22 Jan 2024

From CIE, of course, we sense raised eyebrows when we report that the fundamentals of the bike industry in Europe are in good shape, as the supply chain side of the sector struggles with fluctuations in stock and supply.

If this is the case, why are we so sure the 2030 prognosis remains positive?

There is a variety of factors why this is the case, with one notable aspect being the insights gained from the Belgian Annual Mobility Survey. The census provided an encouraging picture in a country which already is in the upper quartile of bicycle use. The data shows record treads for bicycle commuting as well continued cycling investment in the background, which will see the number grow again in 2024 and 2025. A story replicated in multiple other countries.

It will take time as more countries transition out of the dependency on sport and leisure to drive bike sales, and as lease bikes bought in 2020 and 2021 start up a routine 3-year cycle of repeat purchases, but as long as cycle use trends upwards the sales will bounce back.

CIE’s Market Intelligence and Impact Expert Group quarterly meetings shine a spotlight on additional reasons to be optimistic about long-term growth prospects for cycling in Europe.

A first key takeaway is that ridership figures are steadily and consistently increasing weekday bike counts made in 2023 by Eco-Counter across Europe showed a near 10% increase compared to 2019, and an increase of 15% for weekend bike counts. Country-by-country bike counts show that where there is a will, there is way: countries such as France and Belgium that have taken major policy steps to grow cycling in recent years, have seen full week bike counts increase by respectively 34% and 29% since 2019.

Regular shared mobility reports by Fluctuo reveal the growth in usage of shared bike services in cities and towns across Europe: fleet sizes and ridership have grown by 18% in the space of a year, since 2022. Shared bike services are also proving their value as a gateway to turn occasional users into frequent cyclists interested in longer term rental or purchasing options.

The data we generate and share with our members also enables us to take stock of the current state of the industry and supply chains, and we will be running a-our regular ‘business health check’ based on a survey of our members during the first quarter of this year to better see into what we can expect for 2024. While we anticipate a difficult year for many, announcements on the policy horizon further tie into reasons for longer-term optimism.  

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