Cycle scheme = NEW BIKE!!!

This is VERY exciting. My work have set up a cycle-to-work scheme. This is a government initiative designed to encourage people to cycle to work. Which I do anyway, but it’s still a real treat.

What happens is this. I go out bike shopping to buy myself some new wheels to ride to work on, and any associated safety equipment I need. My employer buys this stuff, and I rent it back from them for 12 months, making 12 monthly payments to cover the cost of the kit. BUT, because my employer buys the bike, they don’t pay VAT, so I get 17.5% off. AND, I pay before tax and National Insurance are deducted, so I get about another 30% off! AND I get it all on a 12 month interest-free loan!

At the end of the 12 months I get to buy the bike for a nominal fee – usually 5% of its cost.

Doing the maths, this means I can buy a nice, say, £600 road bike and get about 49% off the cost!

This is exactly what I’m doing.

I looked at 3 bikes: the Giant SCR2 (I think it was SCR2) a something like £525, the KONA Zing (£999 reduced to £695) and the Felt Z90 (£600).

The Giant didn’t really do much for me at all. You pretty much got what you paid for, and the shop that had it would only sell at RRP, not doing any discounted bikes on the cycle scheme that we’re signed up to at work.

The KONA was a VERY pretty bike, well equipped and great value with the £300 knocked off, but it was a racing bike really. Low position and very hard ride. The higher spec was tempting but in the end the Felt beat it on comfort and suitablility for the kind of riding that I’m doing.

So I have a Felt Z90 on order. Aluminium frame, carbon forks, 27 gears, mostly Shimano equipped. It has a slightly more upright riding position and the extra chain ring (that’s a 3rd big ring by the pedals), bar-top brake levers and softer ride made it a good buy, and very suitable for the training/touring kind of rides that I’m doing.

It takes a while to process the paperwork for the cycle scheme but hopefully I’ll have it before Christmas!!! Yipeee!!!!