Just a quick chat with the person behind the counter at your local bike shop is enough to make it pretty obvious that the sales of bikes and equipment have slowed since the period when COVID-19 pandemic sent rider numbers swelling, however that doesn’t mean the sector as a whole is on the wane. An Australian report this week revealed that the bounce back of cycling tourism has more than taken up the slack.
The WeRide Australia report into the Australian cycling and e-scooter economy has estimated the direct economic contribution of cycling in 2022 at $6.7 billion – in local currency – up from $6.3 billion in 2020. The biggest gain was delivered by a more than 60% increase in the amount spent on cycling tourism, which accounted for $1.9 billion.
The report, put together by Ernst and Young, also concluded that when the indirect output was added the total economic contribution of cycling in Australia could be valued at $16.9 billion. They also said there was another $738 million from e-scooters – which were also wrapped in as part of the study – and a further $954 in health and social benefits from cycling.
“The triple bottom line benefits of the sector are significant, generating thousands of jobs as well as providing health and environmental benefits, making investment in cycling and e-scooters a national imperative,” said WeRide’s Executive Officer Peter Bourke.
“Not only did the sector contribute over $18bn in economic, health and social benefits to Australia in 2022, cycling also avoided the release of 514,096 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in greenhouse gas emissions and 2.2 million kilograms of air pollutants into the atmosphere across the year, with bike commuting replacing the equivalent of $3.9bn km’s of motor vehicle travel.”
The number of bikes sold fell by about 8% from 2020 to 2022, to a total of 1.6 million, however with an increase in the average cost of each bike sold to $1,128 the value of those sales actually rose over $200 million to $1.785 billion, however cycling related purchases plunged from $3.1 billion to $2.2 billion.
Electric powered bikes were the only category where sales increased, ballooning from an estimated 54,157 to 193,061, while the biggest decrease came in the children’s category, falling 23 percent to 363,359 bikes. The declines are also expected to continue through this year and next.
“Industry data suggests that there is an oversupply of bikes in the market in 2023,” said the report….