Australian bike market’s economic worth mapped for first time

The Australian bike market’s economic worth has been detailed in a rare report that outlines the economic contribution, including the number of jobs directly related to cycling businesses.

Commissioned by WeRide Australia and carried out by Ernst & Young the study pins a $6.3 billion (AUD) direct economic contribution to the sector, with a total of 34,295 job directly linked to the engine that drives the market. As in Europe, cycle tourism is not overlooked and raised a further $1.2 billion for the Australian economy in 2020.

Supported by a number of corporate partners, the work is the first comprehensive attempt to give oversight into the region’s trade and, despite its detail, still stops short of putting a valuation on the positive externalities of cycling to Australia, such as health and wellbeing in society, congestion reduction and other wide-ranging benefits.

According to the report around 5.8 million Australians are active customers in the bike marketplace, which is around 29% of adults. Among those, 3.3 million are believed to have spent money recently, with 1.7 million said to have contributed by buying a bike during the ‘boom’ year of 2020 at an average price of $900 (AUD). 28% of those bike purchases were children’s bikes, which bodes well for the creation of future cyclists.

For the regular cyclist there was a significant spend increase during 2020, as seen across the globe where the bicycle became a key transport and leisure tool. 43% of those reporting cycling once per week suggested their spend had increased year-to-year when compared against less frequent riders.

The proceeds of that were estimated to be worth an additional $118 million in added expenditure and there was an attribution of this extra spend to the provision of improved cycling infrastructure, something that prompted a large portion of people to say they were cycling more often. Around $428 million was spent in 2020 on state and territory improvements for bicycle infrastructure.

By region, New South Wales and Victoria in Australia’s south east were pack leaders on consumer spend. By age group it was 18 to 34 year-olds most likely to have spent on cycling, though 36% of 35 to 49 year-olds also reported an upped spend. The male to female balance was closer than might be expected at 53% male and 47% female.

Treasurer, Josh Frydenburg MP (pictured) attended the launch of the EY Australian Bike Market Report alongside Shadow Treasurer Stephen Jones MP and other MPs at a live event.

To read the full Australian bike market report head to WeRide.


WeRide Australian Cycling Economy Report launch from WeRideAustralia on Vimeo.