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In March 2024, the UK Government announced an increased investment in the cycle network with over £100million of funding across walking and cycling routes. As the UK’s cycle infrastructure improves, it’s becoming more and more feasible for people to switch up their commute and start cycling to work – especially with the added benefit of the cycle to work scheme.

The cycle to work scheme was first introduced in 1999 in the UK. After 25 years of the scheme, we understand that there are bags of information out there which can be daunting if you’re thinking of using the scheme for the first time. In this guide, we’ll explain exactly how the cycle to work scheme works and who can benefit.

What is the cycle to work scheme?

The cycle to work scheme allows cyclists who work in the UK to purchase a bike tax-free, saving up to 42% on the cost of a bike or eBike in addition to cycling equipment like helmets, lights and bike locks.

It works similarly to a company car where you sacrifice a part of your salary every month against the cost of the bike for an agreed period of time. You’ll still get your bike straight away, as when you sign up for the scheme you’ll be issued with a voucher against the cost of the bike. Once you receive your bike and/or accessories the monthly agreed fee will be deducted from your pre-tax salary, you’ll see the deduction on your payslip and the savings will be translated into your take-home pay.

What is a salary sacrifice?

A salary sacrifice is an agreement between you and your employer. It reduces your total salary before tax deductions in return for goods. Meaning the cost of your purchase is tax-free. In this case, the salary sacrifice is against the hire of your bike and equipment.

Own now vs Own later

Through the Cycle to Work Scheme you have the option to either own your bike and accessories straight away, or after a 12 month period, or a 4 year period. Choosing the ‘own it later’ option gives you the option of purchasing the bike for a nominal fee after the initial hire period, and gives the largest discount on your chosen bike. If you select the ‘own now’ option you’ll pay the market value for your bike and accessories with a saving of between 18%-25%.

Who is eligible for the cycle to work scheme?

To benefit from the cycle to work scheme, you must meet the following criteria

Can I use the cycle to work scheme if I am unemployed?

No, as the scheme is funded through a salary sacrifice, if you are unemployed you won’t be eligible to take part.

Is there a price limit on the cycle to work scheme?

No, there’s no longer a price limit on the bike you choose for the cycle to work scheme, making it a great choice for eBikes.

Do I have to cycle to work every day?

While the name ‘cycle to work’ implies you need to be on your bike every day. We know the British weather means that it’s not always the optimal conditions to cycle to work. You don’t have to cycle to work every day, or even every week. Many people opt into the cycle to work scheme and use their bikes primarily for leisure, cycling to work in fair-weather or just when they feel like it.

How do I take part in the cycle to work scheme?

To apply for the cycle to work scheme, simply chose the bike you want. Then fill in the details on the CycleScheme website. Some employers have additional savings so don’t forget to include them on your application.

How can EBCO eBikes Help?

Once you receive your voucher, simply select the store where you’d like to collect your EBCO bike from, check out using the code CYCLESCHEME and we will be in touch to redeem your voucher. Then all you need to do is collect your eBike!

eBike Laws and Regulations: A Complete Guide for 2024

Electric bikes (eBikes) have become increasingly popular as sustainable and efficient alternatives to traditional transportation. With their rise in popularity, you might be curious as to what makes an eBike illegal, and if eBikes are legal. This comprehensive guide will explore eBike laws, helping you navigate the regulations and ensure your ride is legal and safe.

What’s the Difference Between eBikes and eMotorbikes?

The main difference between eBikes and eMotorbikes is that eBikes are simply bicycles equipped with an electric motor to assist in propulsion. They have a lower power and speed in comparison to an eMotorbike and are ideal for short commutes and leisure, and are assisted by pedals. Whereas eMotorbikes are controlled by a throttle with more power and speed than an eBike. Technically, eBikes are known as ‘electrically assisted pedal cycles’ (or EAPCs).

Do You Need a License For an Electric Bike?

No, unlike an eMotorbike you do not need a license to ride one, and it does not need to be registered, taxed, or insured.

Legal Requirements for eBikes in the UK

While eBikes are legal, they need to meet three simple requirements to comply with UK laws.

Pedal Requirement

An EAPC or eBike must have pedals that can be used to propel

Motor Power Output

Its electric motor must have a maximum power output of 250 watts

Speed Limit

The electric motor must not provide assistance when it’s travelling more than 15.5mph

When you purchase an eBike with EBCO eBikes, you don’t need to worry about whether or not your bike is legal, as all of our eBikes are 100% compliant.

What age can you ride an electric bike?

There is a minimum legal age requirement for eBikes. You must be at least 14 or over to ride.

What Makes an eBike Illegal?

An electric bicycle not compliant with EAPC regulations (above the 15.5mph or 250w limit, or with a throttle) is categorised as a motor vehicle and requires registration and taxation to be ridden legally. Riding such a vehicle mandates a valid driver’s license and the use of a motorcycle helmet.

Where Can You Ride Your eBike?

These faster bikes cannot be used on cycle lanes, but electric bikes are perfectly legal on UK roads as normal pedal bikes are.

Safe, Legal and Compliant eBikes from EBCO

All EBCO eBikes adhere to the legal requirements for electrically assisted pedal cycles (EAPCs). With pedals for propulsion, a maximum power output of 250 watts, and a speed limit of 15.5mph.

You can enjoy the convenience and benefits of EBCO eBikes without worrying about their legality. Whether commuting through urban streets or exploring scenic bike paths, EBCO eBikes offer a legal and eco-friendly mode of transportation for individuals of all ages, ready to shop eBikes? Explore the range today.

Bikes can be inherently mucky things

Whether you’re hitting the dirt or simply catching road salts dissolved into rainwater following a frost. Whether it’s old chain oil or road grime, there’s a lot that goes into the maintenance, use and cleaning of bikes and that requires just a small amount of additional thought when it comes to owning an electric bike. Thankfully, it’s not nearly as complicated as you’d think.

Turn your e-bike off!
Starting with the common sense tips, before you start pouring water over your bike turn it off and certainly make sure the bike is not on charge. Electric bikes are incredibly well sealed and waterproofed to a high degree, but nonetheless, it makes sense to turn off any electrics while washing your bike to avoid any shocks.

Find a reputable cleaning product to loosen grime
There is a high degree of competition on the market for bike cleaners, but not all are equal, so it’s worth taking a short while to seek out knowledge from your local bike shop to find out what they’re cleaning bikes with, or to read some reviews online.

One further tip; do seek out specific products and do not try to wing it with other household cleaning products as there is no telling if these will be safe for use on your bike’s paint, or whether they will damage the seals or leave a streaky finish once applied. Furthermore, some cleaning products, if they do not come off completely, could affect your braking performance, which presents a danger.

If you can, clean the bike in a stand, but never upside down
It is sometimes easier to think about maintenance and cleaning jobs with the bike positioned pivoted on the saddle and handlebar. Sometimes that can be okay for maintenance, but for cleaning it is not advisable as gravity will work against the drainage holes that the manufacturer will have made in frames and casings in order to let water drain. Another reason against doing this is the inevitable damage you’ll end up doing to the saddle and cockpit; very often brake levers can be scuffed, among other handlebar-based gadgets.

If you can stretch the budget a bike stand is an excellent investment in the ease of care for your bike and these have come down in price a lot over the years. Know the weight of your bike and then go shopping based on what each stand says it can comfortably handle. If your budget won’t stretch to a full on bike stand, there are simpler devices on the market into which you can park and balance a bike. Just search for cycle stands in your search engine.

Minimise jet washer use
We get it, it’s tempting to get the job done pronto and nothing gets the job done faster than a jet washer, but there is a very real risk that going overboard could do some water ingress damage. While manufacturers seal their bikes up against the elements, there’s a big difference between riding through puddles and having a high-pressure direct blast of water applied to moving parts and electricals.

If you cannot resist the temptation to use a jet washer, set it on the lightest of the settings and stand back, only targeting the area where there are no moving parts, electrics or lubricated components. A much better option is to use a garden hose, pushing your thumb into the end to create a spray if you need a little pressure to loosen the muck.

Look out for cleaning tools  
Most bike shops will carry a range of cleaning tools ranging brushes that can access the spaces in between cogs, right through to chain baths that are specifically designed to clean and gently relubricate a chain. If you are using fabrics to wipe down your bike, seek out something soft and be very careful not to accidentally clasp a bunch of grit in cloth, pressing that against your paintwork.

Take extra care on disc rotors
It goes without saying that disc brakes need to be as contaminant-free as possible and so it pays to take your time cleaning these with specialist products. You do not want to leave any residue on the brakes as it can affect the ability to stop your bike if the pads cannot grip a lubricated surface. An indicator that contamination has occurred can come from brakes that squeal when you pull on the levers.

In washing your cassette or chain, be extra careful that you are not accidentally washing the lubricants through the wheel and onto the brakes, which can happen very easily if you are choosing to wash the bike laid down. It is quite difficult to bring contaminated brake pads back to full performance, so save yourself the trouble of buying replacement pads by taking extra care here.

Finally, dry your bike as completely as you canWater is not the friend of metals in many cases and it’s a quick route to seeing your parts go rusty. Some bike care products are hydrophobic and will actively drive out moisture while maintaining lubrication, so these can be incredibly useful to keeping your drivetrain running smoothly.

Frame protection stickies
There now exist a wide range of bike protection sticky products that are pre-cut for various components and areas of the frame where grime tends to stick. Such protective stickers can very often be bought transparent, so as to not ruin the aesthetic of your bike and when they come into contact with mud they are incredibly good at re-shredding it, which will only serve to prolong the life of your pride and joy.

Need a deep clean?
Some bike shops have specialist component cleaning machines that are able to completely decontaminate component parts and in fact, some stores will do this as part of their top-tier bike servicing plans. As is so often the case, it can be wise to relax and leave it to the pros if you want a thorough job.