velobiz 10/2020

An all-season trend

The cycle industry has experienced a top year. However, there is hardly time to take a breather. Major trends bring along new developing pressure for manufacturers and retailers to make sure that people will not get off their bikes in autumn.

The past year was exhausting. The cycle industry had to struggle, surprisingly above all and for many months now, with a consumer demand that overshadowed everything else. Those who ask the retailers often hear the same thing: There is not yet time to take a breather, to view beyond the daily business. But to make sure that today’s success does not remain a flash in the pan and cycling becomes an activity throughout the year, we must not fail to look at the trends that will drive the market in the coming months, seasons and over the years. (...)

Taking the chance of autumn

The development opportunities for “bio bikes” and electrified bikes are easy to grasp if you look at the time of year when the trade traditionally takes a deep breath: the dark, wet months. (...)

But when talking to Dirk Zedler, the influential bicycle expert from Ludwigsburg, disappointment resonates. “There is a historic opportunity for the cycle industry to invest fully in further development with full coffers as a result of the pandemic.” Often enough, however, this process would exhaust itself in fragments, but hardly in integrated solutions to improve the bicycle as an overall product, diagnoses industry insider Zedler. “The big challenge is however to think beyond assembling a frame with individual parts from company-own design and to break fresh grounds,” finds Zedler. Looking at what is rolling around on German roads, one would see hardly any concept going beyond an electrified bicycle.” (...)

Mueller agrees that future trends on the market are driven by cooperation, Riese & Mueller’s cooperation on lighting with Supernova is an example for that. “In future, it will be a question of working together at an early stage of development so that the bicycle can further develop as a means of transport.” Cargo bikes are considered pushing the use of bicycles throughout the year. At Riese & Mueller customers are increasingly choosing the comfortable and expensive GX option with wider tyres and more suspension. Customers spend money, but also make demands. Those who invests in such a vehicle, do not want to mothball it in November. A use throughout the year is also important for Riese & Mueller. “In this connection light plays a particularly important role,” says Heiko Mueller. For this reason, his company would rely on full and dim light for more and more models. This complies with the observation of Dirk Zedler who refers to the automotive industry. There the lighting concept is of major importance in the advance development phase already. This way of developing vehicles from one piece will also shape the bicycle industry in the future. (...)

A cocoon for commuters

(...) All in all, retailers should become part of a digital chain and, above all, help to ensure that customers remain mobile. Many discussion partners identify mobility and not so much the product as the central topic of the future. It is no longer about selling bicycles, says Dirk Zedler, “but experiences keeping the customers on their bikes.” (...)

Read the entire article here.

Author: Tim Farin

 

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