Source: Cycling Industry News
The UK bike market is anticipated to undergo a positive shift in 2024, as indicated by the latest forecast from Mintel. The projections highlight growth areas in e-bikes, second-hand bicycles, and increased female participation in cycling.
According to the research, new bicycle sales are expected to climb 12% in 2024, reaching 2.1 million bikes. This marks a recovery from previous years’ 11% decline to 1.9 million bike sales. This represents a total 42% drop from the peak in 2020 when 3.3 million bikes were sold.
The forecast also predicts a 15% increase in the value of new bike sales, reaching nearly £1 billion (£998 million) in 2024. This follows a 15% decline in annual sales to £868 million in 2023, continuing a gradual fall in yearly bike sales since 2020.
However, the prediction of rising bike sales in 2024 may spark debate within the industry, with high inventory levels and consumer spending power combining to limit market potential. The market has witnessed notable difficulties, including high profile administrations, redundancies, buyouts, and rescue loans in response to challenging market conditions.
Mintel’s report also anticipates growth in the UK’s e-bike market, with electric assist bicycles being the preferred choice for cyclists in the coming year. Approximately 19% of prospective bike buyers plan to purchase an e-bike, signalling a potential uptick in this segment.
Of particular interest is the increasing interest in cycling among women aged 16-64, with over 40% of women under 45 and 34% of those aged 45-64 expressing interest in cycling. This is interesting to contrast with recent discussions on women’s cycling experiences in London.
Furthermore, the report highlights a growing preference for second-hand bicycles, posing a potential threat to new bike sales. Half of current and potential cyclists indicate a greater likelihood of considering a used bicycle compared to the previous year.
Mintel’s Category Director for Leisure Research underscores the impact of rising living costs on demand for new bikes, citing a recovery in demand driven by easing inflation, wage growth, and retailer discounts. The cost of living has also led 34% of Brits to cycle more to reduce spending on petrol and public transport. Looking ahead, continued investment in cycling infrastructure and a focus on sustainable travel are expected to further drive demand. Nevertheless, the expanding second-hand market, including major players like Halfords, presents a challenge to the growth of new bike sales.