Average cost of a cycle

Mintel released a press release last week about the cycling market in the UK and one of the things they commented on was the average price of a bicycle.

In 2012 that was apparently £206, in 2013 it had risen £27 to £233. This seems remarkably low and I have asked Mintel to comment on how they worked it out, I have yet to have a response.

The average selling price of a bike has risen £27 from £206 in 2012 to £233 in 2013.

Note that they state selling price and not sold price. So it should be prices of the bikes on the shelves and has no relation to those actually sold or what quantity.

As I thought this was so remarkably low I decided to look into a couple of the online sellers of cycles in the UK to find out what the average selling price was. These sellers are Argos, Halfords, Sports Direct, Evans, Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles. Being knowledgable about the internet, I know a fairly easy way to get the information from the websites and was able to get all the prices of all the bikes on all the sites. This included kids bikes, which are mostly under the £233 mark.

Bike Shop Average cost of cycle
Argos £234
Chain Reaction Cycles £1015
Evans Cycles £1454
Halfords £420
Sports Direct £124
Wiggle £1430

From those 6 bike shops we have over 3566 bikes with an average price of £779.

I’m highly surprised at the average price of a cycle in the UK being £233, and my findings show that the number is nowhere near when looking at a range of shops.

4 thoughts on “Average cost of a cycle

  1. The average selling price is by volume though & probably includes kids’ bikes. Looking at bikes locked on the street (not a completely reliable measure – expensive bikes don’t usually get locked on the street, and the cheapest & nastiest fall apart or get left permanently in a shed within a few weeks of purchase), mostly seems like £300-400 machines – entry-level Spesh hybrids, Carreras, cheap end of the Boardman range, alu road bikes with basic componentry etc.. if bike retail is like most retail, unit sales are a pyramid – fat at the bottom, thin at the top – regardless of whether things a few rungs up are actually far, far better value for money, an awful lot of people will just buy the cheapest or the near-cheapest. (Also – people purchase comparatively – if a less-informed person is offered a £99 bike and a £149 bike, they will assume the £149 model must be “good” or even “high end”, rather than just “will last six weeks rather than five before falling apart”).

    1. That is one of my points with the people that provide the ‘stats’ they don’t say in detail what they actually reflect. They make out that the average cost of a bicycle is x amount, but they appear to be making that stat on the average sale cost rather than the average actual cost of products available.

      As such what we gain from this is not that the average cost of bicycles is increasing but the average amount spent on bicycles is increasing. It’s a big difference.

  2. I’m not sure how you did your calculations, but your averages don’t really take into account the volume of sales at each price point. Take somewhere like Evans. I suspect a substantial majority of the bikes they sell are below £1000 to meet the Cycle to Work criteria. Certainly they have, and sell, bikes over that price hence your high average price, but they’ll be selling multiples of £500 or £600 bikes for every £1500-£2000 bike they sell.

    They’re a specialist of course.Think about how many thousands of kids bikes are being sold at below £200 or £100 by retailers like Argos and Halfords. Then think about those cheap (and often, nasty) supermarket bikes. Anyone reading this probably knows better, but supermarkets work on volumes and I’m sure they get them.

    Companies like Mintel utilise a lot of data from companies like supermarkets, so you do have to account for this.

    In truth, a flat average, although easy to understand, can be thoroughly misleading, neither reflecting the volume of ultra-cheap bikes, and nor really showing the breadth of the market at the pricier end.

    1. Because Mintel didn’t state what their average is, it is misleading. I’m presuming they mean the average sale cost of bicycles (hence why it is so low, like you said, supermarkets, argos and halfords shift huge volumes). But the actual average cost is different to sale cost.

      Their stats don’t show the bikes cost more, their stat shows that people are spending more on bicycles. Those are two very different things!

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