Bicycles have been part of our world for over 200 years, and even now, the world of biking is ever-changing. With fluctuating financial situations impacting the recognition of biking within the UK, and technological improvements enabling producers to supply a wider vary of merchandise, the biking business is at all times altering.
Following the coronavirus pandemic and through a interval of financial hardship in Britain, the demand for brand spanking new bikes had lessened – but it surely seems to be to be growing once more in 2024. Digital bikes are having fun with excessive reputation and curiosity from customers, being the preferred kind of motorbike cyclists deliberate to buy in 2023. If the business is recovering from a fallow interval, the place can we anticipate customers to take us subsequent? Be part of Mintel as we uncover the tendencies shaping the way forward for the biking business within the UK.
Biking Business Client Behaviour
There was an attention-grabbing dynamic at play in 2023 between present cyclists and potential cyclists. Though there was a 5% enhance in present cyclists from 2019 to 2023, there has additionally been a 5% drop in potential cyclists. Maybe that is explainable by potential cyclists starting to cycle frequently within the intervening interval, and subsequently fulfilling their potential.
If not, although, then why is participation in biking growing whereas curiosity declines? This will partly be defined by the truth that greater than half of Brits are postpone by the rising prices of bicycles, so we will see that the monetary implications of an curiosity in biking could also be alienating to customers. For many who are all in favour of taking on biking as a interest or mode of transport, the rising market of subscription providers and rental bikes presents a substitute for inaccessibly costly possession. For manufacturers, leases might provide a inventive answer to shopper reluctance to buy bikes, particularly eBikes.
With eBike product improvement accelerating at a fast tempo, and new launches, choices, and types of bikes accessible to customers, the participation has widened out – these all in favour of biking can discover a level of entry from extra numerous positions than beforehand. With a better number of worth factors accessible to customers, fewer cyclists are being priced out of utilizing eBikes than prior to now.
Biking Participation in Males & Ladies
There’s an attention-grabbing disparity in biking between women and men within the UK. Of those that frequently cycle, virtually twice as many males are represented than ladies. Nonetheless, greater than 95% of each women and men personal a motorcycle – so with virtually all the inhabitants, no matter gender, proudly owning a motorcycle it’s unclear why so many extra males are biking than ladies.
Extra males than ladies reported that decreasing their transportation spending has pushed them into biking extra frequently, so to an extent this disparity may be considered as a easy distinction in budgeting priorities. Additional, extra ladies than males agreed that the value of residing disaster has put them off buying a motorcycle, whereas extra ladies than males see eBikes as being too costly. For girls, it seems biking is just not a budgetary precedence, which is hampering participation charges. In Mintel’s UK Train Developments Report from 2023, we will see that 12% extra males than ladies sometimes get pleasure from endurance exercises, like biking, whereas ladies are likely to want low-impact exercises.
Biking could be a mode of transport, however it could additionally signify a type of train, and we will see how ladies have a tendency to decide on different types of train and will not be shifting their price range away from utilizing public transport. These are key areas the place males are extra considerably represented than ladies, and the place a few of the gender disparity in biking habits turns into evidenced.
Rising Biking Developments and Improvements
Regardless of rising curiosity, digital bikes aren’t something new, with main rental gamers like Lime Bike and Forest launching within the late 2010s and loads of personal possession being pretty commonplace because the Nineties. Nonetheless, it’s plain that eBikes are a rising pattern in 2024. Between 2019 and 2023, possession of digital bikes within the UK rose from 6% to 13%, greater than doubling in simply 4 years. Though biking participation has elevated in that point, the rise has not been so dramatic, which suggests that there’s extra at play than merely the enchantment of biking. Digital bikes have an enchantment of their very personal.
This enchantment covers a number of broad areas; well being, comfort, value, and sustainability. When asking potential and present eBike customers what they’d use an electrical bicycle for, commuting, operating errands, saving cash on transportation, and assembly mates/household have been all named by virtually half of respondents. The most well-liked response was for leisure bike rides. This variety in response highlights how versatile eBikes are perceived as being by customers, who’re all in favour of utilizing eBikes for work and play; for budgeting and sustainability.
One other rising pattern that additionally speaks to the success of firms like Lime and Forest, in addition to Santander Cycles in London, are bike rental and subscription providers. With greater than half of British customers stating that the price of residing disaster is stopping them from having the ability to buy a brand new bike, and expense being the first obstacle to purchasing eBikes, subscription providers and bicycle rental provide an alternate entry level to biking that’s extra instantly inexpensive.
Greater than 2 in 5 cyclists aged 16-34 stated that they’d be all in favour of a bicycle subscription for themselves, whereas the next quantity could be all in favour of a subscription for his or her kids. Subscriptions like Buzzbike provide versatile subscriptions to make use of a bicycle and entry repairs with out committing to full-time possession or having to pay the upfront value of a bicycle, which may be costly. With dad and mom notably keen to purchase into bike subscriptions for his or her kids, at a stage in life the place bikes may be outgrown shortly, subscription providers provide an alternate methodology of participation which will work effectively for households battling the price of residing disaster.
Trying Forward with Mintel
The biking business is in a precarious place within the UK, with main potential progress by means of improvements and new applied sciences, however with dwindling curiosity in biking. Cycle manufacturers have the chance to capitalise on the well being advantages, sustainability credentials, and money-saving potential provided by biking, so ought to deal with pushing biking in non-traditional methods.
As an alternative of counting on classically profitable branding and advertising and marketing taking a look at biking as a interest, companies inside the UK biking business might deal with commuters as a significant market. Branding and advertising and marketing may additionally look in the direction of a sustainability push, as this is a vital concern for British customers in 2024.
For manufacturers which supply revolutionary, non-traditional entry factors to biking, this uniqueness must be a key to success. Worth factors of eBikes are sometimes a barrier to entry, so the choice, extra optimistic, attributes of eBikes must be targeted on speaking how electrical bikes are worthy of funding. Once more, sustainability and long-term private monetary financial savings could also be core elements of this push.
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