Two separate market reports from Europe and from Australia are now available. The EU one is free; the Oz one costs three hundred quid.
COLIBI, the Association of the European Bicycle Industry, and COLIPED, the Association of the European Two-Wheeler Parts’ & Accessories’ Industry, have produced the European Bicycle Industry & Market Profile since 2009. It gives an overview of the European bicycle industry’s activities, including production and employment, as well as sales data across EU member countries.
There’s deeper analysis of the bike markets in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and the Netherlands. The report says the electric bike market continues to grow and reached a sales volume of more than 854,000 units in 2012, with 380,000 sales in Germany alone, but only about 20,000 in the UK.
The UK has famously unreliable sales figures but the European Bicycle Industry & Market Profile said total bicycle imports to the UK in the year 2012 totalled 3.5m units.
“This figure is slightly disappointing, given the enthusiasm for cycling fuelled by the Olympics in the middle of the year,” states the report.
“However, the weather at key seasons was very poor leading to very slow sales in the Spring and the last few weeks of 2012.”
The UK industry reports that there has been a surge in the sales of road bikes following the Olympics. Sales of BMX bikes have declined “dramatically”, says the report.
“There has been some speculation…that the market in the UK is growing and will continue to grow rapidly,” says the report. “We can find no support for this claim in the actual figures. The UK market has remained remarkably stable at about 3.6 m. units p.a. for the last six years.”
Over in Australia – where retailing is impacted by UK internet bike shops such as Chain Reaction of Belfast and Wiggle of SE England – a new market report suggests that overseas online selling now accounts for up to 16 percent of bike and accessory sales in Australia.
Australia imported 1.4 million bicycles in 2012/13 with a market value of $1.1 billion (£600m).
Christopher Jones, founder of the Bicycles Network Australia website, said: “Currency exchange rates and the high cost of business in Australia mean that consumers can save on average 50 percent when purchasing online compared with local bike shop purchases.”
His market report is compiled from surveys with cyclists.
"The Australian cycling trade body Bicycling Industries Australia came up with the figure of 16 percent while my calculations based on public company accounts and records suggest that it is more likely closer to 7 percent.
"While this does create some context for overseas business, in the report we have largely avoided focus on such information as it subject to variance and instead have concentrated on solid data we collected from market surveys. As a example, while Chain Reaction Cycles is the biggest online retailer in the world, Wiggle is a bigger player in the Australian market and we have exact percentages to show market penetration as well as valuable insights such as customer satisfaction as well as key motivators for Australian customers."
The report is available for $495 (about £297).