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In celebration of the 2018 Tour de France, Mintel – which coined the acronym MAMIL (Middle-Aged Man In Lycra) in 2010 – has compiled 15 must-know facts about the British cycling industry. From the traditional road bike to the ebike revolution (good enough for the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and even Prince Charles), Mintel takes you on the tour de Britain’s cycling market.

  • The value of the UK bicycles market is estimated to have increased by 5% in 2017, reaching a wheel-spinning £1.07 billion from £1.01 billion in 2016. Going up a gear, market value grew by around 22% between 2012-17; and volume sales are now estimated at just under 3 million bicycles per annum.
  • One in three (29%) Brits participate in cycling to some degree, although the number of adults who say they cycle once a week or more has dropped by a percentage point every year for the last five years, falling from 18% in 2014 to 15% in December 2017.
  • The number of ‘lapsed cyclists’ (those who used to cycle but have stopped and say they would not restart) has spun upwards from 22% to 26% between 2013-17.
  • Pedaling in the right direction, the pool of new ‘potential riders’ (those who don’t currently cycle but say they would consider doing so in the future) has remained fairly steady since 2013 at 32% of the adult population.
  • Highlighting strong market potential, one in seven (69%) of those who currently cycle or would consider cycling agree with the statement ‘I’d cycle more often/start cycling if the roads were made safer (eg more protected cycle lanes)’.
  • Almost a decade after Mintel coined the acronym MAMIL, the cycling gender gap shows no sign of closing, as cycling participation among men stands at 37%, compared to 22% of women.
  • Indicating that cycling is the new golf, while 29% of UK adults overall currently cycle, participation rises to 44% among the AB professional/upper managerial group. Indeed, proving you can never be too posh to pedal, some 53% of the £75,000+ household income group currently cycle.
  • Roughly two thirds of cyclists are prepared to pay up to £500 for a new bicycle. This is split by 33% who would spend £100-£300, followed by 25% who would spend £301-£500. An impressive 29% of cyclists are willing to spend above £500.
  • Wish you were here? 12% of cyclists have been on a bike holiday/overnight tour over the past 12 months. There is significant scope for expanding this market as 28% of cyclists express an interest in going on a cycling holiday in the future.
  • The mountain bike is Brits’ preferred two-wheeled vehicle, owned by 43% of Britain’s cyclists. This is a long way ahead of road bikes (21%), classic/traditional/city bikes (20%) and hybrids (15%).
  • Pimp my ride – some 25% of cyclists are interested in the idea of buying a fully personalised bike, featuring a personal choice of colours and components.
  • Aspiring to the likes of Froome and Wiggins, 10% of cyclists take part in club cycling events, while 8% take part in other organised events such as sportives and charity rides. Overall, 60% of all cyclists are interested in improving their cycling performance, whether that involves riding further, or just increasing their average speed.
  • In praise of lycra, some 48% of cyclists say they like to wear ‘stylish or fashionable’ cycle clothing. Cycling fashionistas peak amongst male 16-34s (64%). Men are just as likely to be fashion-conscious as women.
  • With a host of new dockless schemes currently entering UK cities, today one in three (32%) cyclists use a cycle hire/bike share scheme. Usage is very highly skewed towards cyclists under 45; 41% use these schemes compared with just 9% of over-45s.
  • Finally, for those looking for less of a gruelling cycling challenge than the imminent Tour de France, it seems that e-bikes are poised for takeoff. According to Mintel, just under one in ten (8%) cyclists own an e-bike, while a further 12% say they are likely to purchase one in the next 12 months.

Press review copies of Mintel’s Cycling UK 2018 report are available on request from the press office.