Just like getting a Cyclescheme Package or a Bike Only Package, there are two ways to get an accessory package through Cyclescheme - on the high street and online.
Buying a package online tends to be quicker and more economical, but buying in store gives your staff access to advice, and with clothing, the chance to try on items before they buy. The good news is that Cyclescheme certificates can be used both in store and online (just look for the Cyclescheme logo). The scheme works the same way whichever bike and accessories are purchased.
What accessories are allowed?
Our bike accessories packages can include:
- Cycle helmets
- Lights, including dynamo packs
- Mirrors and mudguards
- Cycle clips and dress guards
- Panniers, luggage carriers and straps to allow luggage to be safely carried
- Child safety seats
- Locks and chains to ensure bikes can be safely secured
- Pumps, puncture repair kits, cycle tool kits and tyre sealant, to allow for minor repairs
- Reflective clothing along with white front reflectors and spoke reflectors
There's plenty to choose from so we've gone into a bit more detail on just a few items, and explained the benefits and reasons why an accessories package may be ideal for your staff.
Cycle commuters have plenty to carry, and the most popular ways to carry belongings are with panniers and backpacks. Whichever you prefer, check the capacity you need. All commuter bags benefit from being rainproof. If the bag you fancy is not itself waterproof, check that it comes with a rain cover. Reflectivity is also useful - particularly for backpacks - as they can obscure conspicuous jackets.
Read more: best cycling bags
For longer trips or heavier loads, it's comfier to carry bags on your bike than your back.
Panniers are the answer if your backpack or courier bag makes you ache or sweat, but for this you'll need a frame fixing rear rack. (Beam racks that attach to the seatpost are meant for smaller rack-top bags). Racks fit to most bikes with normal-sized wheels, apart from some road and mountain bikes. Most racks are sturdy enough for two big rear bags, with a combined volume of 40-50 litres and a weight of 20kg. That's useful for touring or shopping, but for commuting 10-20 litres is ample. You can get that through one medium bag or two small ones, which is better for bike handling.
All good panniers have hooks with security fittings, so they won't leap off the rack if you hit a bump. Internal or external pockets enable you to divide the load, so your laptop doesn't have to share space with your sandwiches. If the pannier isn't waterproof, get a rain-cover or plastic-bag the contents.
Read more: best panniers for commuting
Our wonderful British climate means that even if you leave home on a bright, sunny morning there’s no guarantee you won’t have a wet ride home at the end of the working day. Whether it’s for winter, summer or in between, when choosing a jacket look for longer back panels to keep the rain from getting up under the lower hem – a drawcord helps here – along with longer sleeves than you would generally have in your non-cycling jackets. Adjustable cuffs that can be operated with gloves on are useful too.
Read more: best cycling jackets
When your bike's out of sight, it needs to be locked. A D-lock is portable and tough.
Thieves want an easy life, so to stop them stealing your bike you need to make life as difficult as possible for them. Any lock can be broken. If your bike lock requires several minutes' work with an angle grinder, it's immeasurably safer than the lock that can be cut in seconds with bolt croppers. Sold Secure is a reasonable guideline to security. It's a bronze, silver or gold rating for locks that are submitted for testing. Locks must resist increasingly time-consuming and tooled-up attacks to pass at the relevant level.
Broadly speaking, the more expensive and heavier the lock, the tougher it will be. Police recommend spending at least 10% of the value of your bike on security. D-locks, also known as U-locks or shackle locks, are easier to carry than equally tough chains. Can your staff leave a lock at work to reduce their commuting load?
In all cases, you should encourage your staff to look for Sold Secure ratings. This is the industry marking scheme to explain the level of security you can expect to get from your new lock.
Read more: best bike locks
It's more comfortable to carry a commuting bag on your bike instead of your back, but to do that, you'll need a luggage rack.
For anything other than short trips with light loads, you'll sweat and ache less if your luggage goes on your bike rather than your back. Any bike can carry some luggage, but you'll have more options and a bigger load capacity if there are threaded eyelets on the frame.
Read more: bike luggage racks
Lights are a legal and practical necessity for cycling in the dark, and rechargeables are the best option when it comes to battery power.
You pay a premium for rechargeable lights compared to ones that run on disposable batteries, but you'll recoup that. While modern LED lights have much longer run times than the filament-bulb lights of old, you'll still burn through batteries rapidly with daily winter commuting. Rechargeables won't last forever; after a few hundred recharge cycles, the battery won't hold much of a charge. But long term they're still cheaper and more environmentally friendly than other options.
Read more: rechargeable bike lights
Bike Accessory Packages are a great way to help your staff have the right commuting gear all year round. They can also enjoy them with the same savings and cost spreading measures as a standard Cyclescheme Package. The process works in exactly the same way so be sure to spread the good news with your colleagues and staff.
If you already have Cycleschemee, don't forget to remind employees of their fantastic benefit and ensure new starters are fully aware of what you offer. There's a range of detailed written advice on how to promote your scheme here and a range of videos here.
Want ways to encourage your staff to start cycling to work? Read our posts on how to start cycling to work and the benefits of cycling to work.
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Installing cycle parking for your employees is a win-win scenario. They get somewhere secure for their bikes, you save money.
Signing up to Cyclescheme and supporting cycle commuters isn’t just good news for your staff: there are big benefits for employers too.