Bike sales race up 22 per cent during the pandemic

Cycling became a popular activity last year, with one fifth of British adults cycling at least once a week

Ellie Abraham@ellieabraham
Friday 18 June 2021 14:51
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The coronavirus pandemic led to a 22 per cent increase in the sale of bicycles in the UK, according to data.

Bike sales in Britain jumped from 2.7 million in 2019 to 3.3 in 2020, Mintel found.

After several years of stagnating bike sales, the pandemic saw many people’s daily lives change, sparking the unexpected rise.

Figures suggest that 21 per cent of people have bought a bike for themselves in the last 12 months, up from 17 per cent the previous year.

A quarter of adults who bought themselves a bike in the last year were either first time cyclists, or those who used to cycle previously and have picked it back up during the pandemic.

Now, just under one third of adults (31 per cent) in Britain currently cycle and around one fifth do so at least once a week.

Mintel said that, due to the rise in sales, the value of the UK bike industry has grown by around 44 per cent. In 2020, it reached almost £1.2 billion - up from £825 million in 2019.

Bicycles were so high in demand that global supply chains struggled to cope, and prices increased as they became a sought after pandemic commodity.

“Cycling has been one of the clear winners during the upheaval of the past year,” said Mintel senior analyst John Worthington.

“The perfect set of circumstances for bike sales, which the pandemic created, is likely to be a one-off ‘black swan’ event.

“However, there is now a solid platform for sustained growth, provided the industry can manage the supply chain challenges that have been the one major spoke in the wheel during the recent bike boom.”

Among adults, one in three cyclists currently owns a mountain bike. But, there has been a rise in the number of electric bikes purchased. E-bikes saw a rise of more than 70 per cent in sales in 2020.

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