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Yes, we spend a lot of money.....

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Yes, we spend a lot of money.....

Old 08-09-17, 09:05 AM
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MinnMan
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Yes, we spend a lot of money.....

"As the popularity of road cycling has soared over the last decade — the sector is now estimated to be worth $47 billion globally, making it the largest sports category in the world, according to the strategy consultants OC&C "

(From an article in the NYT about Walmart heirs buying a large equity stake in Rapha. https://nyti.ms/2vdzYjH)
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Old 08-09-17, 09:26 AM
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Does this mean that soon the best bikes in the world will have Walmart stickers and everyone will be bragging about the new high-tech bike they just got, just like the Walmart racing team uses? Will Walmart MTBs start winning all the UCI events? Will all of heads explode simultaneously, or one after another>?
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Old 08-09-17, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Does this mean that soon the best bikes in the world will have Walmart stickers and everyone will be bragging about the new high-tech bike they just got, just like the Walmart racing team uses? Will Walmart MTBs start winning all the UCI events? Will all of heads explode simultaneously, or one after another>?
Interesting to speculate. but the investment company run by these Walmart heirs is not Walmart Inc. i.e., "Walmart" did not buy Rapha, but some people with the Walton last name did.

But yeah, as the cycling market grows, larger companies with down-market reputations will likely continue to move into the business.

Last edited by MinnMan; 08-09-17 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 08-09-17, 10:08 AM
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More bicycles on the road regardless of brand name is a good thing.
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Old 08-09-17, 12:22 PM
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I have to say that I'm surprised by this fact.


I do see a lot of cyclists, but usually I read articles about how bike stores are always shutting down so I assumed sales were down. I guess it is more of a move to online sales instead of a reduction in sales.
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Old 08-09-17, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by highrpm View Post
I have to say that I'm surprised by this fact.


I do see a lot of cyclists, but usually I read articles about how bike stores are always shutting down so I assumed sales were down. I guess it is more of a move to online sales instead of a reduction in sales.
Also, the statistic is global, and the US market may be different.

But just the same, I'm constantly amazed by the shear number of expensive bikes I see around. And so many people are buying additional bikes - gravel bikes, fat bikes, etc. Granted, I am in the Twin Cities, which is more bike-crazy than the average US location.
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Old 08-09-17, 01:46 PM
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In many places in the world it is the primary means of transportation more than it is a sport.

I would argue that much of the money spent on cycling should be categorized as transportation, not sports.


-Tim-
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Old 08-09-17, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by highrpm View Post
I have to say that I'm surprised by this fact.

I do see a lot of cyclists, but usually I read articles about how bike stores are always shutting down so I assumed sales were down. I guess it is more of a move to online sales instead of a reduction in sales.
I do a lot of bike commuting... and see a lot of cheap commuter bikes.

But, I recently did an organized Century ride. There is a huge variety of bikes that people ride, but almost every bike I encountered was a $1000+ bike. Perhaps a few thousand dollar bikes. The top end is a really booming market.

I regularly buy bike supplies, and it gives me a bit of pause to think about when a typical order costs more than my complete Colnago Super cost me.

Oh, browsing Craigslist... There are also quite a few really expensive MTBs that show up.
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Old 08-09-17, 01:55 PM
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The folks using it for transportation are not buying $5000+ bikes and kit. The bikes I see folks using for transportation run about $150 brand new, and I see very few of those.
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Old 08-09-17, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
In many places in the world it is the primary means of transportation more than it is a sport.

I would argue that much of the money spent on cycling should be categorized as transportation, not sports.

-Tim-
Probably so. As mentioned I see a lot of commuter bikes on the road.

But, the top end road bikes and top end MTB bikes are probably more for "sport" than "transportation".

It would be interesting to see how the money comes out. Say 20 Walmart bikes are sold for every CF road bike???? But that CF road bike will be more expensive, and occasional expensive maintenance.

The local department stores just can't keep < 25mm (700c) tubes on the shelves. One would think they'd pay attention to what is selling out and order more, but it may also be an indication that the narrow tubes get used a lot.
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Old 08-09-17, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
In many places in the world it is the primary means of transportation more than it is a sport.

I would argue that much of the money spent on cycling should be categorized as transportation, not sports.


-Tim-
I don't think so. Transportation may account for a lot of the people on the road, but not for a large part of the bicycle and accessories market as counted in dollars, euros, etc. Those millions of bike commuters in Holland riding beater bikes are not the reason that the market is booming. it's the hundreds of thousands of recreational cyclists riding their Roubaixs and Domanes and (you name it) that are driving the market from the business perspective.

Like others here have said, just go to an event in an medium-sized to large city - a century, a charity ride, etc. (not to mention triatholons). The hundreds and thousands of high end bikes you'll see represent a lot of disposable income.
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Old 08-09-17, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by seedsbelize View Post
The folks using it for transportation are not buying $5000+ bikes and kit. The bikes I see folks using for transportation run about $150 brand new, and I see very few of those.

There are about a half billion bikes in China.

73 million in Japan, 62 million in Germany, 16.5 million in the Netherlands, etc.

Reference Top 10 Countries with Most Bicycles per Capita | Top 10 Hell

My guess is that this is a significant portion of the money spent on cycling around the world. Maybe I'm wrong and maybe the consultants advising RZC Investments are only talking about the sport itself. That's all anyone here is really doing, guessing.

Two things are sure however...

1. I'm going to buy a pair of Rapha core bibs in the near future and want to see if they are better than 7Mesh MK2 bibs.
2. The white shoes featured in the photo in the linked article are hideous.

Personally, I think the whole thing is hilarious. Poor cyclists like me buy Rapha bibs while rich cyclists buy Rapha.

This thread needs a video of me riding the beloved Walmart Fixie Thruster around a Walmart store. They announced over the loudspeaker that riding bikes in the store was not allowed.

I was holding the camera in my hand trying to pedal and the tires were pretty flat.



-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 08-09-17 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 08-09-17, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
There are about a half billion bikes in China.

73 million in Japan, 62 million in Germany, 16.5 million in the Netherlands, etc.

Reference Top 10 Countries with Most Bicycles per Capita | Top 10 Hell

My guess is that this is a significant portion of the money spent on cycling around the world. Maybe I'm wrong and maybe the consultants advising RZC Investments are only talking about the sport itself. That's all anyone here is really doing, guessing.

Two things are sure however...

1. I'm going to buy a pair of Rapha core bibs in the near future and want to see if they are better than 7Mesh MK2 bibs.
2. The white shoes featured in the photo in the linked article are hideous.

Personally, I think the whole thing is hilarious. Poor cyclists like me buy Rapha bibs while rich cyclists buy Rapha.

This thread needs a video of me riding the beloved Walmart Fixie Thruster around a Walmart store. They announced over the loudspeaker that riding bikes in the store was not allowed.

I was holding the camera in my hand trying to pedal and the tires were pretty flat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpNlkEvOeMI

-Tim-
I agree that we are speculating here without hard numbers, but those half billion bikes in China are chiefly ancient and now despised Flying Pigeons, and the current annual market for those is next to nil. To Chinese, they are a symbol of poverty, and up until very recently, bike ridership was declining sharply there, as the middle class all aspired to cars. The images of Beijing streets flooded with bicycles are from the past. Recently, bike ridership in China is making a very big comeback, but chiefly through bike share programs such as Ofo.
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Old 08-10-17, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
More bicycles on the road regardless of brand name is a good thing.
Very true!
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Old 08-10-17, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Also, the statistic is global, and the US market may be different.

But just the same, I'm constantly amazed by the shear number of expensive bikes I see around. And so many people are buying additional bikes - gravel bikes, fat bikes, etc. Granted, I am in the Twin Cities, which is more bike-crazy than the average US location.
Margins on the actual bikes isn't very good and that margin more than likely shrinks on the higher end bikes. The real profits come from the accessories (which people then buy online) and on the service. Brick and mortar places are expensive to keep open it's not surprising to me that bike shops find it hard to keep the doors open.
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Old 08-10-17, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
Margins on the actual bikes isn't very good and that margin more than likely shrinks on the higher end bikes. The real profits come from the accessories (which people then buy online) and on the service. Brick and mortar places are expensive to keep open it's not surprising to me that bike shops find it hard to keep the doors open.
Yes, you are addressing the topic that came up above - if the overall market is growing, why is it hard for an LBS to keep the doors open. One thing about a successful LBS is that they need to keep a lot of stock available - just add up the wholesale value of the bikes on display and in the back of a successful LBS - it represents significant capitalization. This is not easy to do without good financing and cash flow.

But I wonder about the financial success of the large manufacturers - e.g., Trek and Specialized. I read somewhere that Trek's revenue has increased by 70% in the last decade. But I think both are privately held companies, so info like revenue and profit is hard to obtain.
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Old 08-10-17, 09:58 AM
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The current Walmart team uses Champion Systems kits that you can buy at the local shop. Wonder if they'll upgrade now.
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Old 08-10-17, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Yes, you are addressing the topic that came up above - if the overall market is growing, why is it hard for an LBS to keep the doors open. One thing about a successful LBS is that they need to keep a lot of stock available - just add up the wholesale value of the bikes on display and in the back of a successful LBS - it represents significant capitalization. This is not easy to do without good financing and cash flow.

But I wonder about the financial success of the large manufacturers - e.g., Trek and Specialized. I read somewhere that Trek's revenue has increased by 70% in the last decade. But I think both are privately held companies, so info like revenue and profit is hard to obtain.
I'm sure the larger shops use a flooring plan with a bank so they don't have to outlay all the cash for the (bicycle) inventory.
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Old 08-10-17, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
I'm sure the larger shops use a flooring plan with a bank so they don't have to outlay all the cash for the (bicycle) inventory.
Not really, sure some brands offer dating, but essentially you have to purchase the inventory on standard B-B terms. The reason so many "partnerships" are cropping up with the major brands is some shops and chains got into debt they couldn't ever hope to recover from. Its what happens when shops are run by enthusiasts and not business folk.
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