It’s a decade since cycling became ‘the new golf’.
A decade since the start of a surge in bikes sales in Australia that was, to a large degree, driven by older professionals looking for something new as a social outlet, as a means to collect new toys and, to be fair, improve their health.
While increased fuel and transportation prices contributed as well, it was the advent of the mamil (middle aged men in lycra) that was the most visible factor in rising bike sales in the early 2000s.
Cycling’s newfound popularity as recreation for the upwardly mobile helped push bike sales in Australia beyond the number of new cars sold in this country.
It also fuelled unprecedented demand for top-end road bikes – and, more recently, premium mountain bikes – as carbon went hand-in-hand with lycra, extended coffee stops and Strava.
The high-end road bike industry never looked so strong in this country.
Now there’s a new, much greater, surge boosting bike sales in Australia. It is a surge celebrated in the WeRide Australian Cycling Economy Report released last week, that reports a total of 1.7 million bikes were sold in 2020, compared to around 1.2 million the previous year.
But this new wave of cycling converts has many different faces and motivations.
There will continue to be plenty of competitors and well-resourced recreational enthusiasts prepared to part with a small fortune for the latest, lightest and shiniest, but there are many more looking for riding options that are more affordable, more function or more conducive to escaping to backroads and trails.
Amid the mix of COVID, rising climate awareness, further hikes in transportation costs, an increased understanding of healthy minds and healthy bodies, the surge in people discovering, or rediscovering, cycling is coming from a much broader demographic.
This next wave is bringing greater emphasis on the practicalities of getting around: including commuting to work, transporting children and cargo, and linking to other forms of transport. There’s a growing demand for urban and hybrid bikes, cargo bikes and scooters.
Many new converts are still attracted to cycling as a way to get fit – after the pandemic shut down gyms and organised sport and opened eyes to other opportunities to exercise. But that is accompanied by a much great emphasis on having fun, enjoying fresh air, nature and some solitude.
Many retailers and manufacturers are now selling more gravel bikes than road bikes and cruisers are enjoying an added lease of life.
While much of this expanding demand is being satiated – as well as generated – by e-bikes, e-cargo bikes and e-scooters, there is still a rising number of people looking for steeds that are purely human powered.
And with the changing face of new riders looking for fun and expression is likely to come a renaissance in self expression. Far from being part of the pack charging down a coastal boulevard, many are looking for bikes that capture their individuality and style. Many will still want it to look good outside a café, but it’s there’s a greater likelihood it will be a brightly-coloured cruiser or elegant town bike, rather than a racer.
It brings greater demand for retro or niche, the classic steel frame, or big-wheel BMX.
And industry folk such as SCV Imports’ Stuart Voysey think many of that previous wave of mamils might soon join their new fun-seeking peers.
“When I see guys in their 50s who are on top-of-the-line carbon bikes, I think it’s only a matter of time before they’re looking for something more comfortable,” he says.
“Put the Lamborgini away, get a ute and enjoy the ride. You might find it more comfortable; you can be yourself and enjoy the ride without the pressure to perform.”
Adult Bikes: Distributors in Australia
The Latz Report YearBook lists any organisation that supplies goods or services to bicycle retailers or interacts with them in some bike industry related way.
For details of Adult Bike distributors in Australia, please follow this link to our Yearbook and use the Search function or Direct to Page option, to find:
- Bikes – Comfort City Hybrid on page 97
- Bikes – Cyclo Cross on page 97
- Bikes – Fixed Gear on page 98
- Bikes – Folding, Portable on page 98
- Bikes – Gravel on page 98
- Bikes – Road on page 98
- Bikes – Tandem on page 98
- Bikes – Touring on page 98
- Bikes – Track on page 98
- Bikes – Triathlon, Time Trial on page 99
- Bikes & Trikes – Disability or Recumbent on page 99
- Bikes – Vintage & Retro on page 99
Use the Address list starting from page 20 to find the direct contact details for each of the distributors listed on the above pages.
Make sure your listing is correct in the YearBook.
For future editions of the Annual Guides, please see our planned Media Schedule for 2022.