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How many drop-bar roadbikes are sold each year?(18 posts)

How many drop-bar roadbikes are sold each year?OldEdScott
Apr 16, 2003 9:25 AM
Tjeanloz or someone with industry insight should have a guess. I bet it's not that many.
7% of all bikes sold are road bikesDougSloan
Apr 16, 2003 9:31 AM
On OLN last night, "Bicycle Journal", I think, they stated that now 7% of all bikes sold are road bikes. They did nto define "road bike." FWIW.

Is this an increase in numbers? nmPEDDLEFOOT
Apr 16, 2003 9:52 AM
dunno, but answer might be here...DougSloan
Apr 16, 2003 10:23 AM
interesting articleDougSloan
Apr 16, 2003 10:26 AM U.S. Retail Bicycle Market Hits $4.2 Billion


JUNE 17, 2002 -- WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRAIN)--According to bicycle import figures collected by the U.S. Department of Commerce, last year U.S. bike suppliers imported 16.2 million bikes.
This statistic is one of the few solid numbers the U.S. bike industry has to track sales. Other than the few import categories tracked by the government, little hard data exists about the U.S. bike market.
Just how many bikes, how many wheels, how many saddles, how many cyclometers, how many of anything bike-related American consumers buy is open to speculation and debate.
With only three major bike companies producing bikes in the United States--American Bicycle Group, Cannondale and Trek--the government's import numbers represent about 95 percent of the U.S. bike market last year.
Best Guess. Using any facts and figures we could get our hands on, Bicycle Retailer & Industry News estimates that all U.S. retailers sold 19.6 million bikes last year.
This includes imports, 456,000 American-made bikes and the 3 million left in suppliers' inventories at the end of 2000. (See related story page 1 in the March 15, 2002 issue.)
According to the Commerce Department, the 16.2 million bikes suppliers imported had a declared landed value of $762.9 million. But what did that translate into at the retail cash register?
Taking into consideration other costs associated with importing bikes--an 11 percent duty, freight fees and insurance--and adding estimated supplier and retail margins, BRAIN's best estimate is that retail bike sales last year totaled $2.2 billion.
Of those, imports represented about $1.8 billion in retail sales.
Because nearly all the bikes made by U.S. manufacturers were sold though the specialty retail channel and were higher-price road and mountain bikes, we estimated their average retail price at $600 for a total of about $273.6 million.
Traditionally the specialty retail channel, while selling far fewer bikes than mass-merchant retailers, was thought to represent about half of the overall value. This, however, may no longer be the case.
Based on data from the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA), which tracks sales from member suppliers to specialty retailers, the dollar value of bicycles sold in the specialty retail channel dropped 8 percent to $957 million from the year before. This represents about 43 percent of the market.
Including the estimated $1 billion for parts and accessories sold through all retail channels, the total U.S. bicycle market may have a value of $3.2 billion.
But because of the lack of sales reporting done by U.S. bike companies, this figure does not include many other bike-related segments. For example, currently there are no sales figures for clothing, car racks and high-end and custom framesets. These categories may add another $1 billion to the total.
Falling Prices. Price points in the mass market are down about 10 percent in all categories, indicating a decline in margins for that segment. For example, the average landed cost of a 20-inch bike last year was $45 compared to $50 in 2000.
It's a myth that mass merchant suppliers can buy bikes for less and sell them for less than specialty retail bike suppliers can.
As it turns out, a Chinese bike that costs suppliers $100 will cost a consumer about $235 no matter which retail channel sells it.
This is because mass merchants work on much thinner margins than specialty retailers, but their suppliers must have higher margins in order to cover the added cost of servicing that channel.
And while mass-merchant suppliers may benefit from high volume sales, price erosion has cut their profits. Reports out of the China International Bicycle and Motor Fair in Shanghai indicated prices were down more than 10 percent over last year.

IBD Cash Cows. The opposite appears to be happening for specialty retailers who are losing low-price-point bikes to the mass merchants, but seeing their average retail selling price increase, along with their profits.
The National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA) reported that retail prices are up across the board, with road bikes posting the biggest jump from $1,117 to $1,180 in 2000.
The price of comfort bikes--a category that is now larger than hard-tail mountain bikes--also is on the rise.
Road bike sales also are increasing and moving up market. Sales of $4,000 road bikes in some parts of the country are common.

Next Generation. Everyone Bicycle Retailer & Industry News interviewed said they were bullish on 2002. Sales are already up over the same period last year and if the weather is warmer and dryer as predicted for many regions of the country, sales should remain strong. And consumer spending seems to have been unaffected by the slowing economy.
Still, many in the industry continue to focus on the lack of young people getting into cycling. Most agree that the road bike market belongs to 35-to-50-year-old cyclists.
"We continue to hear of the millions of cyclists we have lost over the last decade and I would ask, that while our sales are currently very strong, what is going to happen in 10 or 15 years? Our customers are in their 40s and 50s, and they do spend a lot, but they are not going to be around forever," said Al Budris, Veltec Sport's vice-president.
Fewer kids ride bikes for transportation to school and after-school activities and more kids spend their days in front of computers and television.
Getting more kids on bikes more often has become a major goal of many in the industry.
At this year's BPSA/NBDA joint conference there was renewed talk about growing the pie as an industry. A steady sales year may allow the industry to come together
a very interesting article... great find...PdxMark
Apr 16, 2003 1:21 PM
It's interesting that specialty retailers, as a whole, seem to be holding their own in the face of the mass retailer onslaught.

It also seems that one thing we can all best pass on to our our kids is an appreciation for riding a bike.
Couple of Reno-area dealers say they're close to 50%cory
Apr 16, 2003 12:14 PM
I happened to ask a couple of our local dealers recently for a story, and they both said the road bike market has really boomed the last year or two. We have good mountain biking all around, but they think everybody who wants an MB has one, and people who enjoy riding are turning to a form of it where they can GO somewhere. Just from personal experience, five years ago I saw no bikes to one or two on my 11-mile commute to town. These days I may see a dozen to (on weekends) as many as 30 or 40.
one told me 50% in dollars, but only 20% units nmDougSloan
Apr 16, 2003 12:33 PM
don't know about the numbersFrith
Apr 16, 2003 10:28 AM
But it sure seems as if Road bikes are on the rise. Maybe it's just me and my shift toward prodominant rodieism but I've noticed alot more this year than last.
Bikes sold vs. bikes used . . .ms
Apr 16, 2003 11:56 AM
If I were to base my observations on what I see on the roads around me, I would say that the number of road bikes is on the rise. But, when I am at my LBS (too often according to my wife), it seems like hybrids and mountain bikes are moving out the door much, much faster than the road bikes. I think that the answer may be that people who buy road bikes tend to use them more frequently than, at least, people who buy hybrids. One bit of anecdotal evidence: my sister bought a hybrid last summer. She "hasn't had a chance" to ride it yet. Now she is waiting for her husband to buy a hybrid. My guess is that when he buys his hybrid that he will not find the time to ride it either. I think that there are a lot of hybrids in garages and basements that have fewer miles on them than MB1 and Ms. M put on their bikes in a day.
Friends Don't Let Friends Ride Hybrids... (nm)Gregory Taylor
Apr 16, 2003 12:44 PM
Is it better to ride a hybrid or not at all?ms
Apr 16, 2003 1:13 PM
I bought a hybrid three years ago to ride with my kids. They decided that they did not want to ride, I got the bug and within a few months I had a road bike. The hybrid now sits in the garage -- the last time I used it was in February to ride in the snow (I didn't go very far, but I wanted to say that I had done it). My road bike spent last night in the shop (minor repairs). I am an occasional commuter (2-3 time per week in daylight savings time). Today is a great day, but I just didn't want to ride the hybrid 29 miles (roundtrip mileage). So, I didn't ride to work and now I am trying to get out of the office early so that I can pick up my road bike and get in a ride before dark. Should have I ridden the hybrid? Now that I know what a road bike is like, I find that a ride on the hybrid (other than a short ride with the kids) is more frustrating that satisfying. My initial experience with the hybrid was a success -- I graduated to a road bike. But, I wonder how many hybrid owners who ride only a few times before the hybrid is consigned to non-use would have ridden more if they had bought a decent road bike.
I was being a smart aleck...but you have a point.Gregory Taylor
Apr 16, 2003 1:27 PM
There are probably a lot of folks who don't ride more because they have a hybrid or some other bike that isn't comfortable. The very upright position places more of a strain on the kiester and naughty bits, which can make longer rides a bit painful. Fatter tires can be harder to push along.

I wouldn't have ridden the hybrid either.
Partly, people just need a place to ride...PdxMark
Apr 16, 2003 1:31 PM
Here in Portland we have seen bicycles accepted as part of the main transportation system planning. As a result, bike commuting has more than doubled over the past few years. It's a real joy to be at the stop light on the way to work with 4-6 other cyclists each day (during the summer).

I think one real goal for cycling advocacy here is to get cycling accepted and adopted for real, everyday transportation. That has meant bike lanes, bike boulevards, bike parking, etc. It's different from our serious recreational riding... it's nuts and bolts, day-in, day-out transportation.

The routes for this are diffrent from the ones for recreational riding. These transportation routes are urban, stop and go, mixed with cars... But the number of commuters could be close to, or greater than, the number of serious cyclists... We're all riding bikes...

It seems to be the case here... build it and they will come.

And some people ride amazingly crappy bikes for their commutes. It makes me appreciate what a luxury nice bikes are.
Hybrids are functional road bikes...Fredrico
Apr 17, 2003 12:22 PM
Hardcore roadies who ride expensive high tech drop bar bikes for sport can be real snobbish about cheap hybrids and the folks who ride them. Hybrids are fine for going along the bikepaths for an hour or two on a weekend outing, or commuting. My daughter and her husband go out on them a couple of times a month. He commutes to work on his, 5 miles one way, all the time. She takes the car to work. Hybrids have durable wheels and tires, are nicely set-up and geared for easy riding, and don't require a large investment.

The average hybrid rider out on W&OD in VA, for example, isn't out to emulate Lance Armstrong, but just go someplace, breathe the fresh air, and get some exercise. You can push your limits and compete with others, but basically that's what cycling is all about.
a lot has to do with pricelaffeaux
Apr 16, 2003 2:52 PM
Somone who is looking for a basic bike is less likely to buy a road bike as they cost significantly more than MTBs, hybrids, or comfort bikes. The absolute cheapest road bike that you can buy at a LBS is about $550. For that price you have several MTBs to choose from starting at below $300. For about $500 you can get an okay MTB, and you still can't afford a Sora equipped road bike. People who don't expect to ride much, or look at bikes as a toy or not willing to spend the money on a road bike.
a lot has to do with priceNug
Apr 16, 2003 4:36 PM
I agree- the initial price point is exactly why I first bought a hybrid when I returned to the fold after 20 years. Within 1 1/2 years I now have 3 - a road and MB as well. The hybrid's not a waste- it's my around town with the kids and winter/rain road bike. I've upgraded it so it's basically a flat bar road bike, and hang with "road bikes" all the time on it. In June I'm riding across 3 states on it. (no rack on my TCR 2)
re: How many drop-bar roadbikes are sold each year?toomanybikes
Apr 16, 2003 7:00 PM
One of our local bike shops, in a mountain area, has this year moved 50 % of their floor space out of mountain bikes and gone to high end road bikes, most are equipped with Campy, Centaur and above.

This is real positive change from my perspective as I have not been able to buy Campy here up to now, had to wait for business trips.

50% is quite a move to make if you don't thnk you're going to sell them.