The bike boom is set to continue long after the pandemic, says Halfords report

Halfords has announced the launch of a new report, named ‘The Great Bike Boom Continues’. The contents show the latest cycling trends and how the explosion of cycling is apparently set to continue long after the pandemic.

The report is based on new OnePoll research of 2,000 people across Britain, alongside sales data and industry insight from Halfords team of experts.

Paul Tomlinson, Cycling Director at Halfords, said: “The cycle market has seen demand continue to soar. As soon as stock arrives in our shops it is snapped up straight away. We’re working night and day with our suppliers to increase availability. We think that we’re starting to see a permanent change in the market – this marks a change in how people are moving and underlines the importance of bikes to health, fitness and as a viable alternative to public transport.”

Key findings from the report include:

CYCLING THROUGH THE PANDEMIC

The study details changes during the pandemic, such as the Government recommending cycling as a daily form of exercise, avoiding public transport and an increase in leisure cycling. For example, the group reported that sales of adult bikes were up 193% compared to last year and research shows that 40% of Brits have cycled more frequently over the past 12 months.

WHAT DOES THE PANDEMIC MEAN FOR THE FUTURE OF CYCLING?

The findings suggest that 33% of UK adults said they plan on using their bike even more once the lockdown ends, with 37% planning on buying a bike – either for themselves or a family member – within the next six months. Halfords also reports that kids and junior bike sales are up 47% and 65%, respectively, at Halfords.

WHEELS OF CHANGE

Despite the nation working from home, Cycle to Work has seen huge growth during the last year, with demand for Halfords’ own Cycle2Work programme up 89%.

However, the Cycle to Work rules currently state that half of journeys taken using the bike should be for work related purposes. As the way we work changes, so must the way we exercise and travel, and 45% of those surveyed said they want the rule to be modernised.

AN E-BIKE REVOLUTION

Electric bikes have continued to grow in popularity and Halfords predicts the demand will only continue to rise.

Of the 36% people who bought a new bike since the start of the pandemic, almost a quarter (24%) opted to go electric. The main reasons for choosing an e-Bike include: it’s a useful mode of transport for longer journeys (67%), they are fun (46%), I want to arrive fresh for work (46%) and I have an injury which means I can’t ride a mechanical bike (37%).

SUPPORTING KEY WORKERS

The Halfords report showed that almost half of key workers (43%) have used their bike to cycle to work during the pandemic and 12% said they would not feel safe getting to work without their bike.

Halfords has helped many of those key workers by performing over 300,000 free bike checks in the last 12 months. Additionally, 180,000 NHS, teachers and emergency forces staff used the retail chain’s bike repair discounts.

WHY THE GREAT BIKE BOOM CONTINUES

Over half (58%) of those surveyed in the report saw cycling as a way of keeping fit, followed by those who saw cycling as an opportunity to spend more time outdoor with their family (48%) and just simply to have fun (41%). The marked reduction in traffic on our roads is also a contributing factor, with a third (32%) of those asked citing the quieter roads as their reason for embracing cycling.

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