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BPSA figures show slight climb in the value of bike sales

Published December 27, 2018
Year-to-date figures through November show a 4 percent increase in dollars and a 9 percent decrease in units.

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Wholesale bike sales dipped in November, down 14 percent over the same month last year in dollars and diwb 26 percent in units. Year-to-date figures through November show a 4 percent increase in dollars and a 9 percent decrease in units.

The figures are from the Bicycle Product Suppliers Assocation's Sell-in Report, prepared by The NPD Group. The numbers represent wholesale sales by BPSA members to U.S. retailers.

Wholesale inventory of bikes in November was up 2 percent in units and 22 percent in dollar value compared with the same time last year.


In the mountain bike category — still the single biggest bike category in dollars at $361 million in YTD wholesale sales — YTD sales were down 14 percent in dollars and 11 percent in units.

On the inventory side for mountain bikes, suppliers appear to have an excessive amount of 27.5-inch front-suspension bikes on hand. They had $25.1 million worth of those bikes in stock in November 2018, up from $16.5 million at the same time last year, a 52 percent increase. Sales in that category have been soft in 2018, down 17 percent YTD from 2017.

Full-suspension 29ers also were well-stocked — up 56 percent over last year to $24 million and 14,000 units on hand. That may be of less concern as that category has seen growth in 2018, with YTD sales up 7 percent in dollars and 25 percent in units.


Road sales were up 8 percent in dollars and down 3 percent in units through November. The total road category had sales of $280 million YTD, making it the second-largest bike category.

Within the road category, there was a lot of fluctuation. The "Other All" subcategory, which includes gravel and some touring bikes, saw a sales increase of 94 percent YTD in dollars and 56 percent in units.

All other road subcategories except cyclocross saw sales declines YTD. Cyclocross bikes were up 15 percent.

On the inventory side, suppliers seem to be well-prepared for continued growth in the "Other All" subcategory. Inventory there was up 191 percent in dollars and 186 percent in units. Inventory in most other road subcategories was down, although in the relatively small "Performance Women's" subcategory, inventory was up 67 percent. That subcategory saw a 13 percent decline in sales by dollar YTD.


E-bike wholesale sales YTD totaled $115 million, up 82 percent in dollars and 80 percent in units from the same period in 2017. However, the sales growth rate may have softened in November — for the month, sales were up 2.5 percent in dollars and down 5 percent in units. E-bike inventory was up 38 percent in dollars and 33 percent in units.

Youth, BMX, transit and lifestyle

BMX sales were down sharply in November (41 percent in dollars, 40 percent in units), but for the year, BMX is still showing a 13 percent increase in dollars and a 7 percent increase in units sales.

In the Lifestyle/Leisure category, sales were flat at 2.2 percent growth YTD in dollars and a 4.1 percent decline in units.

Transit/Commuter bike sales were down 13 percent in dollars and 35 percent in units YTD.

Youth bikes (not BMX) saw a 3 percent decline in dollars and a 9 percent decline in units YTD.

For the most part, inventory levels were in line with sales trends in those categories. 

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