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Bicycles - UK - March 2014

“If safety concerns around cycling on the roads can be definitively tackled, it could open the floodgates to a new era of mass cycling participation.”

– Michael Oliver, Senior Leisure and Media Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • What are the implications for the bicycles market of concerns about safety?
  • What might encourage lapsed riders back to, or new riders into, cycling?
  • How can the base of people who commute by bicycle be expanded?

The UK bicycles market has continued to grow in the past year, despite the tough economic conditions and the squeeze on household incomes. Most of this growth has come from consumers trading up to slightly more expensive models of bicycle and in fact in volume terms the market has declined as many cheap, poor quality machines have been filtered out through anti-dumping measures in recent years.

There is still considerable latent potential in the market: 35% of adults currently describe themselves as cyclists but a further 31% would consider cycling in the future. Most of these are lapsed cyclists who have ridden in the past. Mintel’s research also reveals substantial misgivings about the safety of cycling on the UK’s roads and it is this which is the biggest barrier to increasing participation levels at the moment. This report examines the factors influencing demand for bicycles, looks at innovations, sales volumes and values, how the market segments, market shares, profiles some of the leading suppliers of bicycles and assesses consumer behaviour and attitudes when it comes to cycling.

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” 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:

  • All-terrain bikes (ATBs) 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” 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.

 

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definitions
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Figure 1: UK bicycles market, 2008-18
            • Market drivers
              • Figure 2: Trends in number of regular cyclists*, 2005/06 and 2012/13
            • Companies, brands and innovation
              • Figure 3: Leading bicycle suppliers to the UK market, ranked by UK sales*, 2013
            • The consumer
              • How often do people cycle?
                • Figure 4: Frequency of cycling, December 2013
              • What do cyclists do?
                • Figure 5: Cycling involvement, December 2013
              • Attitudes towards financing new bicycle purchase
                • Figure 6: Attitudes towards financing new bicycle purchase, December 2013
              • Attitudes towards cycling
                • Figure 7: Attitudes towards cycling, December 2013
              • What we think
              • Issues and Insights

                  • What are the implications for the bicycles market of concerns about safety?
                    • The facts
                      • The implications
                        • What might encourage lapsed riders back to, or new riders into, cycling?
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                              • How can the base of people who commute by bicycle be expanded?
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                  • Trend Application

                                      • Trend: Help Me Help Myself
                                        • Trend: Moral Brands
                                          • Mintel Futures: Access Anything, Anywhere
                                          • Market Drivers

                                            • Key points
                                              • Consumer drivers
                                                • More people are cycling regularly
                                                  • Figure 8: Trends in popularity of top five participation sports, 2005/06 and 2012/13
                                                • Weather influences participation rates
                                                  • Figure 9: UK weather trends, 2008-13
                                                  • Figure 10: UK weather, by region, 2013
                                                  • Figure 11: Regional variations in rainfall, 2013
                                                • Weight loss continues to act as a driver for cycling participation
                                                  • Figure 12: Incidence of being overweight or obese, by gender, 2007-12
                                                • Safety concerns continue
                                                  • Figure 13: Cycling casualty figures (adults and children), 2008-12
                                                  • Figure 14: Cycling fatalities in London, 2010-13
                                                • Theft still a major problem
                                                  • Figure 15: Trends in reported thefts of bicycles in England & Wales, 2007/08-2012/13
                                                • Fuel price rises hit consumers’ pockets
                                                  • Figure 16: UK average fuel prices, November 2008-November 2013
                                                • Cycle to Work scheme enjoys record year
                                                  • Figure 17: Trends in numbers of Cycle to Work scheme certificates issued and new users, 2011-13
                                                • Hire cycles make cycling an option for all
                                                  • Sportive growth stimulates participation
                                                    • Organisational drivers
                                                      • British Cycling enjoys boom
                                                        • Cyclists’ Touring Club continues campaigning on behalf of cyclists
                                                          • Sustrans spreads its wings
                                                            • Bike Hub scheme – A case of the industry helping itself
                                                              • Funding for cycling
                                                                • Government recognises benefits of cycling
                                                                  • BoJo commits to cycling
                                                                    • Macroeconomic drivers
                                                                      • Exchange rate fluctuations impact on price of bicycles
                                                                        • Figure 18: Trends in Sterling/Dollar exchange rates, 2008-13
                                                                      • Income squeeze prompts people to make the switch
                                                                        • Figure 19: Trends in earnings versus prices, 2008-13
                                                                    • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • New bikes
                                                                          • Hoy targets smaller riders
                                                                            • Wooden flatpack bicycle goes into production
                                                                              • Specialized’s Turbo e-bike – Ahead of its time?
                                                                                • Electrolyte attempts to make e-bikes look more normal
                                                                                  • Rise up and ride
                                                                                    • Caterham brings F1 technology to motorcycles and bicycles
                                                                                      • Fliz fuses bicycle and scooter
                                                                                        • Accessories
                                                                                          • Folding helmet is easier to transport
                                                                                            • Hidden helmet hits the headlines
                                                                                              • Smart handlebars show the way to go
                                                                                                • General innovations
                                                                                                  • Biceberg secure parking comes to street level
                                                                                                    • Ingenious solution to thwart thieves
                                                                                                    • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Trading up boosts market value
                                                                                                          • Figure 20: UK bicycles market, 2008-18
                                                                                                        • Forecast
                                                                                                          • Figure 21: UK bicycles value market size forecast, 2008-18
                                                                                                          • Figure 22: UK bicycles volume market size forecast, 2008-18
                                                                                                      • Segment Performance

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Road bikes continue to outperform the market
                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Estimated breakdown of UK bicycles market, by segment, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                                          • E-bike sales yet to take off
                                                                                                          • Market Share

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Halfords leads the way
                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Leading bicycle suppliers to the UK market, ranked by UK cycling sales, 2013
                                                                                                            • Companies and Products

                                                                                                              • Industry structure
                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Trends in overseas trade in bicycles, 2008-13
                                                                                                              • Taiwan is leading source of imports
                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Leading sources of imported bicycles, 2013
                                                                                                              • E-bike foreign trade dips
                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Trends in overseas trade in e-bikes, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                                              • Company Profiles
                                                                                                                • Halfords Group plc
                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Key financial data for Halfords Group Plc, 2008/09-2012/13
                                                                                                                  • Madison UK (H Young Holdings plc)
                                                                                                                    • Specialized (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Key financial data for Specialized UK limited, 2008-12
                                                                                                                      • Raleigh Holdings Ltd
                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Key financial data for Raleigh Holdings Limited, 2008-12
                                                                                                                      • Trek Bicycle Corporation Ltd.
                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Key financial data for Trek Bicycles Limited, 2008-12
                                                                                                                        • IBD Bikes UK Ltd. (trading as Cycling Sports Group)
                                                                                                                          • Figure 32: Key financial data for IBD Bikes UK Ltd, 2010-12
                                                                                                                        • Giant UK
                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Key financial data for Giant UK Limited, 2008-12
                                                                                                                          • Tandem Group plc
                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Key financial data for Tandem Group Cycles (formerly Falcon Cycles Ltd), 2008-12
                                                                                                                          • Channels to Market

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Online drives specialist share growth
                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: UK bicycle sales (units), by distribution channel, 2011-13
                                                                                                                              • Evans has leading high street presence
                                                                                                                                • Online specialists’ sales boom
                                                                                                                                  • Supermarkets get in on the act
                                                                                                                                  • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Spend hits a new high
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Trends in total advertising expenditure on bicycles, 2010-13
                                                                                                                                      • Brand promotion is very seasonal
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Indexed advertising expenditure on bicycles, by month, 2013
                                                                                                                                      • Halfords dominates spending
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Spend, by leading advertisers in the bicycles market, 2010-13
                                                                                                                                      • Press is the favoured medium for most
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Trends in total advertising expenditure on bicycles, by media type, 2010-13
                                                                                                                                      • Press advertising is quite fragmented
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Advertising expenditure and number of adverts, by press title, 2013
                                                                                                                                      • Some suppliers embrace social media
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Numbers of Facebook likes and Twitter followers for leading UK bicycle companies, February 2014
                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – How Often Do People Cycle?

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Just over a third of adults cycle
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Frequency of cycling, December 2013
                                                                                                                                        • Large base of lapsed cyclists offers significant potential
                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – What Do Cyclists Do?

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • No longer ‘them and us’
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Cycling involvement, December 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Helmets cause hairstyle problems but help is on the way
                                                                                                                                              • A fifth of Londoners have used hire cycles
                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – Attitudes Towards Financing New Bicycle Purchases

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Bicycle buyers prefer to pay in full
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Attitudes towards financing new bicycle purchases, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Regular cyclists happy to flash the plastic
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Attitudes towards financing new bicycle purchases, by frequency of cycling, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Attitudes towards financing new bicycle purchases, by frequency of cycling, December 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                • The Consumer – Attitudes Towards Cycling

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Safety of cycling is of paramount importance
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Attitudes towards cycling, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Even regular cyclists agree road cycling is too dangerous
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Attitudes towards cycling, by most popular frequency of cycling, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Attitudes towards cycling, by next most popular frequency of cycling, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: UK bicycles, value market size forecast scenarios, 2013-18
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: UK bicycles, volume market size forecast scenarios, 2013-18
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – The Consumer – How Often Do People Cycle?

                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Most popular frequency of cycling, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 53: Next most popular frequency of cycling, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – The Consumer – What Do Cyclists Do?

                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Most popular cycling involvement, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Next most popular cycling involvement, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 56: Cycling involvement, by frequency of cycling, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 57: Cycling involvement, by cycling involvement, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – The Consumer – Attitudes Towards Financing New Bicycle Purchases

                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Most popular attitudes towards financing new bicycle purchase, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Next most popular attitudes towards financing new bicycle purchase, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – The Consumer – Attitudes Towards Cycling

                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Most popular attitudes towards cycling, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Next most popular attitudes towards cycling, by demographics, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 62: Attitudes towards cycling, by most popular attitudes towards cycling, December 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Attitudes towards cycling, by next most popular attitudes towards cycling, December 2013

                                                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                  • Cannondale Bicycle Corporation
                                                                                                                                                  • Dawes Cycles Limited
                                                                                                                                                  • Dorel Industries Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Falcon Cycles Ltd
                                                                                                                                                  • Giant Manufacturing Co Ltd
                                                                                                                                                  • H Young Holdings PLC
                                                                                                                                                  • Halfords Ltd
                                                                                                                                                  • MV Sports Group Plc
                                                                                                                                                  • Pendleton Woolen Mills, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Raleigh America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Saracen Cycles Ltd
                                                                                                                                                  • Shimano
                                                                                                                                                  • Tandem Group
                                                                                                                                                  • Trek Bicycle Corporation

                                                                                                                                                  Bicycles - UK - March 2014

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