Learning how to ride a bicycle is a rite of passage for children around the world. It’s difficult not to smile when a youngster is pedaling hard on a bike with training wheels on it, thinking about one’s own experiences with a bicycle with fond memories.
In 2013, the US bicycle market saw total sales reach $5.8 billion.
Bicycle Sales Statistics
The 2013 figures were rather soft when compared to previous years. When looking at previous years, however, the sales are only $300 million off of the all-time highs that the market experienced. Dating back to 2004, the bicycle market in the US saw sales of at least $5.8 billion every year.
- 35.6 million Americans age 7 or older were estimated to have ridden a bicycle 6x in 2013.
- The peak participation amount of riding a bicycle: 56.3 million people in 1995.
- Bicycle riding figures do not account for any bicycles that are 19 inches in size or below.
- Cycling is the 7th most popular activity in the United States.
- 53%. That’s the percentage of people who ride a bicycle regularly for fitness purposes.
- 3 out of 4 people who own a bicycle will make time to ride it for fun at least once per week.
- The number of bicycle brands that are available on the US market right now: 150.
- More than 2,000 companies are involved in the manufacturing process of bicycles today.
- 1 out of 4 bicycles that are sold today are mountain bikes. Road bicycles make up 20% of bicycle sales.
Bicycles were extremely popular in the 1970s. In terms of units sold, no year has come close to the numbers of bikes that were sold during this period of time. There was fuel crisis going on, rationing was common, and people still needed to get to work. The bicycle provided a solid solution. Today the sales figures for bicycles are more reflective of the fact that they are being used for recreational purposes more than anything else. Only 10% of people use their bikes for commuting. This might just account for the softness that is currently in this particular market.
Where Are Bicycles Being Sold?
- Chain sporting goods stores sold approximately 6.5% of the bicycles in 2013.
- The average price of a bicycle sold in a sporting goods store: $254.
- Outdoor specialty retailers sold approximately 2.5% of the bicycles in 2013.
- $577. That’s the average price of a bicycle sold at a specialty store.
- Discount stores make up a majority of the bicycle market, accounting for 74% of the total units sold with an average price of $84.
- Bicycle dealers make up 15% of the total amount of bicycles sold, but 52% of the total revenue generated from the market.
- The biggest change in the bicycle market has come from the sale of hybrid bicycles, seeing a 10% gain in market share since 2005.
When people are purchasing bicycles, they are either looking for value or they are looking for expertise. This is why 3 out of every 4 bikes sold comes from a store like Walmart or Target, but half of the revenues come from bicycle retailers. Many people want a bike, but don’t have a lot of money to pay for one. For those who can purchase a higher grade of bicycle, they want to have a solid support network behind them in case something goes wrong. That’s why 90% of the market is dominated by these two types of retail outlets.
What About The Future of Bicycle Sales?
- Over the last 10 years, bicycle sales have been steady between 15-20 million units sold each year.
- In 2013, it was estimated that 99% or 16.2 million bicycles were imported into the country, primarily from China and Taiwan.
- Domestic production of bicycles in the U.S. is estimated at approximately 56,000 units, covering more than 100 different American brands.
- The average specialty bicycle retailer had gross annual sales of $866,817 in 2011, the last year figures have been released.
- 650. That’s the number of bikes the average bicycle retailer will sell ever year.
- Gross margins on bicycles average about 37%, though the break-even point has been shown to be 38.6% for the average store.
Bicycle sales will stay strong as long as imports continue to dominate the market. Times are still tough for a lot of families, so a $500+ bicycle doesn’t make much sense. An $84 bicycle, however, might just add a little extra fun to life.
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