Founded in London and now based in Gloucester, e-bike brand Mycle aims to make the world of cycling accessible to the uninitiated. Co-founder Ali Wooldridge explains how.
This piece first appeared in the August edition of BikeBiz magazine – get your free subscription here
Can you give us a little background on the brand?
Mycle was born out of a simple desire to make traveling around our hometown of London easier and more sustainable. We had always got around the city using bikes but from the first time my co-founder Michael (the inspiration for our name) and I rode e-bikes we knew they had huge potential to change the way we all travel.
The only problem was that at the time if you wanted an e-bike you had to buy a prohibitively expensive model from one of the major cycling brands or run the risk of buying a cheap import from eBay without any warranty or local support.
We really felt there was a sweet spot in between the two existing options: fun, accessible and affordable e-bikes that cut out the cyclist jargon and instead spoke to normal people in a language they could understand, so we decided to start Mycle.
We founded the brand in May of 2021, just as the UK was beginning to come out of the pandemic and the cycling boom was well and truly underway. Since then we’ve grown our initial range of three bikes to eight, including something for everyone.
One of our biggest successes has been our e-cargo bike, the Cargo. When our family grew we found ourselves relying on using a car again, so we decided we needed to make an affordable alternative.
A bike that not only allowed us to carry the kids but all the bits and bobs you need for a day out with them as well, but without breaking the bank. The result was the Cargo, which we’re confident has opened the world of e-cargo bikes to more people than ever before.
What area of the market do you target?
Our target market is leisure cyclists but our primary focus is on those who might be new to cycling or returning after a break away. We’re conscious that cycling, especially e-bikes can be daunting to the uninitiated.
We’re here to make it more accessible, friendly and most importantly fun. Our team is based in the UK in Tetbury, Gloucestershire so we’re always on hand to guide customers through their purchase and any questions they may have once their bike arrives.
What makes your product unique?
Aside from our bikes’ fun paint jobs, one thing I think really helps us stand out from the crowd is our approach to providing real value, rather than focusing solely on keeping prices as low as possible.
Not only do we often beat our competitors on price but we also outperform them in respect to their features, with finishing touches like integrated lights, cargo racks and mudguards often included as standard across our range rather than limited to premium models or offered as accessories.
We truly believe that to make real change we have to offer a product that offers real utility, not just hit a specific price point.
What sort of feedback have you received from the industry?
Since we started Mycle we’ve been blown away by the feedback from press both in the industry and further afield. Our brand of affordable, fun bikes has obviously struck a chord, featuring in ‘best of’ lists from The Sun, BikeRadar, Cycling Weekly and Which?.
One piece of feedback we’re especially proud of was our Cargo bike being selected as part of Cycling Weekly’s ‘Gear of the year’. This annual roundup is hand picked by their journalists and features the products that have made an impression on them throughout the past 12 months.
It was brilliant to see our Cargo making the cut alongside bikes that were more than double the price of ours, showing there is still a place for quality, affordable bikes in the industry.
Also, every time we head to a show, journalists and other companies always let us know how refreshing it is to have a brand on the scene that is bright, fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously which is always great to hear.
What are your plans for 2023 and beyond?
2023 has seen us move to a hybrid business model, selling through our own retail store in Sidcup, London and select retail partners.
We’ve learned that while the majority of customers are happy to buy direct from us online there is still a sizable audience who like the reassurance and expertise a local bike shop offers. That’s why we’re actively looking for retail partners interested in stocking our bikes. Any shops interested in partnering with Mycle should contact email@example.com to find out more.
Aside from that we’re updating our popular e-cargo bike the Cargo later this summer. The Cargo has made such a big splash since its launch last year that we’ve struggled to keep up with demand.
We’ve taken the past 12 months to refine the bike and it will be relaunched in August with hydraulic disc brakes, upgraded digital screen and a new more stable kickstand.
We’ve also been working on new bespoke accessories including a weathershield so riders can transport their little ones whatever the weather.
As our business has grown we’ve tried to remain true to our goal of promoting sustainability, not only for our customers but also as a brand. We power our warehouse with 100% renewable energy and last year we partnered with Ecologi to plant a tree for every order we receive through our webstore.
That being said, we recognise there’s always more we can do, which is something we’re looking to work on as we move towards our next stage.