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Welcome to our FAQ, Frequently Asked Questions. This is a new feature on our site and is being added to all the time.

We hope you will find the answers to your questions here, if not, please email us using our contacts page

Before you start: Is buying a bike online right for you? Read this to find out.

FAQ's about orders and deliveries

1. How long will my order take to arrive?

The time it takes for an order to arrive with you depends on many factors, not least the items you ordered. If you ordered a bike it typically takes 5-7 working days to arrive with you.

Why So Long?

Due to the large number of bikes we sell most are held in a remote location to the actual shop. Once you order the bike we get it sent from our warehouse to the shop, then we have to build it in the workshop, test it, re-package it, schedule it for collection and then let the carriers deliver it. This all takes time and it can not be rushed. You also need to consider that we are based in Northern Ireland, where the weather can play a big factor in timescales too.

We say if you need a bike in a rush, or simply don't want to wait for it to be delivered, shop locally. If you don't mind waiting a while, and want to the best online price available, shop with us!

2. Can I have my bike delivered any quicker?

Sadly not. No mater how much extra you're willing to pay the process of sending you your new bike takes time, and it can not be rushed. As we say, if you need your bike in a rush, shop locally.

3. Can I have my new bike delivered to an alternative address?

We are happy to send bikes and in fact any order to an address other than the card holders registered address, but you MUST complete the 3D Secure, or Visa Verified as it's often called, portion of the checkout procedure. if you bypass this feature or are unable to enroll we can only send goods to the card holders registered address.

4. What is 3D Secure? (Or Visa Verified as it's often called)

3D secure is a security layer that can be put in place on all orders to help protect both the buyer and seller from the risk of fraud. It was developed by Visa but it supported by most banks and card suppliers.

During the checkout procedure you will be transferred to 3D Secure website, it will ask you to type in random numbers from your pre-defined password (not your card PIN number), once done the bank verifies that the genuine card holder is the person making the payment (otherwise they wouldn't know the password) and so allows the transaction to proceed. At this point you come back to our website and the payment process and be completed.

If you are not all ready enrolled in 3D Secure you will have the option to join during the process. We strongly recommend you do this. Once your purchase has been 3D Secure verified we can ship to any address you wish, without completing 3D Secure we will only send the goods to the card holders registered address. There are no exceptions to this.

5. What if I change my mind about the order?

Changing your mind is fine, we all do it, it's human. If you no longer want to proceed with the order tell us, as soon as is possible. If you tell us before the order is processed then we will simply cancel it and refund your money (assuming we've already charged your card). If the order has already been processed and is packaged for shipping we will of course still cancel the order but we may have to deduct a small amount from the refund to cover our packaging and preparation costs.

If the order has already been shipped instead of cancelling you will need to receive the order and then arrange return. The procedure for this is on our returns page. Once the item has left us we can not cancel the order and have the items returned, nor can you refuse to accept the goods. If this happens all associated costs will be deducted from the eventual refund.

6. Can I specify a time and day for delivery?

No. Once your order leaves us with the carrier we will send you tracking information that can be used to via a website to check on the status of your order and see an estimate of the delivery day. But, this is not an exact science. Sometimes things can go wrong and even though the driver has your parcel on his van for delivery to you that day, he might not be able to make the drop. Things can go wrong, he could get ill, the van break down, traffic problems, any number of things has stop him making the delivery on any specific day. therefore we are unable to offer specified delivery days or times.

Almost all of our parcels will need someone in to sign for it, and we do not allow our parcels to be delivered to neighbors, so if having someone at home to receive the goods is going to be a problem, either use the 3D Secure checkout facility and have your order delivered to an alternative address, your work perhaps. Or shop locally.

7. Can I arrange for delivery to a neighbor?

No. All our parcels will require a signature and the drivers are under strict instructions not to leave boxes with neighbours or in garages etc. If you think it will be a problem having someone at home to receive the parcel we strongly recommend using our 3D Secure checkout facility and arranging delivery to an alternative address.

More soon.

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FAQ's about payment methods

1. Is your site secure?

Yes! We use industry standard security as provided by Secure Hosting, an industry leader. But what most people don't realise is that this type of security and encryption is only half the story, most card fraud doesn't start by someone hacking a websites secure server, it starts with a human, and very often someone within the business you're purchasing from!

At Real Cycles NO ONE can see your credit or debit card details, everything is automated, the only people exposed to your details and you and your bank. We never know your credit card number, the dates or even the three digits on the back of the card. Our secure server verifies all this with your bank and then just sends us the money.

2. Can I pay by cheque or Paypal?

No. Cheques take too long and Paypal takes too much commission! If we were to accept cheques we would first have to wait for them to arrive, then bank them, then wait up to 14 days for them to clear before we can send the goods. That's too long!

If we were to accept Paypal we would have to put the prices up to cover their astronomical fees, and no one wants that.

3. What payment methods do you accept?

We accept most major cards, BACS transfers, CycleScheme.co.uk vouchers or good 'ol cash in store.

4. Do you accept CycleScheme.co.uk vouchers?

Yes, we accept all forms of CycleScheme.co.uk vouchers, be it the paper printed versions of the electronic versions. We have a whole Cyclescheme.co.uk FAQ section, see that for more details.

5. Can I pay in Euros or other foreign currencies?

No, we only accept payments in GB Sterling, but don't worry, if you're paying by card your card provider will deal with all the currency conversion stuff and your purchase will appear on your statement in your local currency and in ours on GB Sterling.

Whilst we can control the price you will pay in Sterling we can't control what exchange rate your card provider will make the conversion at, or any associated fees for you or us (for which you liable) so we can't comment on what your purchase in your local currency will come to. If in doubt contact your card provider.

6. Can I pay by electronic bank transfer?

Yes, but the information we need to give you will depend on what country you're in and what you're buying, so if this is your preferred payment method contact us first by email to arrange it.

More soon.

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FAQ's about receiving my bike

1. Will I need to assemble my bike when it arrives?

Yes, but only a little bit. Before we send out bikes we first send them into our workshop where they are fully built and tested, we physically ride every single bike around our indoor test track. Once we're happy with it we remove the front wheel, handle bars and pedals. We then re-pack the bike and the bits and send it to you. So, yes, you will need to perform some basic assembly, but no more we feel than any cyclist should be capable of.

To help keep shipping costs as low as possible for our customers we re-pack the bikes into as small a box as possible, this sometimes mean that racks and mudguards will also need to be removed before shipping.

If the amount of assembly needed is beyond your abilities we suggest either employing the services of a local shop or buying your new bike locally.

2. What if my bike is damaged upon arrival?

Sadly things can sometimes get damaged in transit. In an ideal world it would never happen, but in the real world, it does. We have very clear and simply guidelines for bikes damaged in transit, please see our returns page for more details.

3. Will I need to fit any purchased accessories myself?

Yes, unless you ask us to do it. In most cases we're more than happy to fit any purchased accessories, but we do need to be asked first. Things like front mudguards, child seats trailers, large front lights, some racks and panniers can not normally be fitted as they will impede the packing of the bike safely. These will need to be self assembled.

More soon.
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FAQ's about buying on the Cycle To Work scheme

1. What is "Cycle To Work"?

This is a bit complicated, and often much misunderstood by people. To fully understand why you need to read this section and the section below, "Who Are CycleScheme.co.uk?"

The Cycle To Work scheme is a a salary sacrifice scheme operated by the government to encourage people to buy bikes and cycle to work, although of course you don't only have to use the bike for commuting! The very simple version of it is that your employer purchases a bike on your behalf and "rents" it to you for a period of 12 months.

You pay a rental fee each month of roughly 1/12th of the cost, so at the end of the 12 month rental period you've effectively purchased the bike. The neat bit is this monthly rental feee is deducted from your pay BEFORE tax and NI contribution, so it's effectively reducing the amount of pay you're taxed on. The upshot of this is you pay less tax, which when looked at another way reduces the price of the bike. Some employers will also cover the VAT portion of the purchase (20%), so you save that too! Typically a bike purchased on the Bike 2 Work scheme saves you around 20-30% of the overall price.

2. Who are CycleScheme.co.uk?

Many people think Cyclescheme.co.uk are an official body who manage the Cycle To Work scheme on behalf of the government, they're not. They are a commercial privately owned profit making business (just like us) who act as an agent for employers wishing to provide cycles to their staff on the Cycle To Work scheme. They are a "go-between" between the employer and the bike shop, they make their money by charging the bike shop a commission on every bike sale they are involved in. They are not the only agent who do this, there are many of them, however CycleScheme are by far the largest and most successful.

Employers do not need to use these agents to offer bikes to their staff, many don't, preferring to purchase the bike themselves direct from the shop and setup the rental agreements with their staff via their own HR departments. However there is a limited about of paperwork involved in doing that, so many opt to use an agent.

3. Can anyone get a bike on the Cycle To Work scheme?

Almost anyone in employment, yes. There are some restrictions, and as they're constantly changing it wouldn't be right for us to list the exact details here, so best to check the exact requirements here (be warned, it's a lengthy read!). But in a nutshell, almost anyone who is PAYE and in permanent employment is eligible.

4. Can I use voucher codes to get discounts on Cycle To Work purchases?

It depends! As explained above the CycleScheme.co.uk agent charges us a commission on all bike sales they are involved in, so generally speaking we are unable to offer additional discounts by way of voucher codes on these sales as any spare profit we have has to go to CycleScheme in the form of this commission. This would be the same if your employer uses any other third party agent.

If though your employer purchases the bike direct from us then you can use all the voucher codes you want!

5. Can I buy a special offer bike on the Cycle To Work scheme?

YES! But, there are caveats. If your employer is purchasing the bike direct from us then you can buy any special offer bike at exactly the price seen on the screen. If though they are using a third party agent, like CycleScheme.co.uk then we have to increase the price of the bike slightly to cover the commission they charge. In this situation simply add the bike to your basket, proceed to the checkout and use the voucher code "CYCLESCHEME", the price will then be increased accordingly. You only need to use this code if your employer is using a third party agent.

6. How do I purchase a bike on the Cycle To Work Scheme online?

If you're purchasing using a third party agent like CycleScheme or your employer is buying direct and we need to invoice them, just add the bike to your basket and proceed to checkout, at the payment section select "Cyclescheme" as your payment method, no funds or payment details will be asked for. All we will ask for is your details, address, name, phone number etc. Once we have this order we will get in touch to ascertain how you're paying (Cyclescheme, other agent or invoice to employer) and we will do the necessary.

If you're buying the bike using your company credit card to pay just checkout as normal and use the card for payment, then in the comments tell us that you will be needing an invoice and who it needs to be made out to. That's it!

7. I'm using CycleScheme.co.uk or other agent, is my bike reserved once the order is placed?

No. Once you place the order we will send you the details to apply for your Cyclescheme voucher, this can take from a few days to a few months for the voucher to be issued, depending on how your employer administers the scheme in-house. Due to this timescale we can not guarantee your chosen bike will still be in stock at the same price when the voucher is issued. To have your chosen bike allocated to you, and so ensure it will be available when the voucher is issued you will need to pay a ten percent deposit, which we will refund once the voucher is received by us. There are no exceptions to this rule. If you choose not to pay the holding deposit you run the risk of the bike going out of stock, or the price changing.

8. If the price goes down will I get it at the cheaper price?

If you paid your holding deposit, no. If you didn't pay a holding deposit and the bike is still in stock but at a lower price, yes. We do realise this sounds daft, but there is a logic to it. The price we charge is all dependent on the price we pay, and this can change daily. When you order your Cycle To work bike and pay your deposit we purchase it for you at the price charged that day. Then we hold it for you until the voucher is available. If the bike subsequently goes down in price with our supplier and so our price goes down too you won't be able to avail of this as your bike is already bought and paid for. If however you don't pay the deposit we won't purchase it on your behalf until we have your voucher, at this point we avail of any supplier price reduction, and so you do too. Obviously though the risk is that the bike goes out of stock or the price goes up (it does happen) so it's the risk you take.

If the price does go down there is always the option to cancel the voucher and start the process over, but the holding deposit is non-refundable, so that will be lost. We do realise this sounds really draconian but you need to bear in mind we sell hundreds and hundreds of bikes on the Cycle To Work scheme every year, and you're most likely buying from as we're the best online price you can find, this is because we work to a fraction of the profit margin of many shops, so can not afford to soak up price reductions in these situations. We're not unreasonable though, and normally with some freebies here and there we can come to an arrangement where everyone is happy, the important thing is to speak to us before making any rash decisions.
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FAQ's about returns

Coming soon.
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FAQ's about everything else!

Coming soon.
     
  
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