Tour de France and race victories boost bike sales by £106m since 2008


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The Independent Online

Whether it's because of the forthcoming Tour de France or the envy of peers in the local cycling club, Britons are becoming more discerning and willing to fork out more when buying a bike.

A new report has revealed that bike sales have increased by £106m since 2008, yet the number of bikes actually sold has declined. In 2008, Britons bought 3.6 million bikes; by last year, this had dropped to 3.2 million.

The figures by Mintel market research analysts suggest cycle sales have reached a saturation point after many years of increasing sales, buoyed by the successes of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Victoria Pendleton, and fellow racers.

But with an increasing number of competitive races and only 68 days to go before the Tour de France kicks off in Yorkshire, analysts say consumers are looking for competitive bikes rather than those that merely get them from A to B.

Michael Oliver, senior leisure and media analyst at Mintel, said: "There is no doubt that Britain's cyclists have become more selective about the quality of bike they are prepared to ride, with the average cost of a bike purchased rising in value."

Just over 35 per cent of Britons are cyclists, while as many as half of 25- to 34-year-olds cycle – making this Britain's key cycling group. By region, London (45 per cent) is the nation's cycling capital, while it has the least appeal in the South West and Wales (30 per cent) and the North West and Scotland (31 per cent).

The research also revealed that one in 20 people had never ridden a bike and would not consider doing so. One in three agreed that it was simply too dangerous to ride on the roads.