UK bicycle market booming thanks to 'Wiggins fever'

Press Release   •   Feb 05, 2013 15:04 GMT

The UK bicycle market had a difficult year in 2011 when sales fell 7% (almost £50 million) from £698 million in 2010 to £650 million in 2011.

However, things are looking good for the bicycle industry, while volume sales of bicycles declined by 15% between 2006 and 2011, in value terms, the market saw strong growth of nearly a fifth (19%) reflecting a shift towards cycling as a leisure and lifestyle choice rather than buying a bicycle purely on price alone.

As Britain geared up for a summer of sport and cycling champions got set to inspire the nation to take to their bikes, projected sales of bikes were set to reach an all time high - with the market set to grow by a further 8% on 2011 to reach £700 million in 2012.

Today, over a third (34%) of the nation cycle. The 'hardcore' cyclists - those who ride about once a week or more often - account for around half of all cyclists (16% of UK adults), with 6% of Brits taking to their two wheels most days.

However, some 5% of the country (around two million people) admits to not being able to cycle while a further 1% of Brits say they can't cycle but intend to learn to do so in the future.

Britain's men are considerably more likely to take to the road by bike than women, with over four in ten men (41%) admitting to being a current cyclist versus just a quarter ( 26%) of women, meanwhile, twice as many men (8%) than women (4%) claim to cycle most days.

The UK bicycle industry is booming thanks to the 'Wiggins fever' which has engulfed the country, with bike retailers and producers experiencing record sales.

John Lewis bikes sales rose 90% in the week after Wiggins won the Tour de France, up 170% compared to the same period in 2011.

When Wiggins and his sideburns roared through the Olympic time trial to take gold a few days later, bike retailer Halfords reported that demand for various models rose by up to 70%.

For more information on the UK bicycle market, see the latest research: UK Bicycle Market

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