Since its introduction in 1999 the Cycle to Work Scheme has paved the way to healthier commutes for hundreds of thousands of employees across the UK – and while body and mind benefit, bank accounts get a boost too: cycling to work saves up to £3,000 per year (compared to driving), and it’s an easy way to buy a brand new bike at a fraction of the cost.
The Cycle to Work Scheme is your route to a tax-free, brand new bike, saving you at least 25%, and up to 42% from the maximum value of £1,000 – which you’ll pay over an agreed period of time with a ‘salary sacrifice’. Essentially, your company buys the bike, you hire it via an agreement until it’s paid off and, after a final payment, all yours. The best bit? It’s in your possession to ride straight away.
The scheme is open to all (yes, even if you already own a bike – or several!) and ideal if you’re looking to dip your toes into cycling. At 99 Bikes we support all the leading scheme providers, so you can access our huge selection of bikes. But where do you begin with your commuter companion?
READY TO ROCK
Using tracks and paths away from cars as well as the road on your journey means that you’ll need a bike that can cope with a variety of surfaces, and you can find a commuter bike to fit the bill for well under the scheme’s £1,000 ceiling, to include a helmet and accessories into the deal.
The Specialized Crosstrail Sport, £675, is a hybrid built for comfortable commutes on any terrain. Its SL Premium Aluminium frame is combined with 55mm of travel in the suspension forks to deliver comfort when the going gets rough. The shock features Fitness Brain Technology, which differentiates between bumpy ground and rider input, to improve efficiency. The 18 gears gives a good range on the flat and hills alike, while 160mm hydraulic disc brakes deliver confidence, whatever the weather. Its 700c wheels with 32mm tyres, mounts for mudguards and space for a rack will ensure year-round ride readiness.
If your rides are likely to include lumps and bumps aplenty, consider the Cube Acid 2018 hardtail mountain bike for £899, with flat bars like the hybrid but greater levels of comfort over rocky terrain via its smoother and greater suspension travel, 100mm through air sprung RockShox forks offering a range of settings through its PopLoc lockout and 22-gear range. Its hydraulic disc brakes (180mm front/160mm rear) provide all-weather stopping power, while the tailored wheel size (27.5 or 29er depending on frame size) and Cube’s ‘Lite’ alloy frame provide maximum comfort.
NEED FOR SPEED
If tarmac is likely to be your main work-run surface, Cube’s Attain Race Disc, £949, brings a little bit of racing spirit to your rides with drop handlebars, aerodynamic lightweight alu frame and carbon fork. But comfort is key on the commute – Attain’s Road Comfort geometry promotes an efficient yet non-aggressive seated position, while mudguard mounts, mechanical disc brakes and plenty of clearance for 28mm wide tyres will match aspirations of anyone looking to ride in comfort whatever the weather. Commutes equal clocked-up distance, so you’ll want components you can rely on, and Attain answers this with its Shimano 20-speed Tiagra drivetrain – the perfect package for a commuter road bike.
It’s super simple to get one of these bike through the scheme. To get started, ask your employer if they’re signed up, pick out your perfect commuter companion from Hargroves and follow these easy steps to a healthier future for you, the planet and your pocket.