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Old 03-01-08, 04:33 PM   #1
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Statistics

Got to thinking about something, and thought I'd ask here to see if anyone knows. We may have discussed this before, but then again, we've discussed everything before.

So here's my questions:

1. What percentage of adults who own at least one bicycle go cycling at least once a week on average? I'm not thinking of those cultures where biking is a way of life, by the way. I'm thinking of those populations who cycle primarily for recreation, fitness, perhaps commuting by choice, etc.

2. What would you speculate is the average number of miles that a bike gets during it's lifetime? This would somehow have to incorporate all those bikes that get used once or twice and never again, and all those bikes that are used for decades (like by some people on this very forum!), and all those in-between.

Any ideas?
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Old 03-01-08, 04:39 PM   #2
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Don't know the answer to your two posers- but I will give you one fact that was checked out a few years ago by a Mountain bike magazine in the UK.

Only 10 % of Mountain bikes ever see a bit of mud. So only 10 % of Mountain bikes get use for the purpose they were sold for. And this discounts the Wally mart Mountain bikes that fall apart before they get out of the car and only ever get a months occasional use before getting put in the garage- shed or garden- never to be used again. That was the average life of "Cheap " "Mountain Bikes" sold in the UK aswell.
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Old 03-01-08, 05:13 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
So here's my questions:

1. What percentage of adults who own at least one bicycle go cycling at least once a week on average?

2. What would you speculate is the average number of miles that a bike gets during it's lifetime? Any ideas?
My uninformed guesses:

1. 5%

2.

A. Bikes that cost under $1000 - average lifetime mileage: 250 miles
B. Bikes that cost over $1000 - average lifetime mileage: 1000 miles


I believe that the folks who hang out on BF are very, very unusual (in a lot of ways!) and don't at all represent the typical owner. Just check out all the bikes on Craigslist that are, essentially, unridden.

Same goes for:
- pianos
- recreational vehicles
- sailboats
- skiis
- camcorders

EDIT: I forgot to add the single most purchased-but-unused item in American households: home exercise equipment!

Some people use them *a lot*, but many purchasers don't....these are all items worth buying used.

Last edited by BengeBoy; 03-01-08 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 03-01-08, 05:27 PM   #4
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Well, my mountain bike doesn't see much mud, and it spent many years in a garage. But now it does its hard work getting me all around town.
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Old 03-01-08, 05:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
My uninformed guesses:

1. 5%

2.

A. Bikes that cost under $1000 - average lifetime mileage: 250 miles
B. Bikes that cost over $1000 - average lifetime mileage: 1000 miles


I believe that the folks who hang out on BF are very, very unusual (in a lot of ways!) and don't at all represent the typical owner. Just check out all the bikes on Craigslist that are, essentially, unridden.

Same goes for:
- pianos
- recreational vehicles
- sailboats
- skiis
- camcorders

Some people use them *a lot*, but many purchasers don't....these are all items worth buying used.
... and other perfectly fine products Americans find "not good enough" for them when the next one comes out with newer bells and whistles.

A few months ago on the evening news they did a story about a company who goes around and hauls away other people's "junk" (by American standards, that means "it's not good/shiny/new enough for me anymore"). I almost cried when I saw a bike get tossed into the dumpster.

I'll guess the *average* bike gets around 1000 miles in a lifetime.
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Old 03-01-08, 05:37 PM   #6
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I just stopped and met a new neighbor. He was putting new tires on his and his wifes bicycles. He said the bikes were both 1992 models and they used to ride a lot but stopped. They are going to start again so he was replacing the original tires. They weren't worn they were just old. I would say that would be fairly common. I bought my 89/90 Specialized and it had less than 400 miles on it. Another neighbor has an old Schwinn hanging in his garage. I asked if he wanted to sell it and he said. I have ridden that bike over 2,000 miles. He seemed to think that was a huge deal. Another neighbor after wathing me and the wife bought two new Jamis' a year ago and has maybe ridden 20 miles tops. I think BengeBoy is probably pretty close or maybe even a little high for the National average. I think my neighbors are "average" and were not.
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Old 03-01-08, 05:45 PM   #7
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From the bikes I see hanging year-after-year in the garages around her - not many miles.

I think folks buy them in a fit of "fitness" then hang themup thinking they will ride again, but they never do.

STAPFAM - Mtn bikes are supposed to be used in the mud? Heck, it hardly ever rains around here.

STAPFAM - about 1% of 4 wheel drive SUV's are ever used where you need 4 wheel drive.
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Old 03-01-08, 05:54 PM   #8
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When I took my original Trek Navigator back to the shop for a tune up at three months the shop guys expressed a good bit of surprise that it had been ridden enough to actually benefit from some of their attention. I think most entry level bikes are parked after two weeks to a month. Higher grade bikes are naturally ridden a LOT more due to their owners wanting a better machine because they use it.

To guess on answers to your questions:

1. 3 to 5 percent.
2. 100 miles or less.
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Old 03-01-08, 09:21 PM   #9
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Is there a statistician in the house?
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Old 03-01-08, 09:32 PM   #10
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When I took my original Trek Navigator back to the shop for a tune up at three months the shop guys expressed a good bit of surprise that it had been ridden enough to actually benefit from some of their attention. I think most entry level bikes are parked after two weeks to a month. Higher grade bikes are naturally ridden a LOT more due to their owners wanting a better machine because they use it.

To guess on answers to your questions:

1. 3 to 5 percent.
2. 100 miles or less.
Yeh. When I bring my bikes in the mechanics are actually happy to tune a bike up that has been ridden a few thousand miles...And not just have to scape dust and rust off.
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Old 03-01-08, 09:34 PM   #11
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Someone call a statistician?

Me R a statistician. Of course I'm not a bicycle statistician. Who is?

I have a bunch of bike stats accumulated but would have to find them again.

I've seen the stat on the average number of miles a bike is ridden in its lifetime, I believe it is 800 miles.
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Old 03-02-08, 09:01 AM   #12
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I know my way around statistics, but what we lack is not the statistician. We lack the data.

As for what percentage of bicycle owners ride once per week, I would say less than 5% and maybe even lower than 1%. There are quite a few people with bikes moldering in their garages.

As for the number of miles that bikes get in a lifetime, the median is probably less than 100 miles.

But I have no real data to support my statement. I just walk around the neighborhood and see bikes hanging up in garages. I never see those people riding. The majority of garages have at least one bike and I don't think that most of those even get ridden once per year.

I think one of the reasons many motorists act with such hostility towards cyclists is that they are not using the bikes in the way they were intended. Bikes are "supposed" to molder in garages. You are not supposed to actually ride them.
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Old 03-02-08, 10:06 AM   #13
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Are you telling us that riding down the road (on of all things, a bicycle) and perhaps wearing brightly colored tight clothing (thus impuning the uprightness of the supposed SUV driver) while being more healthy and slimmer could cause them to feel some hidden anger towards us.


Well...........................................


.




.




.




That sounds like fun.
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Old 03-02-08, 10:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
1. What percentage of adults who own at least one bicycle go cycling at least once a week on average?
I don't know but somewhere I read something about gym memberships. When they sign you up they like to set you up on a program where they automatically debit your checking account every month. The majority of people who's checking accounts are being debited don't the gym at all.
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Old 03-02-08, 10:24 AM   #15
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I gotta go with 1% or fewer. Many people have bikes burried somewhere. If we count them all I'll guess it's far below 1%.
I'll bet BengeBoy's guess on miles is about right too.
Skis? I WISH I could use mine more. But between gas and lift tickets (and wanting to ride) it's getting harder to get there.
The other thing that may relate to this quesion: My wife rides, but doesn't play tennis or ski. Guess what I'd rather do?
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Old 03-02-08, 11:54 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
From the bikes I see hanging year-after-year in the garages around her - not many miles.

I think folks buy them in a fit of "fitness" then hang themup thinking they will ride again, but they never do.

STAPFAM - Mtn bikes are supposed to be used in the mud? Heck, it hardly ever rains around here.

STAPFAM - about 1% of 4 wheel drive SUV's are ever used where you need 4 wheel drive.
British Magazine and we do have a bit of rain over here

And as an aside- One of the reasons American mountain bikes did not take off over here for many years was that they were Designed for riding in Dry conditions- and the first thing that happened when you rode such a bike in the UK was that you had to carry it. The Mud blocked the frame and forks so the wheels wouldn't turn.

And The SUV's I doubt that figure of 1% is that high. Take out the traditional Farmers Land-Rovers and there are not many left that will be going off road and the drivers won't want to get their cars dirty in any case.
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Old 03-02-08, 12:10 PM   #17
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Due to your damp weather we do have that nice London Fog brand of clothing here in the states.
How do you remain upright on a wet cobblestone street with standard road bike tires?
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Old 03-02-08, 12:22 PM   #18
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And as an aside- One of the reasons American mountain bikes did not take off over here for many years was that they were Designed for riding in Dry conditions- and the first thing that happened when you rode such a bike in the UK was that you had to carry it. The Mud blocked the frame and forks so the wheels wouldn't turn.
I've seen that done.

I can remember my mountain bike with such huge balls of mud behind the fork that I had to release the brake so I could clean off the mud with a stick. I used to have a spare wheelset mounted with 1.9" Specialized Storm Control tires. They were the best self-cleaning mud tires ever but they were virtually worthless in any other conditions. I don't think they're available anymore.
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