The more you cycle, the more you tend to spend on bikes and equipment. Fortunately, you can carry on making Cyclescheme savings.
Cyclescheme is not a one-time-only deal. If you want to get another bike and more equipment after your first salary sacrifice period has ended, you can. Maybe you weren’t able to include everything you wanted first time around. Maybe you want to make cycling journeys that would be difficult on your existing bike. Or maybe you’ve been bitten by the cycling bug and simply want a better-quality bike. They’re all legitimate reasons.
Here’s one possible Cyclescheme journey: from the beginner who wants to minimise expenditure to the intermediate cyclist with more specific requirements, through to the experienced cyclist whose wider cycling horizons justify a better quality bike. We’ve set budgets of £500, £1,000, and £2,000 respectively. They’re based on recommended retail prices; don’t forget that you’ll save at least 25% using Cyclescheme.
Package RRP: £497.94
Value for money is likely to be uppermost in your mind when you’re starting out as a cycle commuter. You don’t yet know if you’ll stick at it so it doesn’t make sense to spend a fortune. While Cyclescheme savings make all bikes and equipment more affordable, on the tightest of budgets it’s hard to beat in-house brands from internet retailers or brick-and-mortar megastores when it comes to value. This is a shopping list for French superstore Decathlon.
• City Bike Elops 500 Step-through (£399.99)
If you’re unsure what kind of bike you need, pick a hybrid: the general-purpose bicycle. This one is remarkably well equipped for the price, with hub-dynamo powered lighting as well as mudguards, a pannier rack, and a kickstand. The 1x9 gearing is intuitive to use and fairly wide range.
City Bike Elops 500
Inexpensive, big enough for a typical commuting load, and more comfortable than carrying that load on your back. Only showerproof, however.
Elops Eco-Design Pannier Cycle Bag
• Btwin 100 Waterproof Urban Cycling Jacket (£29.99)
For your first item of cycle-specific clothing, get a waterproof, windproof jacket. This jacket is hi-vis and has underarm vents to help prevent overheating.
Btwin 100 Waterproof Jacket
• Btwin 100 City Cycling Helmet (£14.99)
Certified to the same EN1708 safety standard as more expensive helmets. The helmet’s peak can help keep the sun or rain out of your eyes.
• Elops 920 Bike Mini D Lock 15cm (£27.99)
Any bike that isn’t always stored behind a locked door needs a lock of its own. This cheap D-lock is Sold Secure Silver.
• Riverside 100 Floor Pump (£9.99)
Even if you don’t plan to do your own maintenance, you’ll need a pump as tyres slowly deflate over time. As it’s a floor pump, this one is easy to use.
Riverside 100 Floor Pump
Package RRP: £996.96
Hybrids are great but after you’ve been cycling for a while you might find the need for a more specialist bike that excels in a particular role. Maybe you want a road bike for weekend fitness riding and faster commuting. Or maybe you want to take a bike by train regularly and so set your sights on a folder…
• Tern Link C8 (£850)
This entry-level Tern folds small enough for a train’s luggage rack in ten seconds, and at less than 13kg is light enough to carry easily aboard. With solidly-built hinges and 50mm tyres on 20-inch wheels, its handling is comfortable and composed. It comes with mudguards but you’ll need a set of be-seen lights for nighttime urban journeys.
Tern Link C8
You’re unlikely to be riding a city folder anywhere there aren’t streetlights so may not need a headlight that casts a beam. Being visible to other road users is what counts.
While small-wheeled folders like the Tern Link C8 can be fitted with a rear rack, panniers may hit your heels or drag on the road. A shoulder bag is fine for carrying valuables like a laptop on short journeys. This Altura messenger bag is made of waxed cotton, which will shrug off showers.
Altura Messenger Bag
• FWE Patch Repair Kit (£5.99)
As an intermediate cyclist, you’ll be fixing your own punctures. This kit comes with levers as well as patches.
• Topeak Mini Morph (£32.99)
And you’ll need a portable pump, of course. This Topeak one weighs just 240g yet will fully inflate high-pressure and high-volume tyres without fuss.
• crankbrothers M17 (£29.99)
A multitool with a wide selection of Allen keys, a crosshead screwdriver, and a chain tool will meet most of your pre-, post- and mid-ride maintenance needs.
Package RRP: £1,981.45
There comes a point when you don’t just need another bike to fill a different role: you want one that does an existing job better. So you upgrade. Let’s say you enjoy your hybrid’s versatility but now want a sportier bike that you can use for 40-mile rides at the weekend – on tarmac or dirt tracks – as well as as for the weekday commute. Time for a gravel bike.
• Cube NuRoad FE (£1,099)
Gravel bikes are essentially drop-bar hybrids, taking both city streets and unsurfaced tracks in their stride. Most can be equipped with mudguards and a rear rack. The NuRoad FE comes with them – as well as dynohub lighting that will be indispensable for year-round commuting. Compared to the Elops hybrid, this Cube will take you over the same terrain but faster and with a bigger smile on your face.
Cube NuRoad FE
• Ortlieb Sport-Roller City (£86.50/pair)
Time to retire that inexpensive Decathlon pannier you had. These waterproof panniers will keep everything dry, whether on the way to work or on a cycling holiday and are much sturdier and easier to use.
Ditto your waterproof jacket. This Altura one does the same job better: it’s more waterproof, more breathable, and more reflective.
• Specialized Chamonix MIPS (£70)
If you’re riding further and faster, it makes sense to invest in a lighter-weight helmet with better ventilation. This one has extra protection against rotational injuries (which is what MIPS refers to), as well as a removable peak.
Specialized Chamonix MIPS
• Squire Stronghold D16/230 (£139.99)A more valuable bike demands a lock that’s harder for thieves to break. This one is Sold Secure Diamond so it’s very tough indeed.
• Endura Hummvee Short II with liner (£64.99)
You don’t need padded cycling shorts for riding a few miles across town but they can transform undercarriage comfort on longer journeys. Skin-tight lycra shorts are not the only option: baggy shorts with a padded liner also work well.
• Endura Hummvee Flannel Shirt (£79.99)
Similarly, a skin-tight jersey is not required. Get one if you want one – they are particularly good for fast road rides – but don’t overlook the more normal-looking cycle clothing that’s available, like this shirt.
• Shimano PD-M324 pedals (£64.99)
Clipless pedals are sometimes seen as the marker of serious cyclists. They’re not, of course, but they do offer genuine pros and cons compared to flat pedals. Dual-sided pedals like this, designed for both cleated and normal shoes, are a good compromise for a multipurpose bike.
Shoes with recessed cleats are much better for commuters than road bike shoes with protruding cleats because you can clip in and out more easily and walk normally. As well as mountain biking shoes, there are casual trainer-style shoes like these from Chrome Industries, which you could wear all day.
Chrome Southside 3.0 Low Pro
• Lifeline Pro Workstand (£149.99)
The more bike maintenance you do yourself, the more you need a work stand. Having the bike off the floor makes fixing and fine-tuning so much easier.