IT’S NOT all about the bike, according to new research which reveals the growing market for bicycle accessories in the UK.
According to Mintel, the bike is simply the tip of the iceberg as today’s cyclists are splashing out more on the accessories than bikes themselves.
Indeed, the UK market for bicycle accessories - which Mintel defines as including bicycle parts, accessories and clothing - was valued at £1.25bn, compared to the £956m spent on bikes in the same year.
While sales of bikes are set to top the £1bn mark by the end of this year, Britons will spend an even more impressive £1.35bn on accessories.
Over the past five years, sales of accessories have outstripped that of the bicycles market, increasing 28 per cent between 2010 and 2014. Meanwhile, bicycle sales have increased 23 per cent over the same period.
This year, the average spend on accessories among all 15.8m cyclists is set to reach £79, while the average spend among the 11.85m cyclists who ride once a month or more often will reach £106.
While MAMILs – middle-aged men in Lycra – still rule the roads, there are an increasing number of women now taking to the saddle, according to Mintel.
Michael Oliver, analyst, said: “Cycling is no longer regarded simply as a cheap means of transport, a bicycle is now regarded as a lifestyle accessory, an expression of an individual in the same way as driving a premium sports car or belonging to a golf club. “This is positive news for accessory suppliers, because it means that many of their potential customers are not buying on price alone, instead brand, quality and product features are also key factors influencing purchase.”