What you need to know

The UK market for bicycles experienced a slight decline in volume sales in 2015 but continued to grow in value terms due to a continuation of the trend of increased average selling prices. In 2015, 3.1 million bicycles were sold with a value of £1,004 million. Although total cycling participation grew slightly in 2015, the numbers of monthly and weekly cyclists remained broadly flat. The challenge for manufacturers going forward is to encourage the less frequent and occasional cyclists to increase their cycling activity, while also persuading lapsed cyclists to start riding again.

While cycling participation among women has grown much faster than among men, it is still some way short of men’s levels and women are also less likely than men to ride frequently. However, this is changing, and some manufacturers have been reporting strong sales of bicycles in their women’s ranges in 2015, compared to flat or slightly declining overall sales. The women’s sector is therefore seen as a major area of future potential.

New types of bicycle and features which can be specified on new bicycles continue to be launched, helping to stimulate the replacement cycle. Examples of this include gravel/multipurpose bikes, while a sector which manufacturers are feeling increasingly optimistic about is e-mountain bikes, which have sold strongly so far in Europe and are beginning to find their way onto the UK market.

Covered in this report

This report covers the UK market for bicycles, which Mintel defines as those machines with a chain and ball bearings. The main product types included are mountain bikes, road/gravel bikes, traditional and hybrid bikes, children’s cycles and small-wheel bicycles, such as BMX and folding bikes.

Electric bicycles, better known as e-bikes, are excluded from the coverage of this report although, as a competitive product, some reference is made to sales levels and innovations for the purposes of comparison and context.

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