My employer's cycle to work scheme (Cycle Solutions) allows a max spend of £1k for a bicycle. Ideally I want a bicycle that fits the following criteria:

  • Drop bars

  • Frame with eyelets (I can transfer the pannier rack from my old bike)

  • At least a Tiagra gearset, not sure if 105 is too much to ask for this budget. SRAM equivalent is fine, although I've no experience with SRAM as of yet.

  • Non-slim tyres: 30C at least, 32C ideally. Not fat tyres either.

I'm also taking my Brooks saddle from my old bike, so any saddle will do. I'm not picky when it comes to unkown brands either. The bike will be used for commuting and touring.

The cycle scheme has a lot of partner shops, so I'm sure to find my ideal bike in one of these shops and most do price match. Have you come with such a bike for this budget?

Thanks in advance!

  • Hello and welcome to StackExchange. Please go read the tour to learn how the site is organised and what is on/off topic. As it stands, your question is very much "recommend me a brand/model of bike" which is classed as off-topic because its localised and tends to go out of relevance very quickly. So it will likely be closed for that reason.
    – Criggie
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 20:50
  • Dan's answer targets an implicit question of "how do I get the best usage out of the UK cycle to work scheme?" without recommending anything specific.
    – Criggie
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 20:52

1 Answer 1


I'll try to answer as best I can as I've just upgraded using the cycle to work scheme

Firstly the £1000 limit has been lifted so as long as your employer has signed up to an official cycle to work scheme then the sky's the limit, or as much as you can afford to pay back monthly.

Secondly bare in mind the shop owns your bike for the first 4 years, you are basically renting the bike from them, so for the first 4 years do not modify the bike in any way.

Thirdly, get down to the shop your employer has signed up with, arrange a few test rides and pick the bike your comfortable with and in budget, you can also purchase :

Shoes, clothing and bike accessories within the scheme so make sure you get what you need.

The shop will then give you a quote and your employer will then pay that amount to the shop and you will get issued a certificate with a unique code, this is used as payment towards the goods.

Your monthly payment contributions then start and you get the 32% discount back in tax and ni contributions.

Take your time in choosing the right bike, only you know what you'll be right with but you should be able to get a reasonable bike when you take in the savings you get back.

Just to pick up on lots of choice of cycle shop, unfortunately it will be the one your employer has signed up with, you can't decide what shop to choose. If your employer hasn't signed up yet you can always suggest a shop to them that's within the cycle to work scheme.

  • I'm reading about the removal of the £1k limit back in June. Seems the Customer Services rep from my cycle scheme doesn't know about it. She's even saying that it's a restriction from HMRC (?)
    – Jonorl
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 15:09
  • @jonori it used to be the limit because they didn't want employee's getting into unexpected debt, they lifted the limit and it's now up to the employer to decide if you can afford payment.
    – Dan K
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 15:14
  • Thanks Dan, the cycle scheme company will now ask my employer if it's fine for me to go over the £1,000 limit. I have no reasons to suspect they'll say no.
    – Jonorl
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 15:19
  • Minor - what are "ni contributions." ? National.. something ?
    – Criggie
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 20:48
  • 1
    And +1 for avoiding specific product recs.
    – Criggie
    Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 20:48

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