The Biking Craze of the Decade Is Coming to a Screeching Halt: You and I Are To Profit

For years, a cycling wave has been hitting the world. From gravel biking to bikepacking to e-biking, it's a massive wave. But it's showing signs of crashing, and the ones to benefit from all of this are people like you and me.
Cannondale and Trek Bikes 21 photos
Photo: Cannondale / Trek Bicycles / Edited by autoevolution
Marlin 6 Gen 2Stumpjumper EVO ExpertStumpjumper EVO ExpertBicycle LotRed, Blue, and Black BicyclesAssorted BicyclesTrail SE 2Trail SE 2Supercaliber 9.6Cannondale BikesCannondale BikesSpecialized BikesSpecialized BikesSpecialized BikesCanyon BikesCanyon BikesTrek BikesTrek BikesTrek BikesTrek Bikes
The recent boom of bikes and other urban vehicles with two wheels is slowing down. Actually, it's more like coming to a screeching halt which means great news for folks like you and me. Let's look and find out what happened, where we are, and where things are going.

Anyone with eyes has noticed that the past few years have been fruitful for bicycle manufacturers. So much so that, countless new brands have decided to hop on the bandwagon, possibly not seeing the looming danger to follow. Heck, even major names have jumped the gun a bit too much. The result of the hype?

Tons, and I mean literal tons, of bicycles, mechanical and electrified, popping up like spring flowers after two days of sunlight. Well, a rogue frost is officially upon us. Actually, it's not a 'rogue' anything, but rather, simple economics 101, and I mean that in the most literal sense. In Econ 101, I learned the notion of supply and demand, an idea that was seemingly forgotten in the recent gold rush.

That gold rush only lasted until late 2022 because, toward the end of that year, I started noticing something I never thought I'd live to see: actual clearance sales on bikes that include some of the industry's best technology. To quote Trek's website, "Trekfest is on now!" They're dropping up to 40% on select machines and apparel, hoping to clear their warehouses.

Assorted Bicycles
Photo: Héctor Martínez via Unsplash
Hell, the XC E-Caliber 9.9 with AXS Gen 1, a bike designed to bring home gold medals, was selling for $13,000 (€12,200 at current exchange rates) and is now down to $10,700 (€10,000). Bikes like the Marlin 6 are also reduced to around $750 (€700). Want a Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Expert for $4,725 (€4,400)? That's down from $6,300 (€5,900). Cheaper, you say? How's a Cannondale Trail SE 2 for $1,540 sound (€1,450)?

Clearly, I'm not going to make this all about Trek. Brands like Specialized, Cannondale, and Canyon are also clearing house. Honestly, the more manufacturers you look for, the more that you'll find, all dropping prices. Oh, it's not just bicycle producers, either. Component brands are experiencing the same dilemma. After all, the two industries walk hand in hand. From drivetrain builders to suspension brands, all are feeling the sting of jumping the proverbial gun.

Then there's the little guy or the local shop owners. What are they to do? Most likely the same. After all, if you see a bike for sale on a big-name brand's website, why would you buy a more expensive version anywhere else? This means that shop owners will be lowering prices too, hopefully not to the point of no return.

What does all this mean for the industry? Well, it means a slowdown and one that has considerable effects on the entire globe. First of all, rogue manufacturers that may have popped up in recent times will most likely go poof. After all, why would a buy a $2,000 bike from a no-name crew when brands with decades of history have a better version for possibly the same price? I like to call this natural selection.

Trek Bikes
Photo: Trek Bicycles
And then there's the stabilization of prices too, which should follow a moment like this. Again, it's supply and demand. Supply and prices were high due to demand, and now that the need has dropped, prices follow a downhill trend to clear the supply. Obviously, no one will be manufacturing thousands of models anymore, not in the same manner anyway.

With a slight idea of what's happening, what does it all mean for you and me, the buyers and future owners of such timeless two-wheelers? Well, the most obvious is the price cuts. Again, manufacturers are dropping around a minimum of 15% of models to ensure they find a home, and that's always good news for us. Since these prices are set by industry giants, you can bet your bottom dollar that any new teams on the block will respect and work within the new limits. How else are you going to attract a buyer?

Now, history has a way of repeating itself, so what can you do to ensure you take full advantage of the next wave to pop up? The first is to identify the effects that caused the rise in manufactured units. In recent times, it's been the global health crisis, pushing countless folks towards single-occupant means of transportation. Couple that with rising fuel costs, and brands started going Oprah on everyone – you get a bike, and you get a bike, and you get a bike.

Bicycle Lot
Photo: Eric Prouzet via Unsplash
One aspect of this boom we must keep in mind is that analysts project nothing but growth in the upcoming decade. This means that this point in the bicycle industry is only temporary. If you couple that with e-bikes, the numbers show more and more business to be had. I wonder where we're going to store all these bikes.

The next time you see everyone rushing to the counter to buy that special machine or whatever is so hot right now, slow down for a second, take a deep breath, and analyze what's going on. Because if you knew that this wave was about to crash one or two years ago, you could have been a tad more patient and taken advantage of it now.

As for myself, I'm curious to see how much further prices drop. After all, if we all pool together and refuse to purchase those often-over-priced two-wheelers, rates should keep sliding, only to go up again later. They're called waves for a reason, and this one is for lovers of bicycles like you and me.
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Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party. Images in the gallery showcase an array of bicycles from various brands. Please check image credits for the corresponding manufacturer.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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