Do you need to get a new bike for your child? Are you considering a UK bike subscription service with Bike Club instead of buying a bike?
Wondering what Bike Club is and whether a bike subscription is worth it?
In this article we go behind the scenes of the kids Bike Club subscription service. If you want to avoid outgrown bikes piling up in the shed and having to fork out for a new one every few months, a bike membership subscription is an attractive option. But it’s not for everyone!
We speak with Harry Gorvin, who has worked at Bike Club for the last few years and knows everything there is to know about how it works. We hope this interview helps you decide whether Bike Club’s UK subscription service is for you.
1. Why was Bike Club set up?
Bike Club subscription service was set up in the UK in 2016 by Alexandra Rico-Lloyd and James Symes to solve the problem of kids growing out of their pedal bikes too quickly.
Bike Club is a subscription service that provides kids with the perfect bike for them – the right size at the right age. We then refurbish those bikes when they are returned so that they can be used by other kids. This reduces waste and saves parents money.
Bike Club has many benefits, including:
- It’s convenient. You don’t have to worry about buying a new bike every time your child grows out of the old one. Plus they’re always riding the correct size bike, so it’s more fun (and safe) for them.
- It’s affordable: The monthly subscription fee is far less than the cost of buying a new bike and can work out cheaper overall depending on your circumstances (more details below).
- It’s sustainable: Bike Club refurbishes old bikes, which helps to reduce waste and your carbon footprint. Bike Club is also a certified BCorp business, which means it complies with stringent social and environmental requirements.
(There’s more on the benefits and things to be aware of with Bike Club, below.)
Today, Bike Club has the largest children’s rental bike fleet in the world. We currently have a presence in the UK, Germany, Austria and Spain.
2. How does Bike Club work?
Bike Club is a subscription service for kids’ bikes. It works like this:
- You choose the size, type, brand and colour of bike you want for your child.
- Bike Club delivers the bike to your door.
- You pay a subscription fee on a monthly basis.
- When your child grows out of the bike, you can simply exchange it for a bigger one.
- Bike Club takes care of the rest, including collecting the old bike and refurbishing it for another child.
- Our bikes are delivered pre-built with only the pedals to install and handlebars and saddle to adjust. We have helpful guides on the help page of our website on how to set up the bike.
3. How long is the Bike Club subscription for?
Our contracts have no set length; you can choose the duration that suits you. They remain active until you decide to cancel, and there are no specific time constraints.
You have the flexibility to make exchanges at any time throughout your membership, recognising that it’s challenging to anticipate when your child might experience a growth spurt.
Balance bikes can be exchanged free of charge after 12 months, while all other bikes can be exchanged after 18 months.
If you decide to exchange your bike earlier, a one-time fee of £19.99 per bike will be applied, covering both the delivery costs and costs of collection. Your monthly billing cycle will only commence after the exchange has been completed.
4. How much does it cost to subscribe to Bike Club?
The Bike Club pricing structure depends on the type and brand of bike. It also depends whether it’s a new bike or a rebike. Rebikes are used bikes that have been professionally refurbished so that they’re ready for a new rider.
Bike Club’s eco-friendly circular model relies on keeping our bikes in circulation to reduce waste and get as many kids riding as possible.
Currently, the cheapest option is a Frog Tadpole rebike which costs £6.99 a month. Larger bikes cost more, for example, the new Forme Kinder, generally for 8 to 12-year-olds, costs £17.99 a month.
For extra peace of mind in your child’s bike subscription, we advise considering Bike Club Plus. For an additional £1 per month, you’ll gain protection for repairs, accidental damage, and extended coverage in the case of a complete loss.
5. Are there any Bike Club offers and discounts?
Bike Club has various offers throughout the year. Currently, we are running a Christmas offer, which delivers up to 50% off any bike for 12 months.
We also have a refer-a-friend scheme. By referring someone you can treat them to 25% off for 6 months, and also get yourself a £30 John Lewis voucher.
Finally, our partnership with Cycling UK means that Cycling UK members receive their first month free on subscriptions to any bikes.
6. Is it cheaper to rent via Bike Club or buy your kids bike?
If you’re weighing up Bike Club v buying a bike from a cost perspective, which is best depends on a variety of factors. Brand new premium kids bikes are expensive, with a 20-inch bike costing around £330 to £420. At the rate at which children grow, you might have to buy a new bike for them every couple of years.
With Bike Club we want to make kids cycling affordable, flexible, and sustainable. You will not have to worry about large upfront costs, or buying a new bike when they soon outgrow their current one. Instead of collecting bikes in the garage, with Bike Club your child can always have a bike that fits for an affordable monthly fee.
7. Is a Bike Club subscription worth it?
Yes! Bike Club’s UK subscription service is definitely worth the cost in terms of quality and convenience. (But of course we’d say that! Here are some points to consider on either side.)
Benefits of Bike Club
Here are some of the benefits of a Bike Club subscription:
- Convenience: Bike Club takes the hassle out of buying and maintaining a kids’ bike. You can choose the bike you want online and have it delivered to your door very quickly. There’s no need to store outgrown bikes or maintain it for a younger sibling.
- Flexibility: Bike Club subscriptions offer a flexible option for families whose needs may change over time. When your child grows, you can easily exchange their bike. It also means your child can try different types of bike; for example a mountain bike or road bike.
- Affordability: Bike Club subscriptions are very affordable, especially when you consider the cost of buying a new bike every few years.
- Sustainability: Bike Club offers rebikes, bikes that are refurbished and reused, which helps to reduce waste and protect the environment.
- Variety: Bike Club offers a wide variety of bikes, so you can find the perfect bike for your child.
Overall, a Bike Club subscription is a great option for parents who want to provide their children with the best possible cycling experience without the hassle and expense of buying kids’ bikes.
Things to be aware of with Bike Club
At Bike Club, we believe in transparency. There are a few situations where we think you might want to think twice before going down the Bike Club route.
- Big plans for customisation: Bike enthusiasts that want to customise their kids bike and make it bespoke for them should remember they’ve got to hand it back at some point!
- Kids that are inflexible on the colour and make of their bike – Bike Club’s bikes are all great, but we can’t guarantee that we always have a particular make or colour in stock when a child wants it.
- Kids that go very “hard” on their bikes – perhaps they’re into BMX jumps, cyclocross racing, extreme bike parks, or perhaps they’re just extremely accident prone! Either way, read point 8 below regarding damage or consider Bike Club Plus!
- Credit checks – be aware that we run credit checks. In order to protect ourselves, and our existing members, we perform credit checks on all orders. As a regulated company, we are also obligated to verify our members’ ability to meet their monthly payment obligations. We only ever make ‘soft’ credit checks, which don’t affect your credit score and won’t affect your ability to apply for credit in the future.
8. Which bike brands does Bike Club offer?
Bile Club offers a variety of premium brands from the UK and Europe. Here is a little about each brand and why we work with them:
- Forme: A UK brand whose children’s bikes are designed by a British team of professional riders. Their bikes undergo a thorough assessment and are refined by Derbyshire cyclists and the opinions of young riders. Forme bikes offer a wide range of options, including hybrids, road, mountain, and balance bikes, available in an array of vibrant colours.
- Frog: Established in 2013, Frog Bikes emerged from the necessity for well-crafted, lightweight, and cost-effective bikes designed exclusively for children. Frog’s children’s bicycles have garnered international recognition and accolades for their exceptional design and innovative features.
- Woom: Woom enjoys a strong reputation within the children’s bicycle industry. Crafted in Europe with a commitment to utilising top-tier components and designed in Austria, Woom bikes are gaining recognition in the United Kingdom due to their increasing popularity. The outcome is a unique collection of children’s bikes that combine lightweight design with both exceptional aesthetics and performance.
- Orbea: Featuring distinctive colours, Orbea bikes provide a seamless and enjoyable riding experience for kids. Designed in Spain with top-quality components, these bikes not only look great but also deliver exceptional performance. We offer a range of great Orbea hybrid, road, and mountain bikes.
- Cube: Established in 1993 in Bavaria, Cube has risen to become a prominent global bicycle brand, offering a diverse selection of bikes catering to riders of all skill levels. Cube bicycles are celebrated for their exceptional quality, resilience, and performance, earning numerous awards over time. Furthermore, they are meticulously crafted to endure the demands of everyday use, providing your child with a worry-free riding experience.
We are sometimes asked if we offer electric bikes; the answer is no. Kids electric bikes are a rarity currently and we think there are potential.
9. What happens if your Bike Club bike breaks?
We anticipate a reasonable degree of wear and tear on our subscription bikes, so there’s no need to be concerned about minor marks or scratches and routine service repairs, such as replacing cables or tires. You don’t need to take your bike to a bike shop or bike mechanic before handing it back.
However, if we suspect that the bike has been subjected to usage beyond typical children’s cycling activities, there may be a charge for repairs. In exceptional situations, we might need to claim back the bike’s value.
Our bikes are quite robust, and it’s a rarity for us to request reimbursement for repair expenses from a member.
10. What happens if the Bike Club bike is stolen?
Children’s bike thefts are fairly uncommon in the UK. This is because they are rarely left in isolated places, and are usually secured at home or in a garden shed.
If your Bike Club bike is stolen you will have to pay for the bike until the excess amount has been paid. However with Bike Club Plus you get a certain level of theft insurance protection as you will only need to pay the total loss amount for your bike as set out in the policy.
If you are not signed up to Bike Club Plus, you will need to pay the current value of the bike. This will never be more than the retail price.
11. Where can people find out more?
For more information about Bike Club and its subscription services, head over to the official website at bikeclub.com.
There, you can explore the extensive range of bikes available for different ages and riding styles and learn more about the flexible exchanges.
Bike Club’s website is also a comprehensive resource for all things cycling, providing valuable information for both new and experienced riders. Whether you’re seeking tips on maintaining your child’s bike, exploring new cycling routes, or finding inspiration for family cycling adventures, the Bike Club website should have what you need.
A big thank you to Harry for sharing these insights into Bike Club.
Have you tried Bike Club? How was it? Let us know in the comments below.
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