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1.1 Definition and scope of the study

A bicycle is a human-powered land vehicle in the category of cycles and is composed of two in-line wheels, which gave it its name. The driving force is provided by its driver, usually seated, through two pedals driving the rear wheel by a roller chain. There are several types of bicycles, the best known of which are: Dutch bicycles, mountain bikes, all-terrain bicycles (ATBs), folding bicycles, cargo bicycles and road bicycles.

The global bicycle market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.4% between 2020 and 2027. The demand is driven by Asia, which generates 20% of world sales, and mainly China, which should see a CAGR of 4.7% over the same period.

In France, the market is very dynamic, and is benefiting from a growing demand for EABs (electrically assisted bicycles) which increased by 10.1% in 2019. EABs have been the subject of a specific Businesscoot study available here.

The French market is under development with major players in the multi-sports market integrated at all levels of the value chain, smaller shops that are flourishing in the city thanks to franchise development, production companies that are focusing on the high-end of the market to attract a passionate public, and finally players who are trying to make a place for themselves in the booming electrical niche.

While lockdown broke the market momentum, the sector recovered very quickly with an explosion in demand after the crisis. This dynamic is fuelled by the government and local authorities' efforts to make the urban space suitable for bikes in order to encourage their use as a means of transportation.

1.2 The global market remains dynamic despite the crisis

In ****, Research and Markets carried out a study on the world bicycle market, with estimates for **** and up to ****, made following the Covid-** crisis. The graph below reports these estimates.

Evolution of the bicycle world market World, ****-****, in billion US dollars Source: ****

According to the report, the ****-**** period will ...

1.3 The growing French market

In May ****, l'Union Sport et Cycle published its annual Cycle Market Observatory for ****. It reports the figures for the French cycle market, which is in a very good shape. By comparing these figures with the previous reports, we can deduce the following graph.

Evolution of the french bicycle market size France, ...

1.4 The impact of Covid-19

In the Observatoire du Cycle ****, l'Union du Sport et du Cycle (***) carried out a study on the impact of the Covid-** crisis. Indeed, the report was published in May **** and took into account the upheavals linked to the crisis.

Specialist bicycle sales and repair shops suffered the hardest hit. Forced to ...

1.5 Foreign trade

The UN Comtrade site, reports customs data, made from the HS nomenclature. The bicycle trade is registered under the following code: - ******: Bicycles and other cycles; including delivery tricycles, not motorised

The graph below shows France's trade balance for bicycles. 

Bicycles trade balance France, ****-****, in million US dollars Source: ****

The ...


2.1 The French and their cycling habits

French households bike equipment

The ree.development-durable.gouv website published a thematic fact sheet titled "The French and cycling" in ****. This fact sheet reports the rate of household bicycle ownership by number of people. 

Equipment rate of bikes and cars per person, depending on the household size France, ****, in bike/person Source: ...

2.2 Types of bikes, accessories and purchasing methods preferred

Which bikes do the French use?

The Observatoire du tourisme à vélo, reveals that, in ****, a majority of respondents (***) were used by *% of respondents in ****

Where do the French buy their bikes?

According to the Bike Tourism Observatory, on average, a bike costs €*,*** in ****. The expenses of licensed cyclists are twice ...

2.3 Consumers' views on industry developments

The Odoxa survey asked respondents about their views on the sector outlook. This outlook is reported in the chart below.

Do you see bicycle as a means of transport... France, ****, en pourcentage Source: ****

Once out of lockdown, the French therefore expect bicycles to expand as a means of transport and see ...


3.1 Bike production in France

Producers' revenues

According to, the production of bicycles in France, in ****, mainly concerns assembly. The players source parts from third countries (***) and assemble everything in factories in France. 

Bicycle producers on French territory are registered in the INSEE nomenclature under the NAF code: **.**: Manufacture of bicycles and invalid ...

3.2 The main distribution channels

L'Observatoire du cycle ****, reports the breakdown of turnover by distribution channel.

Breakdown and growth of bicycles revenues (***), by distribution channel France, ****, in percentage Source: ****

Retailers and multi-sport stores are therefore the main outlets. These two channels are also the ones driving the growth of the sector, as they both register a ...

3.3 An attractive market, structuring itself between giants and new brands

An article by LSA Conso in ****, describes the bicycle market and highlights the main players structuring it.

Giants in multi-sports distribution are well installed

Decathlon is the first bicycle selling group in France. Its integrated model is extremely effective in the current economic climate. It is active at all levels of ...


4.1 Price typology

The INSEE, reports the evolution of consumer prices for bicycles since ****.

Bicycles consumer price index evolution France, ****-****, **** base index Source: ****

The consumer price of bicycles is very stable with a slight increase in **** which seems to be confirmed in the first months of ****. However, this index in the Coicop nomenclature ...

4.2 The different types of bikes

With the evolution of practices, and the promotion of bikes as a way of life, the latter has seen its forms multiply to meet the desires of users. Today, there are a multitude of different bikes, for which there are also a multitude of specific equipment available, making each bike unique. ...


5.1 General regulations

Regulation of bicycle production (***)

The EU safety standards are specific to each product family and are transposed in the following French standards:

NF EN ***** (***)City and off-road bicycles: safety requirements and test methods ; NF EN ***** (***)Bicycles for young children: safety requirements and test methods ; NF EN ***** (***)All-Terrain Bicycles: Safety Requirements and ...

5.2 The "bike boost" device

At the end of lockdown, France has set up an "emergency bicycle system". This plan consists of ** million euros of investment and * actions in addition to so-called "transition" cycle paths, which will be set up in several conurbations in May-June ****.

The three components, around which the plan is structured, are as ...


6.1 Segmentation

  • Velo Electrique
  • Decathlon
  • Go Sport
  • Altermove (Mobivia Holding)
  • La manufacture française du cycle
  • Cyfac

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Hugo Schott

chargé d'études économiques, Xerfi

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Associate Consultant

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Education Formation
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