BikeBiz April 2021

Page 21

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Cycling technology performs strongly during pandemic Cycling is pushing boundaires, writes Sports Marketing Surveys’ Marc Anderman...

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ycling is pushing boundaries. From parts design to routes to market, bike share to intelligent transport systems, the industry is making cycling safer, affordable and more accessible. Innovation in cycling technology is fueling this shift, as the Bicycle Association Market Data Service (MDS), powered by Sports Marketing Surveys reports. The data shows that technology was the fastest-growing sub-category in 2020 within cycling parts, accessories and apparel, rising by 67% against 2019 levels. The MDS tracked over £63 million of sales related to cycling technology in 2020. While it still only accounts for around one-third of the sales value of cycling parts and apparel, the category is on the rise. Working from home and restrictions on outdoor exercise have boosted this sector. Just as sales of dumbbells and free weights soared, for some consumers, products like turbo trainers, where sales value grew by over 100% in 2020, have offered novel ways to exercise from home in the absence of gyms. Meanwhile, for existing cyclists, restrictions on group riding have made home cycling more appealing. With services like Zwift and RGT Cycling allowing structured riding, competition and social interaction, as well as a chance to mix it with the pros in virtual mass-participation races or live streams, never has cycling technology allowed people to get closer to the road. The impact of this can be seen in the increase in the average selling price within the turbo trainers and home exercise category of 42% year-on-year. This is a direct result of people buying/upgrading to smart trainers

instead of standard trainers in order to enable them to connect to services like Zwift and RGT. The race to go virtual has now propelled Zwift to a billion-dollar valuation, and a pandemic doubling in terms of subscriber numbers.

The MDS tracked over £63 million of sales related to cycling technology in 2020

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