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Bikes for people on low incomes

Woman in yellow rain coat on a green bike

If you're unemployed or on a low income and need to get to work, job interviews or training, we can help! We’re offering £100 off our refurbished bikes - plus a free D lock and lights - thanks to funding from Wheels to Work.

Who can apply?

You must be aged 16+ and live in Bristol or South Gloucestershire and be seeking work OR starting a new job, training course, work placement or apprenticeship.

How to apply

Please apply via Wheels to Work. Once your application has been approved you will be referred back to us to choose your bike. Click the button below to start your application on the Wheels to Work website. 

Please note: We are experiencing an extremely high level of demand for refurbished bikes, so please bear with us if there is a slight delay in getting back to you.  Thanks for your patience and understanding at this very busy time!           

Frequently asked questions

Who can apply?

You must be a resident of Bristol or South Gloucestershire and aged 16 or over who is:

  • Actively seeking work or
  • Starting a new job; training course; work placement or apprenticeship
  • South Gloucestershire only: Earning less than the living wage (£9.30 per hour).

How do I prove that I’m eligible?

You will need to provide one of the following documents:

  • A letter or document confirming you are currently in receipt of benefits related to unemployment or low income (for example Jobseekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Universal Credit, Income Support).
  • An offer of employment letter showing that the start date of your new job is within the previous month or the coming month.
  • Correspondence from your training provider, showing the start date of your course.
  • Correspondence from your workplace demonstrating that you are an apprentice or undertaking an unpaid or low paid work placement or internship.
  • An invitation to a job interview or training
  • A payslip demonstrating you earn less than the living wage. The current living wage is £9.30 an hour. (South Gloucestershire)

How do I apply?

Step 1: Fill out an eligibility form

Fill out the appropriate referral form on the Wheels to Work website 

Step 2: Wheels to Work will contact you

They will check you are eligible and give you information about how you can claim your bike. 

Step 3: Choose your bike

Fill out our bike request form sent via Wheels to Work. We will then contact you to help you find the right bike for your height and travel needs.

Step 4: Make a collection appointment

Once you have chosen, we will make an appointment for collection from our workshop. Please do not turn up without an appointment.


How do I collect my bike?

Step 1:  After your choosing a bike with one of our team we will arrange an appointment for collection. Please do not come to the workshop without an appointment.
Step 2:  We will send you a code. Your bike will be locked up outside our workshop during the time window we have given you. Use the code to unlock your bike.

Step 3:  You can “test ride” your bike around the car park. If you are happy, please leave the lock behind and take your bike home.

We have information and instructions up on the wall by the collection area.


Where do I collect my bike from?

Bike Back Bristol: 19 Cambridge Road, Bristol, BS7 8PS.

Directions: Our workshop is based in the car park of Bristol prison. The prison car park is often full so we recommend parking in the residential rounds around the prison. Enter the prison car park, turn right and our workshop is at the far end of the car park through the high silver gates with a wheel on.

Click here to find Bike Back Bristol on Google maps

For safety reasons during the COVID-19 outbreak, please leave donated bikes outside our blue shutters. You can do this at any time with no need to call ahead.


Are there any other requirements?

To keep funding like this available, Travelwest requires feedback via their follow-up Survey. please make sure to fill this out once you have purchased your bike. 

I don't live in Bristol or South Gloucestershire, can I still claim the offer?

Unfortunately, the funding for this scheme only covers people who live in Bristol and South Gloucestershire postcode areas.

How much do your bikes cost?

Prices start at around £80 and go up to around £400.

What happens if my bike costs more than the discount amount?

You will need to pay the difference.  So, for example, if your chosen bike costs £150 and you have a discount of £100 you will need to pay £50.

Please note we are only taking card payments at this time.

What kind of bike will I get?

We offer second-hand bikes which are refurbished to a high standard: They are thoroughly safety tested and will feel “better than new” to ride. We also have a small selection of new bikes.

What if I want a bike that's for sale on Life Cycle's eBay store?

We are experiencing an extremely high level of demand for bikes at the moment and our eBay bikes are often sold by the time we get in touch with you. We want to manage expectations fairly, so please don't set your heart on a bike we have on eBay. Instead, we will contact you to discuss your needs and match you with a bike that we have in stock.  We are holding back bikes specifically for the Wheels to Work scheme.

What if I arrive and the bike isn’t right for me?

Please let us know there and then. If you have paid anything towards the bike, we will issue you a full refund.

What if I arrive and there is something wrong with the bike?

Please lock the bike up securely and then contact us to explain what you think is wrong. We will either:

a) Fix the bike as soon as possible and email you with another collection window.
b) Issue you with a full refund – you are welcome to look for another bike with this.

Please note: For safety reasons, we can’t issue refunds, swap bikes or fix bikes in person on the day.

What happens if I can no longer make my collection day?

Please contact us as soon as possible and let us know. We will then arrange another collection date.

Can I just turn up to buy or collect a bike?

For safety reasons, customers should not turn up outside their agreed collection window. To protect our staff and other customers, we reserve the right to turn away anyone who does this.

Is it safe to collect my bike?

Our primary focus is to protect the health of our staff and customers. Our staff are following Government guidelines, including strict cleaning and social distancing measures. All bikes are handled with gloves and will be fully disinfected before being handed over.

We are confident that providing collection windows will eliminate the chances of customers coming into contact with each other. In the unlikely event that another customer is there when you arrive, please keep a safe distance of at least two meters at all times.

Help us stay safe: Please do not enter the workshop for any reason at any time.

Where do the bikes come from?

Our bikes are sourced via our “Bike Back” project, which takes donations of unwanted bikes into local prisons and teaches prisoners to fix them. The prisoners gain employable skills and earn a City & Guilds qualification – helping them build a better future after release. The refurbished bikes are then thoroughly safety-tested by our professional mechanics. Watch our video about our work in prisons here.

How can I get in touch?

Our workshop is closed to the public so please get in touch with is us via Wheels to Work in the first instance. We will then make contact with you, once the process has been started. 


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