1.3 million Brits bought a bike during lockdown

This accounts for almost five per cent of all UK consumers

London bike shop (Getty)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

1.3 million Brits bought a bike during coronavirus lockdown, as people sought to take advantage of the exercise freedoms allowed during the pandemic and the UK Government encouraged the population to avoid public transport.

Bike retailers are one of the few business sectors to have received a boost from the coronavirus pandemic, having remained open during lockdown after being deemed essential businesses, with many stores experiencing skyrocketing sales and struggling to keep up with demand.

"As much of the UK works from home - 51 per cent of the working population in early June - consumers have saved on travel costs and many have found themselves with more time to exercise and no gym open to visit, making a new bike an appealing option," said Sofie Willmott, lead analyst at GlobalData who compiled the research.

"The majority of consumers who have bought a bike in the last few months were thinking of buying one anyway with the crisis pushing them into making a purchase, helped by cycling stores remaining open throughout lockdown."

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Of the nearly five per cent of UK consumers who recently bought a bike, over 20 per cent shopped at Halfords, with Evans also taking 15.7 per cent of sales.

"Although the bike market will see a spike in demand this year boosted by the lockdown, there is further opportunity for retailers to benefit in the future as current bike owners may choose to upgrade now they have reignited their interest in cycling," Willmott continues.

"In addition, with 72.4 per cent of current home workers expecting to do so more often post-crisis, there will be stark changes to pre-COVID commuting habits with public transport likely to remain unappealing and many consumers turning to bikes for some journeys."

Market research firm Mintel, who previously coined the term MAMIL, recently said that despite an apparent boom in sales, the UK bike market will contract this year to £842m, a drop of about 10 per cent.

However, they see the post-coronavirus world as one where bikes will flourish, predicting sales will grow dramatically to value the industry at £3bn by 2023.

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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.