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August 03, 2005


John Satory

I wonder what the percentage of bikes bought via big box stores (i.e. Walmart) vs. IBD is. With the numbers of IBD's on a steady decrease, I wouldn't find it hard to believe that the tripling is mainly because of the mass marketers. The trend that I have seen in the last 12+ months is the purchasing of road bikes. People are dropping serious $$$ on very nice road bikes. Most of the purchases that I'm aware of are not related at all to the Lance effect. Most just wanted to get a better bike.

Gary Thomas

How could sales almost triple when Pacific was doing business with Wal Mart in 2004. I doubt Wal Mart's business has almost tripled. And where are some of these numbers coming from? Wasn't the "bike booms" peak in 1974 at almost 14 million, which was higher than auto sales. Then in 1975, sales dropped by almost 50%. At the speciality bicycle retailer, road is up, hybrid bikes and clothing are doing well. But mountain, comfort and BMX are all down for many retailers.

Richard Masoner

Gary wrote: "How could sales almost triple when Pacific was doing business with Wal Mart in 2004."

Pacific has been making decent IBD bikes again under their Schwinn, Mongoose, and GT monikers and they've been receiving favorable reviews. Triple-sales is probably in dollars, not units.

I was wondering about the 20 million number myself. That must include children's bikes.

John asked about proportion of IBD vs mass retail bike sales. Mass merchants sell twice as many bikes as IBDs, but IBDs bring in about twice as much cash.

Jonathan Maus

I'd also like to see the IBD vs. Big Box comparison. Unfortunately our industry isn't very forthcoming with sales figures from the supplier end, which would make it a lot easier.

High-end road bikes not from Lance Effect? How do you know?

Good point that we shouldn't take the "sales have tripled" quote as fact. I think the sources for this story were weak. Thanks for your input.

Good point about IBDs vs. Big Box and amount of cash per sale and number of units. I'd love to see stats on that.


For many years the big box guys were doing 70% of the unit sales. I'll bet that is now pushing 75% since Schwinn is so readily available now in this channel.

John Satory

I can only comment on what I'm seeing in my neck of the woods and with my client base. The major road bike purchases in only the last 30 days that where made by my clients were 5 roadbikes in the $5k+ price range. All are avid cyclists and all were upgrading or "just getting something different."
I'm sure that there was more of the Lance effect influencing road bike sales more in the $1K-$2K price range.

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