UK Cycle2Work Scheme - recommend me a bike!


Wonderful news! I have a few weeks to choose a bike that can be up to £2500 as part of the UK Cycle2Work scheme (where it basically saves me about 48% to buy a bike). I am looking for a road bike (endurance for long rides). I can hardly contain my joy as my wife has agreed this is a perfect treat for my July 50th birthday!

If anyone has any bike recommendations please do commence!




Nice ! Any limits on where its coming from, e.g. Halfords vouchers? No point recommending something cool & exotic if you can’t get it on your scheme …

Which brings me to: what’s your preference: best all-rounder, best-dressed major brand name, something unusual and cool?

Got to be carbon, or open to steel / titanium / high end alu?

Any injuries to consider (e.g. “my lower back always hurts after 3 hours”)? Comfy bike or something that will respond to occasional attacks of red mist? Any desire to come last at a local crit and not care about finishing position?


So I’ve been browsing sites like Tredz and they support the scheme. Looks like most online stores functioning within the UK support it (such as Evans and Rutland). So I am not stuck with Halfords.

Preference - thing is, I have never owned a modern road bike beyond the one I have now (from Decathlon’s own brand) which is firmly attached to my Kickr. I hadn’t ridden anything other than a MTB before then for decades. So, I am very interested in training for longer rides, rather than getting all flash and mid-age-crisis. Not a tourer, but more of a 3-5 hour comfort ride.
I have zero clue about bikes, frames, types, Shimano vs whatever etc.
Basically I am a virgin bike buyer.
I am injury free, 5foot9inches and so fit a medium frame.

Any interest in competitions are more to take part and meet people than win or lose. I have a 1 year old son to consider, so can’t commit to much in the way of competing anyway.

All that said, I am an Attacker type, so red mist can’t be rules out :sweat_smile:

So excited!

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That is AMAZING - nice job. That’s going to get you a fair number of options frame wise and if you want, potentially good drivetrain as well.


Too many options. What do you like the look of?

Drivetrain: Di2 would be a big win, you know you want electronic gears. :slight_smile: If not Ultegra or SRAM Force, but 105 is not a noticeable drop if it gets you the frame & wheel you want.

Discs or rim brakes: doesn’t matter in the dry, discs are more reliable in the wet and muck.

for the red mist: Merida Reacto, Orbea Orca, Giant Propel, Orro Venturi …

for the comfy miles: Giant TCR, Merida Scultura, Scott Addict, Specialized Tarmac, Cannondale SuperSix, Bianchi Sprint …

I love my Reacto for translating my feeble efforts in to purest undiluted speeeeed with no creaking or flexing. Comfy too for 4+ hour rides. See if you can swing a bike fit with the voucher, no sense having such a weapon that doesn’t fit. You’ll want road shoes and pedals to get the best from it also.

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Yeah I was definitely after slotting in a proper bike fit if at all possible. I’m going to start browsing the bikes you’ve mentioned, just to familiarise with what’s out there. For me it’ll be discs, as it’s the UK… :laughing:

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Was just about to say about discs.
Rim brakes are effectively done for now and I can’t see a future reason for them. Those of us (me for example) who have a rim brake only frame will continue for possibly a long time but new bike wise … I’d go for disc in any country anytime now.

For example … you can buy a decent wheel set now and not have to replace it or throw it away just because you’ve been braking a lot on hills in wet gritty salty conditions - such a waste of money the whole rim thing (IMO). And then there’s the rims that don’t have markers so you don’t know if your rim is safe anymore … yadda yadda yadda.

If I ever have money for a bike in my future life I’ll be switching to disc.

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It is a thing of beauty:

Wow! I’m shopping around and looking at all the models you mentioned… but this is a beauty.

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Depending on flexibility, you might find that frame a bit on the aggressive side - i believe the Reacto is more of a race bike.

Check out things like the Canyon Endurace (can buy on Green Commute Initiative c2w scheme) or Trek Domane, Cannondale Synapse, Specialized Roubaix. All more aimed at Sportive riders and have a bit more relaxed geometry.


I got a Orro Pyro Evo 105. Couldn’t be happier. 28mm tyres and considering my top of the range bikes this hands down is the comfiest I have ridden and perfect for a long day in the saddle. I was sceptical but when I rode it all those concerns went away

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If you’re in/around London the guys at bespoke did a brilliant job fitting me for a bike. Otherwise I’d recommend your LBS if they will take the scheme vouchers (plenty will).

I’d check out the Domane or Emonda - former takes bigger tyres and has a slightly more relaxed geometry. I love my Emonda for the light frame and stiffness for climbing and it’s comfortable enough for 8-10 hour rides.


I’m 50, overweight and get lower back soreness after 3 or 4 hours. I wouldn’t’ve bought something so aggressive looking without a good test ride, so pleased I did though. Think of it as my mid-life crisis.

Could’ve bought a Scultura or Roubaix or similar instead, but then I’m trading those few %s of comfort on 8/9 hour rides for the idiot grin when I pretend that I’m fast on, um, every single ride. :slight_smile:


Thanks everyone! I am having a great time reading reviews and window shopping!

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Does anyone have any experience with this lovely machine?

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so ive just submitted my B2W order at my LBS, as has my boss, and we took different routes

As i already have a road bike (Emonda ALR6 2018), but need something for winter that can also be used for more casual rides with the kids (trail/park/some road), I went Gravel - - this was a recommended bike from my LBS, and i then soent a couple of hundred extra for spd pedals, mud guards (for commuting), and changing the tyres to 42 and TLR.

My boss, however, used his cert solely to buy a frame (he went Dogma!!). He then bought components seperately out of his own pocket and is dropping it all to the same LBS as a package to build for him

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This is great. I’ve booked in a bike fit at last for next Monday, so after that I can pick the right components. It’s tempting to buy a frame then purchase the rest separately, but I don’t actually want to spend more than £2500 if at all possible on everything including saddle and pedals. That seems, to someone who actually doesn’t ride much outdoors, enough :slight_smile:

Still liking that Dolan bike, but others that look good:émonda/émonda-sl/émonda-sl-5/p/32560/?colorCode=grey_greydark

So much choice…


Hi Liam.
I am in the same position as you with the Cycle to Work scheme and have just decided on a Ribble Endurance SLR Disc. A Whole lot of bike for the money. If you read the reviews then it is right up there with the likes of the Specialised Tarmac but a much more affordable price.

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Cool - out of interest, Sir Jon, how can you purchase it when it’s above the £2500 limit, or do you not have such a limit with the scheme?

I had a bike fit and have finally settled on the following beauty:

If anyone has any concerns about that choice, happy to hear! I changed my mind from wanting a sportive after speaking to the bike fitter/coach chap, who explained that comfort and distance rides was as much about choosing a good fitting bike, riding in a good position etc than necessarily a sportive model. Since I can’t see myself actually going anywhere for 8 hours these days, I’d rather get something I can have some fun with.

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Yeah our scheme is for 3k.

Nice choice.

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Get a Retul bike fit from someone prior to buying the bike - Bespoke do this, but look around and you’ll find others.

A good Retul fitter will be able to check your position on any bike prior to you buying it. They use an adjustable jig that can be set to any geometry and angle to replicate the bike you might like to buy.

It’s best if you have an idea of some options, as they can simply download the technical drawings from the manufacturer’s site, and start fitting you. A good fitter will also be able to make suggestions from their own database.

Once you’ve bought the bike, they can then set it up to be perfect for you, based on your original fit.

It’s a small outlay (a couple of hundred pounds), but will mean you buy the right bike for your frame, and it will be perfectly fitted to you.