Market Talk Cycling iQ

This week: 2015 bicycle market data from Japan s Bicycle Promotion Institute; Inabike, Indonesia s annual bicycle exhibition; 2015 Australian National Cycling Participation Survey; Bicycle Trade magazine; Korea s booming bicycle industry.

Market Talk is a collection of market intelligence from across the Asia-Pacific region selected to educate and inform anyone interested in understanding the APAC bicycle industry, its key players and the business behind the machines.


The number of new bicycles pushed into the Japanese market last year was just shy of nine million. We know this thanks to the efforts of the Japan Bicycle Promotion Institute (JBPI), which describes itself as a non-profit organisation established on April 1, 1964 for the planning of every kind of activity necessary to effect the promotion of the Japanese bicycle industry at large, and for the execution of those plans in close co-operation with the industry and with related organisations.

JBPI gathers, consolidates and graphs local bicycle production data from Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) reports and bicycle import data from Ministry of Finance Japan (MOF) Trade Statistics reports. Although it is not a quantitative deep-dive by any means, the top-line information which it releases every quarter can be quite useful for bicycle industry professionals to understand, at a basic level, the size of a particular market segment.

For example, the below graph [made from data within the latest JBPI report] shows the total new bicycle inventory delivered to the Japanese market from Q1-Q3 2015 in the Miscellaneous category. Miscellaneous is import-tariff-code-speak for sports bikes and light bicycles with outer derailleurs (not including MTB s which have their own category). Japanese-produced bicycles are obviously not included in import figures, but domestic production has been added to the graph, which then gives an overview of the total market supply. CIF denotes cost price plus freight and insurance.

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Unlike Japan, where bicycle imports have been falling for a number of years, the world s fourth most populous nation is going through something of a boom. Even the notorious congestion and lack of cycleways in major cities like Jakarta are not enough of a damper to impede impressive demand growth in the bicycle consumer market. Annual consumption is around six million units and the Indonesian government sees value in creating pro cycling events to drive tourism.

Trade exhibitions can often be a measure of the health of a particular industry, so it s reassuring to see Indonesia s annual bicycle exhibition growing each year. The sixth edition of Inabike, which is open to the general public, is scheduled to be held from 25 March to 01 April.


The Australian Bicycle Council released the results of the latest National Cycling Participation Survey (NCPS) in July this year. The NCPS is a biennial standardised survey which was first conducted in 2011. Amongst the national participation metrics it covers are bicycle ownership, number of people riding and the main purpose of riding. The data, which is also broken down by state, age and gender, is overlaid from equivalent data sets from previous surveys. One headline finding was that 85.5% of all people who had ridden in the last month before they were surveyed had done so for leisure. Far fewer were riding for transportation purposes (30.2%). The survey doesn t look specifically at the types of leisure riding (ie racing), but anyone wanting to find out about the racing side of the participation equation can peruse through the annual reports released by Cycling Australia.

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Click here to head over to the summary and report link at the Australian Bicycle Council s website.


While we re in Australia, I d encourage anyone interested in the Aussie cycling market to check out the Bicycling Trade website. The industry-focused sister publication of Bicycling Australia offers a well-connected view of the domestic market, publishes monthly bicycle import statistics and also has an enjoyable segment called How s Business , in which retail operators share their unique view on topical questions put to them by the editor, Phil Latz.


Uncovered while doing some digital housekeeping; Arirang news aired a short segment on what it calls Korea s booming bicycle industry in April this year. An interesting excerpt from the transcript:

The domestic bicycle market was worth a cool USD644m as of (2014), and it?s a number that?s expected to keep rising. Korea?s largest bicycle manufacturer and retailer Samchuly says it recorded sales of over USD111m (2014), up 10% from the previous year. Its close rival Alton Sports posted USD62m, an 11% surge from 2013. Local manufacturers aren?t the only ones fuelling the expansion, Koreans are buying imported bicycles by the boatload. (In 2014) alone, Korea imported bikes worth USD210m and that translates into annual average growth of nearly 9% since 2012.

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