen to be a low-maintenance investment opportunity. Wear items on bicycles are affordable especially when compared to automobiles or real estate, and many of them only require replacement every 1,000 miles or more–which can easily be a year’s worth of rides depending on the type of bike and frequency of use.

Average Cost of Bicycle Parts and Maintenance

Several industry publications estimate annual bicycle maintenance costs at $300-400 per year. This assumes mid-tier components, average mileage or hourly use, and paying professionals for labor. Different bicycle styles and terrain types may see more or less wear on specific consumables like tires and brake pads, but generally speaking, this is a safe estimate for bike maintenance costs.

Wear Items and Routine Maintenance

The main routine wear items on a bike are the tires, chain, and brake pads. Less frequent parts that need replacement or thorough maintenance include parts like the cassette, bottom bracket, and headset bearings.

Much of bicycle maintenance is cleaning and lubricating components that have extensive service lives. Many bike shops offer tiered tune-ups that range in price from less than $100 to $300 and often include incidental parts like cable housing or handlebar tape.

Other wear and tear like small scratches in the paint or clear coat have a minimal impact on bicycle depreciation after the first year or two of useful service life.


For a road bike with high quality tires, 2,500 miles is a conservative lifespan estimate. Even an industry standard road tire like the Continental GP5000 is often available for $60 per tire, which means tires may cost roughly $120 per 2,500 miles of use – or five cents per mile!

Meanwhile, the most aggressive mountain bike terrain and tire compounds may only last 500-600 miles. But given that many people ride less than 10 miles on an average mountain bike ride versus 20-50 miles for a road bike ride, this figures out to a similar annual cost or may even favor the mountain bike on an annual maintenance basis. Gravel bike tires figure somewhere in between.

The annual cost of a set of tires for a bicycle given the variations in rubber compound, surface material, and miles ridden can be figured at roughly $100-150.


Across bicycle types, the average mileage expectation for a bicycle chain is 2,000 to 3,000 miles. There are claims of people reaching double these numbers with a properly maintained and waxed chain. As technology improves, this number continues to climb upwards, even as chains grow thinner to allow for more gears on cassettes.

Many mid-tier chains like the SRAM GX and Shimano XT/Ultegra caliber last for 2,000 to 3,000 miles and cost $40-50. These chains strike a commendable balance of quality, durability, and price for most use cases.


A bicycle cassette typically lasts through the lifecycle of roughly three chains, provided you replace and maintain your chain within typical suggested requirements.

With good general maintenance, this means most bicycle cassettes last for roughly 6,500-9,000 miles. As with chains, the higher-end, coated versions from SRAM and Shimano are now seeing increased lifespans relative to the more affordable versions.

Cassette prices vary widely based on their materials and gearing, though one can figure the cost is somewhere between $100 and $400 for mid level options.


On modern disc brakes, the average mileage varies widely depending on the compound (metallic, organic, or hybrid) and conditions including debris, moisture, and terrain ridden.

Most riders get 500-1,000 miles out of a set of brake pads on a mountain bike, and road bikes may see >3,000 miles. Gravel bikes will fall somewhere in between.

There is minimal outright performance or lifespan difference between trim levels, an average set of metallic disc pads costs between $30-$50. Rotors last far longer, with their lifespan related to usage much like pads. Most people measure brake rotor lifespan in seasons or years rather than miles due to the extensive lifespan. As long as pads are maintained regularly, rotors can easily last 2-4 years, meaning this $60-150 expense may not be incurred during your ownership or may be amortized between $15 and $50 per year.

Other Incidentals and Maintenance Costs

Most other bicycle parts are not strictly speaking based on mileage replacement schedules. Parts like bottom brackets range from cheap and replaceable to more expensive yet vastly more serviceable. Grips and bar tape are typically $10-30 and replaced as part of many bike shops’ annual tune-ups. Headsets are typically serviceable or very infrequently replaced, similar to bottom brackets. Saddles, bottle cages, and other components do not typically wear out from normal use and any expenses incurred by heavy use beyond normal duty cycles are likely written off by increased rental returns or owner/rider enjoyment.

Bicycle Annual Maintenance Summary

Even paying the best bike shop in your area to maintain your bike(s) with mid-to-high-end components, one can figure parts and labor total somewhere between $300 and $500. Amortizing nicer, less frequent wear items like cassettes and rotors may slightly increase this number, but even on the most premium bicycle seeing extremely heavy rental use, annual maintenance shouldn’t exceed $1,000–a number most automobiles handily exceed every year in registration fees and oil changes alone or an investment property may require the first time an appliance or plumbing require work.

In most scenarios, renting your personal bicycle(s) part-time far outweighs any additional maintenance costs.

List your bike for rent in under 30 seconds!

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