Sports Marketing Surveys has published a series of linked market reports into the motivations, cycling habits, buying patterns and brand choices of regular cyclists. The growth in womens' cycling is one of the stand-out parts of the main report in the International Consumer Behaviour series.
SMS interviewed 1000 cyclists in the UK, and the same number in Germany and France. A further 3000 were interviewed in the US. Each study has a 50:50 split of male and female cyclists.
The International Consumer Behaviour programme investigates both the equipment used for cycling and attitudes to it. On equipment, the report assesses key areas of the industry, including a range of bike types but also helmets, tyres, wheels, apparel and key technological developments like digital devices and e-bikes. Attitudinal questions assessed what inspires cyclists to participate, to upgrade their bike or to choose a particular product.
By focusing on those who have spent at least £400 on a bike and have cycled regularly in the last 6 months, SMS has been able to maintain a focus on core cyclists of all ages and abilities.
Edward Willis, SMS' sports business manager for cycling said: “Brands are increasingly interested in understanding what is driving the growth in female cycling and in identifying ways in which they can appeal to this crucial market. In fact, whilst the reports show a clear divergence of opinion between men and women on many topics, the areas where their interests align are just as revealing.”
In the UK, the results expose clear differences between men and women in terms of, for example, their spend on different types of bike, their priorities when considering upgrading a bike’s components and the people they choose to cycle with. Often these differences are counter-intuitive, said Willis, for example the finding that it is men, not women, who are more concerned about the gender specificity of a bike or frame.
"The unique thing about these reports is the sheer depth of data available," said Willis.
"In tandem with our participation research, the consumer behaviour study will allow brands to delve deeper into cyclists’ motivations, buying habits and brand choices than ever before. The breadth of profiling information means that we can make each report truly relevant for individual brands, whether they want an overall picture or a focus on, for example, female cyclists, urban commuters, competitive riders, online buyers, particular age groups or those cycling for health and fitness.”
The full report costs £3,500 per country, with sector-specific reports also available.