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BPSA: Bikes down, dollars up in July and year-to-date numbers

Published August 22, 2018
Recent bike category trends continue: BMX and e-bikes are growing, along with full-suspension mountain bikes and gravel bikes.

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Bike shipments to dealers were off 5.6 percent through July, or 77,329 bikes fewer than the same period last year. But there was good news: dollar business was up $43.4 million to $667.5 million year to date.

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The higher price of e-bikes, full-suspension mountain bikes, and drop-bar gravel road bikes — all of which were up in unit shipments — help explain the growth in dollar business.

Through the first six months, shipments were off only 73,795 bikes. July on July comparisons show a nearly 2 percent drop off in bike shipments.

Shipments in July were off in many categories, including lifestyle/leisure (down 9.8 percent), mountain bike (down 3.8 percent), road (down 3.7 percent) and transit fitness (down 12.5 percent).

Still, suppliers shipped more BMX (up 118.7 percent), "other" (up 107.5 percent) and youth bikes (up 2.7 percent). The "other" category was bolstered significantly by e-bikes, which were up 147.8 percent in units and 149.1 percent in dollars for July.

While mountain bike shipments, in general, declined, suppliers sold more front- and full-suspension 29ers to dealers this July than last year. The increases just weren't enough to offset declines in all other mountain categories. 29er unit shipments were up 3,000 units for the month while 29er dollars were up $2.8 million. 

In the last year, the 29-inch wheel has made a comeback, especially when it comes to the more expensive bikes. While 27.5-inch bikes sold significantly more in dollars and units last July, this year the categories were nearly identical in dollar value, but the average price of 29ers was higher than the 27.5-inch bikes.  

Even with declines in shipments, the mountain bike category accounts for the lion's share of the dollar business for suppliers, representing $223,902,026 million year to date and $32.3 million for the monthly of July.

Gravel/adventure bikes are the other success story. These bikes are categorized under cyclocross and "road other," which were up both in dollars and units year to date, though 'cross shipments and dollars were down for July.

"Road other" shipments were up 48.2 percent in July, or about 2,000 bikes. All other road categories were down. 

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