Why the bike is in the lead

Published on : 29/12/2020 – 08:59

The bicycle appears to be one of the big winners of the pandemic: in France as in the rest of the world, demand is exploding and manufacturers are unable to keep up.

The Covid-19 has caused a lot of losers in the transport industry: the automobile has suffered a big brake and aeronautics has taken a nosedive. However, the bicycle did not deviate from its path. It is still on the rise. In France, bicycle traffic has increased by 66% compared to last year, all variations combined. We did indoor biking because we were confined, touring bicycles to get some fresh air, to have fun, and we biked to work.

Ecological, economical, the little queen has gained a new virtue: prophylactic, it avoids the feared contamination in public transport. In town, it has become a necessity, as the car was able to be in the 1970s. If sales initially suffered from the closure of stores during the first confinement, they then exploded: in France sales doubled during the first three weeks of May.

The electric bike takes the lead

Last year, it was only 15% of the number of two-wheelers sold in France, but it is the model which gains the most new followers. Driven by the 2019 strikes, its sales jumped 25% last year, and it will be almost as much this year, according to a recent study by Xerfi. In value, it is much more impressive. The electric bicycle captures 45% of turnover.

His progress is such that he should quickly overtake the conventional bike. Thanks to the help of the State, a help with the purchase, and a tax credit for the companies which now offer function bikes. At European level, 3.7 million electric bicycles were sold in 2019. This will be 17 million in 2030 out of a total of 30 million cycles, according to representatives of this industry.

An exponential demand still largely covered by Chinese manufacturers

China and Taiwan are still the two major world producers. And it was because they were the first to close their factories that bicycles quickly ran out in Europe and the United States. But given the explosion of the market, there are prospects for Europeans. Newcomers as well as the oldest, all are positioning themselves on the electric bicycle, assembled in Europe with parts mostly imported from Asia.

Decathlon wants to cut prices while mid-size companies specialize in high-end products. The French Mustache, for example, has opened a third production line in the Vosges.

The emergence of a whole series of related businesses

The growth of this market sees new players entering the race, for the maintenance or rental of these new frames in particular. The best financial performance of the year in terms of cycling is that of the American company specializing in two-wheelers that leads nowhere, the connected exercise bike of the American Peloton, a phenomenon in the States -United.

The company hits a double blow in 2020. It reaped its first profits and posted a record trajectory on the stock market. Its price has quintupled in one year. At this sustained rate, Peloton could eclipse Tesla, the electric car champion.

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