News Press Release

Bicycle Association Publish Mid-year UK Cycle Industry Report

August 31, 2023

BA  market data report warns e-bike sales and adoption falling rapidly behind Europe 

The Bicycle Association (BA), the national trade association for the UK cycle industry, has published its detailed annual mid-year report for 2023, based on Market Data Service (MDS) sales data covering over 70% of the nation’s cycle revenues. 

The 51 page report provides granular analysis of the challenges currently confronting the sector, with the total market value down 8% in the first half of 2023 vs 2022. The fall in volume of cycle sales impacted both mechanical and electric bikes, down 8% and 12% respectively.

Authored by the BA’s Head of Insights, John Worthington,  the report finds that the first half of 2023 has seen a further deterioration in a market that in 2022 hit a 20-year low for mechanical bike sales. While the early summer saw an improvement to the underlying trend after a particularly tough start to the year, Worthington details the factors culminating in stock surplus challenges in the UK today. 

Additional key findings include: 

  • Mechanical bike unit sales in the first half of 2023 are nearly a third down on the same period in 2019. 
  • E-MTBs are the only sub-category in the e-bike category that are up on the same period in 2022, pointing to struggles in the urban e-mobility field.
  • The UK cycling market is projected to be worth £1.57 billion for the full year 2023, compared to compared to £1.55 billion in 2019.
  • Within the PAC category, apparel has been hard hit, down 15% in value in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period last year, but technology has endured the strongest headwinds, languishing 34% down in the first half of  2022. 
  • UK e-bike sales have fallen further behind Europe, volumes declining and the gap to our neighbours in adoption of these products increasing. 

The report draws on a multitude of other data sources in addition to a wealth of qualitative input from industry leaders within BA membership. Worthington himself has five years’ experience of reporting on the cycling market, and over 15 years’ experience as an analyst across wider consumer travel, tourism and other leisure markets.

“This latest report provides readers with the detail behind the headlines”, comments Simon Irons, BA’s Data and Insights Director, adding that “as such, it provides usable insights to guide decision making in challenging times, written by people with industry experience, tailored to the requirements of cycle industry leaders”.

While the first half of the report covers the full range of the cycle industry, the second part of the report includes a focus on the UK e-bike market with a concluding section on key drivers currently shaping the market, including bicycle supply trends, cycling activity levels, weather, macroeconomic factors, Cycle2work sales and second-hand bicycle sales.

“This report shows that the UK e-bike market offers significant growth prospects, but continues to lag behind much of Europe” said David Middlemiss, Associate Director at the BA. “A core objective of the Bicycle Association is to work with the industry and government to position e-bikes as a key part of the UK’s electric transport future and the drive for net zero. E-bikes form the first of three key themes at the heart of the BA’s new Cycle Industry Growth Plan, now approaching the end of a hugely successful consultation period”.

BA Members and Investors in Cycling are invited to listen to John Worthington present and discuss the key findings of the report at a free lunchtime webinar on Friday 15th September

The full report is also available to buy now through the BA website at a cost of £1,499, or £499 for BA members. 

Media Contact

Elizabeth Elford, Communications Manager, [email protected]