THE THREE GENERATIONS IN 2012 % of U.S. adult bicycle owners
Average US$ spent on recent new bicycle purchase Average US$ spent on recent used bicycle purchase
% Planning to buy a bicycle in 2012 Average US$ planning to spend on next bicycle purchase
Generations, shows that Generation X represents nearly half of all adult bicycle owners compared to Boomer’s one in four; and they are currently spending 29 per cent more on new bicycle purchases, expecting nine million fewer consumers to spend as much as, or more than the Baby Boomers before them is not realistic, or even possible. It’s the 11 per cent Factor at play.
So, what will bring about the next Bike Boom? The next Bike Boom will be caused by Generation Y who, born 1985-2004 and currently 8-27 years old, will be at 100 million, the largest generation in history. Among this generation there are approximately 43 million now above 18 years of age with another 57 million adding to the ranks of adult consumers every year for the next eight to ten years. Looking at the above three
generations table, you can see the potential impact on bicycle purchases and spending that the 20 per cent of Generation Y has already made. Compared to Baby Boomers, a higher percentage of adult Gen Y consumers planned to buy a bicycle this year and are also planning to spend 134 per cent more on that next bicycle. Imagine what will occur when all 100 million hit the market as adult consumers. Referring again to the US Birth graph you’ll see that
Generation Y has been consistently above four million births per year over the past decade, a level of consistency not seen since the Baby Boomers. But it’s not the sheer numbers alone that will cause the Bike Boom, but the mindset and focus of these consumers.
78% $1,152.00 Source: American Bicyclist Study, The Generations Report, conducted in February 2012 by the Gluskin Townley Group, LLC
Those Gen Y consumers already above the age of majority have been driving the growth of urban bicycling activity in many of the major metropolitan areas of the US Gen Y consumers are shying away from driving cars and using public transportation and the bicycle to commute to work, school, and errands. One can also opine that this is influencing the growth of bike sharing systems in cities and towns of all sizes around the US The younger Gen Y consumer, 8 to 17 years of age, is
“The next bike boom will come from generation Y, born 1985 to 2004...”
growing up with an awareness of the importance of the environment and the negative impact on health caused by obesity and sedentary lifestyles. So the bicycle will be seen as an easy fix for improving both issues. Of course, their world is connected by technology and social media, so it’s become natural to discuss the good and bad of retail shopping experiences. Let the specialty bicycle retail channel be warned now to prepare for what’s coming.
By 2020, Baby Boomers will
have taken the place of today’s Silent Generation on the sidelines to watch and wonder at the world being quickly created by the younger Generation X and
the full force of Generation Y. By 2022, Generation X will have taken the place of today’s Baby Boomers as they begin to age out of activities like bicycling but Generation Y’s 100 million adult consumers will be actively engaged in the communities of interest they will have built and bicycling will be one of those communities. So the next Bike Boom will be upon us in the US and it will be glorious.