BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Suppliers shipped 8 percent fewer bikes over the first nine months of the year compared with the same period in 2015, according to the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association’s September sell-in report. The shortfall represents a loss of $49.9 million in wholesale business for suppliers.
Particularly troubling in BPSA’s September report was the precipitous fall in business during the month of September compared to the same month in 2015. Month-to-month, unit shipments were down 18 percent and dollars were down 14 percent.
Year to date, lifestyle and comfort bikes were the hardest hit. Shipments in those categories fell 20 percent, a loss of 54,052 bikes. Road bikes of all types followed with 29,025 fewer bikes shipped, and mountain bikes shipments declined by 25,512 bikes, a 5 percent loss.
Electric and commuter/town bikes, however, bucked the trend. Both categories posted big gains. Electric bike shipments grew 75 percent, putting an extra $13.4 million in the pockets of suppliers. Shipments of commuter/town bikes have bounced around over the past year due to suppliers changing the way they categorize the bikes. Still, the category was up 63 percent, with 21,518 more bikes shipped through the third quarter.
Other categories that showed growth were lower-priced men’s and women’s performance road and 27.5-inch front- and full-suspension mountain bikes. However, the increase in 27.5-inch business continues to erode sales of other mountain bike wheel sizes.