Frequently asked questions for cyclists.

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Cyclist FAQs

How do I join free2cycle?

If you want to join free2cycle your first port of call is the free2cycle website. Take a look at our individuals page for more information or contact us via cyclist.info@free2cycle.com.


How do I record my rides?

With the free2cycle app (available from the apple or Google Play stores ) or 
with Strava.

Our easy to use app allows you to record your rides and track how you are doing, however if you are already a Strava user, you may want to use the Strava app. 
If you do use Strava, you may still wish to download the free2cycle app so that you can easily track your mileage totals and see how you are keeping up with your mileage pledge.  

Read more about our app in the app section of our FAQs. 

What if I’m not very fit and can’t cycle far?

free2cycle was designed for you. We’ve all got to start somewhere and remember, you choose your mileage pledge. You might want to try an electric bike to help give you that extra pedal power.

What if I don’t know anything about bikes or what to choose?

No problem. When you register with us, we will walk you through with our straightforward step by step process, explaining everything you need to know to help you make your choice.

How do I know what size bike to order?

You will need to refer to the manufacturer’s size guide that is included in our application process. Bike manufacturers have their own specific size guides which can vary depending on the model. It is very important to check the size guide before ordering your bike.

How much exercise do I have to do?

It’s up to you. You tell us how much mileage you want to do (minimum 22 miles per week) and this determines what bike we are able to supply to you with.

The NHS suggests that we should all aim to do at least 2 ½ hours of exercise per week, depending on your cycling speed that would be around 6 miles per day, 5 days of the week which would be a great starting point if you don’t do any other exercise.

How do I check if my sponsoring organisation is already on board?

If your sponsoring organisation is already on board, you should have received a sponsor code and/or a web link to enable you to sign up. If you are not sure if you have received this, you can sign up on the free2cycle website and we will try to match your sponsoring organisation with those who have already signed up. If we cannot identify that your sponsoring organisation is already on board, we will ask you for a bit more information so that we can approach your sponsor directly.

What if my sponsoring organisation hasn’t joined free2cycle?

Not a problem. You register yourself online with us and we will do our best to get your organisation on board (our research is very convincing). You may also want to approach your sponsor/human resources team about free2cycle and together we can encourage them to sign up.

My sponsoring organisation has already signed up to free2cycle. Do I need to talk them before I sign up?

No, we have streamlined the process to make it easy for you. Your organisation will have been provided with a sponsor code and a web link which you should have received. Just click on the link, or enter the code on the first sign-up screen and we will fast track your application.

How much do I have to cycle to ensure that I don’t pay towards my bike?

The majority of free2cycle cyclists should never have to make a financial contribution. They simply need to meet their mileage commitment and pedal power becomes their currency. 

When you join free2cycle you make a mileage pledge.  We will offer you a bike worth up to 16 times your weekly mileage pledge.  As long as you keep riding in line with your pledge you won't have to pay towards the cost of your bike, in fact we've built in a buffer which means if you only ride 80% of your pledge you still won’t pay a penny! If you drop below that you will need chip in towards your monthly credit agreement.
We understand that most people ride more when the weather is better and the days are longer, so we allocate your commitment on a monthly basis so that the monthly miles you need to cycle between November and February are 50% below the miles you need to cycle in the nicer months between March and October.


A working example:

If you make a weekly mileage pledge of 25 miles per week, your annual pledge mileage would be 1,300 miles.
Your mileage commitment would then be 1,040 miles p.a. This would mean that in order to keep up with your mileage commitment you would need to cycle 104 miles per month in the better weather months and 52 miles per month between November to February.


Can I join free2cycle if I will only use my bike for part of my commute, or do not commute at all?

Yes, we encourage you to use your bike to substitute your commute mileage and will reward you when you cycle either for all of your commute, or as part of your journey. For example, you may choose to cycle to the train station and then hop on the train for the rest of your journey. 

As well as commute miles, we recognise miles you rde for fun and fitness. We define commute mileage as any ride which is part of your regular journey to work, or is a regular journey that you previously made by car or public transport.

How will it benefit me as a cyclist?

  • You get a brand new bike!
  • You can make big savings; the average savings enjoyed by those who choose to commute by bike, instead of other means of transport, is approximately 7% of their gross income. Annually this could equate to over £1,800. That’s £150 per month (Based on data from ONS, HMRC and DfT).
  • You will be making an investment in your long term health and wellbeing.

I have applied for my bike, what now?

You will receive a confirmation email to let you know your order has been received and to confirm details of your bike, the retailer’s address and your mileage pledge as well as the expected date you will be able to collect your bike.

I have applied for my bike but changed my mind and want to cancel my agreement with free2cycle.

The cancellation period will expire 14 days from the day you acquire physical possession of your bicycle. To exercise the right to cancel, you must inform free2cycle by email to cyclist.support@free2cycle.com of your decision to cancel this contract. We will get in touch to explain what happens next. If your bike is not in “as new” condition, we may have to levy a charge.

Does this affect my salary? Will the amount of mileage I do have an impact on my pay?

Your mileage achievements do not impact on your salary. Sponsoring organisations receive one simple schedule each month based on overall mileage achieved by their team.

If I work at different projects/locations, how will that affect my miles each week?

We ask you to tell us your mileage pledge, if you work at various locations and projects it would be best to give us a mileage pledge that takes this into account. Remember your leisure miles also count so if you have had a week where you haven't had to travel far for your commute you can make up your mileage by enjoying time in the saddle for fun or fitness.

What happens if/when I go on maternity leave?

You are still free to ride your bike during your maternity leave. Remember your leisure miles and other regular commute miles also count towards paying for the bike. If you are not using your bike to commute as much during your maternity leave it simply means that you will receive fewer commute mile rewards.

Why do I have to enter into a credit agreement to get my bike?

Cyclists enter into a credit agreement and own the bike from inception, the 36 month credit agreement ensures that the contributions remain affordable for both the sponsoring organisation and more importantly the cyclist if they have to take responsibility for some of the payments. This also allows us to offer cyclists a new bike every 3 years, you also have the freedom to upgrade earlier if preferred.

How are bikes funded or financed?

Bikes are funded by individual credit agreements. Whilst the agreement is with the cyclist, as long as the mileage cycle at least 80% of your pledged mileage, the payments are covered by free2cycle. If you drop below 80% or you've chosen to upgrade your bike using credit, then you will need to contribute.

Who actually pays for my bike?

We do. 

. You ride your bike.
. In return for the carbon savings you are earning for them your Organisation pays us for every mile you cycle.
. We pay for your bike.

If you cycle less than 80% of your pledged mileage or want to upgrade your bike then you chip in towards the cost of your bike.  

How do I know if I am eligible for free2cycle?

As long as your sponsoring organisation has signed up, there are very few restrictions. You will need to meet our creidt requirements, please see below for more detail. 

What happens if I don't complete my mileage?

If you ride less than 80% of your pledge you simply chip in on a  proportionate basis.  For example, if you only cycle 75% of your mileage commitment, we pay 75% of the monthly payment and you pay the rest.

If you don't cycle at all, you'll pay the monthly amount in full.

Who insures the bike?

As a cyclist you insure your bike.

App FAQs

Do I need a specific mobile device?

The free2cycle app is designed to run on both IOS and Android. Please note a Smartphone will require a minimum operating system, iOS devices: iOS 9.x, iOS 10.x and Android devices: Lollipop (5.0 - 5.1.1), Marshmallow (6.0), Nougat (7.0).

Does it run in the background and use up my battery?

The free2cycle app does run in the background, but it has been designed to have minimal battery drain.

How can I be sure that my ride is being recorded?

Once you have pressed the record icon you will see a riding timer clock start.

How do I know there is a GPS signal?

There is a small green tick next to GPS, once the tick is green you can start pedaling.

How do I stop or pause my ride?

If you wish to pause mid-ride press the blue pause button. When you have finished your ride simply press the red square icon and you will be prompted Yes or No to finish the ride.

How do I know my ride has been saved?

You will be asked if the ride was commute or fitness. Please select either to suit your ride. Once you have done so your ride will be saved.
Any ride which is part of your regular journey to work, or is a regular journey that you previously made by car or public transport should be recorded as “commute”; any other ride (for example, recreational, ad-hoc or occasional journeys) should be classed as “fitness".

How do I decide when a ride is commute rather than fitness?

Any ride which is part of a regular journey that you make, which may include your journey to work, should be recorded as “commute”; any other ride (for example, recreational, ad-hoc or occasional journeys) should be classed as “fitness”.

How do I check on my last ride?

Press the last ride icon to display a map of your last ride.

How do I know how I am keeping up with my mileage pledge?

Press the history icon to display the current month and last 3 months mileage achieved.

Can my sponsoring organisation see my ride?

No, we provide your sponsor with a carbon report based on your mileage achieved.

What if I change my phone?

Just download the version to suit your new phone and login using your username and password.

Can I choose my password?

Yes, once you have downloaded your app you can use the same password for this as your chosen password to log in via the free2cycle website.

What if I forget to end my ride?

No worries, the free2cycle app will automatically pause and you can finish the ride when you next open the app.

What if I make a stop part way through my ride such as popping into a coffee shop?

No problem, just pause your app whilst you are stopped and restart when get back on your bike.

Can I use other cycle ride devices like Strava to record my ride?

No but this may happen at some time, the free2cycle app has been designed to communicate with other activity recording devices using a common interface (API).

Can I use the free2cycle app on my mobile device alongside another app like Strava?

Yes, the free2cycle app can run alongside other apps that you have and use on your mobile device.  If you are already a Strava user, you can connect Strava to free2cycle and record your rides directly from Strava.


How do I record my rides through Strava?

If you prefer to use Strava to record your rides, here’s how:

  • Log in to the free2cycle website using the email address and passcode that you set up when you originally registered. 
  • Click on the Strava button and you will be asked to log into your Strava account.  (This sets up a link between free2cycle and Strava so your rides can be recorded on free2cycle.) 
  • Make sure to leave the "allow free2cycle to view data about your private activities" box ticked as otherwise free2cycle will not be able receive your ride data from Strava.  
  • Remember, any ride which is part of a regular journey that you make, which may include your journey to work, is classed as "commute" and you should select "commute" on Strava before you save the activity.  


Who do I contact if I have questions or need support on the app?

If you have questions and need assistance with the app, please email cyclist.support@free2cycle.com.


How do I know if I am eligible for credit?

To be considered for a credit agreement you will need:

  • To be at least 18 years old;
  • To be in regular full or part-time employment (minimum 16 hours per week, unless you are retired and receiving a private / company pension or in receipt of disability allowance);
  • To be a permanent UK resident and have lived in the UK for at least 3 years;
  • To have a UK bank account capable of accepting Direct Debits;
  • To have a good credit history with no late payments, debt relief orders, CCJs, IVAs or bankruptcies; and
  • To provide an email address so your documentation can be emailed to you.

Representative example:

  • 9.9% finance over 36 months
  • Total order value = £400
  • Total amount of credit = £700
  • Duration = 36 months
  • Representative APR = 9.9%
  • Interest charged = £64.04
  • 36 monthly payments of = £12.89
  • Total amount payable = £464.04

Remember that as long as you keep up your mileage, free2cycle will pay on your behalf and you will not have to pay this yourself.

How is my credit application assessed?

Your application will be assessed based on eligibility, credit history and affordability and Deko will let you know the outcome in just a few moments. It’s important to know that when applying for finance a hard credit check is made which is recorded on your credit file.
Once approved, Deko will let you know who the lender is and provide you with their full contact details. You then just need to digitally sign your credit agreement, pay any deposit and wait for your order to be confirmed.
In a few cases, your application may be referred to a lender for manual assessment and you’ll be notified by email of the credit decision within 24 hours. If you’re not approved for finance it could be for a variety of reasons; the lender will be able to give you more information.

Who provides the credit?

free2cycle Limited is a broker not a lender and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. 

Consumer credit is provided through the Deko platform by Omni Capital Retail Finance Ltd (FCA register number 720279). You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lender’s credit decision policies.
Deko is a trading name of Pay4Later Ltd who acts as a credit intermediary. It is registered in England and Wales (company number 06447333) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 728646). For more information please refer to www.dekopay.com/faq or visit www.dekopay.com.

How are payments made?

The first direct debit payment is due a month after you receive your bike. This will be paid by free2cycle on your behalf unless you have chosen to upgrade your bike by making a voluntary contribution, in which case you will have to pay a proportion of the payment. If you ride less than 80% of your pledge, free2cycle’s contribution will be reduced proportionately and the amount of the reduction will be charged to you in your monthly direct debit payment. This will show on your statement as a payment to your lender. You have the right to repay all or part of the loan early at any time.

Repaying the credit agreement

  • If you meet or exceed your mileage pledge you will not need to make a financial contribution towards your bike, unless you have chosen to upgrade (payments in respect of the credit agreement by will be made by free2cycle from the mileage based contribution received from your organisation).
  • If you ride less than 80% of your pledge or if you’ve opted to upgrade your bike using monthly credit you will need to make a contribution.
  • If you have opted to upgrade your bike your first direct debit payment will be taken a month after you receive your bike.
  • In your first three months, we credit you with your pledge mileage, however much you ride.  This is to ensure you are not charged whilst you are getting used to your new bike.  If you ride less than 80% of your pledge the first direct debit payment may be taken approximately four months after you receive your bike and subsequently at any time when your mileage drops below 80% of your pledge. This will show on your statement as a payment to your lender.
  • You have the right to repay all or part of the loan early at any time.


Can I pay off my loan before the end of the 36 month term?

Yes, you don't need to wait until the end of your credit agreement to upgrade or complete payment on your bike. You have the freedom to simply pay off the outstanding balance on your existing loan in the normal way.

Can I cancel the credit agreement?

There is a 14-day cooling off period where you can withdraw from the credit agreement after signing your documents. If you want to do this, you need to notify the lender.
A payment plan does not affect your right to cancel the agreement as stated in our terms and conditions. Just contact us and we’ll cancel your application and the lender will refund any deposit you may have made and let you know of any outstanding balance if applicable. If you have already collected your bike, you will need to return this as well. We may charge if  the bike is in “as new” condition and also for the cost of returning the bike.

Please feel free to contact us by email at cyclist.support@free2cycle.com or on 01276 986060.

Can I upgrade my bike before the end of the credit agreement?

You don’t need to wait until the end of your credit agreement to upgrade your bike. Simply pay off the outstanding balance on your credit agreement and then apply for your new bike in the normal way.

free2cycle offers you a new bike every 3 years, you can keep your old one, donate it or sell it and pocket the cash.


What will happen if my sponsoring organisation doesn't pay for the miles I have cycled?

If your sponsoring organisation stops paying, you will have to pay the monthly amounts due under the loan agreement.


Tax - Benefit In Kind approach 

The context

free2cycle is a health, wellbeing and environmental initiative offered in conjunction with organisations, the bike happens to be the key piece of equipment required to deliver this. It’s not about simply providing bikes, it's about encouraging people to ride them on a regular basis. 

Advice and structure

The advice from a leading tax barrister together with further advice from a leading accountancy practice are central to the way free2cycle has been structured. It conforms to tax laws and guidelines so that it isn’t construed as a benefit in kind. 

The principles

  • No benefit if ever paid to the individual by the organisation;

  • Individuals earn their bike by riding it, if they don’t ride they take responsibility for some or all loan repayments;

  • The individual owns and takes full responsibility for the bike from delivery;

  • The individual enters into a third party credit agreement at market related rates (free2cycle funds the payment of the loan based on activity using fees collected from the organisation); and

  • Fees charged by free2cycle to organisations are for a range of services in relational to health, wellbeing and environmental benefits, reporting, engagement, administrative and reporting not solely or directly related to the value of the bike.

Tax law

In tax law, a “Benefit In Kind” is chargeable to tax if there is a 'special bounty arising from its provision', In other words, the employee must get something over and above what the employer gives as a fair bargain, or would be prepared to give as a fair bargain, to a member of the public, or other independent third party, dealing on arms length terms with the employer. In the case of free2cycle:

  • Bike cost is the market price;

  • Each individual enters into a credit agreement at market rates;

  • Full responsibility for the credit agreement rests with the individual if they don't ride their bike;

  • Ownership of and responsibility for the bike is that of the individual at all times;

  • No payments are ever made to cyclists, the funding of the credit agreement payments is made by free2cycle based on the use of the bike, not in the performance (or assessment) of any duties they may have to a sponsoring organisation; and

  • The website, the bikes, the tracking app are all standard regardless of organisation, no preference is offered to any individuals or any particular organisation.

Thus no “special bounty” exists and bikes provided by free2cycle should not be treated as a “Benefit in Kind”.