New platform Ride Up set to help bike manufacturers capitalise on subscription sector

A new platform called Ride Up has launched, set to help bike manufacturers offer subscriptions and benefit from a new business model projected to help grow the bike market to $127 billion over the next ten years.

Ride Up is a new road bike subscription service that enables consumers to regularly swap new, top brand bikes on a flexible, fixed-price monthly subscription basis from £70 per month, and is offering partnership opportunities to manufacturers as well.

The Ride Up platform will provide two revenue opportunities for bike manufacturers:
– A white-label bike subscription solution for their own website and retail channels, without the time to market or investment
– Access to new customers via a new online retailer channel, and via Ride Up centres UK-wide which will also facilitate trade-ins of their current bikes

Ride Up is the brainchild of ex-professional rider for Team GB, Team Sky and former British Champion, Russ Downing; Team GB track cyclist and Olympic cycling silver medallist (Tokyo 2021) Ryan Owens; and Tim Hammond, ‘Who’s Who’ young entrepreneur and technology investor, who successfully launched the Cycle Espresso cafés network last year.

In keeping with its new circular business model for bike brands, Ride Up is offering its range of pre-loved bikes from six-month subscriptions, starting from £50 per month, and helping riders afford the upgrade to a new bike by taking in their trade-ins and refurbishing them at one of the 15 Ride Up centres across the UK, for the next rider.

A customer trading in an entry-level road bike for £1,200 could ride away with a new £5,000 bike for £79 per month and can change the bike every time a new model comes out (minimum term is just six months). Even without a trade-in, this would only cost £129 per month.

Brands on offer directly from Ride Up at launch include Pinarello, Cannondale and Basso. Subscriptions start from six months and all bikes come with insurance, warranty, and a service plan.

Co-founder Hammond said: “Ride Up is giving bike brands the opportunity to embrace subscriptions like the car industry has. We have seen the seismic shift in the electric car market from buying to subscribing, with companies like Onto and Autonomy getting a higher proportion of the new car market than traditional car dealers. More customers are getting subscription plans than are actually buying their electric cars. Ride Up is the Onto for the bike industry.

“Apple lets its customers upgrade to the latest model every year and exchange their old one for the new one on a monthly plan. Now bike manufacturers can do the same using the Ride UP bike subscription and trade-in platform. With the ease of upgrading inclusive monthly plans, I predict that half the bike market will convert to subscription plans by 2025.”

Read more: Glasgow-based cycling charity Bike for Good to open Cytech training facility

Co-founder Downing said: “With new bike models coming out every year or two, you can now change to the latest model when it comes out. I know I would upgrade to the latest model every time if there wasn’t the cost of buying or the stress of selling my current one. And with the current financial climate, why would you put a bike on a long-term finance plan or buy now pay later, when you can simply rent it and give it back when you want to?

“Ride Up bike subscriptions provide the customer with an affordable, alternative to buying that gives them flexibility on what bike they ride, and how long they ride it. And we enable bike manufacturers to have a highly profitable, new business model and a compelling new offering for customers.”

Ride Up customers are not tied into long-term finance plans and can cancel their subscription after the initial six-month period. Should they wish to purchase the bike, they can also pay the balance between what they have already paid and the bike’s retail price. Each month, Ride Up will also host ride ups across the UK to allow cyclists to test ride a new bike before subscribing.

Rebecca Morley

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