Couple's bike hire firm for kids gears up with £6m


Couple who started bike hire service from their London flat four years ago draw up plans to grow business tenfold

A couple who started a bike hire service from their London flat four years ago have drawn up plans to grow their business tenfold. 

Bike Club, which provides children’s bikes, charges customers a monthly subscription starting at £5 for a lightweight bike worth more than £300, and has 15,000 for hire. 

Husband-and-wife team James Symes and Alexandra Rico-Lloyd want to see that rise to 150,000. 

Riding high: Alexandra Rico-Lloyd and James Symes, far right, and their children on the Bike Club’s rental bikes

Riding high: Alexandra Rico-Lloyd and James Symes, far right, and their children on the Bike Club’s rental bikes

Codex Capital Partners has handed them £5.7million to help it grow this Christmas after business picked up in lockdown. Symes said another funding round early next year, possibly for £20million, would then help them reach the ultimate target. 

‘We had a strong Christmas last year and were looking for more cash, then the virus hit. 

‘Then [deputy chief medical officer] Jenny Harries said cycling was a good, socially distanced form of exercise for the family. 

‘We realised this could be an intense period of demand for us.’ 

Most bikes only last children 18 months before being ‘piled up in the shed’, Symes said, while his firm aims to hire out each of its bikes for up to five years to a series of families. 

He said the sustainability appealed to members, whose children were also likely to ride more often on Bike Club’s light bikes rather than cheaper ones, which tend to be heavier. 

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As older people increasingly shop online, Bike Club also expects more grandparents to buy their grandchildren a subscription for Christmas.





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