Global research giant Mintel has been crunching the figures and has found the number of Brits cycling has grown from 34 per cent of the population in January 2012, to four in ten (41 per cent) in November 2012.
In addition, one in two British men are taking to their bikes and, unsurprisingly, London is the cycling capital of the nation, where 53 per cent of the population ride.
Pointing to a memorable summer of cycling last year as probable cause, Mintel research found six per cent of British consumers (or 3.1 million) take to their bike 'most days', while nearly one in ten (eight per cent) cycle two or three days a week. The same number cycle on a weekly basis.
The glut of stats continues - in weekly participation terms, more than one in five (22 per cent) consumers cycle. Most of the growth has occurred among those who cycle two to three days a week - up from six per cent in January 2012 to eight per cent in November.
Always a good topic for discussion/argument, Mintel has waded into the 'bicycle market valuation' pond, murky from a lack of shared statistics from the trade. Mintel said the UK bike market hit £705million in 2012 - representing a slight recovery over the year following unseasonal weather and an increase over its 2011 figure of £650 million.
The research powerhouse duly noted the mixed 2012 market, stating it didn't perform as well as the industry might have expected, what with it being Olympic year and all. Adverse weather trimmed back performance - as has been noted in a number of industry financials - but despite slower than expected growth: "value increase in the market reflects a continued shift towards the more premium-priced road bikes, as well as a recovery in sales through the Cycle to Work."
Senior Leisure Analyst at Mintel Michael Oliver said: “Interest in cycling continues to grow, with a combination of factors contributing to consumers seeing cycling in a different light. Undoubtedly, there is considerable momentum behind bikes at the moment, driven by high profile sporting successes in the Tour de France and Olympics, rising fuel prices and higher public transport costs. As an environmentally-friendly type of outdoor exercise, cycling is very much on trend.”