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Bicycles - UK - February 2013

“The most surprising aspect to emerge from Mintel’s research into factors influencing bicycle purchase is the lack of importance attached to brand, with price, specification and styling/colour/décor being seen as more important than whether a bicycle is a brand that the potential buyer is familiar with.”
– Michael Oliver – Senior Leisure and Media Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:

  • How is recent positive exposure impacting on cycling participation and frequency?
  • What do buyers look for in a bicycle?
  • What types of retailer are best-positioned to capitalise on anticipated market growth?
  • Where is demand for electric bicycles likely to come from in the future?

 

Although cycling has enjoyed a significantly higher profile during 2012 and research shows that participation has increased during the past year, this has not fed through yet in the form of significantly higher sales of new bicycles. However, with momentum behind cycling steadily growing, there seems little doubt that the UK is poised for a period of growth in sales, particularly once the country begins to emerge from economic downturn. The volatile UK weather remains a deterrent, but the range of factors which have contributed to cycling growth in the past year are only going to increase in intensity in the future. This report assesses the current status of the market in terms of sales values and volumes and how the market segments, as well as examining recent innovations in product development and providing profiles of the major companies active in the market. It also takes a close look at consumer behaviour and attitudes, ranging from frequency of cycling and type of cycling taken part in, to retailer consideration sets, factors influencing choice of bicycle and attitudes towards electric bicycles.

 

Defining what actually constitutes a bicycle is something on which the cycle industry has difficulty agreeing, depending on the focus of each company’s business and particularly where the children’s market is concerned. Some suppliers have a significant presence in the children’s toy cycle market and include sales of these types of machines in their figures, whereas other companies define anything with a wheel size of less than 12 inches as a toy and do not include them within their statistics.

 

One way of differentiating cycles and toys is to say that a bicycle must have a chain, which therefore excludes items such as toy tricycles. It is this definition Mintel has sought to adopt, although a general shortage of detailed information means grey areas will always exist. For the purposes of this report, bicycles are defined as including the following types:

  • ATB or mountain bicycles are characterised by their robust, lightweight frames (which are usually smaller than sports frames), straight handlebars and smaller, sturdier wheels with fatter tyres. They usually have a wide range of gears to enable them to tackle all types of terrain and many now sport either suspension in their front forks or dual suspension at the front and rear.
  • Sports/road and touring cycles are full-size, usually lightweight bicycles with drop handlebars. They incorporate multiple gearing, 26- or 27-inch wheels and narrow tyres. Conventional adult bicycles are of the traditional ‘roadster’ design with large wheels, straight or swept-back handlebars, and heavier frames and usually have comparatively sturdy tyres. Many have three-speed hub gear systems.
  • Hybrid bicycles are a cross between a sports/touring and an ATB/mountain bike. They look quite similar to a mountain bike in terms of configuration of the frame but tend to have a more upright riding position and narrower tyres with less rolling resistance. Traditional or comfort bicycles are a new type of hybrid bike that has emerged in recent years, designed – as their name suggests – to feel very easy to ride, with extra-comfortable saddles and bar grips, smooth tyres and an easy riding position.
  • Small-wheel bicycles are mainly intended for short-distance journeys. This category includes folding bicycles, which are popular with consumers who want to take their bicycle on trains or pack it neatly in a car. BMX bicycles are primarily intended for children, although they are now quite popular among young adults, who use them to perform tricks and stunts. They are of a sturdy design, colourful or eye-catching (eg all-chrome) and do not normally have gears.
  • Children’s bicycles come in all shapes and sizes. Most have small wheels and a basic non-suspension frame, although some of the higher-end children’s ATB-style bicycles now come with this feature. Some are termed as learner bicycles and are sold with permanent or removable stabilisers. 

 

Electric bicycles are excludedfrom the coverage of this report although, as a competitive sector, some reference is made to sales levels for the purposes of comparison and attitudes towards electric bicycles are covered in the consumer section.

 

 

Liqueurs - UK - January 2012

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Figure 1: UK bicycles market by value, 2007-17
            • Market factors
              • Figure 2: UK weather trends, 2007-12
            • Companies, brands and innovation
              • Figure 3: Leading bicycle suppliers to the UK market, ranked by turnover*
            • The consumer
              • Just over one in twenty cycle most days
                • Figure 4: Frequency of riding a bicycle, November 2012
              • Most people ride for leisure
                • Figure 5: Types of cycling taken part in, November 2012
              • Halfords versus the specialists
                • Figure 6: Retailer consideration when purchasing a bicycle, November 2012
              • Brand not as important as specification and styling/colour/décor in choice of bicycle
                • Figure 7: Influences on the purchasing decision for bicycles, November 2012
              • Electric bikes seen as too expensive and unappealing
                • Figure 8: Attitudes towards electric bicycles, November 2012
              • What we think
              • Issues in the Market

                  • How is recent positive exposure impacting on cycling participation and frequency?
                    • What do buyers look for in a bicycle?
                      • What types of retailer are best-positioned to capitalise on anticipated market growth?
                        • Where is demand for electric bicycles likely to come from in the future?
                        • Trend Application

                          • Trend: Experience Is All
                            • Trend: Survival Skills
                              • Mintel Futures: Brand Intervention
                              • Market Drivers

                                • Key points
                                  • Cycling participation bounces back
                                    • Figure 9: Participation in cycling and mountain biking, 2007-12
                                    • Figure 10: Paid to watch/watch on TV/read about/looked up on internet/any interest in cycling, mountain biking, 2007-12
                                  • Weather does its best to discourage cycling
                                    • Figure 11: UK weather trends, 2007-12
                                    • Figure 12: Regional variations in rainfall, 2012
                                  • Boom times for British Cycling
                                    • CTC looks to emphasis the positives
                                      • Sustrans continues to expand National Cycle Network and other work
                                        • Bike Hub levy scheme provides vital funding
                                          • A shift in attitudes towards cycling and cyclists?
                                            • A shift in attitudes towards funding for cycling?
                                              • Changes to NICE guidelines set to stimulate cycling?
                                                • Obesity is still a public health issue
                                                  • Figure 13: Incidence of being overweight or obese, by gender, 2006-11
                                                • Cycle to Work scheme helps spread cost of new bicycles
                                                  • Safety still a major deterrent
                                                      • Figure 14: Cycling casualty figures (adults and children), 2007-11
                                                    • A case for more anti-theft measures?
                                                      • Figure 15: Trends in reported thefts of bicycles in England & Wales, 2002-12
                                                    • Media growth reflects increase in interest
                                                      • Figure 16: UK and RoI average net circulation per issue for major cycling magazine titles, 2011-12
                                                    • Sportive boom reinforces road bike popularity
                                                      • Fuel and transport fare price increases stimulate cycle commuting
                                                        • Figure 17: UK average fuel prices, November 2007-November 2012
                                                      • Unfavourable exchange rates keep pressure on prices
                                                        • Figure 18: Trends in Sterling/Dollar exchange rates, 2007-12
                                                      • UK economy fluctuates between growth and decline
                                                        • Figure 19: Trends in quarterly GDP, Q1 2007-Q4 2012
                                                      • Consumer confidence remains mired at a low level
                                                        • Figure 20: Trends in UK consumer confidence, January 2010-January 2013
                                                        • Figure 21: Trends in the buying of bicycles, by price segment, 2007-12
                                                    • Who’s Innovating?

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Advanced manufacturing processes to revolutionise bike production?
                                                          • A process similar to 3D printing
                                                            • A cardboard bicycle?
                                                              • Security tracking comes to bicycles
                                                                • Integrated design
                                                                  • Netherlands introduces electric freeway for e-Bikes and e-Scooters
                                                                    • Olympians seek to exploit their name with bike ranges
                                                                      • Bluetooth headsets for cyclists
                                                                        • Smartphone-controlled bicycle breaks cover
                                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Cycle to work gains and road bike growth boosts market in 2012
                                                                              • Figure 22: UK bicycles market, 2007-17
                                                                            • Road and commuter cycling to drive future growth
                                                                              • Forecast
                                                                                • Figure 23: UK bicycles value market size forecast, 2007-17
                                                                                • Figure 24: UK bicycles volume market size forecast, 2007-17
                                                                            • Segment Performance

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Road bikes show strongest growth in 2012
                                                                                  • Figure 25: Estimated breakdown of UK bicycles market, by segment, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                • Electric bicycle sales still at a relatively modest level
                                                                                • Market Share

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Halfords reinforces its market leadership
                                                                                      • Figure 26: Leading bicycle suppliers to the UK market, ranked by turnover
                                                                                  • Companies and Products

                                                                                    • Industry structure
                                                                                      • Figure 27: Trends in overseas trade in bicycles, 2007-12
                                                                                      • Figure 28: Leading sources of imported bicycles, 2012
                                                                                    • Halfords Group plc
                                                                                        • Figure 29: Key financial data for Halfords Group Plc, 2008-12
                                                                                      • Madison (H Young Holdings plc)
                                                                                        • Specialized (UK) Ltd
                                                                                            • Figure 30: Key financial data for Specialized UK limited, 2008-11
                                                                                          • Raleigh Holdings Ltd
                                                                                              • Figure 31: Key financial data for Raleigh Holdings Limited, 2007-11
                                                                                            • Trek Bicycle Corporation Ltd
                                                                                              • Figure 32: Key financial data for Trek Bicycles Limited, 2007-11
                                                                                            • IBD Bikes UK Ltd (trading as Cycling Sports Group)
                                                                                              • Figure 33: Key financial data for IBD Bikes UK Ltd, 2010-11
                                                                                            • Giant UK
                                                                                                • Figure 34: Key financial data for Giant UK limited, 2007-11
                                                                                              • Tandem
                                                                                                • Figure 35: Key financial data for Tandem Group Cycles (Formerly Falcon Cycles Ltd), 2008-11
                                                                                              • Other suppliers
                                                                                              • Channels to Market

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Specialists retain the edge
                                                                                                    • Figure 36: UK Bicycle sales (Unit sales), by distribution channel, 2011-12
                                                                                                  • Evans leads the specialists
                                                                                                    • Online players see strong growth
                                                                                                    • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Adspend follows seasonal pattern
                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Monthly trends in advertising expenditure, 2008-12
                                                                                                        • Halfords still the largest advertiser
                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Spend by leading advertisers in the bicycles market, 2008-12
                                                                                                        • Press accounts for over half of adspend
                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Spend by top 20 advertisers in the bicycles market in the last full 12 months, by media type, January 2012-December 2012
                                                                                                        • Advertisers favour specialist cycling magazines
                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Advertising expenditure and number of adverts, by press title, 2012
                                                                                                        • Social media adoption mixed among suppliers
                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Numbers of Facebook likes and twitter followers for leading UK bicycle companies, February 2013
                                                                                                        • Sponsorship remains key part of many suppliers’ strategies
                                                                                                        • Frequency of Riding a Bicycle

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • More than a fifth of adults cycle once a week or more
                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Frequency of riding a bicycle, November 2012
                                                                                                            • Most growth in regular cycling
                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Frequency of riding a bicycle, January 2012 and November 2012
                                                                                                            • Men lead the way but almost a third of women now cycle
                                                                                                              • Regular cyclists concentrated around urban locations
                                                                                                                • Potential to expand the base of female cyclists?
                                                                                                                • Types of Cycling Taken Part In

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Leisure cycling is most popular form of riding
                                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Types of cycling taken part in, November 2012
                                                                                                                    • Leisure riding has strong female appeal
                                                                                                                      • Commuting: it’s a man thing
                                                                                                                        • Functional riding is most frequent type of cycling
                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Types of cycling taken part in, by most popular frequency of riding a bicycle, November 2012
                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Types of cycling taken part in, by next most popular frequency of riding a bicycle, November 2012
                                                                                                                        • Commuters and off-roaders are most versatile cyclists
                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Types of cycling taken part in, by types of cycling taken part in, November 2012
                                                                                                                      • Retailer Consideration

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Physical stores still the preferred choice for buying a bicycle
                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Retailer consideration when purchasing a bicycle, November 2012
                                                                                                                          • Generalists like Halfords have mass-market appeal
                                                                                                                            • Younger, more affluent buyers are most likely to consider specialists
                                                                                                                              • Most frequent riders have preference for specialists
                                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Retailer consideration when purchasing a bicycle, by most popular frequency of riding a bicycle, November 2012
                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Retailer consideration when purchasing a bicycle, by next most popular frequency of riding a bicycle, November 2012
                                                                                                                              • Specialists score highly with commuters
                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Retailer consideration when purchasing a bicycle, by types of cycling taken part in, November 2012
                                                                                                                              • Halfords versus the specialists
                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Retailer consideration when purchasing a bicycle, by most popular retailer consideration when purchasing a bicycle, November 2012
                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Retailer consideration when purchasing a bicycle, by next most popular retailer consideration when purchasing a bicycle, November 2012
                                                                                                                              • Toy and catalogue stores more of a factor in children’s bicycles segment
                                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Retailer consideration when buying bicycles for child, November 2012
                                                                                                                            • Influences on the Purchasing Decision for Bicycles

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Specification and styling more important than brand
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Influences on the purchasing decision for bicycles, November 2012
                                                                                                                                • What women want
                                                                                                                                  • What men want
                                                                                                                                    • Catalogue shoppers are the most price-conscious
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 56: Influences on the purchasing decision for bicycles, by most popular retailer consideration when purchasing a bicycle, November 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 57: Influences on the purchasing decision for bicycles, by next most popular retailer consideration when purchasing a bicycle, November 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Lapsed cyclists more concerned than average about affordability and after-sales support
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Influences on the purchasing decision for bicycles, by most popular frequency of riding a bicycle, November 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Influences on the purchasing decision for bicycles, by next most popular frequency of riding a bicycle, November 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Leisure riders place importance on affordability
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Influences on the purchasing decision for bicycles, by types of cycling taken part in, November 2012
                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes Towards Electric Bicycles

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Cost and lack of appeal are main objections to electric bicycles
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Attitudes towards electric bicycles, November 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Is design key to overcoming lack of appeal?
                                                                                                                                        • Older consumers persuaded of the fitness benefits of using an electric bicycle
                                                                                                                                          • Lapsed and non-riders most likely to find electric bicycles unappealing
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Attitudes towards electric bicycles, by most popular frequency of riding a bicycle, November 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Attitudes towards electric bicycles, by next most popular frequency of riding a bicycle, November 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Commuters see possibilities of longer journeys/commutes
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Attitudes towards electric bicycles, by types of cycling taken part in, November 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Interested buyers also attach importance to after-sales support
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 65: Attitudes towards electric bicycles, by most popular influences on the purchasing decision for bicycles, November 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Attitudes towards electric bicycles, by next most popular influences on the purchasing decision for bicycles, November 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 67: UK bicycles value market size forecast scenarios, 2012-17
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 68: UK bicycles volume market size forecast scenarios, 2012-17
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Frequency of Riding a Bicycle

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 69: Most popular frequency of riding a bicycle, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Next most popular frequency of riding a bicycle, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Types of Cycling Taken Part In

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Types of cycling taken part in, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Retailer Consideration

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Most popular retailer consideration when purchasing a bicycle, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Next most popular retailer consideration when purchasing a bicycle, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Retailer consideration when buying bicycles for child, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Retailer consideration when buying bicycles for child, by retailer consideration when buying bicycles for child, November 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Influences on the Purchasing Decision for Bicycles

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 76: Most popular influences on the purchasing decision for bicycles, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 77: Next most popular influences on the purchasing decision for bicycles, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 78: Influences on the purchasing decision for bicycles, by retailer consideration when buying bicycles for child, November 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Attitudes Towards Electric Bicycles

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 79: Most popular attitudes towards electric bicycles, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 80: Next most popular attitudes towards electric bicycles, by demographics, November 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 81: Attitudes towards electric bicycles, by most popular retailer consideration when purchasing a bicycle, November 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 82: Attitudes towards electric bicycles, by next most popular retailer consideration when purchasing a bicycle, November 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 83: Attitudes towards electric bicycles, by most popular attitudes towards electric bicycles, November 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 84: Attitudes towards electric bicycles, by next most popular attitudes towards electric bicycles, November 2012

                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                        • Amazon.co.uk
                                                                                                                                        • Avocet Sports Ltd
                                                                                                                                        • Cannondale Bicycle Corporation
                                                                                                                                        • Concept Cycling Ltd
                                                                                                                                        • Dawes Cycles Limited
                                                                                                                                        • Dorel Industries Inc.
                                                                                                                                        • H Young Holdings PLC
                                                                                                                                        • Halfords Ltd
                                                                                                                                        • HM Revenue & Customs
                                                                                                                                        • IBP UK
                                                                                                                                        • Mercedes-Benz UK
                                                                                                                                        • Muddyfox Ltd
                                                                                                                                        • MV Sports Group Plc
                                                                                                                                        • NatWest
                                                                                                                                        • Pacific Cycle LLC
                                                                                                                                        • Pets at Home Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                        • Rabobank Group
                                                                                                                                        • Raleigh UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                        • Saracen Cycles Ltd
                                                                                                                                        • Schwinn Bicycle Company
                                                                                                                                        • Shimano
                                                                                                                                        • Sports Direct Plc
                                                                                                                                        • Tandem Group
                                                                                                                                        • Toys R Us
                                                                                                                                        • Trek Bicycle Corporation
                                                                                                                                        • Universal Cycles Plc

                                                                                                                                        Bicycles - UK - February 2013

                                                                                                                                        £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)