Please click on the links below to take you to the latest news stories.
HALFORDS AWARDED SUPPLIER STATUS ON
Halfords Cycle2work has been awarded supplier status on the ESPO 319 Framework once again. The framework is available for all Public Sector bodies and by using this framework there is no need to undertake any formal full tender exercise. It offers a quick and easy way to select Halfords as your preferred cycle to work provider.
ESPO is one of the UK’s largest Professional Buying Organisations. The organisation is owned by the county councils of Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk and the city council of Peterborough. The framework is accessible to all public bodies including, but not limited to: Schools & Academies, Local Authority Establishments, Police & Emergency Services, NHS & HSC Bodies, Central Government Departments & their Agencies and Registered Charities.Why choose us?
- Access to over 1000 bike shops nationally – 465+ Halfords shops plus our Cycle Republic stores and now over 700 of the best independent bike shops.
- The largest range of bikes of any scheme provider, to suit all budgets, abilities and commutes, including the exclusive and award-winning bike brand Boardman.
- Retrospective invoicing – no pre-payment of invoices required before employees can get their new bikes.
- Cycle2work Discount Card – giving employees 20% off cycle parts and accessories for the life of the initial hire period.
- Access to all Halfords in-store sale prices and promotions and a FREE six week cycle service check on all bikes. PLUS 1 Year Free Bike Care Plan on all Halfords store sourced bikes.
- Full marketing support – free of charge.
- Range of end of hire options including managed extended hire – no cost to you or your employees and Halfords Cycle2work manage the process for you.
By choosing Halfords Cycle2work as your scheme provider you have the opportunity to generate a significant revenue stream for your organisation. In addition to the 13.8% National Insurance Contribution savings your organisation will make on employees who sign up to Cycle2work, you also earn 12.5% cashback on the retail value of all bikes sourced through Halfords shops to invest back into your own cycling initiatives or for the benefit of the wider organisation.
Alternatively, you can offer your employees one of the following:
12.5% FREE Cycle Safety Accessories or 10% Discount. Or, should the initial funding of the scheme be a problem, we can arrange finance for you – at no additional cost.
To find out more about Halfords Cycle2work and accessing this framework contact us on 0345 504 6444 or click here to enter your details and we’ll get back to you.
For more information about ESPO visit: http://www.espo.org/frameworks/professional-services/staff-benefits
Halfords supporting Workplace Cycle Challenge
6 Aug 2012
Halfords are supporting The Workplace Cycle Challenge, calling on all UK Employers to come up with new ways of increasing the number of employees cycling to and from work, with an award of £25,000 awarded to the winner.
This competition was launched this summer by Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, in conjunction with Challenge for Change and CTC. Since 2008, Challenge for Change and CTC have run 34 workplace cycling programmes engaging with more than 50,000 people from 2,100 organisations.
These programmes are proven to be highly successful at:
- Encouraging non-cyclists to take up cycling
- Encouraging occasional cyclists to start cycling regularly and
- Encouraging more people to cycle for transport
Halfords is encouraging all of their clients to be creative in the way we launch cycle2work and engage with employees to achieve increased participation. Nesta will award the winner a prize of £25,000. In addition, a total of £25,000 development will also be awarded across competitors.
Deadline for application is 12th October 2012.
For more information please visit Nesta’s website: www.nesta.org.uk
For queries please contact: email@example.com
Could an amateur handle the toughest stages of the Tour de France? On a Halfords Carrera?
9 Jul 2012
How would they fare on a Carrera Virago, a carbon-frame bike costing less than a grand. We found an amateur willing to take on the challenge. His name: Dan Francis. And thus the Tour de Francis came into being.
The tour consisted of four stages, borrowed from this year's Tour de France: Liege, Champagne, The Alps and Paris.
Watch the video now!
World and Olympic Cycle Champion Victoria Pendleton has launched her own range of ladies cycles, exclusively available from Halfords
10 Feb 2012
The new range of three womens’ cycles encompasses Pendleton’s timeless grace and style. Available in 16" and 18" frames, every cycle features a lightweight ergonomically designed frame for maximum comfort and ease of riding.
Somerby - The distinct blue and cream traditional step through frame is perfect for shopping trips priced £299.99. Complete the look with wicker basket priced £16.99.
Brooke - Victoria’s favourite colour plum red features on the frame of this hybrid bike priced £299.99.
Dalby - At £349.99, the sophisticated white hybrid bike features sleek shift great gearing and stylish mud guards.
Victoria Pendleton said: "Cycling can give so much pleasure whether you are training for Olympic gold, keeping fit or out riding with friends. I am delighted to have realised my dream of designing my own range and hope it will encourage more girls to get on their bikes too."
"Halfords proven success with Chris Boardman’s Performance Series was extremely appealing and makes them the best partner for me in this venture. With my input on design and a good idea of what makes a perfect women’s bike plus Halfords manufacturing and retailing expertise, I think we make a dream team!"
The range will be exclusively available from www.Halfords.com from 22nd March online, and in selected superstores nationwide from 29th March.
Carrera unveil sub-£1,000 carbon road bike
24 Nov 2011
Halfords in-house brand Carrera have unveiled their first carbon fibre road bike. The limited edition Virago is available now via their website and comes in at £999.99, making it suitable for Halfords' cycle2work scheme.
It’s a limited edition model, with just 50 bikes available to buy before Christmas. Features include a full-carbon frameset, Shimano 105 shifters and derailleurs, BB30 bottom bracket, Mavic CXP-22 rims, FSA Gossamer crankset and Tektro brakes. The Virago is available in four sizes – 52cm, 56cm, 58cm and 60cm. For more details, visit Halfords.com.
Premium Ebikes now available at Halfords through the Government Cycle to Work scheme
17 Nov 2011
UK ebike specialists, EBCO, has launched the UCL-30 and the UCR-30 at just £999 allowing them to be purchased through the Government's Cycle to Work Scheme run by Halfords.
Commenting on the bike, Paul Stanforth, EBCO's managing director said: "As a complete package the Urban Commuter 30 bikes will deliver a rider to work comfortable, sweat free with the EBCO-Grin etched on their face from an enjoyable ride. If only work was as much fun as EBCO commuting!"
To see the full press release please visit www.halfordspressoffice.com
Halfords champion grandfathering approach for cycle2work
27 Sep 2011
Since HMRC’s announcement in July 2011, Halfords has continued to explore the implications of the ruling. After extensive research carried out by our Group Tax Manager, we identified the potential to allow “grandfathering” to apply to existing cycle2work schemes. Halfords championed this approach with HMRC through the Cycle to Work Alliance as a fair and practical approach to implementing the ruling.
We are very pleased to advise that in response to the case developed and presented by Halfords, HMRC has issued further guidance as detailed below:
1. Salary sacrifice agreements signed before 28 July 2011 which extend beyond 31 December 2011
For salary sacrifice agreements that were in place, that is agreements that were signed before Revenue and Customs Brief 28/11 announcing the change was published (i.e. 28 July 2011) and which extend beyond 31 December 2011, HMRC will allow amounts of salary foregone in return for taxable benefits to continue to be free of VAT until:
- The date any fixed term agreement expires or fixed number of salary sacrifice payments specified within the agreement are completed. (If the agreement expires before 1 January 2012 any agreement subsequently entered into should follow the VAT treatment described in section 2 below); or,
- The date of an employees’ annual salary/benefits review. HMRC will regard any salary sacrifice arrangements put in place after that date as a new agreement for VAT purposes which should follow the treatment described in section 2 below. This will be the case even if individual employees continue to receive the same taxable benefits as before the review; or,
- Any other review or renegotiation that leads to a change in the provision of benefits under a salary sacrifice agreement or to a change in an employment contract
Following one of the above events VAT will be due on any taxable benefits provided on or after 1 January 2012 by way of salary sacrifice.
2. Salary sacrifice agreements entered into on or after 28 July 2011
Agreements entered into on or after 28 July 2011 must provide for VAT to be accounted for in accordance with the guidance in the Revenue Brief i.e. with effect from 1 January 2012 VAT must be accounted for on amounts of salary foregone in return for taxable benefits.
In summary, all cycle2work arrangements where the agreement was signed prior to 28th July 2011 will be able to run their natural course without any requirement for the Employer to change the employees’ deductions or the VAT payable on those deductions.
Halfords welcomes this update, as it will allow existing hire agreements to be unaffected. We can now focus time on ensuring your future cycle2work schemes offer your colleagues the best savings available in the market.
Halfords FAQ’s on VAT ruling
25 Aug 2011
Over the last 4 weeks since the ruling was issued, we have been working closely with our clients to discuss how the changes can be accommodated within eixisting and future cycle to work schemes. Following these discussion, we have produced a collection of frequently asked questions (FAQ')s to our customers through this period of change.
To be as helpful as possible, Halfords have condensed this learning into a short film featuring Dave Pickering, Halfords Group Tax Manager: he helps summarise the detail and impact of the VAT changes. Please feel free to watch our film, and pass onto any colleagues keen to gain a better understanding.
How to implement the VAT ruling for your scheme
15 Aug 2011
Following on from our recent news update, we’ve been working hard to clarify HMRC’s application of the European Court of Justice ruling in relation to the treatment of VAT in salary sacrifice. We have been liaising with HMRC via the Cycle to work Alliance (C2WA) on a daily basis as well as our own independent tax and legal advisors to secure a greater understanding of the guidelines and the impact on employers. Thank you for your patience on this matter. We are now in a position to provide more clarity but will continue to seek clarification from HMRC over the coming weeks:
What does the VAT ruling mean?
HMRC have confirmed that from 1st January 2012, the provision of a cycle to work benefit via salary sacrifice constitutes consideration (payment) for the provision of a service and therefore attracts VAT. This differs to previous legislation that enabled employers to pass on any reclaimed VAT in the form of employee savings. This now means that
- ALL employers may reclaim VAT (INPUT tax) incurred on the initial purchase of the bikes and safety equipment (even if they didn’t previously do so)
- ALL employers must account for VAT (OUTPUT tax) on bikes and safety equipment made available to their employees via salary sacrifice cycle to work arrangements
How does VAT impact the salary sacrifice process as a result of this ruling?
- Employee saves up to 42% through tax and NI savings
- Employer saves 13.8% in reduced NI contributions
How does this affect my scheme?
Please click on the relevant link below appropriate to your scheme parameters and we will contact you:
|All new schemes||
My scheme is available for employee applications every month
I am planning a future launch
Halfords remains at the forefront of scheme compliance and the responses we are receiving from clients bear testament to the value placed on our approach and unique commercial offer - all of which we are confident sets Cycle2work apart from other schemes. We are working with clients to deliver schemes which reflect recent changes whilst delivering the maximum savings available for their employees (which typically cannot be matched by any other provider). We have been greatly encouraged by our clients who have responded to the changes and continued to offer this highly valued benefit to their employees.
VAT ruling now makes Halfords cycle2work scheme an even better option
28 Jul 2011
Cycle to work is the UK’s fastest growing staff benefit, helping employees to get fitter and healthier by encouraging them to cycle with great tax free savings off bikes and safety equipment, whilst enabling employers to save on National Insurance Contributions and reduce their carbon footprint.
Today's announcement from HMRC about treatment of VAT for salary sacrifice schemes has removed the final element of uncertainty about exactly how schemes should operate in future.
In response to a recent European Court of Justice judgement, HMRC has confirmed that provision of a benefit via salary sacrifice to employees constitutes a supply of services for consideration and is therefore subject to VAT. This ruling means that from 1st January 2012, employers must charge employees VAT on supply of bikes made available to them under such schemes.
At first glance, this suggests that savings available to employees will be materially reduced – but this need not be the case with Halfords cycle2work scheme.
Charles Ashwell, Halfords Cycle2work Corporate Sales Manager said: "Whilst the decision of the ECJ does seem at odds with the Government’s ambition to support sustainable transport, it does remove the final element of uncertainty about exactly how schemes should operate going forward, and in so doing, strengthens it further.
"Halfords is the leading authority on the scheme, and we continue to invest in its development and future. We are uniquely placed to maximise savings by working with clients to design schemes which provide superior savings for employees and employers than those available from other scheme providers."
Halfords cycle2work offers employees the UK’s best C2W savings, and employers the continued peace of mind of offering the UK’s most compliant scheme.
Employers wishing to find out how they can take advantage of the UK’s best Cycle To Work savings should contact Halfords on 0345 504 6444 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Another awesome VooDoo challenge video
2 Jun 2011
Over the next six months, there'll be a different challenge for VooDoo Cycles rider Rob Jarman to take up every month. Some of them will have a bit of culture and exploring, others a definite man vs the elements feel, and others will just be downright bonkers. You'll be able to follow Rob's antics in MBUK and here on BikeRadar.
Next month he faces the toughest of the tough in a no-holds-barred head-to-head against a team of Royal Marines Commandos. Will his Voodoo help?
National public sector framework for the Government-supported ‘Cycle To Work’ scheme… available now !
Launch a scheme quickly and simply with Halfords… there’s no need to tender…
13 May 2011
The Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO) framework agreement offers all public sector organisations throughout the UK a simple and effective route to implementing a Cycle To Work scheme, quickly and simply.
ESPO is a local authority purchasing consortium and is a member of the Pro5 group of Professional Buying Organisations which includes the Central Buying Consortium (CBC), West Mercia Supplies (WMS), the North East Purchasing Organisation (NEPO) and the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO).
The framework has been advertised and established in full compliance with public procurement legislation. Therefore, by using the framework, public sector employers are exempt from having to undertake any further advertising, supplier assessment or adherence to lengthy EU procurement procedures. So procurement costs and timescales are minimised. Since ESPO operates on a not for profit basis, you would not be charged any fees for accessing this framework.
This framework is now available for use by all public sector organisations - commencing on 1st April 2011 and it will be in place for a period of two years, with the option to extend for up to a further two years thereafter.
Halfords ‘Cycle2work’… The UK’s No.1 Cycle to Work Solution
Cycle to Work is the fastest growing employee benefit, enabling employees to use this Government-supported scheme to access a new bike with savings of up to 52%**, whilst improving their overall wellbeing.
Halfords Cycle2work encourages a greater number of people to reduce their carbon footprint by cycling to work. The average participant on the Cycle to Work Scheme cycles 14 miles per day and reduces their CO2 emissions by an estimated 18,787.5g per week.
Halfords is the UK’s biggest bike retailer with over 120 years experience serving cyclists. Since 1999, Halfords has become the UK’s No.1 nationwide cycle to work scheme provider – having delivered 10,000 Cycle2work schemes for public and private sector organisations of varying types and sizes.
Halfords Cycle2work is the UK’s most complaint scheme, meeting all HMRC guidance and related legislation, and there are simple and robust solutions to HMRC’s most recent clarification for the ‘end of hire term’ process – Halfords will do the work for you.
Fully managed cycle2work scheme…
With full administrative support, Halfords keeps your workload to an absolute minimum – and it’s all FREE.
- Quick and easy online application system - employees can apply and receive their letter of collection (LoC) on the same day
- A dedicated Halfords Implementation Manager to launch and manage your scheme
- A dedicated helpdesk to answer your employee’s queries
- All payroll data is provided in your required format to enable you to make salary reductions easily
- To help you promote your scheme Halfords provides you with fully tailored marketing support including posters, flyers, on-site roadshows and e-communications
- All templates and documentation will be provided to launch a fully compliant scheme
A new revenue stream for the Public Sector
Thanks to a "mould-breaking" new approach from Halfords you can not only motivate your employees but also generate a significant new revenue stream for your organisation by earning cashback on the retail value of all bikes sourced through Halfords stores for the wider benefit of your organisation.†
Alternatively, should your organisation prefer, Halfords could either offer employees free related safety equipment,† or the same amount may be used to purchase Halfords cycling equipment to support community or internal cycling initiatives.
Unbeatable choice of bike brands, unbeatable value for money…
Halfords offers employees access to virtually all bike brands available in the UK via a combination of Halfords stores, our nationwide Partner Independent Bike Shop network and our Special Order Helpdesk.
This includes exclusive access to the award winning Boardman brand and the UK’s no.1 and no.3 bike brands, Apollo and Carrera.
There are 460 Halfords stores open 7 days a week, until 8pm weekdays – over 97% of the UK’s population lives within 20 minutes of a Halfords store and Halfords stores are open when others are not.
Halfords provides the lowest bike prices†† – employees can access in-store promotional prices in addition to the fantastic tax-break benefits.
Employees receive a FREE build and safety check on all bikes to ensure your cycle is ready to ride and a FREE service after 6 weeks to ensure all necessary adjustments are made.
For complete peace of mind, employees will also receive a FREE Bike Care Plan providing over £100 of free servicing and repair benefits throughout the year*.
The ideal choice for Public Sector employees
Interested in launching cycle2work?
To learn more about the scheme or how your organisation can make use of the Public Sector framework agreement (even if you already run an alternative scheme), please email: email@example.com or call Elle Thompson (Account Manager at Halfords) on 07943 877142
Boardman Bikes 2011: Q and A with Chris Boardman
28 Mar 2011
With Boardman Bikes officially unveiling their new Elite and Performance ranges for 2011/12, BikeRadar took the opportunity to chat to their director of operations, Andy Smallwood, and the man himself – track racing legend Chris Boardman.
BikeRadar: Chris, what role do you play in the development of the Boardman bikes?
Chris Boardman: "I'm involved in every aspect of every bike. Next week we're off to the factory to start looking at things for 2013 (Boardman operate in two-year production cycles), and that's the fun bit – I can't let somebody else take charge of that because that's the part that interests me."
"The reason I got involved is because I wanted to be part of a project, not just give a name to one. That wouldn't have inspired me. I enjoy it, and being a part of every bit of it is what makes it worthwhile. But that doesn't mean I come up with all the ideas.
"I learned the hard way in the past that you've got to take a team approach in creating things. You bring in specialists for different projects and different areas. It's much better than if you just have one imagination working."
BikeRadar: Have you been surprised by how quickly the company has progressed since launching in 2007?
Chris Boardman: "It's pretty scary because there's a big responsibility. I've always had the approach that with every performance – whether it be with bikes or anything else – you know your dream, your destination, where you want to end up, but you've got to let go of all that and think, 'right, what do I need to do? What are the first steps?'
"Coming to the launch, you think, 'that's the range, right here', so that always takes me by surprise. And you hope everyone is going to like it. But fundamentally, we couldn't have done a better job."
BikeRadar: Are there any plans to make your bikes available through stores other than Halfords in the UK and Ireland?
Chris Boardman: "Halfords have been great for us. They've allowed us to expand so quickly. They took a punt on us – to get behind something that was brand new and really back it – and it grew and grew, and the Performance range is right for them. It's stretched them at the top end into products and price ranges that they normally don't deal with, but they've risen to that."
To read the full interview and watch the video go to www.bikeradar.com.
Dare2b: Welcome To Our Mountain
22 Mar 2011
For Spring/Summer 2011 Dare 2b are excited to announce their collaboration with the UK’s leading bike retailer. Halfords portfolio of over 460 , means cyclists are only ever a 20 minute drive from their nearest Dare 2b stockist.
Providing the brand with the perfect foundation to launch its Spring/Summer 2011 collection of cycle specific jerseys, legwear, windshells and waterproofs. Staple pieces including the Scramble jersey for men and Zippidee jersey for women. Made from stretch elastane fabric, with anti-bacterial treatment, 3/4 long reflective zip with autolock slider, long back scooped hem and reflective detail for enhanced visibilty.
For the full story and others please go to Halfords press Office.
Teams announced for 2011 Halfords Tour Series
14 Mar 2011
Ten top teams to do battle in action packed televised Series
SweetSpot Group are pleased to announce the identities of the ten teams who will take part in The Halfords Tour Series 2011, the unique team-based televised city centre cycling series.
Defending Champions Motorpoint Pro Cycling lead the entry with a squad containing Ian Bibby and Malcolm Elliott, who both won individual rounds of the Series in 2010. Last season’s runners up Endura Racing return with a strengthened line-up containing four round winners plus riders from Germany, New Zealand and Australia, while Rapha – Condor – Sharp will be looking to improve on their third place finishes in each of the past two seasons of The Halfords Tour Series.
"We are in our third year of The Halfords Tour Series and this looks to be the strongest line-up of teams and riders yet, which bodes well for the future of domestic cycling" said Series Director Mick Bennett.
"Spectators can look forward to seeing some of Britain’s top cyclists in action in their town or city during the Series, including several who will be in action at the London Olympics in 2012."
For the full story please click here
Cycle to Work Scheme to be retained says the Office of Tax Simplification
9 Mar 2011
The independent Office of Tax Simplification has recommended the cycle to work tax relief should be retained. The Office, based at the Treasury, recognised the key part the cycle to work scheme plays in creating new cyclists and helping people live healthier lives.
76% of cycle to work scheme users have said they would not have purchased a bike if it had not been offered through the cycle to work scheme, the Cycle to Work Alliance’s recent Behavioural Impact Analysis found. 87% of those who cycle to work have also noticed a direct health benefit from their more active commute.
The Office of Tax Simplification has presented its findings to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and a formal response is expected as part of the Budget 2011. The Office was created to provide independent advice on simplifying the UK tax system.
Keith Scott, Cycle to Work Alliance Representative and Head of Business Services at Halfords said:
"We are delighted the Office of Tax Simplification has recognised the important work the cycle to work scheme plays in supporting the Government’s health, environment and sustainable transport policy."
For more information Click here
Performance at the heart of Boardman 2011 designs
4 Mar 2011
Following the unprecedented success of Boardman bikes exclusively at Halfords, the winning team announces the much-anticipated 2011 Boardman Bikes Performance Series will be available exclusively from the UK’s leading bike retailer from 2nd April.
Boardman’s unbeatable blend of performance, design and quality has received unparalleled accolade in customer reviews and specialist press awards to date. As 1 in 5 bikes sold at Halfords, the UK’s leading bike retailer, Boardman Bikes is Britain’s most successful premium bike brand.
In July 2007, Boardman Bikes launched at Halfords into 100 specially selected superstores and online. Today, Boardman Bikes are available in more than 200 Halfords stores, online and via the Cycle 2 Work scheme.
The 2011 Performance Series line up comprises of five Road, three Hybrid, CX, five MTB Hard-tail and two MTB full suspension bikes. Highlights of the range include the all-new Pro Carbon Road featuring BB30, tapered steerer, internal cable routing and Shimano Ultegra at £1,799, the Pro Carbon MTB featuring internal cable routing, tapered steerer, Rock Shox SID fork and SRAM X9 at £1,599, the Road Team featuring tapered steerer, BB30 and Shimano 105 at £999 and the MTB Pro with tapered steerer, BB30 and SRAM X9 2x10 at £999. The aerodynamic road and race ready MTB frames utilise high modulus carbon fibre combined with computer developed tube profiles. The new alloy Road, MTB, Hybrid and CX models have all been re-engineered with the emphasis on attention-to-detail resulting in pure performance and range from £500 to £1,000.
Director of Boardman Bikes Research and Development, Chris Boardman MBE said: “From the outset our aim was to create a great British cycling brand - cycling is our true passion. From day one, our range has been designed with performance at the heart of each and every model."
"For this latest line-up, we’ve built upon the success to date and taken findings from R and D; re-engineering the range, adding excellent new models, utilising highly developed carbon and alloy frames as a strong basis across the platforms. The result is a comprehensive range of bicycles for 2011 – there’s a bike for everyone from the elite to the everyday rider. We’ve put every ounce of our passion for cycling into the range and I have complete faith in these bikes and I’m more than happy to let you be the ultimate judge."
Halfords and Boardman’s partnership gives customers the opportunity to buy a world-class performance bicycle at extremely competitive prices. Halfords supply chain management and retail experience together with the Boardman teams cutting-edge design and development capabilities have created an unrivaled premium cycle brand.
Halfords is expecting demand to be high for these bikes and recommends that customers reserve their bike in-store now. For details of your nearest Boardman ranged store Click here
Halfords Big Brands Riding High
11 Feb 2011
Bikeradar.com Best mountain bikes under £1,000
"When it comes to the competitive sub-£1,000 price bracket, mountain bikers are spoiled for choice. While decent full-suspension bikes are few and far between following recent price increases – although we have found a couple of sterling examples – there's a huge selection of hardtails (bikes with front suspension only) capable of taking on everything from cross-country racing to technical trail riding."
Carrera Fury (2009/10) - 5 stars
"The Fury is a starter bike that strikes an excellent balance. It’s sorted for black route fun and games, being bags of fun on descents, yet it can still climb and keep pace with most nose-in-the-air niche bike riders who try to overtake you on the flat. "
To read the full review click here.
Boardman MTB HT Comp (2010) - 4.5 stars
"The Boardman Comp looks like it should cost a lot more than it does. And yes, that is a RockShox Recon Solo Air up front."
To read the full review click here.
VooDoo Bokor (2010) - 4.5 stars
"Voodoo have been around for over a decade, eschewing the usual range changes in favour of gradual development when it makes sense."
To read the full review click here.
Boardman MTB HT Pro (2010) - 4 stars
"You can't fault the Boardman on acceleration, and it's similarly dominant on long, non-technical climbs."
To read the full review click here.
Boardman MTB FS Team (2010)) - 4.5 stars
"When it comes to getting the riding basics right and then topping them off with a component package that’s outrageous value, few brands get anywhere near Boardman."
To read the full review click here.
To read the full article at Bikeradar.com click here.
Much A Do About VooDoo Cycles
7 Feb 2011
Following the unprecedented success of Boardman bikes, exclusively at Halfords, the leading cycle retailer is adding to its premium line-up as preferred supplier to VooDoo cycles 2011 range.
Available exclusively at Halfords from March 2011, the much-anticipated VooDoo collection will comprise four hardtail and two full suspension mountain bikes, two hybrid, three BMX and two DirtJump frames. Included in the range the brands' trademark Zobop priced £1499.99 and much talked about 29ers, the Hoodoo at £479.99 and Bokor at £679.99, also available in 26".
VooDoo began in 1994 by a group of bicycle fanatics and soon gained a solid reputation for offering an innovative line of hardtail and suspension bikes.
Recent accolades include What Mountain Bike magazine Best Value 2010 award for the Canzo, a great review in MBR of the current Bantu, and positive feedback from FHM, Stuff magazine and Bikeradar.com, all invited to preview the 2011 Zobop.
VooDoo Bike Designer Joe Murray said: "We are extremely excited about the 2011 range. By teaming up with Halfords we’ve been able to ensure VooDoo’s unrivalled level of specification and attention to detail is priced extremely competitively. It’s the perfect partnership, VooDoo designs and creates and Halfords has the massive distribution network and far-east know how."
Online and in over 400 Halfords superstore from March 2011, for more information keep an eye out on the VooDoo Cycles twitter page @Voodoocycles and Halfords.com.
To watch the video "VooDoo challenge in Morocco with Rob Jarman" click here.
The Department for Transport (DfT) have updated and published their Cycle to Work guidance
2 Feb 2011
Halfords have been informed that the DfT guidance has been updated and the final version has been published on the DfT’s website
The DfT suggest that whist most of the changes are quite small they make special mention of section 9 that covers the £1,000 limit of the Group Consumer Credit License.
The Office of Fair Trading has agreed to make a reasonable adjustment to the consumer credit license limit of £1,000 per person in the event someone has a specific need such as a disability. Under the current terms, if a bike and equipment cost goes over £1,000 they are not covered by the consumer credit license. Under the new rules, an employer can consider a reasonable adjustment (subject to getting quotes) of more than £1,000 providing they do not recover more than £1,000 from the individual. This is because the £1,000 limit is there for consumer protection. Full details can be seen in section 9.
Halfords Cycle2work awarded Public Sector Framework Agreement with perfect 100% score
17 Jan 2011
Halfords Cycle2work achieved a perfect 100% score and was recently awarded a national Framework Agreement for the supply of the Governments cycle to work scheme, which is open to all public sector organisations, by the Healthcare Purchasing Consortium (HPC).
Running for 4 years the Framework Agreement, gives access to enables all public sector bodies to take advantage of the Halfords Cycle2work scheme without being required to complete their own lengthy tendering process. Previously public bodies such as government departments, police forces, fire and rescue services, councils, universities and other public bodies had access to a templated cycle scheme under a framework agreement held by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG). However this contract and framework for the cycle scheme was withdrawn by the CLG in 2010, the HPC Framework Agreement is currently the only cycle to work specific agreement in place in the UK.
This is really good news for any UK public body wishing to launch a cycle to work scheme, as it frees up resource by avoiding the traditional procurement route. Even better, Halfords have devised an offer specific to the public sector offering which gives the choice of either a range of value added services, up front cycle discount or even a revenue share provision paid back to employers as ‘cashback’.
Not only does this present the most the most compelling and financially attractive solutions on the market, the agreement also enables employees to access bicycles and accessories through the Halfords stores as well as the growing network of independent retailers affiliated to the Halfords Cycle2work scheme. With absolute focus and commitment to scheme compliance, and a client led approach to providing a fully managed service, any employer taking advantage of this Framework Agreement can have complete confidence that the scheme they are providing to their employers is in accord with all legal and HMRC requirements (particularly in relation to end of hire term arrangements) and that it is fully supported and managed on their behalf and will not prove an unnecessary burden upon already stretched resource.
A number of public sector organisations, including Police and NHS Trusts, have already adopted the Framework Agreement, and are benefiting from the marketing leading cashback provision.
To take advantage of this framework agreement please email Elle Thompson Cycle2work Account Manager.
Employers use [Halfords] new bikes product to ensure compliance
6 Jan 2011
Associated British Ports, Avon and Somerset Probation Trust and Spire Healthcare are implementing a new Halfords bikes-for-work product.
The plan, developed with HM Revenue and Customs and a tax adviser, ensures employers comply fully with the transfer-of-ownership regulations at the end of the hire period.
It can be tailored either to extend the hire period from one year to up to five years with a notional or nil transfer value at the end of the period, or as a P11D declaration of the end-of-hire term value as a benefit in kind, which can then be taxed at marginal tax rate.
Avon and Somerset Probation Trust, which has run a bikes-for-work scheme through Halfords since July 2009, is using the P11D option. Its assistant chief officer for human resources, Dean Hambleton-Ayling, said: “We are going with the P11D option so it does not cost staff any more."
Spire Healthcare, which introduced the scheme to its 7,000 staff in January 2008, is implementing the extension of the hire period. Jim Carson, the company’s head of reward, said: “The [Halfords product] makes it easier for us to administer and makes it a lot clearer what our employees have got to do."
The full story at Employee Benefits
Halfords unveil their new range of VooDoo mountain bikes
16 Nov 2010
Halfords have unveiled their new range of VooDoo mountain bikes which includes four hardtails – one of which is a 29er – two full-suspension machines and two dirt jump bikes. Check out the link below to find out more and take a sneak peek at how the new bikes look.
Halfords release their fully compliant Cycle to Work end of scheme transfer process
21 Sep 2010
In August, HMRC issued new guidance (EIM21667a) relating to treatment of bicycles at the end of their loan term under cycle to work schemes. Whilst prompting a significant amount of discussion in the media, comment from employers, employees and scheme providers, it is evident that some of the key messages have often been misinterpreted or even misunderstood.
Halfords has delivered the scheme to employers for over 10 years, having from the outset fixed a principle that we would only ever provide schemes which are wholly compliant. And following extensive dialogue with HMRC and the UK’s leading tax advisors we are now able to present employers with a range of options which deliver fully HMRC compliant ‘watertight’ solutions for employers whilst protecting scheme savings for employees and addressing the considerable uncertainty prevailing in the market since the guidelines came into effect on the 6th August.
To read the full update from Halfords click here.
HMRC release their Cycle to Work end of scheme transfer guidance
6 Aug 2010
On Friday 6th August 2010 HM Revenues and Customs released guidance notes on how to treat the transfer of ownership and the value of the bike at the end of a Cycle to Work scheme. Please see the HMRC website.
Halfords is in the process of contacting all clients to share this information and assist you to implement this process.If you are about to enter this phase of your scheme and as yet have not been contacted by Halfords, please feel free to contact us direct.
10 Years of Cycle to Work
1 May 2010
The Cycle to Work scheme, the Government programme celebrates its 10 year anniversary this month. Over the past decade more than 400,000 people from 25,000 companies have taken advantage of the scheme. And the numbers keep rising. Halfords announced a 50 percent increase in people joing its Cycle2work scheme over the last year.
Keith Scott, Head of Business Services at Halfords, the UK's largest Cycle to Work provider, said: "The Cycle to Work scheme provides the added incentive many employees need to incorporate cycling into their commute. There are so many benefits to cycling that include health and fitness and travel cost savings. The significant Cycle to Work tax breakmeans there is no excuse not to get on your bike."
Extract from Cycle active May 2010
Boardman to sell women-specific range
26 Mar 2010
Boardman are to introduce a range of women-specific fi (female informed) bikes which include a carbon road model, 100mm travel hardtail mountain bike and a flat bar commuter.
Available from Halfords in May 2010, the Boardman fi frames use women's specific geometry and use “cutting edge materials and components [to give] you a bike which feels natural to ride, is comfortable and offers excellent performance at every level," according to Chris Boardman MBE."
To view the complete article Bikeradar
To view the Boardman fi range Boardman fi
Halfords named as Title Sponsor for The Tour Series
3 Mar 2010
Britain’s leading cycling retailer gets behind successful city centre racing series. Organisers of The Tour Series, SweetSpot, announce Title Sponsor, Halfords.
The Halfords Tour Series will take place from 25th May to the 24th June in 2010 across ten cities and will see ten top British professional teams battling it out to be crowned the best cycling team in the country.
The partnership sees the leading cycle retailer aligning itself with the UK’s most exciting racing series, and the community cycling festival integral to each round of The Tour Series.
Paul McClenaghan, Halfords Commercial Director, said: "As the UK’s leading cycle retailer, Halfords is keen to bring the thrill of cycle racing to a wider audience. The Halfords Tour Series will help give cycle enthusiasts, families and young aspiring Bradley Wiggins’ alike inspiration to get on their bikes. This is also a great opportunity to showcase the passion and expertise of our in store colleagues who build and service around half a million bikes a year including the award winning Boardman Road Pro."
SweetSpot Commercial Manager, Alastair Grant said: "Halfords are the natural partner for this dynamic, exciting cycle race series. Halfords partnership with The Tour Series will allow us to do even more to promote the sport to new audiences going forward, helping our team and venue stakeholders to engage with the thousands of spectators and the hundreds of schools across the country who attend these exciting events. By bringing elite races ‘back to the people’ in televised, midweek slots, we can also engage people across the country with Britain’s best Olympic sport."
Find out more about the Halfords Tour Series by following this link.
Government scheme will aid cycling
15 Sep 2009
Currently 15 per cent of all UK bike sales are through the Cycle to Work, a scheme that has seen a 50% rise in just 12 months. Halfords forsee today's Government announcement will accelerate this trend as they move to persuade more firms to provide better facilities for cyclists.
The retailer, which sells one in three cycles in the UK, set the Cycle2work model for the market in 2002 and now communicates the idea of cycling to work to over five million UK employees nationwide ever year, including Royal Bank of Scotland, as well as, Cadburys, Microsoft, Lloyds TSB, to name but a few.
Carl James, Cycle2Work Business Services Manager said: "Increased tax on company cars and cities introducing restrictions on parking and congestion charges as well as Team GB's heroics in Beijing have helped persuade more people than ever to swap their car keys or travel cards for a bike and save themselves hundreds of pounds a year".
Get on your bike for world car free day
28 Oct 2009
Avoid the fuel crisis, traffic jams, save money, and get healthy by walking, cycling, or taking public transport on World Car Free Day.
On Tuesday 22nd September 2009, the annual World Car Free Day will celebrate cities free from the stresses of noise and car pollution. Traffic speed in 30 cities across Europe was surveyed during a four months period from June to September 2007 and highlighted London as Europe's slowest city. With the average cyclist comfortably travelling in excess of 10 miles per hour - you could save precious time in the mornings and avoid the stresses simply by getting on your bike.
Cleaner, greener, often faster and more cost effective than any other form of transport, Halfords pioneering Cycle2Work programme promotes healthier journeys to work, reduces environmental pollution and cuts out having to struggle to park, and then pay a fortune for the privilege. Not only does the scheme offer a healthier lifestyle choice, and reduce harm to the environment, but it also makes cycling more affordable with all participants saving on tax and NI when they use a bike to commute to work.
Halfords communicates the idea of cycling to work to over two million UK employees nationwide including Royal Bank of Scotland, as well as, Cadburys, Microsoft, Lloyds TSB, to name but a few.
Halfords Cycle2Work Business Manager, Carl James comments, "Halfords Cycle2Work has proved popular with employers and employees across the UK, and has already helped large numbers of workers nationwide get out and about on two wheels. There are so many benefits to cycling both in terms of enjoyment and health, and the added financial incentive means there is no excuse not to get on your bike!
Halfords sells more than 1 million bikes a year as consumers switch to pedal power to beat the recession
16 Apr 2009
Halfords, the UK's leading automotive and leisure products retailer, announces it sold more than 1 million bicycles in the year to end March for the second consecutive year. Once again Halfords sold more than one in three of all new bikes in the UK.
This performance is thanks partly to a surge in sales to commuters who, in particular, are taking advantage of Government backed incentive schemes and taking their journey to work by bike. Sales, across the country, through the Government's increasingly popular Cycle2Work scheme, rose by almost 50% to 34,000 in 2008/9, in sharp contrast to new car sales, which fell 11% in 2008.*
Cycle2Work enables employees to buy a bike tax free in 12 monthly instalments, provided they use it for their travel to work. Halfords has now sold more than 80,000 Cycle2Work bikes since the scheme was introduced in 2005.
As part of its commitment to cycling, Halfords is today announcing that it plans to integrate the wider ranges in its standalone Bikehut stores into its main superstores, ensuring that customers have access to the fullest possible selection of products.
David Wild, Halfords' Chief Executive, commented: "We are delighted with the strength of our bike sales in these tough times on the high street and our customer feedback suggests that many of them are cycling for the significant economic, environmental and health benefits. The tax benefits of the Cycle2Work scheme means that customers are able to buy higher specification bikes and we have been particularly pleased with sales of our award winning Boardman bike range, designed in partnership with Olympic champion Chris Boardman MBE.
"It was a great achievement when one of Halfords' Boardman bikes was ridden to Olympic victory by Nicole Cooke in Beijing last year and sales of the Boardman range are now exceeding established premium brands. We remain committed to supporting cycling through our partnership with British Cycling in 2009 and the sponsorship of the road race Premier Calendar series. We are also in our second year of pro team sponsorship supporting many aspiring 2012 cyclists. Cycling is undergoing a renaissance in Britain thanks in no small part to Team GB's outstanding Olympic success and we are delighted to be part of it."