Should I subscribe to Bike Club instead of buying a kids bike?
Here at Cycle Sprog we're passionate about helping more families enjoy cycling.
One of the most important things that makes cycling fun is the bike you're riding, and that's why we're super keen on good quality, lightweight kids bikes that make pedalling an enjoyable experience.
The only problem is that this type of bike doesn't come cheap, and it can be a real hassle sorting out a new bike every time your child grows.
That's why we're big fans of Bike Club, where you can subscribe for a monthly fee which means you never have to worry about buying a kids bike again.
But what is the Bike Club?
How much does it cost to belong to Bike Club?
What bikes can you get?
And will a Bike Club subscription suit your family?
Read on to find out the answers!
Disclosure: Please note we do have a commercial relationship with Bike Club, but we only work with companies we'd be happy to use ourselves or recommend to our friends and family. And in the case of Bike Club LOADS of our friends, family and even staff use them for their bikes!
What is Bike Club and how does it work?
Bike Club is a subscription service, for kids bikes. Think Netflix on wheels!
You pay a monthly subscription to them, and in return you get to use of one of their quality kids bikes.
They only have great brands in their fleet such as Forme, Frog and Squish bikes.
After 18 months (or 12 months for a balance bike) you're entitled to a free upgrade to the next size bike, so you know your child will be on the perfect bike at all times.
If you do need to swap the bike earlier, you just pay a small fee to cover delivery costs.
The idea is to ensure that every child is always riding the correct size bike, without the need to ever buy a kids bike again!
How much does a Bike Club subscription cost?
Costs are based on the size and type of your child's bike.
So a tiny balance bike for a toddler is going to cost you less per month than a bike for a teenager.
The pricing structure, at the time of writing is:
Balance bike - £5.99 per month
Starter bike - £9.99 per month (this is a small pedal bike with no gears - usually for ages 3 - 6 years)
Hybrid bike - £14.99 per month (this is a larger bike with gears - usually for ages 5 - 14 years)
Mountain bike - from £25.99 per month
Road bike - from £19.99 per month
Is the Bike Club any good for my family?
There's lots of reasons leasing a bike from the Bike Club might be a good idea for you and your family.
- You don't have the time / energy / expertise (delete as appropriate) to keep up with the hassle of buying a new bike every time your child grows
- You don't want the upfront costs of a quality (i.e. expensive) bike, but really want your child to be riding a lightweight, properly designed bike they'll find fun and easy to ride
- You're worried about sustainability, and you like the idea of shared ownership and reuse of the same bike for many children
- You don't have the storage space to keep hold of outgrown bikes for younger siblings
- Your child wants to try mountain biking or road biking, but you're not sure investing in such an expensive / specialist bike is a good idea
- You just want a bike for your child now, as easily and hassle free as possible!
Why might a Bike Club subscription might not be right for you?
Whilst the Bike Club is proving to a really great option for many Cycle Sprog readers, it's not the right choice for everyone.
If you read this next bit and recognise yourself in any part of it, then you're probably going to need to look elsewhere.
- You're a bike enthusiast who wants to spend hours customising your child's bike so it's perfect for them and unlike anything anyone else is riding
- You don't intend to look after your child's bike (you do need to send the bike back in an acceptable condition!)
- You have a poor credit rating and / or don't have household insurance
- Your child is intending to push their bike to its very limits (think bike parks, BMX jumps, DH racing etc)
A bit about how the Bike Club works
Before you excitedly sign up for a Bike Club subscription there's a few things to be aware of:
- They have both new and used bikes in their fleet. The used bikes are fully services prior to sending out to their new rider, and are a slightly cheaper per month. They're always in excellent condition and come with a feel good factor that you're doing your bit to avoid excessive consumption.
- Bike Club will run a credit check on you before accepting your membership and setting up your monthly direct debit.
- Your monthly subscription will increase each time your child grows into the next type of bike (so from balance to starter, or starter to hybrid)
- You are responsible for insuring the bike (or paying for a replacement if it is lost or stolen)
- When you swap bikes they will collect and deliver at the same time, so your child is never left without a bike
- It is free to swap to another bike after 18 months (12 months for balance bikes). You can swap bikes before this, but an admin fee will be charged
- You are responsible for returning the bike in a well maintained state. If it's in a really bad state of repair you may have to pay extra repair charges. General wear and tear is acceptable - having had your dog eat the saddle or child repaint the frame probably isn't!
- Availability of bikes will vary over time, so you may have to be flexible on make and colour. All bikes in their fleet are quality, lightweight kids bikes so you know you're getting a great bike, whatever you slect
- When you no longer require another Bike Club bike there is a final charge for returning the last bike
STILL NOT SURE? HEAD OVER TO OUR DETAILED REVIEW OF HOW THE BIKE CLUB WORKS FOR A STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO GETTING STARTED, RECEIVING YOUR BIKE AND THEN SWAPPING IT OUT FOR THE NEXT SIZE UP.
How to sign up for a Bike Club subscription
It's really simple to get started with the Bike Club.
Just head on over to their website and take a look.
They've got plenty of advice on how to choose the best bike, and a great chat facility if you need more help.
Photography credit: All images used in this article are the copyright of Bike Club