Author Topic: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?  (Read 2793 times)

Re: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2014, 09:30:56 am »
Or what that data shows.
Rust never sleeps

Re: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2014, 09:52:53 am »
The scheme only benefits are very limited number of people. ie those who's employer has agreed to run it, and who know they will have the same job in a year or so.
Then there's scheme providers taking a 10% cut, and limited bike shops you can buy through. So there's only any real savings for high rate tax payers.

Only if your employers are lazy and do it that way. Mine (and we are quite a small company in real terms) manage it themselves and we can buy from where ever we like. The discount off is reasonable enough to do it and I'm no where near being a high rate taxpayer.
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ian

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Re: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2014, 10:12:40 am »
Anecdata, but I know several people who bought bikes through the scheme. None of them have sold them. A couple did get nicked mind you. I've never heard of them being sold on, but I only know the kind of posh folk who hang in Waitrose waiting for the free coffee robot to be fixed.

I'd agree with some of the criticisms. It's more of a perk for higher rate taxpayers – I got a Brompton – and to be honest, I could have gone to shop and bought one at full price. But I'm not daft enough to turn down what is essentially a couple of hundred quid discount (I think I saved about £400).

But it does seem to help by spreading payments through salary sacrifices. I'm not sure anyone needs a £1000 commuting bike (heresy, I know, but I don't think you're going to get to work any slower on a £300 bike) and there seems to be a lot of n+1ing.

I think a direct subsidy would be better. I'm not keen on levering these things through an already complicated taxation system, whose main job should be revenue not incentivising bike purchases.
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Re: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2014, 10:58:22 am »
But it does seem to help by spreading payments through salary sacrifices. I'm not sure anyone needs a £1000 commuting bike (heresy, I know, but I don't think you're going to get to work any slower on a £300 bike) and there seems to be a lot of n+1ing.
Spreading the payments helps hugely.
IMO, if you commute many miles, cheap bikes wear out faster. The brakes are crap, the wheels need replacing very soon, cables are often not stainless (and rust).
Then the ride quality is shit.

My £1000 bike bought on the scheme has needed far fewer spare parts (in the same period) than any of my other bikes that I've used for commuting. Chain and tyres so far and that's been it. All of the others needed new wheels, multiple brakepads, cables plus the chains and tyres.
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ian

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Re: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2014, 11:27:42 am »
But it does seem to help by spreading payments through salary sacrifices. I'm not sure anyone needs a £1000 commuting bike (heresy, I know, but I don't think you're going to get to work any slower on a £300 bike) and there seems to be a lot of n+1ing.
Spreading the payments helps hugely.
IMO, if you commute many miles, cheap bikes wear out faster. The brakes are crap, the wheels need replacing very soon, cables are often not stainless (and rust).
Then the ride quality is shit.

My £1000 bike bought on the scheme has needed far fewer spare parts (in the same period) than any of my other bikes that I've used for commuting. Chain and tyres so far and that's been it. All of the others needed new wheels, multiple brakepads, cables plus the chains and tyres.

I'm unconvinced there's a big delta between £300 and £1000 bikes (and I'm not talking about bling road bikes). My most expensive bike is the Brompton (while the fold is nice, I'm not really sure why it costs twice as much as my next most expensive bike, other than Sturmey Archer gears make me nostalgic for my childhood Raleigh Commando).

Anything between £350 and £1000 seems incremental. Is there really that much performance difference between most middle-tier components? I have bikes with Acera, Sora, and Tiagra gears. I've no idea what the difference is other than some evidently cost more than others.

It's not an argument about shiny bikes, whatever floats someone's boat, just the impression that you need a £1000 bike to commute a couple of miles. One of our mothership operatives just bought one for £850 to follow the Hipster Spice Route from E5. Despite that it still doesn't have mudguards, puncture proof tyres, a rack and the kind of things a commuting bike ought to have.

YMMV, I joyfully bounce along on my regular commute (now about forty miles) on my commutified Saracen. Riding it is a bit more aerobic than the lighter bike, but it's bombproof and isn't scared of Lambeth-maintained roads, and someone would need to be mental to steal it. It deposits more oil than the Exxon Valdez.
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Kim

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Re: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?
« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2014, 12:18:35 pm »
I'm unconvinced there's a big delta between £300 and £1000 bikes (and I'm not talking about bling road bikes). My most expensive bike is the Brompton (while the fold is nice, I'm not really sure why it costs twice as much as my next most expensive bike, other than Sturmey Archer gears make me nostalgic for my childhood Raleigh Commando).

Brompton tax.  (A bit like recumbent tax - it's the premium you pay for small volume manufacturing somewhere that isn't the Far East.)

Of course, a Brompton's killer advantage is that it's compatible with BloodyTrains at commuter o'clock.  The alternative being a couple of hack bikes to leave at the stations, which only works if there's somewhere half decent to lock them up, and assumes you're not travelling to multiple sites or something.

The £300-400 band is definitely the sweet spot, if you just want A Bike That Works, though.
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marcusjb

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Re: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?
« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2014, 12:57:48 pm »
Agree with Ian.  The bike industry has been pretty smart and has convinced everyone that a £1000 road bike is the ideal thing to commute on (despite lacking sensible things like mudguards, racks etc.). 

I am amazed by some of the bling I see these days on my commute.  Whilst I accept that, here in London, average commutes are considerably longer than many places in the UK and Europe, it does seem odd to commute on a bike that a few years ago would have been something a decent club rider would have been delighted with but is now defined as 'entry-level' (how on earth can £1000 be entry-level?!?!).

Still - more bums on saddles - all good by my reckoning. 

Just wish they wouldn't get upset by a bloke in jeans on a scrappy fixed passing them.  Or even worse, if I take the shopping bike into town (20Kg Japanese city bike). 
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?
« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2014, 01:06:22 pm »
As I joined the Tour de Commute on the Pershore Road the other day, it occurred to me that you can no longer use drop handlebars as a heuristic for whether someone is an experienced cyclist.  Lots of people with no road sense trundling along on some very shiny (and evidently new looking) road bikes.  Fingers crossed they keep at it (and hopefully invest in some mudguards).
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marcusjb

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Re: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?
« Reply #33 on: June 19, 2014, 01:09:06 pm »
As I joined the Tour de Commute on the Pershore Road the other day, it occurred to me that you can no longer use drop handlebars as a heuristic for whether someone is an experienced cyclist.  Lots of people with no road sense trundling along on some very shiny (and evidently new looking) road bikes.  Fingers crossed they keep at it (and hopefully invest in some mudguards).

You can still spot the inexperienced cyclist though - they are usually the ones on the drops all the way through their commute.  (I guess cos that's what that Wiggins chap does on telly).

I am always amazed to see people filtering through dense traffic wobbling about on their drops.
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

Karla

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Re: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?
« Reply #34 on: June 19, 2014, 01:12:49 pm »
As I joined the Tour de Commute on the Pershore Road the other day, it occurred to me that you can no longer use drop handlebars as a heuristic for whether someone is an experienced cyclist.  Lots of people with no road sense trundling along on some very shiny (and evidently new looking) road bikes.  Fingers crossed they keep at it (and hopefully invest in some mudguards).

You can still spot the inexperienced cyclist though - they are usually the ones on the drops all the way through their commute. <snip>

That would be me then  :P

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?
« Reply #35 on: June 19, 2014, 01:21:54 pm »
You can still spot the inexperienced cyclist though - they are usually the ones on the drops all the way through their commute.  (I guess cos that's what that Wiggins chap does on telly).

I am always amazed to see people filtering through dense traffic wobbling about on their drops.

I did a local "gentle ride for newbies" a while ago, where a woman turned up on a shiny new road bike (with Look style pedals) wearing trainers.  I had to ask, and she was training for an end to end and hadn't got the hang of clipless pedals yet.  Or, as it became quickly apparent, braking from the hoods.  She was doing a surprisingly good job of starting off from the drops, in far too high a gear, with feet that kept slipping off the pedals, as we trundled around some of Bourneville's finest pavement-cycling attractions.

I suggested that she go to the bike shop and ask them to fish some naff plastic flat pedals out of the spares bin, then take it to the park on a quiet afternoon when there aren't too many kids about and practice until she felt confident with the bars.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2014, 01:36:20 pm »
Ian specifically said he wasn't talking about road bikes.

I upgraded from an aluminum road bike (with mudguards) to a bike with a decent steel frame, decent disc brakes, mudguards, ability to take luggage rack (so I can also tour on the bike), space for fattish tyres (up to 35mm).
   
There is nothing on the market under £1000 to match that spec.
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ian

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Re: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2014, 02:17:02 pm »
Ian specifically said he wasn't talking about road bikes.

I upgraded from an aluminum road bike (with mudguards) to a bike with a decent steel frame, decent disc brakes, mudguards, ability to take luggage rack (so I can also tour on the bike), space for fattish tyres (up to 35mm).
   
There is nothing on the market under £1000 to match that spec.

Yes, but that's a different kettle of narwhals. The purpose of Cycle-to-Work ought to be just that, not buy people more bikes. Which I admit I used it for. It's a good job I'm not an MP. Which is why I think there's an argument for a more effective scheme. I'd rather we directly subsidise a useful, cheaper bike, than make £1000 bikes more affordable. Bikes shops and manufacturers would, of course, disagree.

The other problem with expensive bikes is utility. First off, you're scared of locking them somewhere. Fine, you have secure parking at work, but what if you want to pop to the pub, a restaurant, the park? There's that worry. Plus the first time you ride in the rain, you'll rue those missing mudguards, and you'll rue the rain when you're trying to remember how to change a tube in that rain, all numb fingers and frustration. Then there's the drop bars in traffic. It's a package that the novelty quickly wears right off and you're back on the bus, tube, or in the car. That bike ends up an expensive trip hazard in the hallway.

I think it's a valid point to measure the success of the intervention in getting people to – well – cycle to work. I was cycling to work anyway, scheme or not.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2014, 02:57:53 pm »
The purpose of Cycle-to-Work ought to be just that, not buy people more bikes.

Nope. The stated reason for the scheme is to get people cycling, and improve the health of the nation. The means by which this is encouraged is a "cycle to work scheme" which, without any legislation or excessive administration, works. It's not a sanctimonious "You can only use this bike to go to work" it is a pragmatic "get off your lardy arses and get cycling".

The proliferation of bikes through the scheme has many other side effects. for example, it has resulted in bike repair shops springing up, it has increased the size of the market and improved the value of the bikes on sale.

Really, it is all good.

ian

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Re: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?
« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2014, 03:42:13 pm »
The purpose of Cycle-to-Work ought to be just that, not buy people more bikes.

Nope. The stated reason for the scheme is to get people cycling, and improve the health of the nation. The means by which this is encouraged is a "cycle to work scheme" which, without any legislation or excessive administration, works. It's not a sanctimonious "You can only use this bike to go to work" it is a pragmatic "get off your lardy arses and get cycling".

The proliferation of bikes through the scheme has many other side effects. for example, it has resulted in bike repair shops springing up, it has increased the size of the market and improved the value of the bikes on sale.

Really, it is all good.

Well I confess I've not seen the stated reason for the scheme, I'm going on the basis that it's called Cycle-to-Work. And, all said, I've no issues with collateral benefits. I'm less comfortable with giving effective subsidies through the taxation system. And there should be some assay of the success of such schemes since they're relieving the public purse of some spare change. Buying bikes for people who already have bikes probably isn't the best outcome, and to be honest, I feel a bit Jimmy Carr for pocketing my undeserved £400. Of course, without data, who knows. I don't believe, for instance, that they're being resold in quantity, most people who sign up have a genuine interest in getting a bike, but that's a bit anecdotal too. It would be useful to know how many of those bikes purchased through the scheme are in regular use at the end.

I'm not against it, but I think a direct subsidy might offer a better option. The benefits as the scheme stands are somewhat cryptic and they're only fully enjoyed in the higher tax bands.
!nataS pihsroW

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2014, 06:20:35 pm »
A vat reduction or exemption on bikes (and kit) would be fairer and simpler, I reckon.  But that seems to be impossible for some reason.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Mad cyclist

Re: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?
« Reply #41 on: August 12, 2014, 12:33:43 am »
I think the cycle 2 work scheme is excellent , my employer states on the scheme paperwork that the bike is mainly used for work but can be used for personal use.
I often wonder how they would know, I use the bike for going to work or I have sold it before I'd paid for it or got it for my partner.
Back to OP question what data are you referring  to ?
As far as I am aware of the data they have is  price of the bike etc, the amount I have to pay back

Mr Larrington

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Re: Is Cycle to Work data a failure ?
« Reply #42 on: August 12, 2014, 10:47:33 am »
I think the cycle 2 work scheme is excellent , my employer states on the scheme paperwork that the bike is mainly used for work but can be used for personal use.
I often wonder how they would know, I use the bike for going to work or I have sold it before I'd paid for it or got it for my partner.
Back to OP question what data are you referring  to ?
As far as I am aware of the data they have is  price of the bike etc, the amount I have to pay back

This ^^^^.  A mate topped up his C2W wossname to the tune of a Several of hundreds of the BRITONS' pounds and bought a full-sus mountain bike.  His commute is fifty miles each way.
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