Cycle to Work Voucher

andun84 Posts: 5
edited September 2008 in Road beginners
I have £1000 to spend but can topup beyond this amount myself.

I am looking for a road bike with a more race oriented geometry as I currently have a more relaxed sportive bike and just want my next bike to be a little different. It has to be full carbon.

A quick check of the approved suppliers for our scheme reveals that I have a lot brands open to me but not many, as you would expect, that have full carbon bikes that fall within that price range. The one that stand outs the most is the 2006 Merlin Works C110 which costs £1500 and the spec is:

Handlebars; ITM
Stem; ITM
Chainset; Shimano Ultegra
STI Levers; Shimano Ultegra
Rear Derailleur; Shimano Ultegra
Front Derailleur; Shimano Ultegra
Brake Calipers; Shimano Ultegra
Bottom Bracket Cups; Shimano Ultegra
Chain; Shimano Ultegra
Cassette; Shimano Ultegra
Saddle; Selle Italia Nitrox
Seatpost; Selcof
Wheels; Mavic Aksium
Tubes; Continental Race 28
Headset; FSA IS2
Tyres; Vittoria Rubino Pro Slick 700 x 23

The website for bike is:

I do have brands such Bianchi, Specialized, Colnago, Giant, Cervelo, Pinarello, Wilier, Ridley & Scott, etc to choose from also but just wondered about this one for a starting point.


  • I'm in a similar boat at the moment, i'm hoping to do some racing next year and looking to guy a more racy bike around new year. I've been looking at the Planet-x Pro Carbon SL. Good thing about this is you can spec it out to however much you wanna pay, and choose where the money goes. I mention this both as a recommendation and to ask if anyone on this site has experiance with these bikes or planet-x?
  • I've got a Planet-x Pro Carbon SL. and it's great (although I've never had any other carbon bike), I spec'd it with the B wheels.

    Keep your eyes open on the site as offers keep popping up.
  • They have a good offer on at the moment (last time i checked), but unfortunately i have to wait until the new year to get the cycle to work scheme on it.
  • Just for your info. You are not allowed to top up your voucher on cycle 2 work scheme because of the tax implication.
  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    wkdwiz wrote:
    Just for your info. You are not allowed to top up your voucher on cycle 2 work scheme because of the tax implication.
    This is generally the condition that is being applied but the tax rules don't bar this, it is more to do with the ambiguity of the bike (which is technically owned by the employer) being partly owned by the employee.

    The other issue is the consumer credit licence, up to £1000, the DFT has issued a group licence to cover up to £1000 transactions by employers under the scheme, they say that " If you carry out regulated transactions other than that described in the group licence, you will need to apply for a standard consumer credit licence.". The standard licence is around £300 to buy, though employers may well have one by virtue of their business, or if they participated in the computer for staff purchase scheme. With the standard licence the employer could fund purchases beyond £1000 without the need for topups by employees.
  • Does it have to be a whole bike? For example, with Planet-x's build your own scheme, could i get a bike without, say, a read deraileur or something like that to get it just under the £1000 mark, then buy a rear deraileur outside the scheme?
  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    Planet-X say they discourage people from buying partial builds or parts with Cyclescheme, which makes me think they will do it at a push. When I ordered my £999 bike from them the web site just said I should send the voucher plus a cheque to cover anything over the voucher limit, so I think they are discretely flexible, its no skin off their noses. Technically the scheme is only for full bikes plus safety and essential accessories (such as waterproofs, maybe locks, lights etc).
  • We only have 8 or 9 LBS that we are allowed to buy from on our scheme and that means that Planet X, Wiggle, Ribble or Dolan are not options for me unfortunately much as I wish I could use these.

    Anybody any comments on the bike spec I posted.

    I read the scheme the way alfablue does and really at the end of the day I don't really care about the legalities as it is unlikely that I will ever have to deal with any consequences as I am just using the scheme that has been made available to me.
  • doyler78
    doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    I take it you've been talking to Slane Cycles then :wink:

    They recommended that bike and a Scott CR1 Team which has a 105 groupset and is £1100. For extra £400 that you would pay for the Merlin you could actually buy a full Ultegra Groupset and upgrade the components yourself however which would be the better frame on which to hang anything is the question.

    I've emailed a few places asking for recommendations (easier than phoning during working hours in a shared office) and I guess when I get an idea of the bikes that just appeal to me I will seek opinions as to which has the best frame on which to upgrade components as I will be defo be looking to upgrade the bike over time as 105, which is the likely grouppo in this price range, will quickly annoy me.

    Have you any other bikes that you are looking at?

    How do you find the scheme process so far. I was involved in setting up the scheme (though didn't make any of the decisions but certainly put my views across) and indeed we have another meeting next Friday to sort out some teething problems thrown up by staff and their, and the LBS interpretation, of safety equipment, and other issues. It was to be expected that issues we hadn't considered when setting up the scheme would quickly come to the fore however hopefully we will get things sorted in such a way that most people can be happy with it.

    I can understand your frustration at not being able to avail yourself of all those lovely 1K bikes and I did argue for at least one online etailer to included however this was felt to be too hard to setup given the rules under which the Trust must operate. Madigans in Carrick do Planet X however it was too far out of our Trust catchment area to be included and that would have been ideal though I hope that we can convince the Trust to extend the catchment area to include other areas as Trek bikes are well catered for in Lisburn as well as Carrick but we will see. I guess it all depends on how easily it is for the Trust to deal with the LBS. The less the problems the more chance they may extend.
  • Personal preference, try them out! Personally i'd go for a specialized roubaix out of those choices but to each his own :wink:
  • doyler78
    doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    Personal preference, try them out! Personally i'd go for a specialized roubaix out of those choices but to each his own :wink:

    When I first got my Planet X Titanium it was ok but nothing spectacular however now that I have been on it for nearly 2 months now and have nearly got my setup licked I now love it. I take it everywhere now and my old flat bar has been consigned to history. Was getting my gears adjusted a few weeks back and was on my flat bar and I couldn't beleive the difference in positiion. It is so upright in comparison that it felt really strange though I don't notice a huge difference in speed between the 2 bikes however I find the ride quality and the position much better for me though my arms do take a bit of battering but that has eased considerably over time and expect it continue to improve as my body gradually gets used to the new position. The reason I mention all this is that I am not really convinced, based on this experience, that test rides really work especially when you don't have the opportunity to properly setup the bike. Am I missing something here?

    I like Specialized as a brand and would probably have gone for the Roubaix though when I was in my only Spesh LBS, McConvey's, they only had one left (or at least that's what the notice on it said) and it was 58cm so way too big for me. I like the look of the scott CR1 and have done a lot of reading on it and it sounds like a really good bike that will upgrade brilliantly so I am leaning towards that. I couldn't find anything on Merlin really so not overly keen on spending my money on it and as I said before for the difference between the CR1 and the Merlin I could buy a full Ultegra gruppo so don't see why I would go down the Merlin route at all unless I could find something that said it was an exceptional bike.