Four year high for cycle sales in Britain, second only to Germany in EU, but longer term picture remains flat

UK bike sales rise 8%

The UK’s bike market continues to be one of the most attractive in Europe, behind only Germany, seeing bicycle unit sales rise eight per cent in 2014.

However the long term growth picture isn’t so positive for the trade. While 3.6 million units were sold* in 2014, up from 2013’s 3.4m, the number of bikes sold in Britain has largely flatlined, at 3.6m in 2010 and 3.9m ten years ago. Nevertheless, 2014’s bike sales figure represents a four year high for the industry.

The statistics, put together by CONEBI, put Great Britain’s share of the EU bike market at 18 per cent, behind Germany’s 4.1m (20 per cent of the EU market) and ahead of France’s 3m bikes (15 per cent share).

Anecdotal reports have indicated that 2015 has been far from a vintage year for bike sales in the UK, a view backed by a BikeBiz poll earlier this summer, suggesting the long term sales trend will continue to remain largely level.

Right across Europe bike sales have stubbornly refused to lift in great numbers. Although 2014 saw a two per cent rise to 20.2m units from 19.8m units (and a four year high from 2010’s 20.5m), the figure was 20.2m back in 2003 and 18.9m in 2000.

In terms of value, bike sales jumped last year, but only thanks to a big drop in 2013. Last year’s UK bike sales value hit £771m (€1.05bn), up 28 per cent on 2013’s £603m (€820m) – however that was down 25 per cent on 2012. The value of UK bike sales haven’t been able to surpass the 2010 heyday of £881m (€1.2bn). Ten years ago that total was £502m (€708m).

The stats show that the average price of a bicycle in the UK is just €345, or £253.42. Last year that was £233 and in 2011 was £242.

That puts the UK tenth in the European table of bike prices, which is topped by the Netherlands (£620) followed by Germany (£388). That’s including VAT and using data from e-bikes sales.

*The statistics have been put together by CONEBI (Confederation of European Bike Industries), derived from import numbers from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), so there’s units and value at arrival in the UK if not actual sales made at the till/online checkout. However if trade stocks are consistent then they’re about as accurate as UK bike market statistics get.

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