Media area

Back to media area

Local bikes shops are key parts of the community

15 February 2018

free2cycle is a big supporter of local bike shops, recent reports have indicated that independent bike shops are being side-lined which calls into question whether independent bike shops will survive in a changing market. The free2cycle partnership bucks this trend focusing instead on driving business back to the high-street. Eric Craig, CEO of free2cycle commented, “all bikes provided through free2cycle are distributed through the independent, authorised retailers of our suppliers. This is key for us, we encourage more people to ride, especially those that could but currently don’t. The helpful, friendly face of a local retailer is a vital part of the equation.”

Not only do they drive business back to the high-street but free2cycle change the currency by removing the traditional price barrier.Cyclists make a weekly mileage pledge which determines the value of bike that can be earned by riding it. Craig states, “It isn't about pounds it's about pedal power. A cyclist who pledges to ride 30 miles a week would get to own the bike of their choice to the value of £540 while 90 miles a week would fund £1,620 of bike. Cyclists are free upgrade their bike by making a personal contribution, either as an upfront payment or a monthly contribution. free2cycle works on a four-year upgrade and finance cycle which keeps contributions affordable if they aren’t able to meet their mileage pledge. As an example, if cyclists consistently only achieved half of a 30 mile per week pledge they would need to take some responsibility and chip in around £7 per month.

Retailers earn the majority of what they would have done earned with a traditional sale, additionally business is driven back to the retailer with the service or accessories vouchers issued by free2cycle as part of their commute incentive programme.“We want to encourage a strong, local retailer network, they are crucial to help grow our cycling community, we need independent bike retailers to be growing, not shrinking or closing down.” added Craig.

Unlike traditional cycling schemes which are most attractive to higher earners who can afford to sacrifice some of their salary, with free2cycle cyclists earn a bike by riding it. The cost of the bike is covered by the sponsoring organisation which may be but is not restricted to employers.

An innovative business model and technology are key to making this beneficial for all concerned. Sponsoring organisations benefit from quantified CO2 savings and other measurable benefits, if they happen to be employers they reap the rewards of a more energetic, creative, healthier and happier team. Craig believes that this is no-brainer for sponsoring organisations declaring “financially organisations break-even from the get go and enjoy a typical return of 10:1 or better.”



Further information

Brief introductory video:

As a sponsor organisation, you agree to fund the mileage-based payment of cyclists from any group of individuals you have chosen to support who sign up to Free2Cycle. These may be employees, but can extend to other groups, such as local community groups, membership groups or academic institutes. Sponsor organisations can benefit from the carbon offset achieved by fewer cars on the roads, with swapping a bus for a bike saving 300kg of carbon per annum. They also achieve a more productive team who require fewer sick days.

Sponsors contribute 20p plus VAT per mile up to a cap. A typical commitment of around 35 miles each week would enable the cyclist to get a bike worth £600 and cost sponsors £20 per month plus VAT. Their contribution which acts as a catalyst to transforming wellbeing breaks-even from the get go with marginal improvements but typically provides a return of around 10 to 1 or better.

About Free2cycle

Free2cycle is a social enterprise committed to transforming wellbeing through cycling. It does this by working in partnership with organisations, retailers, suppliers and particularly those who don’t currently cycle, to incentivise regular bike use. This increases physical activity levels and improve the environment. Established in 2017 with £50 million allocated to providing bikes in 2018, it is a technology enabled, financial services offering which will deliver substantial benefits; to not only sponsoring organisations but individuals too. It enables a healthier lifestyle while providing sponsors with a measurable wellbeing and environmental benefits and for those who sponsor their employee a more productive workforce.

The company’s objective is to provide the means and encourage employees to use a bike as their preferred mode of transport. Extensive research shows this will directly benefit their physical and mental health whilst reducing carbon emissions and congestion. Current return on investment is calculated at 10:1.

We are proud to offer Genesis, Giant, Liv, Raleigh, Ridgeback, Saracen, Scott, Specialized and Trek bikes through free2cycle.

The leadership and management team

Brett Dawson – Chairman - is passionate about using technology to improve people's lives, society and our environment. Brett brings a wealth of experience, acumen and skills to free2cycle. During his 12 years as CEO of Dimension Data he led its quadrupling to a $8 billion business. Brett is a Chartered Accountant and holds a BCom. and BAcc degrees.

Eric Craig - CEO - is a big picture person, strategy and challenging paradigms is second nature, making the seemingly improbable, possible with his focus that drives results. The experience earned in management, directorship and industry leadership roles of successfully delivering strategic change in the financial services and technology sectors provides a depth and breadth of expertise that delivers results. Strong business, communication, technical and financial skills round off his dynamic leadership approach. Eric holds an MBA with additional qualifications in Marketing, Business Management and Assurance.


Mileage pledge and bike values

For more information, please contact:

07799 064 56