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The Cycling Market Data Service – on behalf of the Bicycle Association – is monitoring monthly sales and stock from almost 2,000 retail outlets selling cycling equipment. The Market Data Service tracks over 1 million products.

Investigation – What we do


The Bicycle Association (BA) is the national body representing the bicycle industry in the United Kingdom embracing manufacturers, distributors, and cycling retailers.

The BA work to enable their members businesses to perform better, as well as lobbying at local and national level to promote the societal value of cycling, and encourage increased funding for cycling travel. To do this effectively requires accurate, regular market data to inform the market and give the industry a stronger voice.

The result is the Market Data Service (MDS) designed to provide the BA’s members with high quality sales & inventory data – detailing brand, category and sector market share. The objective of the MDS is to monitor performance change and facilitate subscribers to understand their customers better and benchmark their own performance against the context of the market, helping them to grow their profitability.

To do this in a market as complex as the cycling industry with both specialist and speciality cycling retailers, and generalist & sports retailers required Sports Marketing Surveys’ expertise, database skills, and market knowledge.


Insight – How We Do It


In 2018, SMS was selected as the research partner to launch the UK Cycling Market Data service on behalf of the Bicycle Association. For two years, SMS has worked with a wide range of cycling brands, retailers and distributors to create a comprehensive reporting system to collect the sales data for all UK cycling products (Bikes, E-bikes, Parts, Accessories and Clothing and Servicing).

MDS data contributors include the biggest bricks and mortar chains, the most prominent online retailers and leading specialist stores., with information back to the start of 2018.

Working with our partners, we designed a user-friendly interactive dashboard and downloadable market tables that allow businesses to compare their own performance against their peers on a range of sales and stock metrics while protecting the anonymity of all confidential sales information.

In 2020, the service has become fully operational following a gradual roll out with first results released in August 2019. The dashboard allows subscribers to evaluate their own current and historical performance in the context of the overall GB market cycling retail marketplace.


Action – How Clients And Partners Benefit

The project collects and reports monthly sales data from specialty IBDs and generalist retailers featuring cycling. It is estimated that the service tracks c70% of all cycling product sales in the UK.

The volume and reach of the data makes the cycling MDS one of the most comprehensive retail audits attempted in the sports industry. It is also one of the most widely used. It has been impactful in providing advocacy for the cycling industry and was used in discussions with government that resulted in cycling retailers remaining open during Coronavirus shop closures.

The results support cycling retailers, brands, service providers and governing bodies plan and monitor product launches, develop pricing strategies and identify new opportunities and cateogires for growth.  Service users include Giant, Trek and Raleigh, and major retailers in the UK like Amazon, Wiggle, Halfords, Ribble, Decathlon and Argos, alongside hundreds of independent retailers (IBDs).

SMS has worked with a wide range of cycling brands, retailers and distributors to create a comprehensive reporting system.

The data is being used by some of the leading manufacturers and biggest cycling retailers in the UK – featuring almost 2,000 retail doors

We are delighted with the active support and encouragement we have had from so many brands, distributors and retailers of all sizes. Today’s results are an important and exciting first step in revolutionising the cycling market for those supporters as well as the wider industry. Better data gives us more accurate and independent figures to build a stronger case for cycling at local and national level.

Steve Garidis – Chief Executive – Bicycle Association