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NPD: Big-wheel MTBs rolling over other fat tire categories in stores

Published September 5, 2018
E-bikes and disc road bikes also driving sales, contributing to 3% growth in IBD revenue.

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Retail sales of 29-inch mountain bikes grew $36 million in the 12 months ending in June, taking dollar share from 27.5-inch bikes, according to The NPD Group. Twenty-niners now account for 41 percent of dollars sold in mountain bikes at IBDs.

The NPD Group's Dirk Sorenson shared this among other insights in a recent webinar discussing cycling trends as the industry prepares to head to Reno, Nevada, for the Interbike show in two weeks.

Mountain bikes accounted for $600 million in sales at IBDs over the past year, making up the single largest category at specialty stores. The category grew 5 percent through June of this year, with most of the growth in full-suspension bikes.

Sorenson noted that with SRAM's Eagle 12-speed drivetrain spec'd on bikes in the $2,500 to $3,000 price band, many consumers are moving to that price range. But the $4,500 to $4,999 price band is also growing in mountain bikes.

The road category was down 5 percent to $424 million in IBDs, while 'cross/gravel bikes (a subcategory of road) were up 15 percent to $66 million. In road, the typically most popular price band — $500 to $2,000 — is losing share to bands above that. Sorenson attributed that to widespread adoption of disc brakes.

Unlike road and mountain where consumers are opting for more expensive bikes, in e-bikes it's the lower price bands where the market is seeing gains. The category has seen a 78 percent increase year over year at bike shops, reaching $101 million in sales, according to NPD data.

Sorenson listed the top 15 categories at IBDs over the past year, showing the strong growth in e-bikes, shop service (up 10 percent, or $315 million in total business), components (up 3 percent, or $73 million in total business), and shifting/brakes (up 4 percent, or $68 million in total business).

Overall, Sorenson said sales at IBDs were up 3 percent to $3.1 billion from June of 2017 to June of this year. Sales of bike accessories declined 3 percent while all other categories were flat or grew slightly over the period.

Considering the entire bike market, including "rest of market" retail (online, sporting goods, mass, and outdoor), sales June through June grew 2 percent to $5.8 billion, Sorenson said. Sales of complete bikes were up 3.5 to 4 percent. Helmet/footwear and gloves were up 3 percent and shop services were up 6 percent.

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