The cycling industry is in turmoil - is now the best time to buy a bike?

As the bike market cuts its losses from four years of instability, RRPs are slashed and deals abound. Charlie Allenby surveys the industry to find out if now is the right time to buy

Image of bike line up with price tag attached
(Image credit: PedalHeaven)

WiggleCRC, Planet X, Orange Bikes, Islabikes… The last 12 months have seen some of our biggest bike brands go to the wall. Of those that have survived, many have been forced to offer unprecedented levels of discount. The closures have led to hundreds of job losses – WiggleCRC alone axed approximately 450 before going into liquidation – and the winding down of iconic, established manufacturers is an outcome no one would have wished for.

As an end-user, though, it’s been hard not to be tempted by the discounts – bargains galore, with deals as enticing as 50% off and even buy-one-get-one-free. But is now the best time to buy? To answer this question, we need to understand how this situation arose and where prices are set to go next. 

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Bike price increases over the years
Row 0 - Cell 0 Specialized TarmacGiant TCRTrek Madone
Five year increase 38%58%36%

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Charlie Allenby
Freelance journalist

Charlie Allenby is a freelance journalist specialising in cycling, running and fitness. He has written for publications including the Guardian, the Independent, T3, Bike Radar, Runner’s World, Time Out London and Conde Nast Traveller, and cut his teeth as staff writer for Road Cycling UK (RIP). He is also the author of Bike London: A Guide to Cycling in the City. When not chained to his desk, Charlie can be found exploring the lanes and bridlepaths of Hertfordshire and Essex aboard his pink and purple Genesis Fugio.