Va-Va Froome fever as Brits spend at cycling business
With Chris Froome once again finishing victorious at this year’s Tour de France, 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 cent, 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.
Hot Pursuit Cycles in Devon has been selling bikes to local enthusiasts for more than 25 years, and Chris Berry Director, has seen first-hand the impact that races like the Tour de France and Tour de Britain has had on his business:
“It’s fantastic to see how cycling has become such a fashionable hobby – and we’ve seen an increase in people of all ages coming into our stores at Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot, and Totnes and falling in love with the sport. It’s been vital to us as a small business be able to offer specialised advice face to face as well as having an online presence, as the internet is extremely competitive on pricing. Initiatives such as the Bike to Work scheme have helped boost our customer numbers too and it’s important to us that we support every budding cyclist to find the perfect bike whatever their level of experience. There is no doubt that cycling has also given our community a real boost – as people come together to celebrate the sport all year round whether that’s by participating or enjoying the sport on national TV.”
Research also showed that this love of cycling doesn’t come cheap, with the annual amount spent by cycling enthusiasts totalling almost £3.5 billion. This means that the average cyclist 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).
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)
Graham Austin, Barclays Head of SME, South West, 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 Britain 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.”