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January wholesale bike sales flat; but who bought that 26-inch dualie?

Published February 26, 2019
Was it you?

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — On occasion, industry data gets so granular — or so small — that you can start speculating about the identity of the companies and retailers behind the numbers. For example, in January, one U.S. wholesaler sold one 26-inch dual suspension mountain bike to a customer, for $499 wholesale. It was the only 26-inch full suspension bike sold last month by a member of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association. If you sold it, or bought it, drop us a line. 

The disappearance of 26-inch mountain bikes in the dealer market is not news of course. In January last year, only seven full suspension 26-inchers sold at wholesale. More notable is the shift last year in the types of mountain bikes and road bikes sold at wholesale. These trends are shown in the graphs included with this article. Just in the last 12 months, sales of 27.5-inch mountain bikes have plummeted, as 29ers regained market share. And on the dropbar side, the "other" category, including gravel bikes, grew 20 percent in January, while most other road categories declined.

Overall, sales were flat by dollars in January, compared to the same month last year, at $62 million. In units, sales were down 9 percent due to higher average value. 

Supplier inventory value was up nearly 20 percent in January, to $307 million. In units in stock, inventory was up just 1.3 percent. The "other" road bike category was up 152 percent over the prior year, while unsuspended mountain bikes and 29-inch full suspension bikes also showed major inventory increases. E-bike inventory was up 28 percent.

Most other bike category inventory levels were down. And in case you wanted a collector item, BPSA members ended January with 44 full suspension 26-inch mountain bikes in inventory — down 86 percent from the inventory level a year before.



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