News Press Release

A Bumpier Ride: Challenges and Prospects in the UK Cycling Market

August 24, 2022

Bicycle Association Publishes Half-Year Market Data Service Report

The Bicycle Association (BA), the national trade association for the UK cycle industry, has released its  2022 half-year report: A Bumpier Ride: Challenges and Prospects in the UK Cycling Market.

The report, based on exclusive BA Market Data Service (MDS) figures, covers the calendar year up to date and includes figures from more than 70% of the UK Cycling industry. 

Key findings include: 

  • Bike sales are down by a quarter from pre-COVID levels: The first half of 2022 has seen a continuing downturn in UK cycling sales. The post-boom dip in  demand, which began in May 2021, is colliding with an escalating cost-of-living crisis. Total market  volume and value versus the first half of 2021 have declined by 27% and 25%, respectively. 
  • Total market value remains 17% ahead of 2019: Despite falling volume sales across much of the industry, overall market value for the first half of 2022  remained 17% higher than in 2019. The key factors sustaining value growth have been a rise in average  prices, the growing proportion of e-bikes in the overall sales mix, and a relatively resilient performance  in the Specialist segment of the market, compared to the Generalist segment. The BA forecasts the total market value for 2022 will be £1.9 billion, 19% ahead of 2019.
  • Hybrids and kids’ bikes have lost market share: The downturn in bike sales is being felt across the product spectrum. However, hybrid bikes and kids’ bikes have lost market share versus 2019.
  • E-bike volume sales during the first half of 2022 are almost double the pre-COVID period. Overall  growth has stalled, although sales of e-bikes in the Generalist market segment have performed much  better than Specialist sales during the first half of 2022. This is driven by an influx of lower-priced  e-bikes, and product shortages at the premium end. 
  • E-cargo has emerged as a growing product: In a challenging overall market, electric cargo bikes are an emerging product category. Volume sales  during the 12 months ending June 2022 increased by 40%, compared with July 2020-June 2021.  

“Two years on from the biggest cycling market boom in recent history, and with the backdrop of higher cycling levels, the BA’s half year 2022 report shows how the cycling market is coping with the challenges of rising inflation and declining consumer confidence. It’s certainly been a challenging year but there are bright spots and many reasons to be optimistic for the long term” said Simon Irons, Bicycle Association’s MDS Director.  

The report was produced using data from the BA’s Market Data Service (MDS), powered by Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS), a massive UK wide, monthly collation of sales data direct from retailers across the country, covering over two thirds of the UK cycling market. 

A Bumpier Ride: Challenges and Prospects in the UK Cycling Market is a 55-page report providing detailed analysis of cycling industry sales and growth during the first half of calendar year 2022. It uniquely integrates the BA’s sales data with wider data sets, from weather patterns to the National Travel Survey, to provide the only credible, comprehensive analysis of the UK market available today. This report is one of only a few which the Bicycle Association makes available beyond its membership, and it is released to provide a definitive picture of what is happening in the UK market.

To purchase the report please contact Emma Catt at [email protected] or +44 (0) 203 857 4411

The BA’s Market Data Services draws data from over 70% of the UK Cycling Market and is “powered” by Sports Marketing Surveys, the BA’s data partner. The MDS database now comprises over 1 million cycling products with history back to January 2018 and  is a powerful tool to help businesses understand UK cycling market trends and identify growth opportunities as well as to support the BA’s advocacy program.