Re~Cycle is proud to announce Fixation London as its newest corporate supporter. Fixation London is an all-new brand of stylish, affordable bikes that are made to get people back into cycling. We are so excited to be working with Fixation London, who will be donating 10% of its profits to Re~Cycle, helping us to improve lives through bicycle reuse.
Inspired by a time before cars existed, where bicycles were the most common form of transport, Fixation London’s mission is to get everyone back on their bikes by making them accessible to all. They aim to achieve this by providing well-sourced and stylish bicycles that people want to ride, at a price that won’t leave you penniless.
We caught up with the man behind Fixation London - Alex Bodini to find out a bit more!
At what age did you get your first bike? What’s your earliest bike memory?
I have loved bikes ever since I was a young boy – in the town where I lived, a bike meant freedom and independence and that still remains a key reason why I love to ride today. I still vividly remember opening my very first bike aged around 4, with all its bells, lights, horns (and stabilisers), it was perfect to me and I was soon tearing up the local streets and rounding up all the fellow bike owners to explore the road we lived on. Even today exploration is the main thing I love about going out on a bike – it reminds me of being a young and adventurous child, desperate to see the world!
Providing affordable transport is central to Re~Cycle’s work, how have you worked to achieve this with Fixation London?
The price we wanted to achieve was actually the very first thing that was decided; in fact it was our very reason for going into business. We determined a ‘need’ for stylish and affordable bikes that were reliable, strong and looked great in the modern world. We therefore set about reverse engineering the best possible bike for the price we had in mind and this was actually to our benefit – it allowed us to focus on the things that really matter, negotiate effectively with our suppliers and ultimately get the bike we wanted without the price point creeping up. Bikes are extremely varied things – you can buy a bike for around £100 which will most likely comes in several hundred parts and wont last particularly long without bits going wrong, or you can easily spend several thousand pounds of a racing machine. We wanted to create a bike that hits the middle – enough quality that it lasts a long time and can stand the tough streets of a city, affordable enough that you can save up for it in a couple of months, and not so expensive that you worry about any scratches or rust!
Being based in London, how do you feel about cycling culture in the city?
London has massive potential as a cycling city – it has all the core ingredients to be one of the greatest cycling cities on earth and is making a lot of strides towards that. Attitudes are certainly changing, safety is improving and more and more people are realising that a bike is a brilliant way to get around. The culture around bikes is certainly noticeable too, lots of cliques who share both admiration and contempt for each other. Whether it is the MAMILS tearing up the roads on a Saturday morning, hipsters cruising around the streets of Shoreditch, nervous Boris Bike users riding around in rush hour: they all contribute to a growing cycling culture, all encourage more people to give it a go and all help increase acceptance and awareness of the cyclist on the road.
Fixation London is a new company, What inspired you to support a charity from the get go?
This all came from a debate with friends – can a company become ethical or does it need to be from the start? Whilst opinions varied, we overall fell on the side of ‘if you want to do something good then you should start with that intention’. We were inspired by companies such as Innocent and Gandy’s Flip-Flops who also support charities and thought it was something we wanted to emulate. As the company grows it will be great to know that we are doing something for the greater cycling good.
What made you decide that Re~Cycle was the charity to support?
We wanted it to be cycling related do to our passion and it being something we could really get to grips with and believe in. We researched a lot of cycling charities and the second we came across Re~Cycle, saw the website and video we understood it instantly. The proposition and message are very simple which we believe is extremely important for a charitable cause, and we were instantly sold on the potential of the charity. Every single bike that is transported to Africa can have such a huge impact and there are so many wasted bikes in the UK that it is the perfect charity to support.
We love the quirky nature of the bike watch stem – how important was it for you to create a product, which was both stylish and affordable?
The stem watch was something we’d thought about and seen a version of and we just thought that it made so much sense. The stem plate of a bike is a completely unimportant part but yet it represents this really useful little spot for a lot of things, so we set about finding someone who could build us some very simple clock faces to slide straight in! It is touches like that which we think separates a visually amazing bike and a standard bike - we worked hard to find six different styles, which we believe offer something for everyone. The bike you ride says a lot about what kind of person you are so we hope people can see a bike in the range for them.
Single Speed bikes are hugely popular at the moment, what is the appeal of single speed bikes for you?
One of the first questions people say when they see one of our bikes is ‘Oh I couldn’t survive with just one gear’ and we find that quite interesting as those same people have normally never tried to ride a Single Speed bike. In the last decade people became increasingly obsessive over gears and the total number of gears they have, seeing it as some sort of mark of quality, when the truth is, with the right ratio a single gear can cover about 95% of all terrain. We are definitely not saying ‘no need for gears’, that would be daft, but we do encourage all riders to give a Single Speed a go and we bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
What have you got planned for the future?
We have a very long and varied roadmap of the kind of places we’d like to go in the future. We want to provide a bike for every person; kids bikes, curved bikes and even geared road bikes! Due to the recent fashionable aspect of bikes too, we’d also love to team up with designers, apparel companies and accessory companies in order to create some really amazing cycling related items. We have a tendency to get carried away though, so for now we are focusing on taking little steps and getting as many of our bikes as possible out on the road!
Roughly 1-2% of the bikes donated to Re~Cycle are either unsuitable for Africa (such as thin framed racing bikes) or are bikes with disc brakes which are parts that are not readily available in Africa and thus less likely to be usable. Instead of recycling these bikes we sell them at the local University of Essex and our warehouse in Colchester, generating a sustainable income to help cover our running costs. These bikes are sold at affordable prices starting at £75 and many of these bikes are sold to students or people just starting out as cyclists and therefore looking for a good bargain.
On Saturday the 31st January 2015, Re~Cycle will be holding another bike sale following the success of our previous one. There will be a choice of over 60 new and refurbished bikes including Specialized, Pashley, Boardman, Raleigh and Carerra as well as a good selection of children’s bikes. We will be operating on a first come first served basis and will not be taking reservations, so please come down early if you want to grab yourself a bargain.
Cash or card payments accepted.
Opening hours: 09:00-13:00
Re~Cycle Unit 8 The Grove Estate Colchester Road Wormingford Colchester Essex CO6 3AJ
We know it's 2015 already! But 2013-2014 was a huge year for us doubling the number of bicycles collected over the previous year. We shipped 7,103 bikes, reaching 42,618 people, providing swift transport, access to health, education and income for those in disadvantaged African communities. So we spent some extra time on our Annual Report - submitted a few months back.
Why not start the New Year by reviewing what we have achieved with your help.