Mintel predicts £1 billion new bike sales this year

by 29

Market research company Mintel claims that the bike market in the UK is set to see a great year ahead. It is forecasting a 12% increase in new bike sales.

Mintel is also predicting that people in the uK will buy 2.1 million bikes in 2024. But does this really sound plausible?

Mintel says:

  • E-bikes are the most popular type of bike cyclists plan to buy over the next 12 months.
  • Move over MAMILs (Middle Aged Men In Lycra) – say hello to MAWILs (Middle Aged Woman In Lycra): 34% of women aged 45 to 64 year olds are interested in taking up cycling.
  • Half (49%) of current cyclists/potential cyclists say they are more likely to consider buying a second-hand bicycle compared to a year ago.

But do we really think everyone is going to get out there and buy bikes in the numbers predicted? With inflation rising again in December, will consumer confidence really be on the up? Those in the industry would be delighted if this was the case, but from what we’re hearing, no one is expecting much of a recovery until 2025 and beyond. That said, with so much inventory in warehouses, it should be a great year to pick up a bargain.

Supermarket sweep anyone?

Here’s the PR from Mintel in full:

Following a bumpy few years, the UK cycling market is on the road to recovery. According to new research from Mintel, new bicycle sales are forecast to climb by 12% in 2024 with Brits set to buy 2.1 million bikes.

The rise in sales comes after a period of declining growth; in 2023, Mintel analysis finds that UK bicycle sales fell by 11% to reach an estimated 1.9 million bikes – down 42% from the record high of 2020 (3.3 million bikes). Value sales are expected to pick up speed too – with new bike sales projected to rise by 15% to reach just shy of a billion pounds (an estimated £998 million) in 2024. This follows a 15% fall in annual sales to reach £868 million in 2023 compared to the year before; in fact there’s been a gradual decline in annual bike sales since 2020.

Despite their higher retail prices, e-bikes are the most popular type of bike cyclists plan to buy over the next 12 months* – nearly a fifth (19%) of those who plan to purchase a bicycle for themselves in the next 12 months plan to buy an e-bike.

Paul Davies, Category Director, Leisure Research, Mintel Reports, said:

“Rising living costs have severely impacted demand for new bikes and e-bikes, which had already been suffering due to COVID-19 related supply-side issues. A recovery in demand is now underway. In the near-term, easing inflation and wage growth are helping to improve consumer confidence while heavy discounting by retailers is helping to boost sales. The cost of living is also encouraging people to take to two wheels to get around, as around a third (34%) of Brits are cycling more compared to a year ago to reduce spending on petrol/public transport. Looking further ahead, continued investment and development in the country’s cycling infrastructure, and a rising focus on sustainable travel will help to further lift demand.

“But the growing second-hand market, with the likes of Halfords now actively involved, is now a threat to new bike sales growth. Half (49%) of Brits who currently ride a bicycle or would consider riding one in the future agree that they are more likely to consider buying a second-hand bicycle compared to a year ago.”

Move over MAMILs the MAWIL (Middle Aged Women in Lycra) could gain traction

The COVID-19 boost in cycling activity has done nothing to narrow the long-standing gender imbalance in participation: 41% of men currently cycle vs just 22% of women. But there is notable interest in cycling among women aged from 16 to 64 years old, with interest peaking at just over 40% among women under 45, but also high among 45 to 64s at 34%.

“Overcoming the considerable gender gap in cycling has been a challenge the industry has long struggled with, however, it remains a market opportunity that cannot be ignored. A meaningful rise in participation among women is likely to result in a meaningful rise in bicycle sales. Converting this interest into actual participation will require a greater focus on female audiences when developing new products and marketing campaigns. Messaging with a greater focus on cycling as a family activity could play a role in boosting interest among women, especially Middle Aged Women in Lycra (MAWILs).”

*From July 2023.

Mintel surveyed 2,000 internet users aged 16+ in July 2023.

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  • This topic has 29 replies, 25 voices, and was last updated 3 weeks ago by Tasha.
Viewing 29 posts - 1 through 29 (of 29 total)
  • Mintel predicts £1 billion new bike sales this year
  • weeksy
    Full Member

    Bwahahaha

    (Sorry, ISH)

    Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    Blimey, £1 billion. If they hadn’t all been discounted by 50% that would have been £2 billon.

    oceanskipper
    Full Member

    That’ll be way off the mark if it chucks it down with rain all year like it did last year!

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Specialized have a new balance bike coming out?

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    Bwahahaha

    (Sorry, ISH)

    They mean everyone, not just you.

    fatbikeandcoffee
    Free Member

    I love a good prediction, especially when they are written to grab a headline, but the cynic in me goes to check what they predicted last year to compare to ’23 and see how that played out. Not good it would appear as last years prediction was (cue drum roll) over 1bn, hmm how did that play out.

    https://store.mintel.com/report/uk-cycling-market-report-2022

    James

    tomparkin
    Full Member

    As the old saying goes, predictions are hard to make, particularly those about the future.

    Daffy
    Full Member

    How much of that are these?

    Watty
    Full Member

    Think of a word that starts with B and ends in ollox.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    Mintel says:
    -E-bikes are the most popular type of bike cyclists plan to buy over the next 12 months.
    -Move over MAMILs (Middle Aged Men In Lycra) – say hello to MAWILs (Middle Aged Woman In Lycra): 34% of women aged 45 to 64 year olds are interested in taking up cycling.
    -Half (49%) of current cyclists/potential cyclists say they are more likely to consider buying a second-hand bicycle compared to a year ago.

    So it’s not just a forecast of mega-growth but more new female bicycle users, tax dodgers using C2W to score and eeeb and those of already with a habit are actually tightening our belts…

    It also sounds like a growth in cycling for transport, as people discover teslas are pricey. A forecast increase in bike sales doesn’t mean an economic boom is coming…

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    £1 Billion sounds great – but kind of depends what the norm is. If the norm is £1.3 Billion per year then it’s not so great!

    Hadge
    Free Member

    You do wonder where this crap comes from. Speaking to people in the trade and it’s on its knees right now and yet these idiots spout this garbage.

    grimep
    Free Member

    Half (49%) of current cyclists/potential cyclists say they are more likely to consider buying a second-hand bicycle compared to a year ago.

    So new bikes are massively overpriced then? Who knew!

    Middle aged women are interested in taking up cycling? Well, just a tip, don’t go investing in half a billion’s worth of stock investment hoping they’ll come running. Because this is desperate stuff.

    I’m seeing the odd new his n hers ebikes ridden by wealthy looking older couples but I wouldn’t call it a trend.

    It’s just a bicycle, prices are still in la la land

    FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    Blimey, £1 billion. If they hadn’t all been discounted by 50% that would have been £2 billon.

    It’s just a bicycle, prices are still in la la land

    Bit of a pattern there. Maybe they have extrapolated Oct-Dec data without doing any investigation ? I imagine that a few new bikes were sold in that period as bike prices re adjusted to some where nearly normal prices with sales of approx 40% off. That kind of adjustment would get us back to where RRP would have been.

    Maybe they just read the ‘who will be buying a bike in 24/25’ thread ?

    hightensionline
    Full Member

    A forecast increase in bike sales doesn’t mean an economic boom is coming

    Quite. But it could mean a sharp increase in people on bikes, which would necessitate more/improved infrastructure. Could be a good thing.
    Also, more bikes being sold to women = a very good thing. How can it not be?
    Prices are high, but why wouldn’t they be at the moment.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    It’s just a bicycle, prices are still in la la land

    Good affordable bikes have never been easier to find and buy.

    Price are only in “la la land” if you’ll only consider the more expensive stuff because you’re an enthusiast with a hobby you love that benefits from lighter/stronger etc, not your average Jo or Jen buying a bike for day to day use.

    For the most obvious example… Shimano Deore equipped bikes work for everyone… but some feel the need for Sram Transmission… the former come on bikes nearly everyone can afford, the later is genuinely “la la land” prices, but some people want it and can argue cogently they feel the benefit of it.

    jameso
    Full Member

    You do wonder where this crap comes from. Speaking to people in the trade and it’s on its knees right now and yet these idiots spout this garbage.

    If the trade is on it’s knees and normally would be expecting eg £2 billion of sales this year and Mintel predict only £1 billion, both statements could be true? (as the post above yours suggests)?

    So it’s not just a forecast of mega-growth

    Rather than mega growth it’s predicting some growth out of the current hole. A simple view is that unit sales are low even vs pre-pandemic levels and recovery will be gradual.

    What stands out to me in the report is the predicted market in unit sales (for all bikes) by 2028 is only just getting above 2018 levels, and is projected at a level below the average for the decade mid 00s to mid 10s. The £ value growth towards 2028 is from av selling price not units and while that may be good for the industry (inflation isn’t but fewer BSOs more proper bikes and e-bikes would be), unless the second-hand market grows from sales to new cyclists, there just doesn’t look like much increase in bike ownership which is bad for infrastructure and policy, which in turn doesn’t help any of us or the industry.

    ie, there’s potential areas of positivity but cycling overall in the UK is down, flatlining at best, and has been trending downwards for the last decade.

    hooli
    Full Member

    Although it is a massive £ number, it is “only” a 12% increase. From memory 2023 was a bad one for the bike industry with a wet summer, high inflation, BOE rates going up etc. If rates do start to drop and we have some better weather, I guess 12% is not unreasonable?

    FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    What stands out to me in the report is the predicted market in unit sales (for all bikes) by 2028 is only just getting above 2018 levels, and is projected at a level below the average for the decade mid 00s to mid 10s.

    Dont forget COVID though. Bikes have been around for long enough now to be a stable market ie people who want to ride bikes will already be doing so, so the market is stable / not growing. COVID put an unusual spike in that where more people joined the market as there was nothing else to do. As things have gone back to ‘normal’ we are left with the price of bikes being stupidly high and all those extra people who joined the market during COVID leaving.

    For the most obvious example… Shimano Deore equipped bikes work for everyone… but some feel the need for Sram Transmission… the former come on bikes nearly everyone can afford

    Really ? Deore used to be the basic value bike that anyone could ride but you would normally aspire higher. Ive been looking at bikes and can only just afford the Deore bike. IMO its the price that XT used to be

    jameso
    Full Member

    Dont forget COVID though.

    How can we.. : ) The slump is a correction from having the boom then so lower demand now-next year or 2, so yes stability is where we are over the longer-term trend, but stable at a lower level than the previous decade.
    There was hope that the bike sales/use boom during covid might grow cycling generally but that doesn’t seem to be the case. We’re creatures of habit and mostly we’ve reverted back to our norms – plus road traffic/culture hasn’t changed, if anything it’s getting worse or at least the roads are increasingly busy, partly due to poor public transport options (and commuting is a habit pattern). More of the boom in bike use might have been maintained if it had lead to sustained changes in infrastructure. If anything it’s gone backwards?

    kelvin
    Full Member

    you would normally aspire higher

    It’s only the aspiration that leads you to the higher priced bikes. If you’re drawn to the higher price bikes, then that’s why you think bike prices are high. Good entry level bikes are out there. You’re correct that Deore today is pretty much what XT was not that long ago… not just in price but in features, performance, longevity etc (just perhaps not weight… but you don’t really need a slightly lighter drivetrain, especially if price is really a major issue for you).

    There are good affordable bike out there. But if it’s your passion, and you want the incremental benefits being made available, then the sky is the limit… you can buy bikes at “la la land” prices… (and also incredibly capable bikes in the mid range)… but most people will be buying much lower specced and priced bikes… that’ll be assumed in this forecast.

    jameso
    Full Member

    If anything it’s gone backwards?

    Actually I’m not sure if that’s right, maybe it’s just been fairly flat since the cycle lane boom in London a while back. Not sure offhand.

    jonnyboi
    Full Member

    Based on Oct-Dec sales volume then Wiggle is definitely on for a bumper year in 2024. Anyone think that is accurate?

    also

    “*From July 2023.” – well that’s accurate then

    jameso
    Full Member

    ie, there’s potential areas of positivity but cycling overall in the UK is down, flatlining at best, and has been trending downwards for the last decade.

    I should correct myself to, “new cycle sales overall are down”, not cycling overall – cycle use can grow without sales growth, bikes can last years and most people don’t replace their bikes as often as every 2-3 years.

    superstarcomponents
    Free Member

    Did they just think real world inflation is 12% so if we guess the same numbers of bikes are sold it makes a number. Publish, job done, off home

    bosh. Made up statistics much like the U.K. government’s inflation figures….

    Neil SuperstarComponents 

    neilupnorth
    Full Member

    E-bikes cost a lot more, is there any info on the number of bikes, a comparison with year on year bike number sales would give us a better idea

    IdleJon
    Full Member

    the long-standing gender imbalance in participation: 41% of men currently cycle vs just 22% of women. 

    If you’re starting with fantasy figures then you can make up everything else. Or is it that people lie to themselves so much that just because they own a bike, gathering dust in the garage with flat tyres and a mouse nesting in the saddle, that they say they are cyclists when conducting a survey?

    I work in a bike company. We have a higher number of regular riders than a non-bike company but even here participation is nothing like 41%/22%, even on a one-ride-annually basis.

    csb
    Full Member

    cycle lane boom in London

    London noticeably better than anywhere else in UK for cycle infrastructure now. Bristol touted as cycling city 10 years ago but millions pissed up the wall on free puncture kits and flouro and the cycle lanes are being reverted to parking spaces as far as I can tell. Feels more dangerous than ever.

    Edit – the only thing keeping us cyclists safe are the e-scooters everywhere, annoying drivers more than we ever did!

    ahsat
    Full Member

    Middle Aged Women in Lycra (MAWILs)

    Seriously questioning their market knowledge. One the things helping to drive the growth in woman’s cycling is exactly the opposite of this – getting away from this narrative! At the annual sisters in the wild camp, there are 300 cycling woman, 95% of which only wear lycra as under shorts, at the most, with ‘wear whatever you like’ as the vibe. 

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