The great benefit of Cyclescheme is that it makes a new bike much more affordable: you’ll save at least 25% and spread the cost. So you can afford a better bike. A spending limit of £250 translates to an RRP of £333 or more if you use Cyclescheme. That extra £83 really widens your options.
What if your Cyclescheme limit, rather than your RRP limit, is £250? Maybe you’re a low-earner. Maybe it’s self-imposed: you want an inexpensive runaround to leave locked at a railway station near work. There are still good choices.
One of the best tactics on a tight budget is to use sale discounts to double your savings. You can then choose from more expensive bikes that have dropped into your price range because, for example, they’re last year’s models.
No joy in the sales? Look online. The well-known brands stocked by bricks-and-mortar bike shops typically start at £300-£350, whereas own-brand bikes from online stores start at well under £200. Bear in mind that any bike bought online requires some degree of pre-ride preparation. If you need to take it in to your local shop, they’ll charge – whereas they’ll do it for free for a bike they’re selling.
When choosing any budget bike, less is more when it comes to components. The simpler the bike is, the less compromised it will be. Avoid suspension, disc brakes, and complicated gearing. In terms of accessories, however, more is more. When your limit is £250, an extra £50 for mudguards, rack, and lights will be hard to find. Look for a bike that comes with them. Hybrids are your best bet.
B’Twin Elops 100 Classic
Cyclescheme Price: £112.50*
Also available with a step-through frame, this singlespeed roadster is fine for flatter commutes in normal clothes. There are mudguards and a chainguard to keep you clean, and the upright riding position, comfortable saddle, and wider tyres suit Dutch-sytle cruising. It even has battery lights and a kickstand. If you want 6-speed gearing, a rack, and dynamo lighting, the Elops 120 is only £30 dearer.
British Eagle Helix
Cyclescheme Price: £150*
That rare thing: a £200 bike that you can find in stores. It’s a simple steel hybrid with 6-speed derailleur gearing, a pannier rack, and mudguards. The wheels have 36 spokes each, so should be fairly sturdy, and are shod with tyres wide enough (38mm) to cope with badly surfaced roads. Don’t forget to budget for lights and luggage. A low-step version is also available.
Cyclescheme Price: £187.50*
The RRP for this sit-up-and-beg roadster is £330, but like many bikes that Cycle Republic sell it’s discounted. The gears are in the 5-speed Sturmey Archer hub, enabling the drivetrain to be fully enclosed – prolonging chain life and protecting your clothes. There are mudguards and a rear rack.
* Based on minimum savings of 25% inc End of Hire - many save more. Check your personal savings here.
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