Start here: Welcome to Budget Cycling

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Cycling is brilliant way to get around during the current times – it’s healthy, fun, and good for the environment.

This website aims to show you how to:

  1. Save money by using a bike as a means of everyday transport
  2. Start cycling without it costing a lot of money

The site has a series of guides to explain things. Some of the most important ones are:

The site is a work in progress – more content will be added as time goes by, so please bookmark the site and follow on social media (Twitter / Facebook) for the latest Guides, Tips and Blog posts.

One important note: much of this website was originally written before the current pandemic. We’ll do our best to update everything as the situation changes, but some of the options we’d normally recommend may not now be possible. It is still most definitely possible to start cycling without spending a fortune, but owing to the sudden increase in number of people wanting to use bikes some budget options are now harder to find. More on this: Cycling during Covid 19

FAQs

Here’s some answers to questions you might be asking, frequently or otherwise:

‘Budget cycling’? It sounds a bit… well, cheap.

We’re interested in how to start cycling on a safe bike, without resorting to low quality ‘Bicycle-shaped objects’ found in supermarkets and other discount retailers.

We’d advise avoiding the cheapest bikes, but on the other hand if you go to a cycling show or high-end bike shop you could be forgiven for thinking that cycling is only for people with a lot of money. This site aims to show that you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy riding a bike.

Does ‘budget’ mean buying a bike from the internet?

Not at all. Local bike shops, at their best, are brilliant. There’s nothing quite like having an actual human being guide you through to process of buying a bike, make sure that the bike is all set up safely, answer any questions you may have, and fix any faults or niggles that may crop up. Internet traders can’t do most of these jobs as well as well as someone in a bricks-and-mortar shop. Of course, some bike shops aren’t aiming at everyday cyclists, so it may be necessary to shop around.

That said, the internet has its place too, if you know what you want, and know how to set it up once it arrives in the post.

I’m not sporty. Is this for me?

Cycling as a sport has its place, but this site is mainly concerned about using a bike to get from A to B. Going to the places you need to go, carrying the things you need to carry. We’re about wearing normal everyday clothes (though if you want to wear lycra – why not?). Cycling is an amazing form of transport, and whether you’re ‘sporty’ or not isn’t really relevant.

I’d love to cycle, but it isn’t safe where I live

We fully understand how this feels. We’ll aim to show you how to find safe routes to ride, and give guidance on places offering some basic training (coming soon). And this is where cycle campaigning comes in too – we need the roads to be safer, and more safe places to ride, and so recommend joining a national and/or local cycling organisation.

You haven’t said anything about [type of bike]

You’re probably right. We’ve begun by listing some of the most useful kinds of bike for getting from A to B as a means of everyday transport. We thought it was more important to launch the site for it to be useful to people than to wait until everything had been included. More guides will follow, but in the meantime there is nothing on road bikes, gravel bikes, kids’ bikes, family cycling, and many other topics.

Who are you?

This site has been put together by Dave Walker, cycling cartoonist and general bicycle enthusiast, but some content may be by other people.

Dave writes: “Speaking personally (and in the first person…) I’ve been riding a bike for as long as I can remember, and to me it is one of life’s great joys. I also enjoy buying and selling second-hand bikes and finding a bargain, and may own more bikes than might be considered strictly necessary. I love folding bikes in particular. As a cartoonist I tend not to have the money for top (or middle) of the range models, so this site is an attempt to share something of what I’ve learnt. I’d love to see more people on bikes, what with the climate crisis, the current pandemic, it being great for health, and just brilliant fun. This website is my attempt to give any useful advice that I can, and allow other people to contribute their wisdom too.”

For the site credits please see this page.

Are you making money from this site?

This is a free site, and we hope it is useful to people. But we’re making a living too, and so in time there may be affiliate links where we get a small monetary benefit if you click through to another site. But all of the links will be ones we’d recommend anyway, we promise. Bike manufacturers won’t be paying us to influence what we say. And there will be plenty of links to sites from which we receive nothing at all.

How to find safe places to cycle

Some of the best maps, apps, and sources of local knowledge

Why we’ve removed Decathlon bikes from the Budget Cycling website

Decathlon sell items used for the killing of songbirds. Until this changes we won’t be promoting any of their bikes

Cycling during COVID-19

We live in challenging times, but cycling is fun, healthy, and a great way to get around

Moneysaving cycling tips

Moneysaving tips to help you ride a bike for less

Buy a mountain bike

If you live somewhere where the routes you will be using aren’t in brilliant condition, then a mountain bike might be your best bet

Buy a folding bike

Bikes that fold up to store easily, to go on the train, or fit in the boot of your car

Buy an everyday bike

How to buy a bike to get you around town in your usual clothing carrying the things you need

A guide to buying a secondhand bike

Options for finding a brilliant used bike

How to buy a bike

A guide to getting going. Types of bikes, where to buy, how much to spend