What you need to know

The success of Team GB’s cyclists at the Rio Olympics and good weather have resulted in an improved market compared to 2015. Prior to the Olympics both participation levels and sales were showing signs of decline but retailers have since reported positive movement over the second half of 2016. Halfords continue to dominate the market and tap into the UK’s Olympic success by launching ranges from Olympic heroes, while also making gains in its online presence via the acquisition of Tredz and Wheelies.

Participation levels are fairly stable and more women than ever are cycling, although the gender gap is still apparent. Investment in road safety and cycle infrastructure should help to increase participation further over the next few years. However, the impact of the UK’s decision to leave the EU will have a knock-on effect on prices as the majority of bikes are imported so this may impact consumers’ desire to purchase a new bike.

Mountain bikes remain the most common type owned but all others are increasing in ownership. The growth in e-bikes is driven by their popularity among consumers who may have previously dismissed the idea of using this form of transport due to fitness concerns or lack of changing facilities. Along with e-bikes, ‘gravel grinders’ (a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike) are proving popular with cyclists as they are adaptable in that they allow for use on and off-road.

Products 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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