Buying a Bike in South Manchester

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Buying a Bike in South Manchester

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For many Mancunians, this period of Lockdown has fostered new hobbies and rejuvenated passions for old ones. At first, we were limited to one hour of exercise per day, much of this resulted in people exercising from home, in our local parks or across our once cobbled streets. 

As the fog demists and we gradually return to shops, bars and restaurants, it is increasingly apparent that the world as we know it will likely be an entirely different place to thrive. We have an opportunity in South Manchester and beyond to not go back to normal, but create a new normal by building back better.

As public transport faces new challenges unlike we have ever seen before with reduced services, limited capacities and essential face masks. Who knows if we will ever cram into buses, trams and trains again. 

GM Mayor Andy Burnham, Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester have made efforts to make cycling more inclusive and accessible for those heading into the city centre to work, rest and play.

What better way to travel than by bike?

Last year I decided to make a change to my daily routine, trading in my car for my new trusty steed – my road bike. I no longer own a car, so I ride to Burnage every day from Stockport. 

There was an initial outlay for some waterproof gear, because apparently it rains sometimes in Manchester, and I’ll openly admit that through the winter months it can be difficult to motivate yourself to cycle as the rain falls hard and your vision is blurred like it often can be with high-cost credit. 

But the impact it has had on my physical and financial health makes it all worth it. 

In this article, I want to help guide you through the options I had when I ditched my car and bought a bike.  

Buying Used

Buying a used bike can be a great way to save some cash and bagging a bargain on some new wheels… and the rest of the bike as well! There is a host of websites available to pick up a bargain such as Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and eBay

 

A tip!  If you’re thrifty and want to grab a bargain, when you enter your search, try using alternative phrases and misspellings i.e. ‘Bicyccle’, ‘Rod bike’ or ‘Mountin Bike’; you never know what you might find using this search strategy. 

 

The best way to do this is to head over to Fatfingers.com which will look for anything on eBay focused on a specific keyword search. Here is an example: 

By typing the keyword ‘bicycle’ into fat fingers, you will receive all searches for all entries similar to the term bicycle – you could get lucky. 

Buying used can offer fantastic value and it’s better for the environment than buying new, but I do have a couple of warnings when choosing to reuse. Firstly, make sure you check over certain components on the bike – I have linked a video by the Global Cycling Network that informs you of the top things to look out for when buying used, you don’t want to end up with a donkey. 

The second point I must stress is a saddening fact of reality, bikes can frequently be targeted by petty criminals who seek a quick buck. If the price tag seems too good to be true, it most likely is. 

Make sure you are aware of the seller’s situation, maybe ask some open questions about the history of the bike e.g. ‘How come you’ve decided to sell it?’ or ‘Where did you first buy it?’. 

Asking some questions and learning a little about the bike’s history will ensure you’re not riding around with the risk of the police taking it off you. 

Please don’t let this put you off getting your shiny new ride, but take precautions with where you park it in and around South Manchester. I recommend accounting for a high quality gold standard lock in your budget. 

I keep my eye out for bargains from time to time, and needless to say, I was shocked when I came across a bike with no back wheel which had been forcefully removed from its lock. When surfing the web just be cautious.

Cycle To Work Scheme

Cycle to Work is a government-backed, salary sacrifice scheme that helps save on your new bike. Your employer will deduct the money from your earnings before you get paid which means you can save up to 42% off the price of a new bike (dependent on the scheme your employer offers). 

This is a cracking way to get yourself to and from your destination. Check that you can get this employee benefit as it could be a fantastic way to keep the purse strings tight.

Each scheme is slightly different so it is important to take the time to read over the details to gain a full understanding of the process. 

Another bonus to the Cycle to Work scheme is that you can buy accessories as well as your shiny new two-wheeler. 

I suspect you don’t plan on riding to work dressed like Bradley Wiggins in his all-white 2014 world championship time-trialist attire, nor would I suspect you to care about looking like a professional cyclist on your commute to work. But the extra savings that you retain on your new purchase will put you in good stead for some decent clothing and accessories to help you on your way, which will also be included in your discount.

Bag a Bargain

Cycle to Work is a government-backed, salary sacrifice scheme that helps save on your new bike. Your employer will deduct the money from your earnings before you get paid which means you can save up to 42% off the price of a new bike (dependent on the scheme your employer offers). 

This is a cracking way to get yourself to and from your destination. Check that you can get this employee benefit as it could be a fantastic way to keep the purse strings tight.

Each scheme is slightly different so it is important to take the time to read over the details to gain a full understanding of the process. 

Another bonus to the Cycle to Work scheme is that you can buy accessories as well as your shiny new two-wheeler. 

I suspect you don’t plan on riding to work dressed like Bradley Wiggins in his all-white 2014 world championship time-trialist attire, nor would I suspect you to care about looking like a professional cyclist on your commute to work. But the extra savings that you retain on your new purchase will put you in good stead for some decent clothing and accessories to help you on your way, which will also be included in your discount.

Finance

Large purchase decisions of this nature require a certain level of commitment, so give yourself some time to make an informed decision. Personally, as a cyclist myself, I have saved a small fortune since I’ve started riding my bike to work. All the money I have saved has supported an effective change in lifestyle and has worked as a successful cost-cutting strategy. It has provided me with more money to spend on the things that are important to me, like a few craft ales to relax after a long ride on a Saturday afternoon. 

Financing a bike can be the perfect way to kickstart your new commute. Once the bike has been paid for in full, the same monthly payment can go straight into savings. Unlike the frustrating additional costs that are expected with maintaining a car year-on-year. 

Whether you’re a member of South Manchester Credit Union or not, we would love to help you on your path to financial health – we think that a new bike could be the answer. By doing so you are building back better within your local community to contribute to a stronger Manchester. 

Our Welcome Loan could set you on your way to your purchase, new or used, or if you are a member who has managed to save some money over time you could apply for a Saver Loan. 

There are several choices available when looking at purchasing your new ride and we would love to be able to help you on your way.

Take responsibility

Here at South Manchester Credit Union, we want to inspire the people within our local community and beyond to live a responsible financial lifestyle – one of happiness and comfort. We understand that not everyone can ride a bike to work, but we do know that each small individual step can go a long way to creating a healthier and more free financial lifestyle.

 

If you are interested in applying for a welcome loan to get you on the saddle. Click the button below to have a conversation with one of the team through our app. 

 

Enjoy the ride 🚲

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