An Amusement & Diversion for The Genteel Cyclist. Daily.

Friday, September 28, 2007

How many bikes do YOU own now, friend?


Interesting article in today's Wall Street Journal about the growing popularity of custom bikes: Even though the number of bike riders in the US declined almost 10 percent in the past 5 years to 35.6 million, bike manufacturers actually increased bike sales... 16 percent more bikes have sold in the same period, and the average price has gone up 26 percent. How'd the bike biz manage that trick? By selling fancy bikes to people who already own a bike or two. In other words, the cycling masses are thinning a little, but getting more acquisitive.

And where do the fixie hipsters fit into the picture? Since they are mostly rebuilding old Peugeots and Schwinns, they're not really adding anything to the economy (though sales of U-Locks, mess bags, and Drum tobacco are surely up). And since they insist on riding without brakes or helmets, they're not really adding to the ranks of cyclists either. You might call them a net zero to bikes and bike culcha.

In the coming year, watch for the big manufacturers to start muscling in on local indie bike builders by offering custom builds and paint jobs. Specialized has spearheaded this with their Langster city series, but Giant is doing it too -- and no one is bigger than Giant.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

First!

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