University of Cambridge

Eddington Try Before You Buy Scheme

4 – 8 Week Bike Loans for Eddington Residents

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We have a great selection of bikes to meet a variety of needs. You can borrow a bike either for 4 or 8 weeks.

First choose a bike and any accessories, then a date and time to collect the bike. We will send a confirmation email with details of the venue and what to bring.

If you need any help or advice before booking, feel free to get in touch and we’ll answer any queries you have.

Collections and returns take place monthly on the Eddington market square. You can find us under a red Outspoken gazebo.

If you cannot make any of the Saturday dates, you are welcome to come pick up the bike from our depot during the week. We are located on Cowley Road, close to Cambridge North station. Get in touch using the link below to arrange a collection time with us.

PLEASE NOTE: The scheme is currently only available to Eddington Residents. We complete an ID and address check at point of collection.

The maximum hire period is 8 weeks per resident.

As part of your booking the University requires completion of a short travel survey when you collect and return your bike.

Hire Process

Collecting the bike

When you sign up you’ll book a 20-minute slot where we will hand over the bike and accessories. Our friendly team will show you how to use the bike and answer any questions.

The bikes will be supplied with locks, lights and, in most cases, panniers. We can also supply a helmet if you require, which is yours to keep after the loan period.

Returning the bike

We will confirm your return date once your booking is confirmed. Instead of booking a return slot, you will simply need to return the bike at any time during our 10:00-12:00 Saturday morning session.

In the meantime, we hope see you out on the cycle paths of Cambridge before long!

What Bikes are available?

We have a variety of bikes available that range from city bikes to e-bikes. Unfortunately we cannot always accommodate specific model requests, but we can help you finding a great alternative.


City Bikes

Our city bikes are Gazelle Esprits (in both 3 and 7 speed). We have chosen these bikes because they have a comfortable confidence-inspiring upright ride, low maintenance and fuss-free features like integrated lights, hub gears, rack, mudguards and enclosed chains, making them perfect for everyday use.

Gazelle Esprit C3 (RRP £629)

Weight ~ 17kg

Gazelle Esprit C7 (RRP £699)

Weight ~ 17kg


Hybrid Bikes

Raleigh Strada (RRP £475)

The Raleigh Strada is a great option for comfort on mixed-terrain routes. The very wide gear range is perfect for travelling further and in hillier areas with a more sporty position. Also included are mudguards, panniers, lights, and a lock.

Weight ~ 13.5kg

Electric Bikes

Gazelle Orange C7 HMB (RRP from £2049)

These bikes share many attributes with the Esprit comfort bike, with the comfortable confidence-inspiring upright ride, low maintenance features like integrated lights and hub gears, and combines these with a renowned and powerful Bosch mid drive motor. They also have super-smooth braking and front suspension forks.

Weight ~ 26kg

Ebco Urban 3L (RRP £1999)

The mid-range Batribikes use the well-regarded Promovec motor systems. Like the Gazelle they have integrated lights, mudguards and rack but use the more common derailleur gears which many people prefer. The Nebula uses a mid drive motor for a natural power delivery and has a wide range of fit with an upright position. They have a smooth ride with front suspension forks.

Weight ~ 24kg

Ebco Urban 2T (RRP £1399)

The Urban 2T features a step-over allow frame for easy access. It is suited to getting around town and exploring the countryside in comfort and style, making it both an ideal commuting and leisure bike. Shimano 7-speed gear system, Clarkes Hydraulic disc brakes and rear luggage rack are the main highlights. The bike is available in small and medium sizes with an unremovable battery.

Weight ~ 20kg

Folding Bikes

Choose a folding bike, if you regularly need to get to the station or put your bike in the car for a part of the journey. We use  bikes which are world renowned for being the quickest, simplest and all round best in the market.


The Brompton is renowned for its quality and ease of use. With a 3 speed hub gear and integrated mudguards it’s perfect for riding around Cambridge. The Brompton isn’t compatible with racks or panniers so any luggage will have to be transported on your person.

Weight ~ 12kg

Raleigh Stowaway

The Raleigh Stowaway is a great folding option with a simple mid-hinge mechanism to collapse the bike. The 7 speed derailleur gives you a wide range  of gears to tackle any inclines. A small amount of luggage can be transported using the panniers which will be included with your loan.

Weight 14.5kg

What Accessories are available?

Child Seat

If you need to drop off a small child on the way to work, we can have your loan bike set up with a child seat. Our child seats have been safety tested and come with a kitemark.

This child bicycle seat is only suitable for carrying children with a maximum weight of 22kg (children with recommended ages from 9 months to 5 years of age, their weight being the decisive variable). 


Bike Trailer

We have bike trailers available which are suitable for children aged just a few months up to 5 years old. These trailers also double as a buggy, so they are perfect if you need to head to the shops for example. There’s a really easy hitch for quick changeover and a special sling harness to ensure safety of your precious cargo.

The manufacturer’s recommended maximum height is 117cm, and maximum carrying capacity of 45kg (i.e. total of all children and luggage).

Book a Bike

Click the button below to start the booking process. You can access the booking page after submitting a pre-rental survey.

 Session Dates:

Saturday, 25 May 2024
Saturday, 22 June 2024
Saturday, 20 July 2024
Saturday, 17 August 2024
Saturday, 14 September 2024

Scheme FAQs

How much does the scheme cost?

The scheme costs are below and include a new bike helmet to keep after the scheme

4 week loan – £10

8 week loan – £20

How long can I hire for?

Residents can hire a bike for a maximum of 8 weeks in total.

This 8-week allowance also applies to the University Try Before You Buy scheme for employees (which also has the same 8-week maximum allowance).

If you hire for 8 weeks on one scheme, you will not be able to make another booking on the other scheme, as the maximum allowance would have been reached.

Are the bikes insured?

The bikes are insured against theft provide specific conditions are met. 

The bikes must be stored within a secure location overnight such as in a locked garage. When in use and left unattended the bikes must be locked to an immovable object (such as a sheffield bike stand) through the frame using the lock we have provided and must not be left unattended overnight. Any damage or thefts must be reported to us within 24 hours and in the case of criminal damage or theft must also be reported to the Police and a crime number taken. If in doubt contact us for guidance.

In the unfortunate event of theft, the person trialling the bike would need to pay a contribution towards the insurance excess of the first £100 if all conditions are met and the bike is insured. If the conditions have not been met, eg the person trialling had not locked up the bike while leaving the bike unattended they would be liable for the full replacement cost.

If the theft or damage is below £100 the person trialling the bike would be responsible for any repair or replacement costs.

I’d like to trial a bike but I can’t get to you to collect it. Do you deliver?

Yes, we can deliver and collect loan bikes within the local Cambridge area. 

Deliveries and Collections will be arranged after you have made a booking and will be billed separately. 

Deliveries and Collections within Cambridge City will be billed at £48 each way (so £96 for both Delivery and Collection).

If you live in one of the surrounding villages this rate will go up to £58 each way. If you are further afield then please get in touch for more information.

Please consult this map to see the two areas we operate this service in.


What happens if I have a mechanical problem, such as a puncture, during the trial?

The bikes have been chosen because they are robust and all bikes are serviced before going out. However, no tyre is completely puncture-proof and mechanical issues can happen.

If this is the case, you will need to contact us asap and we’ll book the bike into our workshop (see our website for opening days). You are responsible for getting the bike to us at your cost, however we do offer a collection and drop off service at a small fee. See here for details:

Provided the repairs are not due to improper use we will fix them at our own cost.

If you are unable to get the bike to us and do not want to pay for collection, we do allow participants to take the bike to an alternative bike shop with our prior written consent but this is at a participant’s own cost.

Can the bikes fit on a bike rack on a car?

This depends on the bike and the manufacturer’s specification for weight limits on your rack and car. Weights are given for each bike in the details above. Note a cargo bike will not fit on a rack or on a train. All of our ebikes are over 20kg so do bear this in mind if you are intending to use a rack as most are limited to 20-23kg. The Gazelle Esprits are our heaviest regular bikes. We know from experience they can fit on high roof racks but are quite cumbersome to do so. If you have any concerns or questions do contact us to discuss.

Can I extend my trial?

Residents can extend for up to a maxium total trial period of 8 weeks.

This is subject to bike availability beyond the initial booking. Contact us to discuss.

Can I buy the bike I'm trialling?

At the end of your loan we hope you’ll have enjoyed your experience enough you’d like to continue riding long into the future!

Bike supply in the current climate is challenging but we do have a range of options. Please feel free to call, email or pop into our shop to discuss your options.