Through an agreement with I-ME Solutions, we have added another element to our portfolio, as we now offer financing solutions on HEAD bicycles; part of our mission to make the sport more affordable to South African consumers.

The cycling brand distribution company has announced an arrangement with financing company I-ME Solutions whereby their clients can qualify for loans of up to 24 months on new purchases.

Positive Sports Solutions spokesman David Pieterse says there is a strong demand among their customers for an arrangement of this nature.

“When it comes to purchasing bicycles, not everybody can lay out all the money at once,” he says.

“Through our contact with I-ME Solutions, we make it possible for any cyclist to access the finance to buy their dream bike.

“This benefits a customer as he or she is then not liable to pay the initial full cost, but can do so on a monthly basis.”

Financing available to businesses and individuals

Freddie Fourie, co-owner of the Roodepoort-based financing company, says the demand for bicycle finance led to them widening the offer to individuals.

“We specialise in off-balance-sheet finance of industrial and factory equipment for businesses,” he says.

“The I-ME Gear product was initially focused on bicycle finance to businesses, with various advantages to the business owner. 

“To name a few, it is off the balance sheet and so the client can claim the VAT on the premium and, in certain cases, the premium against taxable income.”

He says they then opened it up to individuals and now have a “very balanced split” between individual and business clients on the I-ME Gear product.

“Our book grew very well and we were getting more and more requests from individuals wanting to make use of our services.”

Fourie added that they use the same rates and processes for businesses and individuals.

“Both can either apply online or send us their documentation via email or the dealer.”

Financing assists with competing in various disciples

With financing available over 12 or 24 months, he says there are a number of qualification criteria.

“We do have a credit model that we use to calculate risk and we cannot, unfortunately, help clients with any adverse information at any of the credit bureaus or those who are under debt review.

“That said, we always try to help the clients and have an exceptionally high approval ratio.”

He says they cover complete bikes, but also accommodate clients who wanted to do wheel or groupset upgrades. However, there is a minimum contract value of R10 000.

Fourie adds that due to the development of bicycle technology, there is a viable market for their financial products in the country.

“The rate at which the sport is growing in all its different categories and the price tags of new bicycles means the model makes it possible to keep up with technology.

“Furthermore, it enables the cyclist to compete in more than one of the sport’s disciplines.” 

There has been a positive response from the cycling public, says Fourie, with many clients financing more than one bicycle with them.

“We also have a very high upgrade ratio and that is a good indicator that the product works well for our clients. 

“For example, around 86 percent of our clients buy new bikes at the end of the term.

“We also have quite a few early upgrades, where clients trade or sell their old bikes and finance new ones before they reach the end of the term.

“In essence, it means we have a high percentage of return business clients.”

Exceptional turnaround time

He adds that they work on a quick turnaround time.

“We will give a client an answer within four business hours from the time we receive his application and will have the contract with him within two business hours of receiving the signed approval letter.

“We have also automated the process, which means the client now signs all the paperwork online.”

Positive Sports Solutions has sole distributorship agreements in SA for several premium international brands. These include HEAD bicycles from Europe, Gipiemme wheels from Italy, Westfalia racks from Germany and Controltech components from the United States.

You can apply for financing here.