So far, 2021 has been a very turbulent year for the UK folding bike industry as supply chains continue to be stretched by global restrictions. However, we as look toward the ending of restrictions this month, we can now see the green shoots starting to show. The challenges every industry has faced this year have had unforeseen effects on demand, and folding bicycle demand has been no exception, as popularity changes between models reflecting the post-pandemic lifestyle changes we have all adopted.
Its all good news for the bike industry, as we now see more people cycling to work, and enjoying the healthy fresh air as they explore the countryside. So we wanted to take a look at how the bike market is changing this year, by comparing sales of different styles of bicycle to the first 6 months of 2020. There is no doubt, more and more people getting out on their bikes is a huge bonus for everyone – there’s less traffic on the roads and people enjoying healthier lifestyles. Many are also managing their work-life balance far better too, with more time spent sharing fantastic experiences on country roads and canal towpaths.
But is this being reflected in the types of bikes we, as a nation, are choosing to buy?
We thought we would take a look at the best-selling bikes from the first 6 months of this year, and see if the lockdown has had an effect. So, here are the results.
5. 16” Wheel Alloy Folding City Bikes
A surprise entry to this year’s top 5 best sellers is the 16” wheel city bike. A trusty steed for the hardened cycling commuter, the micro-city bike gives the rider the flexibility to take the bike on public transport, without having to pre-book space. As more people start to commute to work, the city bike is becoming evermore popular. With its lightweight alloy frame and tiny folded dimensions, this brilliant bike folds down to fit under a desk and also has a handy carry bag for when not in use!
From January to June 2020, the lightweight city bike was the 6th best-selling folding bicycle in our range.
4. Classic Folding Ladies Bikes
With fewer cars on the roads this year, the temptation to hit the country roads and canal footpaths has been greater than ever. The elegantly framed classic folding ladies bicycle harks back to a simpler life, a time of families sharing gentle cycling experiences together. A time when people didn’t drive to the local store, but cycled through towns and villages, using a charming wicker basket to carry their items home.
Sitting pretty in 2021 – the folding ladies bike remains the 4th most popular folding bicycle style that the Ecosmo team makes.
3. 20” Alloy Folding Bike
Ever present in the top three – the Ecosmo lightweight 20” folding bike is an icon in white livery with red-walled tires. Purposely designed for contempoary urban cycling this agile folding bicycle is renowned for its unique frame shape and premium build quality. Adopted by commuters, shoppers and leisure cyclists alike, this dependable bicycle offers great flexibility and simple storage.
Despite sales of the 20” alloy folding bike increasing by 20% this year, it has dropped from 2nd to 3rd place, meaning that we have a new contender in the top 3!
2. Hardtail Folding Mountain Bike
Consistently the most popular foldable bicycle in Ecosmo’s extensive range, the hardtail folding mountain offers a robust riding experience and is incredibly popular with motorhome, caravan, and boat users. Exploring beyond the banks is a pleasure with this reliable fold-up mountain bike as it flattens bumpy towpaths and makes light work of hilly terrain.
For the first time ever, the hardtail has dropped into second place this year.
1. Full-Suspension Folding Mountain Bike
Having never previously been in the top 3, the emergence of the full-suspension folding mountain bike as our best-selling bike so far this year can certainly be considered pandemic related. With more people working from home, and evermore people moving out of the cities to enjoy rural life, the desire to be out in the countryside is greater than ever. It’s no wonder that the full-suspension folding mountain bike has outsold the former bestseller by 3 to 1 in the first six months of this year. In fact, the appetite for this bike is so great, that UK cyclists have been buying brand new full-suspension fold-up MTBs every few hours non-stop since January 1st.
So, to answer the question of whether the pandemic has had an impact on the types of bikes that we buy as a nation, the answer is a simple yes. The impact of the pandemic and the changing ways we spend our spare time has had a profound impact on the bicycle market. This is most evident in the types of bicycles that people are now choosing to buy. This could be an indication of the population simply wanting to become healthier, or it could be a sign of families wanting to spend more time together in the great outdoors. Either way, Ecosmo welcomes this development and we hope to see you on the cycle lanes and country pathways getting the most out of your new bikes!
(oh… and don’t forget your helmets!)