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Women Spend Billions on Bikes

$2.3 billion.

Just let that sink in for a second.

That’s how much women contributed to the bike industry in 2011; and it’s just a drop in the potential bucket.

In our recent report — Women on a Roll — we highlight Consumer Products as one of the 5 Cs of Women’s Bicycling. Too often, the retail setting and what’s on the racks don’t cater to women — even though female riders (and potential riders) are a vast consumer market that’s key to growing the bike industry. No doubt the landscape is beginning to evolve — with major manufacturers debuting full women’s lines and more shops oriented toward European-style commuting bikes and family transportation. But it’s still a male dominated sector and space.

Successful, female entrepreneurs are meeting this demand, designing new products that address the crossover of style and cycling, but much work remains to be done in making the shopping environment and available products more inviting and appealing to women.

Why should the industry respond? Because women control 80% of consumer spending in the U.S. — and could mean big bucks for the bike world. Just some of the compelling numbers from our Women on a Roll report:

  • Women accounted for 37% of the bicycle market in 2011, spending $2.3 billion.
  • Women are an upcoming majority in bicycle ownership, representing 60% of bicycle owners aged 17-28 years old.
  • 43% of female bicycle owners said they planned to buy a new bike in 2012, spending, on average, $523.
  • Women also planned to spend, on average, $418 on other bicycling-related products in 2012.
  • 33% of bike shops are operated by a husband-wife team.

But there’s still plenty of opportunity for growth:

  • 37% of women (vs 48% of men) purchased their current bike from a bike shop and 57% of women bicycle owners reported not visiting a bike shop in the past year.
  • Just 1/3 of women said it’s “no problem” to find clothing and gear that fit their personal style.
  • Only 2 of the top 15 largest American bike brands are led by women.
  • In 2012, only 20% of buyers / attendees at Interbike, the nation’s largest bicycle trade show, were women.

One week from today, I’ll be part of the League contingent traveling to Interbike and I’m looking forward to meeting with industry, building community with other female leaders and spreading the word that Women Mean Business. In addition to the insight in our current report, we’ll also be debuting a new suite of data from our partners at the Leisure Trends Group, showcasing the economic benefits of products geared toward women.

Stay tuned for much more about Women Bike at Interbike next week!

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