Fat Tires are Where It's at

Whether it is an electric or mountain bike, equipping it with fat tires is all the rage these days. Equipping bikes with fat tires offers the potential to influence bicycle sales. Fat tires, among other features, provide riders with the versatility to plow through sand and snow. Fat tires have grown more than six times in terms of dollar and unit sales since 2013.

‰ÛÏThe multipurpose capability of fat tires has opened more doors for riders and also for the cycling industry. Cycling has traditionally been viewed as a ‰Û÷nice weather‰Ûª activity, but now enthusiasts and commuters alike have the ability to ride comfortably, whether in sunshine or snow, on various levels of tough terrain. For more and more consumers, cycling is becoming an active, year-​round investment, and as long as the innovation and trendsetting continues, so will the industry growth,‰Û Matt Powell, sports industry analyst, The NPD Group, said.

As Bicycle Sales Bounce Back, the Less Traditional Types Become More Mainstream

In the world of cycling, less conventional bicycles are becoming the new norm, according to global information company The NPD Group. After a flat year, bicycle dollar sales grew 6 percent in the 12 months ending August 2015, driven in large part by trends in electric, hybrid, and mountain bicycles.

Bicycle sales typically peak in April and May, but are picking up during the fall and early winter months, which coincides with the fact that cycling, regardless of season, has become embedded in the everyday lives of more consumers. At the same time the number of people traveling to work by bicycle is rising in the U.S., sales of commuter/​town and cross/​hybrid bikes have experienced healthy dollar growth‰ÛÓby 15 percent and 11 percent, respectively‰ÛÓwith women‰Ûªs bikes leading the growth in these categories. Electric bikes have seen the largest sales increase by far, growing by over 100 percent in dollars and over 70 percent in units.

Workday commuting aside, the sales growth rate of mountain bikes is also picking up the pace, driven by the new 27.5‑inch wheel size; dollar sales increased by 10 percent during the most recent period, compared to two percent the previous year, while unit sales grew 7 percent after a two percent decline.

‰ÛÏConsumers are looking for more versatile products for their sports endeavors, and they are finding the answer in cycling. They are gravitating towards multipurpose bikes which can be used both on and off road,‰Û Powell said. ‰ÛÏMillennials in particular are driving the trend of foregoing auto purchases and riding bikes to work, which is playing a major role in both the hybrid and electric trend. As Millennials become an even greater consumer influence, we can expect these cycling trends to continue.‰Û

According to AudienceSCAN, 5.6% of U.S. adults intend to buy bicycle clothing, shoes, wheels, tires or repairs in the next 12 months. Your marketers can reach this audience by mailing ads and fliers because 13.5% of bike accessory shoppers think they are the best for comparing prices. Let advertisers know that 19% of shoppers will go to health fairs this year too. And in the past month, 44% of shoppers took action based on their sponsored search results (like on Google, Yahoo or Bing).

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.