Leading bike labels throw weight behind “free bike” cycle to work scheme

A number of the market’s leading bike labels – most notably Giant, Scott, Trek and Raleigh – have thrown their weight behind the Free2Cycle cycle to work scheme in a bid to boost numbers of new cyclists.

Launched in May last year, the scheme, which prioritises trade via independent bike shops, works by employees first entering their planned commute mileage. That mileage is then added up to equate to the value of a bicycle, which is then ordered to the customer’s preferred bike shop. Mileage is then tracked via an associated app. The idea is that employers will then agree to contribute 20p per commute mile achieved by their employee, eventually meeting the cost of the bike.

In an encouraging show of strength behind the cycle commuter boosting scheme, the heads of the UK’s leading bike brands have stressed the need to create new cyclists, each encouraged by Free2Cycle’s approach to achieve that goal.

“Trek has always believed the bicycle is a simple solution for many of the world’s complex problems. So participating in the Free2Cycle initiative to give more people access to cycling was immediately of interest. The method of riders using their bike to pay for it is genius, and the benefits for both the rider and our society will quickly follow!” Nigel Roberts, Trek UK General Manager.

UK Managing Director of Specialized, Simon Homer, added: “As a forward-thinking cycling brand fuelled by innovation, Specialized embraces new methods which differentiate us from others in the market. In line with Free2Cycle’s aims, we are dedicated to supplying bikes for all those who want to change their commuting method in order to become healthier.”

For bike shops taking part Free2Cycle suggest that shops will retain the “majority” of their margin on each bike sale. For a run down of which schemes best suit your business, see CI.N’s analysis here.

“Our aim as a brand is to create better bikes and improve the cycling experience for all,” said UK Managing Director of Giant, Ian Beasant. “We have partnered with Free2Cycle because we want to be on board with innovative initiatives that dramatically increase the number of cyclists in the UK.”

Managing Director of Raleigh UK, Pippa Wibberley said: “Raleigh is committed to bringing the joy of cycling to as many people as possible. As the most recognised bicycle brand in the UK we want our customers to be happy, healthy and loving life and a great way to achieve that is to match them with the right bike for them. The Free2Cycle initiative is an important way of enabling us to do just that.”

Dave Rainsford, General Manager Scott UK, commented: “Cutting-edge design and technology has typically led innovation in the cycling industry. Scott is proud to be a partner of Free2Cycle as it is an initiative that doesn’t just target existing cyclists, but introduces cycling to all as a healthy method of transport.”