WASHINGTON, DC (BRAIN) — Imports through August are up 29 percent overall, reaching 12,470,453 bikes, 2.8 million more bikes than 2011, which was the lowest year for imports in more than a decade.
Imports so far are 4 percent over the average of the previous five years, 2006 to 2010, though down a million bikes compared with August 2010. The bulk of the gain is in kids' categories that were up more than 30 percent. Yet the adult categories of road and mountain bikes are up 19 and 18 percent, respectively.
Though unit imports are up 29 percent, the value of those imports rose only 16 percent, and average unit value fell 10 percent to $86. The average value of a road bike was $304 last year and $259 so far this year, a drop of 15 percent. Since 29ers are captured in this 700c category, the drop in average 29er prices partly explains the category's falling value.
Imports from Taiwan continue to fall, down 9 percent so far this year. And while some of Taiwan’s Southeast Asian neighbors, like Cambodia and Vietnam, are picking up bike business with the United States, imports from Europe are also higher than they have been over the past few years.