The bike stuff – how to cut the cost of cycling

Covered mag, presented by
  • | by Kristian Dando

Cycling is ace. In busy cities, a bike can get you from A to B quicker than a car, it’s great exercise, and what’s more, it’s good fun.

If the onset of spring has got you hankering after a bike, but you don’t fancy splashing out too much, we’ve put together some handy hints for cutting the cost of saddling up.

Get on the cycle to work scheme

If your workplace is signed up to the tax-free bike scheme, you could make savings on your PAYE tax as well as your national insurance contributions, and importantly, get a shiny new bike too. Have a read about the ins and outs of the scheme.

Buy reconditioned

There are plenty of tantalisingly priced new bikes on the market, but if you fancy going even cheaper, then think about buying second-hand. You could try the usual online suspects – ebay, Gumtree and sites of that ilk – or you could try something a bit different. In South Wales,’s very own manor, Cardiff Cycle Workshop sells reconditioned bikes with three month warranties from just £50 for an adult bike. See if your local area operates a similar scheme.

Stick with your old bike

If you’ve got an old bike lying around gathering dust (and rust), you might think that the best place for it is the scrapyard – but think again. A quick service might be all that you need. Take it to your local friendly bike emporium and get them to have a look at it. Getting it roadworthy for another year might well cost less than you think.

Go on a bike maintenance course

There’s a bit of an outlay here, but if you learn the seemingly-complex workings of your bike, you could end up saving yourself a lot of money in the long run. There are no shortage of centres offering courses, so see what’s available in your area.

Think twice about bike insurance – add it to your contents policy instead

Unless you’ve got an ultra-expensive bike, then taking out a separate insurance policy for it in the long run might well end up being more expensive than just buying another bike if yours is swiped – particularly if you haven’t paid a great deal for it. Or, you could just add it to your home contents insurance policy.

However, make sure that you know the terms and conditions, as some policies may require you to keep the bike locked up in a garage, for instance. And remember to check your excess – you don’t want to end up pay more than the bike’s worth should you need to make a claim.

If you’re concerned about your bike being stolen when you’re out and about, make sure you invest in a good, heavy duty lock.