According to the latest bike sales figures from the Bicycle Association seen by Cycle Maintenance Academy, UK bike sales have fallen by 25% against pre-COVID levels, while eBike sales have stalled from their previous surge. The one area of growth in new bike sales, however, is eCargo bikes, sales of which increased by 37% in the 12 months to May 2022, compared with the previous year.
Interestingly, this fall and staling in new bike sales seem to correspond to a growth in people accessing bike maintenance information, specifically bike maintenance videos online which suggests the cost-of-living crisis is pushing more cyclists to fix and maintain their existing bikes rather than replacing for new. This growth in home bike maintenance may also have a knock-on effect on people using the services of cycle repair centers as they look to reduce cycling expenditure further.
The sales report also concludes that total cycle market volume is down by 28% and value down by 26% in the first half of 2022 when compared to the first half of 2021. – this slight discrepancy in percentages is explained by the general increase in value of individual bikes and accessories over recent years.
The report also says 2022 may be the ‘low water mark’ of a post-Covid slump, with recovery likely to be slow, held back by global and local market forces. This slowdown has also been exasperated by supply chain issues with bike components required to fulfill new bike sales being in short supply due to China‘s tight covid restrictions.
Despite this, and according to the Department for Transport figures, cycling is up 33% on pre-pandemic levels, with a sharper increase to 39% above pre-pandemic levels since March when fuel prices started to increase and take effect on the household budget. This growth in cycling combined with the fall in new bike sales is likely to increase the resale value of quality used bikes, the need for bike maintenance training or “how to” videos, and replacement bike components.
Arek, founder of The Cycle Maintenance Academy in Manchester has seen for himself the results of these changes in consumer behaviour. The company launched a You Tube Channel dedicated to providing bike maintenance videos aimed at cyclists with various maintenance knowledge levels and since its launch, in March 2021 the Channel has reached over 500,000 views on topics such as How to adjust bike disc brakes.
How to adjust the front suspension on a mountain bike, and How to fix a bike puncture. The appetite for maintaining your own bike seems to be growing and viewing figures suggest this growth is likely to continue into 2023.
To say thank you to all their viewers, Cycle Maintenance Academy is offering free of charge a basic maintenance online course that they have created. This course has previously been on sale at £60 per person.