Expensive bikes could be costly waste, says medic

CYCLISTS who fork out huge sums on hi-tech bikes could be wasting their money, a study has found.

Jeremy Groves, an intensive care consultant at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, has two bicycles – a steel-framed second-hand machine bought for 50 and a new lighter carbon-framed bike that cost 1,000.

Between January and July, he tested both to find out which machine allowed him to ride to work and back quickest over a round trip of 27 miles.

But he discovered the average time for the old bicycle was an hour and 47 minutes – and a minute longer for the new model.

He said despite a 30 per cent reduction in cycle weight, there was no measurable difference between the two, concluding "a reduction in the weight of the cyclist rather than that of the bicycle may deliver greater benefit at reduced cost".

He added: "This study has shown that spending a lot of money on a bicycle for commuting is not necessarily going to get you to work more quickly.

"This is good news as I appreciate that 1,000 for a bicycle is out of the range of many people's pockets.

"Cycling for me is a great hobby. It gets me out in the fresh air, keeps me healthy, is carbon neutral and, provided I don't buy any more bikes, is a cost effective way to travel."

The research is published in the Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal.