Business aims to grow after securing backing from Barclays - which will also provide finance to customers

Sheffield-based bike builder and retailer Planet X has revealed ambitious plans for growth that it anticipates will lead to the creation of 50 new jobs over the next three years. Its expansion plans are backed by finance from its new bankers, Barclays.

The company’s chief executive, David Hanney, commented: “Barclays funding underpins our growth plans.  We design high quality performance bikes, source the best components and assemble the bikes here in Sheffield to order. 

“Our direct business model means we offer great quality and unparalleled service at highly competitive prices whether customers buy online, over the phone, or in one of our destination stores. 

“The funding will help create 50 jobs over the next three years. As passionate riders the timing is perfect as we are all thrilled and excited at the prospect of Le Grand Départ coming to Yorkshire and the new partnership with Barclays will allow us to grow in the run up to Le Tour de France.”

As part of its deal with the bank, which includes Barclays handling its day-to-day banking needs, Planet X will also be able to provide finance options to its customers through Barclays Partner Finance.

Pete Wilmer, Barclays Relationship Director, said: “There has never been a more exciting time for cyclists in Yorkshire with Le Grand Départ in 2014 and the new funding will allow David and his team to take advantage of the opportunities arising leaving the business well placed for future growth.

“This deal serves as a clear indication that Barclays is open for business for quality transactions in well managed companies.”

Planet X was founded in the 1990s, initially specialising in dirt, jump and trials bikes before moving into also supplying road, time trial, cyclo-cross and track bikes. It also owns the On-One brand.

Planet X's new RT58

The expansion news coincides with the launch of Planet X's new sportive bike, the RT58, which goes on sale next Friday.

As is ever the case with sportive bikes, the RT58 is a bit shorter and higher at the front than the Planet X race bikes for a touch more comfort, but it's certainly nearer race geometry than some: the 56cm bike has a 17cm head tube and a reach (centre of bb to centre of top of head tube) of 38.6cm which is more or less identical to a Trek Madone in the slightly-less-racy H2 fit.

The bike will be available in a number of builds and will, of course, be majoring on value.

The full carbon frame and fork kitted out with SRAM Force (with a carbon crankset) and Planet X's AL30 wheelset will set you back just £1,499. And with Barclays now on board you'll be able to get the bike with a finance deal too.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.