Business Cycle: How Bicycle Online Is Leading The Online Bike Retail Pack

Things are starting to come full circle for Bicycles Online co-founder James van Rooyen.

The online retailer sells complete bikes from Sydney and has a new online bicycle parts business arm that began operating out of Singapore about three months ago.

Born out of a Sydney bicycle tour company, Bicycles Online now boasts about 15 staff and last financial year turned over about $3.6 million, with van Rooyen predicting turnover of around $5 million this financial year.


Van Rooyen says his business had to make it easy for people to buy bikes online.

“We needed to educate the consumer, so we have 14-day test bike ride, if they don’t like it we’ll pick it up and offer free refund, that just shares the risk really and makes sure we’re on our game too,” he says.



His morning routine includes talking to “everyone”, tallying up the results from the previous day and “checking vital signs”.

Van Rooyen says “everyone” includes all 15 of his Sydney-based staff.

“I try and touch base with all of them, try to see what they need help with or what they’re unsure of, what they need support with,” he says.



Van Rooyen tries to structure his day between his different businesses, but Bicycles Online is “really the focus”.

“I try and work on the infrastructure side of the business, making sure all the systems are working, whether it’s IT or the service team and seeing what challenges they’re having.”



Van Rooyen’s office day usually goes until about 6.30pm or 7pm but that’s not always the end of his work.

“When I get home I usually do at least another hour of work at home. I probably have a bit of an email-checking habit,” van Rooyen admits.


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