A new study, branded the most in-depth ever, has placed the value of the UK cycle market is set to rocket to in excess of £2.1 billion this year.
The 'Project Velo' research said sales of bicycles will reach an estimated four million units in the UK for the first time in 2010.
The figures are markedly higher than previous estimates for the UK, including those made by research firm Mintel – however the new study takes bicycle parts and accessories into account as well as bicycles. The value of the market has long been up for debate following the failure of the UK industry to pool its sales data – unlike in the rest of Europe.
Project Velo anticipated the market will crack the £3 billion mark by 2015, particularly due to the influence of the 2012 Olympics and the uptake of e-bikes – reportedly already at 30,000 per year.
"Despite safety concerns, the ever increasing cost and frustration of motoring has encouraged many commuters to park their cars and purchase bikes," Allegra said. "Numerous public investment programmes and government initiatives such as the ‘Cycle to Work’ tax scheme and the London Cycle Hire scheme have seen the streets, not only of London, but many urban centres filling up with new cyclists.
"Combined with personal health and environmental concerns and British successes in international cycling competitions, there appears to be a ‘perfect storm’ brewing for the cycling industry.
"The normalisation of cycling, enthusiasts and women cyclists Whilst the UK has a long way to go until cycling penetration reaches the same levels as in continental Europe, cycling has become part of many people’s everyday activity. The cycle industry has developed a wide set of product offerings, bicycles, clothing and accessories, to suit all tastes, styles of activity and wallets.
"An important development is the rise in the number of those new-to-cycling, many of whom are women and, indeed, the rapid growth of cycling ‘enthusiasts’; who are prepared to spend unprecedented amounts, with many cyclists owning multiple bikes and the appropriate apparel. Six per cent of adult bikes purchased in the last 12 months costing over £1,000. Cycling may simply be fashionable, but this trend is translating into real higher spends."
The figures are a teaser before the full study is published at the end of October.
The new study, carried out by Allegra Strategies, drew data from 200 senior industry executives and over 18,000 consumers. You can read more here.