Opinion Piece: As The Economy Kickstarts, Bike Sales Could Boom

Bike sales could rocket as South Africans begin to move out of the coronavirus lockdown.

Whether it’s dialing up our daily dose of feel-good endorphins, getting the family outdoors or getting to work on time, I think the bicycle is set to be in high demand.

It is no secret this pandemic is forcing every South African to re-prioritize their family’s health and wellness. To that end, many behavioral and lifestyle adjustments are taking shape inside homes, schools and places of work. If global trends are anything to go by, it is highly likely these changes in lifestyle choices will apply to recreational activities and general modes of transport too. With experts predicting that Covid-19 is likely to be around for a long time, social-distancing is also very much likely to be the new world order. Fortunately for the bike industry, cycling is an ideal activity to improve health and practice social distancing simultaneously. This could trigger a higher than anticipated demand across the entire bike industry, with sales potentially rocketing.

We are seeing a rapid expansion in cycling. It is moving beyond merely a recreational activity into both a means to keep fit and for general transport purposes.” – Warren Lamb, General Manager of SRAM Southern Africa.

Further abroad, a well-established bike shop in Brisbane Australia reports a four-fold increase in revenues in the post-lockdown trading period. Interestingly, the current in-demand items at retail are not from any particular category. Customers there are purchasing a mix of accessories, parts and bikes. What is evident, is people are buying bikes for their children and spouses in order to get the family outdoors. Closer to home, with the local bike industry offering many wallet-friendly buys, a similar retail swing is likely here too.

In my opinion, with South Africa’s public transport system being far from a highly-desirable experience, the commuter bike market is another segment that is primed for an overdue upswing. It just does not make sense from a mental or physical health point of view to sit in cramped, potentially unhygienic busses, trains or taxis anymore. With commuter bikes available across a wide variety of price points these days, I think we could see a substantially higher number of ‘nine to fivers’ commuting by bicycle. Whether it’s dialing up our daily dose of feel-good endorphins, getting the family outdoors or getting to work on time, I think the bicycle is set to be in high demand.

Related: Trek Super Commuter eBike

| IMAGES: Gary Perkin – flipper.co.za & Canyon |




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