Bicycle Wheels Category Represents $98.9 Million in Retail Sales

BY Courtney Huckabay

Key trends within the $6.4 billion U.S. cycling market tied to technology launches and pragmatic purchasing on the part of consumers have heightened the importance of specific categories within the industry, namely tires and tubes, wheels and wheel parts, and lubes/​cleaners, according to global information company The NPD Group.

The latest cycling reports derived from NPD’s expanded retail tracking of the market, which includes Independent Bicycle Dealers, sporting goods, national chains, mass merchants, and e‑commerce outlets, found that the $352.4 million tires and tubes category is being impacted by shifts in tire and tube sizes and technology, particularly in the mountain bike space. The recent explosion of 27.5‑inch mountain bike tires found on complete mountain bikes is tied to an uptick in aftermarket purchasing of those complimentary tire and tube sizes.

The AudienceSCAN study found 5.5% of U.S. adults intend to pay for bicycle clothing, shoes, wheels, tires or repairs in the next 12 months.

The combined wheels and wheel parts category represents $98.9 million in U.S. retail sales and, like tires and tubes, is impacted as wheels and rims change in size to meet the demand of consumers and their complete bike purchases.

Advertisers should target Bicycle Wheels and Tires Shoppers with television (over-​the-​air, online, mobile or tablet) spots because 47.9% of them took action after seeing commercials in the past month.

A small but important $32.1 million category is lubes and cleaners, which are essential for cyclists to keep their bikes in working order. While the average selling price is low, the higher annual turn increases the profitably of this category.

Another way to reach Bicycle Clothing and Shoes Shoppers is through their mailboxes. AudienceSCAN research reveals 69.9% of them took action based on ads/​coupons mailed directly to them.

New technologies combined with shifting consumer demographics are influencing bicycle sales, and this is also trickling down to the smaller yet crucial categories within the U.S. cycling market,” said Matt Powell, vice president and sports industry analyst, The NPD Group. “As the older demographic begins to fade out and millennials rise in size and purchasing power, the business practices of cycling brands and manufacturers will need to be reevaluated to meet the demands of value-​conscious millennials. Millennial consumers, who unlike their older counterparts seek multipurpose bikes to satisfy both pleasure and practicality, are creating growth in other categories, especially those within bike parts and accessories, to keep their bikes adaptable and functioning for years to come.”

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.