...or is it? On the website of trade magazine BikeEurope, there's an article by editor-in-chief Jack Oortwijn that, if taken at face value, paints such a dire picture of the global bicycle trade that you'd be excused if you went out and cut your wrists right now. Sure, in some quarters business is down (Taiwan, in particular, is suffering) but is the situation as apocalyptic as www.bike-eu.com makes out?

The end of the world is nigh

BikeEurope’s November issue will expand on the website article entitled ‘Malaise in Worldwide Bike Market.’

"All about the current malaise in the worldwide bike industry, including detailed statistics are in Bike Europe’s November editions which is distributed end November," said Ootwijn on today’s site.

But where on the site is the good news from Specialized and Trek? Both companies recently reported increased sales across the globe and are hardly insignificant players. Trek is also doing well in the UK: Trek UK enjoyed a record October, a 10 percent growth on October last year.

www.bikebiz.co.uk is so far the only site to carry the news that Specialized had a bumper October in both the USA and the UK.

Both brands benefitted from the collapse of Schwinn/GT.

So, whilst some parts of the global bike market are definitely down, other parts report growth.

Of course, many suppliers and IBDs and multiples have had a rough 2001, on top of a soft 2000. But, in the opinion of bikebiz.co.uk, to say the whole market is in the doldrums is just not true. There’s plenty of bad news out there, but there’s also plenty of good news. See below for links to the apocalyptic BikeEurope article and a selection of ‘good news’ stories about key suppliers from bikebiz.co.uk.


13th November: Malaise in Worldwide Bike Market


"The worlds’ bicycle markets are presently facing the biggest drops in sales in over a decade…In Europe as well as the US, bike business is in a malaise… And taking into account the tragic events in September and the dramatic consequences for the American economy, obviously there’s no room for optimism with regard to sales during the fourth quarter of 2001…"

6th November: Trek boss sees bright future for bike trade


Trek is a family-owned firm. And it turns a healthy profit. 2001 was a record year. Trek could have bid for the bankrupted Derby but didn’t. Here CEO John Burke told bikebiz.co.uk why not. He also talks about what the future may hold for IBDs and the big bike brands. NOTE: this article first appeared in the October BicycleBusiness but is reprinted here for those international readers of this site who don’t get mailed with the monthly mag.

6th November: Who says you can’t make money in the bike trade?


OK, many big players have had a tough time of late, and will be limping for the foreseable future, but there are others doing just great, especially those who have gained sales from the Schwinn/GT dislocation. Last week on this site there was the good news about Giant. Here’s a positive sales story from Specialized Bicycles. Of course, ‘turnover is vanity, profit is sanity’ but all three companies sell bikes at decent margins and at high average prices. And, very much worth noting, they’re all big into IBDs rather than multiple channels…

1st November: Giant Bicycle: one of this year’s top 20 small companies, says Forbes Magazine


The global edition of the US business magazine fingers the Taiwanese bicycle manufacturing colossus as an international company to be reckoned with, proving (a) there’s money to be made in the bike trade and (b) IBDs can make you that money!

31st October: Tandem increases turnover and profits; pays down debts

The parent company of Falcon, Two Wheel Trading and Dawes is doing well: in its interim statement released today, the Tandem Group reported improved figures for the first six months of 2001 over the same period last year


In other news...

Mavic opens North American office to support sales and service

Mavic, the French manufacturer of bicycle wheels and equipment, has opened an office in Waterbury, …