Bicycle Association mid-year report establishes extent of bike sales dip 

The Bicycle Association has released its mid-year report on the UK cycle industry, revealing the extent of the bike sale dip in 2023. 

National trade association for the cycle industry in this country, the Bicycle Association (BA), has published its detailed annual report on the first half of ‘23, which reveals that total market value is down by 8% compared with the first six months of 2022. 

The full 51-page report, which is available to buy for BA members and non-members, also established that the fall in cycle sales impacted both mechanical and electric bikes, down 8% and 12% respectively. 

Mechanical bicycle sales have fallen further, having already hit a 20-year low last year. 

Perhaps most concerning is the e-bike market, which still presents a significant growth opportunity for the UK, but continues to lag behind much of Europe. 

Simon Irons, the BA’s data and insights director, said: “This latest report provides readers with the detail behind the headlines.

“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.”

The report, authored by the BA’s head of insights, John Worthington, draws on a multitude of dates sources, along with input from industry experts within the BA membership, to offer an insight into the UK bike trade. 

Other 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 £1.9 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 first half of the report covers the full industry, while the second section focuses on the UK e-bike market, and concludes with a section on key drivers currently shaping the market, including bicycle supply trends, cycling activity levels, weather, macro-economic 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.” 

Read more: Glasgow to receive short term cycle parking

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.

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