We have no independent indicator of bike sales in the UK, putting us behind the cycle industry in the US and most of Europe.
But despite bike firms playing their cards close to their respective chests over here, there are nevertheless some scraps of information that may be of some use in determining how bike sales are faring in the UK – and whether Wiggins’ historic performance at the Tour de France has had any effect.
Card giant VISA has revealed that bicycle shops, including sales and services, enjoyed a 6.3 per cent rise in spending week-on-week to July 22nd, in the run up to Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky’s victory (which was looking increasingly likely in the run up to Sunday). Spending rose to 5.1 per cent year-on-year.
VISA’s figures may well prove a useful bike sales statistic for the industry. According to the firm, VISA transactions – via debit, credit and prepaid cards – account for £1 in £3 of all UK spending.
Dr. Steve Perry, Commercial Director at Visa Europe said: "Bradley Wiggins’ historic victory spurred people to get on their bikes – quite literally! Visa data shows that spending on bikes and associated products were up by over six percentage week-on-week, demonstrating the impact that sporting success can have on the nation’s spending behaviour."
Meanwhile ActSmart has seen a rise in cycle searches, mirroring what non-cycle trade sites have found.
‘Find a Bike Shop’ searches peaked on the Cycling Experts’ site following Wiggins’ win, up 38 per cent on Monday compared to average daily visitation figures and the highest daily visitation since the website was launched.