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Bike restoration costs 2020 – is it cheaper to buy or build a bike?

There are very few people who restore vintage bicycles because you can make money with it. That’s because bike restoration costs can get pretty high. And how high exactly is what we’re going to find out in this post as we’re nearing the end of the decade.


How many projects did I get myself into this year?

Last year I picked up a new hobby of restoring bicycles. It was a providence since I “found” an abandoned mountain bike. I turned out to be completely broken and thus my journey began.

In the end I would restore 3 bicycles. A Btwin Rockrider 340, a Scott Town XC, a Cannondale M300, and an Altec Hero for my daughter.

The common thread was that all bikes were unrideable and in need of extensive repairs.

Bicycles added to the collection

This year I added a Cannondale Super V for €75, Ricardo Sport for free, Bridgestone Submariner for €60, Koga Miyata Adventure for €10, a Giant Coldrock for €20, and a Cannondale Killer V for €450 to the mix. Only the Killer V could be deemed rideable without any extensive repairs. Total €615.

Bikes sold

I also sold a number of bikes. A Dahon Vitesse folding bicycle for €200, my Azor Heavy Duty for €600, Cannondale M300 for €120, and Vans Schwinn Stingray Krate for €400. Total €1320.

I sold some bicycle parts for a total of €135.

Bike restoration costs

Of course repairing bikes costs money, and more than I’d like to admit. So here I add up all bike restoration costs related to get my projects in working condition again, including the tools necessary to do it.

I spent about €2000 spread out across new parts, tools, marketplace orders and repair costs at my LBS. This includes shipping costs for around 30 online orders, the bulk of which was made in the latter part of 2020.


Bikes bought
Bikes restored
Bikes sold
Bike restoration costs
Bike purchase costs
Bike sale earnings
Total costs 2020

So it seems that the average bike restoration project set me back around €500 including everything. A significant amount of money was invested in the tools, so going forward those costs might get less.

The most expensive bicycle was the Cannondale Killer V. The initial costs were high and add to that the €350 for the Spinergy wheels and it’s no wonder it’s nearing €900.

The runner-up is the Cannondale Super V, mainly because of the ridiculously expensive repair costs of the suspension of €205. That was poor service from the LBS.

The Giant Coldrock will prove to be the cheapest and will sit far below the €100 mark.

€500 is a large sum of money which will get you a nice second-hand bike. But obviously there’s no greater satisfaction than restoring something back to life, learning everything there is to learn along the way, and enjoying the rides you yourself have created.

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