A Chat with Simon Cook & Charlie Lucas, Co-Founders at British Fitness Tech Start-Up: Apex Rides

Apex is an affordable, inclusive, British at-home smart bike and app that launched in 2018. We partnered with London spin studio, Boom Cycle, to help create our class content, and now have hundreds of live and on-demand classes on our app, led by some of the best instructors in the UK.

The design of our bike has been carefully considered, as we know home equipment spends a lot of time on display. Rather than following the traditional hypermasculine aesthetic, we went for a clean, elegant, unisex design and offer it in four neutral colours, so that it blends in with different interiors.

We’re very much about getting on the bike when you can, having fun and getting a sweat on. Our classes have live leaderboards and reward you with Apex points, which adds an addictive, competitive edge, and we also have access to British music not currently offered by competitors. We wanted to re-create the same community feel as a studio class, but make it as convenient as possible for you to use.
Apex Rides

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

Simon: We could see the direction the fitness market was heading from what was happening across the pond, and it peaked our interest. The two of us sat down over dinner on a weekend and brainstormed. Our big question was: if we launch something like this, how do we do it differently and more appropriately for the UK market? We wanted to build a brand and product that was not only pioneering, but good value, accessible and inclusive. From day one, it’s been a case of innovating, not replicating.

Charlie: We could also see how technology was beginning to disrupt the way people were attending group classes. The convenience factor of being able to exercise on your own terms, in your own time and without the hassle of lugging sweaty clothes in a rucksack around London is what initially attracted us to the sector. I would also find myself having to book a week in advance or join a waitlist to attend a £20 class at a studio, which is pretty ludicrous. It was clear to us that giving customers the opportunity to attend unlimited classes from anywhere in the country, on their own time schedule, and for an affordable monthly fee, would work as a business model.


What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Simon: Ultimately, whatever you’re doing won’t be for everyone, so you need to be resilient. If an investor says no, learn from that meeting and move on to the next. Find a clear proposition that solves a genuine customer problem in a large target market. Surround yourself with good people – especially fellow entrepreneurs and people who’ve done what you’re doing. Most importantly, follow your gut instinct. It’s almost never wrong.

Charlie: Keep going and keep adapting. Listen to advice and feedback from anyone you have pitched to, and speak to as many people as possible to gauge interest early on. Listen to advice, but ultimately make your own decision. Find a business partner who shares your vision and has the hunger to achieve it.

What can we hope to see from Apex Rides in the future?

Simon: One step at a time! But we see Apex as an all round at-home fitness and wellness brand. We’ll look to expand our offering with cutting-edge hardware, advanced technology and world-class content – as well as expanding internationally. We’re very keen to keep innovating and diversifying our offering – it’s key to keep evolving just as people’s lives do.