UK new Feature

Cycling in bus lanes

1Rebel is planning its own spin on active commuting with cycling studios on London buses. So what’s the consensus on this eye-catching new idea?

1Rebel has grabbed the headlines once again with plans for a series of group cycling buses designed to help fitness fans make the most of their commute.

The boutique studio is in talks with Transport for London (TfL) and coach companies over the plans, which would see specially adapted Ride2Rebel buses offer 45-minute group cycling classes while ferrying commuters into London.

Initial interest in the scheme has been “phenomenal” says 1Rebel co-founder James Balfour, who hopes to soon name a bus company partner with a view to launching the concept by the end of summer.

“Time is precious in London and for the many people who want to work out before work, they often face a three-hour door-to-door commute each morning,” Balfour told Health Club Management.

“We want to break the monotony of the soulless commute and offer people a more fulfilling experience by adding our popular Ride class into their morning routine.”

Balfour hopes that, by securing an agreement whereby the vehicles can use bus lanes, the service will be a no-brainer for commuters, both in terms of grabbing a morning workout and cutting travel time.

1Rebel is currently calling for registrations of interest on its website and will collate the data to help decide how many bus services it should run, and from which locations around London. The operator plans to end journeys at its St Mary Axe 1Rebel studio in the City, where participants will be able to have a shower and a pre-work smoothie.

“We still have a few hurdles to clear in terms of health and safety and permits, but we’ve seen incredible enthusiasm for the concept so far and we’re convinced it will be a hit,” added Balfour. “We received more than 300 registrations in the first couple of hours, and so much interest that our website crashed. The demand is definitely there.”


Steven Ward
Steven Ward
Steven Ward,

Executive director,


1Rebel’s announcement of a commuting Spin class is exactly what its disruptor brand is all about: being rebellious.

 Solutions to the big issues of the day come through radical innovation, which is the category this concept fits in to. Unless we work out ways to make our commutes, our jobs and our everyday lives more active, we won’t make the significant dents into inactivity that are needed. Bold plans lead to real change.

The idea of a Spin class on a bus gets people talking and gets people thinking. It sparks a debate about the undeniable dangers of cycling to work, and the need for all of us to find time within increasingly busy schedules to exercise.

My hunch is that this started out as an idea which even the 1Rebel team thought less likely to happen than commuting on a magic carpet ride – albeit a fantastic piece of brand-led PR – but it's something that just might be crazy enough to work.

If the genie is let out of the bottle, then I can guarantee I’ll be one of the first paying customers for this new service.

"Solutions to the big issues of the day come through radical innovation, which is the category this concept fits in to"


Sam Young
Sam Young
Sam Young,

Sustainable Design graduate & active travel expert

The Ride2Rebel bus is a very creative and intriguing ‘spin’ on active commuter travel.

Based on my own research and concept creation in this area, I believe it eliminates a few of the main barriers to active travel – for example, weather conditions, safety on the roads, and initial set-up and cost of equipment. By offering a shower at the end of the journey, and presumably somewhere on the bus for people to leave clothes to change into after their workout, other major barriers will be overcome.

In my research, I also found some of these barriers created a gender split. For example, although road safety is a universal concern, women were particularly tuned in to this issue. Women also placed more importance on showers and changing facilities after an active commute. The Ride2Rebel bus service will help eliminate this gender split and encourage active commuting across the board.

As an active commuter myself, I like to be in full control of my commute, able to alter the time I leave to factor in tasks. Ride2Rebel won’t offer this degree of flexibility as it will have to run to a set schedule, but I nevertheless feel it’s a great way to encourage non-active commuters to break the mould. 

The concept will have a few major hurdles with infrastructure and safety, but in the long run I can even see the potential for energy harvesting – which in turn opens up the possibility of creating a fully eco-friendly, renewable service. That would be an amazing step in the right direction in terms of reducing carbon emissions in London, in line with the Ultra Low Emission Zone set for 2020, as well as opening doors to further self-powered transport.

"In the long run I can see the potential for energy harvesting – and with it a fully eco-friendly, renewable service"

Click on an image to open the image gallery
company profile
Company profile: Robert D. Henry Architects + Interiors
Robert D Henry Architects (RDH-Architects) was founded in 1990 in New York City by Bob Henry, known as the “sensuous architect of serenity.”
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
Three flights of wide steps invite the visitor into the building.
Alexander Schwarz
"Our aim was to create a place celebrating public space and accessibility"

The opening of the James-Simon- Galerie on Berlin’s Museum Island completes two decades of work for David Chipperfield Architects. The lead designer talks us through the building

The architecture features clean lines and a diamond shape designed to represent the Dolomite mountains
"Wellness embraces the entire holiday experience"

The design of the newly-opened Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomitti in Italy aims to celebrate and protect its spectacular surroundings

Landscape design: Back to nature
Alan Metcalfe
"When people are a bit scared, they gather together"

Featuring a vibrating glass platform and one of the US’s longest tree canopy walks, Whiting Forest has been designed to bring visitors closer to nature and to one another

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
McGregor Coxall’s Adrian McGregor is leading a project to create a ‘bird airport’ in Tianjin, China
"Funding woes and murky timelines are common problems. It can be easier to make a difference one small project at a time"

From parks designed to mitigate the effects of flooding to warming huts for one of the world’s coldest cities, these projects have been designed for increasingly extreme climates

The guest rooms provide views across the quarry
Martin Jochman founded JADE+QA in 2013. He formerly worked for Atkins
"We didn’t want to put in any gimmicks. We wanted to create a building that’s inherently sustainable through passive sustainability"

When Martin Jochman set out to transform an old quarry into a luxury hotel, he faced some serious challenges

Last word: Tina Norden
Tina Norden
"We have created an approach which is playful, provocative but also functional"

Conran and Partners’ Tina Norden on playing with colour at Prague’s newly redesigned Hotel Maximilian

"We’ve designed the space so that the atmosphere is intimate"

Les Mills’ new studio spaces at its iconic Auckland City Gym showcase a trend away from masculine ‘grunty’ gyms to something altogether different

Scott and Tracy Lee met while working on Calistoga Ranch, US
Scott Lee became president of SB Architects in 2000. Tracy Lee founded TLee Spas in 2015
"We design to connect the guest to the place, positioning people at the centre of the design"

Architect Scott Lee and spa consultant Tracey Lee on marrying the worlds of design and wellness in a series of interesting projects

The Standard Kings Cross is located opposite St Pancras Railway Station
"We tried to take over in a friendly way"

The Standard’s first London hotel is bold, fun and full of surprising touches

cladkit product news
Metalline transforms London hotel with bespoke aluminium fins
The aluminium fins will form the façade of the upcoming Minories Hotel in Aldgate, London
Lauren Heath-Jones
Metalline, an architectural metalwork specialist based in the UK, has created a range of bespoke 3D twisted metal fins for ...
1885 Lounge at St Mary's Stadium celebrates Southampton FC's history
Rainbow Design worked closely with KSS Architects to ensure the furniture matched the design vision
Lauren Heath-Jones
KSS Architects has partnered with Rainbow Design, a London-based furniture supplier, to create the 1885 Lounge at St Mary's Stadium, ...
GT3 Architects: Placing people at the heart of our projects
In 2019 GT3 Architects were recognised with the ‘Best Leisure Architecture UK’ award at the International Property Awards
Tim Nash
GT3 Architects is a vibrant and creative practice that delivers projects across the UK and internationally from studios in Newcastle ...
cladkit product news
Barr + Wray to launch space saving hammam concept
Light shines through a striking central chandelier to create a feeling of movement
Katie Barnes
Smaller footprint. Maximum theatre. Those are the two main features of a new hammam concept being developed by wet spa ...
Painting with Light pushes boundaries to create unforgettable visual concepts
The team combines lighting, video, sound and special effects, with scenic and architectural elements, to create unforgettable visual experiences
Megan Whitby
Belgium-based light and video design studio, Painting with Light, will translate the story of your location into a visual experience, ...
Tom Dixon collaborates with Prolicht to launch CODE lighting range
The product has three LED light sources: Dot, Dash and Grid
Megan Whitby
British designer, Tom Dixon, and Austrian architectural lighting specialists, Prolicht, have collaborated to unveil a new lighting range. Called CODE, ...
cladkit product news
Matteo Thun grows Allaperto collection with new suspended outdoor armchair
Megan Whitby
Allaperto, the lounge collection spawned by the partnership between design studios, Matteo Thun, Ethimo and Antonio Rodriguez, has been expanded ...
Ritz Carlton co-founder joins Frontline Summit 2020 as keynote speaker
Hospitality veteran and Ritz Carlton co-founder, Horst Schulze, who brings more than 65 years’ experience to the table, has been announced as a keynote
Megan Whitby
Frontline work has never been more important and frontline workers are the largest class of workers on the planet, as ...
ASPA International launches handheld UV-C light disinfection lamp
The compact plug-in product can be used easily in a commercial spa or domestic setting to disinfect surfaces with UV-C light
Megan Whitby
For over 30 years, ASPA International has designed and built high-quality spas for the hotel, health and wellness sectors. During ...