We started BikesOnline in 2011 after asking the question "Why could you not buy a quality bicycle online?". At the time, none of the major bike brands were sold online.
We had come from running a very modest, bike tour business - renting out bicycles to tourists in the beach side suburb of Manly. It was our outsider's perspective, or perhaps just naivety, that allowed us to see the opportunity, that today, seems just so common sense. We thought we could shake things up a bit by sourcing direct from the factory, and provide great bikes online at incredible prices.
We had the business concept, but now we needed to find a way to implement it. Our first hurdle however was that we had no money. Our tiny rental shop was already jam packed wall to wall so we rented the only available space we could afford; a disused electrical substation for the princely sum of $100 a week. There was a catch however, it had no power, no lights, no bathroom, no water, and no phone. So, we improvised - we borrowed power from the neighbor and ran the entire business off a single extension lead. Together with a 3G internet dongle, we ran everything off that little power cord - laptops, compressor, printers, lights, fridge - how we did not blow a fuse or start a fire, I'll never know. The only drinking water available was from a fire hose at a next door car park. Public toilets were the only, very grounding, option.
Our web presence looked good, the physical reality was a little different.
While we had the bike side of things sorted, what we noticed is that customers were still apprehensive about buying a bike online. It was still a new concept. So we set about to reduce those perceived risks of buying online and allow the customer to purchase with confidence.
We wanted our customers to love their ride so we put in place a generous refunds policy. This kept us on our toes, as we had to deliver not only great value but a great experience to each of our customers.
New tools were developed to ensure the bikes we delivered were the right ones for the customer, for example a Bike Finder to help simplify the process of deciding which bike best suited the rider. We backed it up with a size calculator to ensure that the rider bought the right size bike for their body too.
We began to realize that with the right tools, the customer’s experience of buying a bike online could actually surpass the experience of buying in a traditional store. The accuracy of information, and the transparency provided, allowed our customers to purchase with confidence. What was a hurdle initially, actually became our advantage.
We are incredibly grateful to our customers who supported us over the last 10 years. Thanks to you, we have grown to serve over 100,000 people a year, and hopefully inspired many more cycling adventures & friendships.
Jono and I would like to send a special thank you to all our staff, who have gone above & beyond to grow the business from the humble idea we started with over a decade ago, into this bicycle loving family of over 100 staff strong and evolving daily. Thanks to your ideas and efforts, we can celebrate our 10 year anniversary with pride. We intend to continue on this trajectory to further our employee benefits and become a vehicle to help our staff live happier and more fulfilling lives, wherever in the world they may be.
Gone are the days of the disused electrical substation and its power cord. The growth has been steady and consistent, and with it we have upgraded to bigger and bigger premises.
The same formula that made us successful in Australia, allowed us to expand into the US. We were cautious (and truthfully a bit intimidated) about entering the US market, but simplifying it down to the basics - Americans & Australians are not that different, and Americans appreciate great value as much as anyone else, so our ride more for less, direct to consumer model, quickly gained traction. And in less than a year, our US business outgrew the Australian business, one that had taken 9 years to get to that size.
If you haven’t tried us out yet, please visit us at bikesonline.com. We promise you an incredible ride, it's certainly been one for us too.
We’re 10 years old and giving away $10,000 worth of prizes to our fantastic customers.
Enter our Birthday Festival Competition to stand a chance of winning your share of $10,000 worth of prizes!
All customers will automatically be entered and receive 2 bonus entries for every $50 spent on site during the month of March.