New Articles
  November 3rd, 2020 | Written by

Expansion of Bike Sharing Services and Increased Consumer Attention to Health Support the Global Bicycle Market After the Pandemic Wanes

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="13106399"]


  • The combination of these factors disrupts economic growth heavily throughout the world.
  • The global bicycle market reached 203M units, expanding by an average +1.6% from 2007-2019.
  • Hampered by the pandemic, the market is set to languish in 2020 and then start growing gradually.

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Bicycles And Other Cycles (Not Motorized) – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The Global Bicycle Expanded Moderately Due to the Emergence of Bike-Sharing Enterprises and Rising Traffic Problems

In 2019, the global bicycle (and other forms of the cycle, but not motorized), (hereafter referred to as ‘bicycle’) market reached 203M units, expanding by an average +1.6% from 2007-2019. In wholesale prices, the market totaled $19B, leveling off against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenue of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price).

The market trend remained relatively stable over the period from 2007 to 2017, with the growth accelerating in the last two years. This expansion can be explained for the relatively widespread use of bike-sharing systems in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

China (65M units) constituted the country with the largest volume of bicycle consumption, accounting for 32% of total volume (IndexBox estimates). Moreover, bicycle consumption in China exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest consumer, India (19M units), threefold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by the U.S. (18M units), with a 9.1% share. In value terms, the largest bicycle markets worldwide were China ($3.1B), the U.S. ($1.8B), and the Netherlands ($976M), together comprising 31% of the global market.

In 2019, the highest levels of bicycle per capita consumption were registered in the Netherlands (242 units per 1000 persons), followed by Italy (62 units per 1000 persons), Turkey (58 units per 1000 persons), and Japan (57 units per 1000 persons), while the world average per capita consumption of bicycle was estimated at 26 units per 1000 persons.

European cities are ideal for cycling, as a result of their climate, geography, and short distances. In cities like Amsterdam, a bicycle is an integral form of urban transport. Almost a quarter of the total population of the Netherlands rides a bike every day.

Recent advances in the development of mobile apps and GPS systems have resulted in the emergence of collaborative bicycle-sharing enterprises. These systems work using a mobile-based-app; this enables the user to source the nearest bicycle, rent it, and then finish the ride in a convenient place.

The growing traffic congestion and lack of parking spaces, particularly in metropolitan areas, is making people think about choosing to cycle short distances rather than using the car, in a bid to save time. Equally, the governments of various countries are heavily investing in infrastructure and supporting the development of cycling culture, thereby encouraging people to use this form of transport. Cycling would also contribute to a fall in harmful emissions and a reduction in traffic congestion.

The Current Healthy Lifestyle Trend, With the Expansion of Cycling Culture to Promote Market Growth

In early 2020, however, the global economy entered a period of crisis caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to battle the spread of the virus, most countries in the world implemented quarantine measures that put on halt production and transport activity. The combination of those factors disrupts economic growth heavily throughout the world.

In Asian countries, especially China, which faced the pandemic earlier than others, the epidemic situation improved earlier, with the quarantine measures largely relaxed, and the economy is gradually recovering from the forced outage.

Thus, in China, by the end of 2020, an increase of 1% is expected (while a year earlier it was 6.1%), and in general in Southeast Asia in 2020, an increase of 0.5% is expected. In the medium term, it is assumed that the economy will gradually recover over several years as the restrictions are finally lifted. The U.S., meanwhile, is struggling with a drastic short-term recession, with the expected contraction of GDP of approx. -6.1% in 2020, as the hit of the pandemic was extremely hard, and unemployment soared due to the shutdown and social isolation.

On the one hand, falling incomes of the population and quarantine measures in the spring of 2020 are factors that hinder the development of the bicycle market, which as a product does not belong to essential goods. At the same time, as the quarantine restrictions are lifted, the market may start to grow, because after a long quarantine people want more physical activity, and a bicycle is a very convenient solution in limited urban space since it is adapted for rather long trips and allows to maintain a comfortable distance from other people. In addition, the focus on healthy lifestyles will increase further after the pandemic, which will drive demand for bicycles.

It is projected that the consumption of bicycles is set to recover quickly from the pandemic and then to expand in the medium term, given the increase in population, the current healthy lifestyle trend, the growing number of bicycle-sharing schemes, and the gradual consolidation of cycling culture. At the same time, the increasing use of electric bicycles and other forms of electric transport could restrict the further expansion of the traditional bicycle market.

Hampered by the pandemic, the market is set to languish in 2020 and then start growing gradually. In the medium term, driven by increasing demand for bicycles worldwide, the market is expected to continue an upward consumption trend, expanding with an anticipated CAGR of +0.6% for the period from 2019 to 2030, which is projected to bring the market volume to 217M units by the end of 2030.

The U.S., Europe, and South-Eastern Asia Remain the Largest Bike Importers

In 2019, supplies from abroad of bicycles and other non-motorized cycles decreased by -0.3% to 78M units, falling for the third consecutive year after two years of growth. Overall, imports saw a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2010 when imports increased by 17% year-to-year. As a result, imports reached a peak of 86M units. From 2011 to 2019, the growth of global imports failed to regain momentum. In value terms, bicycle imports fell modestly to $8.4B (IndexBox estimates) in 2019.

In 2019, the U.S. (13M units), distantly followed by Indonesia (7.5M units) and Japan (6.2M units) represented the key importers of bicycles and other non-motorized cycles, together mixing up 34% of total imports. The following importers – the Netherlands (3M units), Germany (3M units), the UK (2.9M units), France (2M units), Canada (1.7M units), South Korea (1.5M units), the Philippines (1.5M units), Iran (1.4M units) and Australia (1.4M units) – together made up 24% of total imports.

From 2007 to 2019, the biggest increases were in Indonesia, while purchases for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest bicycle importing markets worldwide were the U.S. ($1.3B), Germany ($795M), and the Netherlands ($675M), with a combined 33% share of global imports. Japan, the UK, France, Canada, Australia, South Korea, Iran, Indonesia, and the Philippines lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 28%.

Canada recorded the highest growth rate of the value of imports, among the main importing countries over the period under review, while purchases for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform