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Va-va Froome fever as Brits race to spend at cycling businesses

  • Nation’s love affair with cycling has boosted SME turnover by 38 per cent in last 5 years

As the Tour de France draws to a grand finish with Chris Froome aiming for victory, Barclays Business Banking reveals how Britain’s love affair with cycling is boosting the UK economy. Not only are Brits spending more on their bike obsession, with turnover of small and medium sized cycling businesses up 38 per cent1, but since the podium success of London 2012 there’s been a surge in Brits taking their passion for cycling up a gear, with the number of cycling clubs, societies and charity events up by nearly 50 per cent.

Research also showed that this love of cycling doesn’t come cheap, with the annual amount spent by cycling enthusiasts totalling almost £3.5 billion2. This means that the average cyclist3 spends £340 on their hobby every year. While more of a one-off investment than an annual purchase, the cost of a new bike averages out at £181 a year, with other top expenses revealed as cycling trips (£173 a year) and bike magazine subscriptions (£92 a year)4. 

Other cycling expenses include:

  • Bike rack (£92 a year)
  • Cycling apps (£91 a year)5
  • Cycling club membership (£84 a year)
  • Bike accessories (£70 a year)
  • Cycling clothes and shoes (£68 a year)
  • Helmets (£59 a year)
  • Repairs and services (£57 a year)

Ian Rand, CEO of Barclays Business Banking, commented: “Britain’s clearly a nation of cycling enthusiasts and it’s great to see how the nation’s hobby has boosted small businesses across the country. As more Brits get in the saddle, not only are people spending more at businesses in the cycling industry, but we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of clubs and charity events popping up across the country. There’s no doubt that events such as London’s 2012 Olympics and the Tour de Yorkshire have helped to put British cycling on the map in recent years and, as the nation cheers on all the British cyclists competing this summer, it will also bring valuable support and spending for these small businesses.”

Pennine Cycles in Bradford, Yorkshire has been selling bikes to the local community for over 70 years and owners Paul and Sandra Corcoran have seen first-hand the impact that the Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire has had on their business: “It’s fantastic to see how cycling has become such a fashionable hobby – ever since the Tour de France visited Yorkshire back in 2014, we’ve seen an increase in people of all ages coming into our store and falling in love with the sport. Not only have we seen our customer numbers increase by 50 per cent, but it’s also given our community a real boost – as people come together to celebrate the sport and in-store to get the genuine advice they need to find the bike of their dreams”.

Notes to editors

1 Barclays analysis found that between 2012 and 2017 SMEs who described themselves as cycling-related businesses saw an average increase in turnover of 38 per cent. The number of CACS (Charities, Associations, Clubs and Societies) that described themselves as cycling-related businesses rose by 49 per cent.

2 Total annual spend totals £3,797,734,838
396/2003 respondents cycle at least once a month = 19.78% population
0.1978* 51,767,000 (UK population) = 10,239,512 cyclists in the UK
Each spend £340 = £10,239,512* 340 = £3,481,434,284 = £3.5 billion

3 Cyclist described as someone who cycles at least once a month.

4 Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,003 UK adults aged 18+ from 18 July to 20 July 2017. Results have been weighted to representative criteria of the UK. Sample included 538 respondents who cycle at least once a month.

5 Cyclists who had previously purchased cycling apps were revealed to spend an average of £91 a year.

About Barclays

Barclays is a transatlantic consumer, corporate and investment bank offering products and services across personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management, with a strong presence in our two home markets of the UK and the US.

With over 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 40 countries and employs approximately 85,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

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