FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Oct. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Bicycling and bicycle sales are booming in the USA. Whether the cyclist is a weekend rider, a workday commuter, or training for an Ironman event, it is not uncommon for a cycling enthusiast to spend as much on a high-end bike as he would on a family car.
The cost to replace the drive train, the parts that propel the bike forward, of a moderately priced bicycle will leave most cyclists reeling with sticker shock. In fact, the annual costs of keeping an active cyclist on the road or trail regularly reaches into hundreds of dollars, and often surpasses a thousand dollars.
Until recently, the cost to replace or repair failed bicycle parts was the responsibility of the bicycle owner. A new company is changing that.
Velocare is a national extended service/warranty program founded in 2014 by Dave Williams and Denis and Sergei Voitenko, three serious cyclists who set out to give fellow cyclists an alternative to paying for bicycle repairs out of pocket. Velocare, a 3- or 5-year extended service/warranty plan, provides cyclists with financial protection against costly bike repairs. The plan is underwritten by Bankers Warranty Group, an affiliate of Bankers Financial Corporation (BFC). BFC is a diverse, St. Petersburg, Florida-based holding company specializing in insurance.
"There are over 4 million bicycles of higher value sold in the US every year," said Dave Williams, CEO and co-founder of Velocare. "A good quality entry-level bicycle costs upwards of $1,000 with an average mid-range value of $4,000. The cost to keep these bicycles in peak operating condition is high. The Velocare model is based on auto industry extended service programs: if it moves it will wear out, and when it does, Velocare will repair or replace it."
Denis Voitenko added: "Even though the manufacturer's warranty is quite good, there are many things that it doesn't cover, such as parts failure caused by normal use of the bicycle. Velocare extends and improves on the manufacturer's warranty by offering 3 or 5 years of worry-free riding."
The only cost to the bicycle owner is the initial purchase of a Velocare plan. Velocare is currently available for newly purchased bicycles, however the company already has plans to release certified pre-owned service in the near future.
Velocare partners with bicycle shops nationwide to sell Velocare plans and to provide repair or replacement services to Velocare clients. According to Sergei Voitenko, "No matter where our client is riding, there will be a Velocare service center nearby. And for our clients who find themselves out of reach of a Velocare service center, the plan administrator will reimburse the cost of repairs performed by an out-of-network shop directly to the bicycle owner."