Ask the trade: What segment has the greatest potential when it comes to new customer creation?

In this latest series of ask the trade opinion pieces we’ve discussed the obstacles and opportunities that exist in getting new customers in the saddle.

Today we ponder which segment of the business has the greatest scope for numbers growth.

Ruth Hargreaves, JD Tandems
It has to be getting children on bikes that’s the focus, and that means creating more safe routes to school.

I question whether commuter cycling has the potential some think it has. Commuters in busy cities tend to ride inexpensive bikes, that are kept running on the minimum spend possible. Urban premises in cities will have high over heads. Is there really sufficient profit to be made in our industry to sustain such high running costs?

Peter Kimberly, MD at Cycle Republic
Without any doubt, it’s women’s cycling, transport riding and electric bikes.

We take a view that we’ve an unprecedented opportunity here to get people off of the buses and tubes in favour of a much more efficient transport mode.

With e-Bikes we’ve an opportunity to enable customers to travel further than ever before and e-MTB riders to pack in even more fun at trail centres during a day out. You can travel three times further on an e-bike and get the same workout.

Jonathan Cole, Director at Velorution
In terms of new customer creation I believe it has to be folding bikes and electric bikes. Electric folding bikes too.

Folding bikes are really the only option for those in the apartments of Highgate and Dulwich who otherwise may not cycle at all. I’m also a huge fan of step-thru builds and feel that bikes built for comfort are yet to achieve their full potential as they have in Europe. London is ten years behind here and indeed a decade ago I might have taken the car. Like many of our customers, I’m neither sporty, nor energetic, but love cycling in comfort. There’s a lot of untapped potential for others like me.

Mick Murphy, Mickey Cranks
More and more people are putting money into experiences and leisure tourism could be huge, particularly the E-Bike sector as it removes a large amounts of barriers.