Money-saving tips for travelling around on two wheels in Essex

If you’re looking to save money on your travels around Essex, check out our money-saving tips for getting around on two wheels.

Buying a bike - the Cycle to Work scheme

Many employers offer a Cycle to Work scheme – a tax-free benefit that helps spread the cost of buying a bike and cycling safety equipment.

How it works is that technically, your employer is just loaning you the bike, and will collect a monthly repayment from your pre-tax salary (known as 'salary sacrifice'). At the end of the loan period, you can choose to buy the bike outright at a reduced cost. - or give it back.

If you’re thinking about swapping to cycling for your commute, check with your employer which scheme it works with. Then you will need to choose your bike, apply to your employer and you’ll get a voucher for the specific cost of the bike. You then give this to the shop in exchange for your new bike.

Check out this calculator to work out how much you can save on the cycle to work scheme.

Buying a second hand bike

To cut the cost of getting in the saddle, you could check out eBay or local Marketplace groups where you can often pick up top-quality bikes for a fraction of the usual cost.

When looking at buying a used bike online, carefully examine the frame in the photos, and ask for extra close-ups if needed. While you can usually replace other components, you can't do much with a cracked or seriously dented frame. Cycling UK have a great guide explaining everything you need to know about buying a second hand bike:

Rent rather than buy your child’s bike

Rather than buy a new child’s bike every time they grow out of their old one, how about renting a bike. The Bike Club, lets you rent decent cycles from £6/month (plus joining and other fees), then swap them for another whenever they become too small.

FREE adult cycling training for adults

Whether you’ve never learned to cycle or need a bit of a confidence boost, we offer FREE adult cycling courses. These include our beginners Learn to Ride training (45 minute sessions, maximum of four), Confidence-building session (two hours in length, one session only) or Advanced session (a 1-to-1, two hours in length, one session only). All training is delivered by our qualified instructors. Get in touch by email.

FREE family cycling training

We have developed family training to help all family members get on their bikes. Whether you’ve never cycled or it’s been a few years since you got on your bike, our training is personalised to your family’s needs and is completely free. Get in touch by email.

Bikeability training for schools

From basic cycling skills to advanced journeys, we work with The Bikeability Trust offering cycle training for school children across Essex. Get in touch by email for more information.

Free bicycle safety check at Halfords

Halfords is offering a free bike safety check* at all of its UK stores. There's no need to book – you just pop along with your bike and ask a member of staff for a free bike check, which shouldn't take more than 10-15 minutes and covers the frame, handlebars, wheels/tyres, gears, chain, brakes and saddle.

*The check itself is totally free.

Bike maintenance tutorials on YouTube etc

You can learn how to keep your bike in good order using online maintenance tutorials.

Cycling UK, the national cycling charity has a video on its YouTube channel showing how to do roadside repairs, including adjusting your brakes and gears, and how to fix a broken chain. There's also one on checks you should do before you set off.

Join your local cycling group for support, help and fun

Across Essex there are plenty of local cycling groups which have something for everybody, no matter the ability level - just go online to find your nearest one.

The Love to Ride Essex community runs challenges throughout the year offering prizes for cycling and allowing riders to compete on a variety of leaderboards.