Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bicycle Sales Mixed in 2008

from a report in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, March 1, 2009, Vol. 18, No. 3

"The good news for bicycle suppliers is that bikes sold better than cars last year. The bad news is that when gas crossed the $4/gallon threshhold in June, bike sales tanked"

Although sales dropped tremendously in the fourth quarter, for the entire year they rose 2% compared with 2007.

Bikes to be used on pavement are increasing in popularity and now account for 64% of the overall market. Bikes used on pavement probably accounts for even more of the sales because entry level mountain bikes, often used for commuting, were not included in that figure.

Hybrid sales climbed, and utility bikes are clearly the direction consumers are headed. This is evidenced by increased sales of accessories such as lights, fenders and racks. Comfort bike sales decreased, apparently migrating to the hybrids. Mountain bike sales declined.

Hybrid bikes can be used on or off road. They have medium width tires and flat handlebars. Comfort bikes are beginner's bikes with suspension seatposts and suspension forks, for a very soft ride.

The article included a note about bikes being made in Ghana of bamboo. One has been made that can carry up to 400 pounds of cargo.

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