The cycling market experiences a surge in demand in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before COVID-19, we have taken for granted how natural it is for us to move around and exercise our physical bodies as we go through our daily routines.
Now that we are forced to stay in our homes, there is a need for conscious effort to keep ourselves in motion so as to prevent the degradation of our bodies.
In line with this, survey data from the NPD Group reveals that bicycle and bicycle services saw a spike in sales in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adult leisure bicycles are the biggest drivers of growth in sales in the market, recording a 121% year-on-year (YoY) increase in March 2020. Electric bikes also experienced considerable growth (+85%) in the same month compared to the previous year.
Those who are conscious about their health appear to have taken cycling as their alternative physical activity amid the pandemic, with a 66-percentage-point increase in sales on commuter and fitness bikes.
Lastly, parents wanting their children to be physically active during the pandemic is also increasing the demand for children’s bikes. According to the NPD group, the sales for this type of bicycle experienced a 59% YoY increase in March 2020.
“Consumers are looking for outdoor- and kid-friendly activities to better tolerate the challenges associated with stay-at-home orders, and cycling fits the bill well,” according to NPD sports industry analyst Dirk Sorenson.
Cities in Europe are reshaping their streets to make them more accommodating to walking and cycling through the construction of walking and bike zones.
As lockdown measures are being lifted gradually, these two modes of mobility are deemed better than public transportation in maintaining social distancing.
Furthermore, they are far more sustainable than the pre-pandemic norm of using private cars. These street makeovers in Europe and other parts of the world are making the cities favorable for the growth of the cycling industry.
The preference for bikes is also felt among consumers. According to the survey of the U.S. based bike maker, Trek, 85 % of the respondents believe that cycling is a safer means of moving around compared to public transportation amid COVID-19.
In addition, 63% of the respondents from the same survey also believe that using bikes helps them relieve some of the stress and anxiety they have been experiencing during this global pandemic.
The changes in lifestyle brought upon by COVID-19 didn’t increase the sales of bikes only — it increased the sales of the sports industry goods and services in general.
“The consumer lifestyle shift as a result of the current circumstances has put the sports business in a unique position compared to most other industries,” according to NPD senior advisor, Matt Powell.
Powell expects that this shift in demand will renew the emphasis on health and fitness in the long run.
With lifestyle diseases accounting for a growing number of deaths in recent years, this renewed appreciation for physical well-being is a change much welcomed in the new world after COVID-19.