The Bike Lock

Social enterprise cafe, The Bike Lock, launches new app.

The Bike Lock

Let's Set The Scene

The Bike Lock is a new social enterprise offering secure bike storage, showers, coffee and workspace in Cardiff city centre. It’s located in a busy business and residential area of Cardiff, close to rail links and the main shopping streets, and just off the city’s east-west cycle highway.

At the front of the new venue is a coffee shop with workspaces and a bookable private meeting room, while at the rear is a secure space for up to 50 bikes with showers, lockers and e-bike chargers.

The Challenge

The Bike Lock came to Big Lemon to develop the software that would power its mission to reduce one of the biggest barriers to cycling - access to dry, secure storage. They needed a user-friendly app to manage mobile bookings and payments. They also needed a super effective website to showcase the initiative and to be future proof for the next steps in the Bike Lock journey.

Through our in-depth discovery process, face-to-face and online meetings and sessions, we worked with The Bike Lock on the development of their business model and how we would balance the requirements for a robust technology platform with the need for value for money when starting-up a new social enterprise.

Founder, Tom, needed an app platform that would run the bookings system for the bike storage and workspaces. So our team built a progressive web app - one that doesn’t need the additional time and investment of going through the official app store verification process.

We also brought the Big Lemon low-code approach to the development, building the platform in existing software, rather than coding from scratch. This enables us to deliver something at a much lower cost, while still pushing the technology to the limits of what it can deliver in terms of functionality for The Bike Lock.

It’s an approach which gives people with a great idea and a drive to do good - but without deep pockets - the ability to build a tech solution to realise that vision and mission!

“The Bike Lock is not only about encouraging cycling, but also enabling it by giving confidence to people who want to cycle into the city. I see secure bike storage as one very important part of Cardiff becoming a cycling city.”

Tom Overton, founder of The Bike Lock

The Outcomes

Cyclists heading into the city can now easily book a secure bike parking slot, manage their bookings with reminders for the duration of their stay and pay through all major mobile and online payment platforms.

We’ve delivered a flexible solution which can develop alongside the business as it grows - and a model which could be deployed by similar enterprises anywhere in the world.

The website we created provides an easy online user journey, and has flexibility in the build for further development.

“We’ve had a hugely positive response since we opened a couple of weeks ago with people using us for meetings, using our bike racks and showers for their commute or cycling the whole family into the city centre for a day out. I really believe we have an opportunity, together, to make the world a little bit healthier and happier through cycling and moving more”

Tom Overton, founder of The Bike Lock

Why Big Lemon

“Big Lemon has been a partner throughout the development of the business, from strategy through to launch and beyond. As a social enterprise, our values are well-aligned with their tech-with-purpose mission and they understand the need to develop the best possible tech solution within the tight budget and time constraints of a start-up.”

Tom Overton, founder of The Bike Lock

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