(Written by Peter Kimberely, managing director of Cycle Republic)
Our industry is changing. Across the marketplace we are witnessing continual investment from retailers enhancing in-store experiences, governments and local authorities continuing to develop new infrastructure and bike manufacturers pushing the boundaries on bike design.
Our cyclists want so much more, whether that is their daily commute, a sportive or a hack across the downs at the weekend. At every touchpoint we need to make it easy for them to enjoy the freedom and not the hassle of cycling.
Something that we discuss with customers looking for a new bike is the importance of a test ride. We offer free test rides to allow customers to find the right bike for them. As the economy is facing uncertain and challenging times we offer customers extensive zero per cent finance plans allowing them to manage a payment plan that best suits them, especially helpful in today’s economic environment.
I believe that cycling is more accessible to people now than it has ever been before. Those looking to start commuting to work can enjoy a huge range of fantastic bike prices under the tax-free threshold, whether that’s a lightweight hybrid, a convenient folding bike or even an e-bike, which is a sector that now includes a number of great models priced under £1,000. It’s clear that the cost of participation has dropped dramatically.
The growth of electric bikes, particularly for mainstream cycling over the last few years, has been astounding. As e-bikes become increasingly relevant in modern cities, we are seeing people start of think differently about the possibilities of cycling. E-bikes allow the city commuter to travel further for longer, tackle those challenging hills and access new routes, whilst embracing the freedom of cycling.
Many customers are concerned the complexities of aftercare associated with e-bikes. In response to this, we have found success reviewing our workshop proposition to provide customers with a choice of a dedicated e-bike service packages when they purchase the bike, or alternatively selecting a silver or gold e-bike service. The market will continue to evolve. However, as long as we listen to our customers, whether they’re newbies or seasoned cyclists, we can embrace change and make it easy for our customers to enjoy the freedom of cycling rather than become weighed down by the hassle.
Cycle Republic is working with key city transport organisations to meet our joint goals of getting more of the nation on bikes.