More people are turning to cycling for short journeys or for exercise, thus, the “bicycle economy” has become a new consumption trend, Shenzhen Economic Daily reported.
Data from Meituan Bike showed that the average time Shenzhen users ride bikes increased from 11.4 minutes to 13.5 minutes in the first half of the year, up 17.68% year on year.
The city’s most popular cycling spots include the Longhua Metro Station area in Longhua, Lianhua North in Futian and Hi-tech Park in Nanshan. The cycling volume increased by over 30% year on year.
At present, Meituan Bike disinfects over 20,000 shared bicycles in Shenzhen every day to offer safe and convenient riding services for citizens, the report said.
Xu Chang, a finance professional in Shenzhen, said he would ride a bike around Huanggang Park for about 40 minutes once or twice a week for relaxation.
Xu said he turned to cycling because the gym where he bought a membership card has repeatedly suspended business due to the epidemic. He then purchased a bicycle worth over 5,000 yuan (US$740).
Cycling’s growing popularity has also made it harder to get popular bike models.
A citizen surnamed Song told the News that her son wanted a road bike for his birthday and finally decided on one from Decathlon that costs 1,299 yuan. However, she was told by the store's online customer service that the bike was out of stock at that moment as it is one of their top-selling products and it had no specific arrival time.
The price of an adult bike sold at Decathlon ranges from 899 yuan to 23,999 yuan and many bikes were out of stock. Some high-end bikes priced over 5,000 yuan were unavailable for purchase, according to Decathlon’s WeChat miniprogram. Some bike models from another brand, Giant, were also sold out.
Data from China Bicycle Association showed that bicycle production in 2021 was 76.39 million units, up 1.5% year on year; while electric bicycles reached 45.51 million units, up 10.3% year on year.
In addition, the whole bike industry’s revenue is 308.5 billion yuan, with a total profit of 12.7 billion yuan. The industry’s exports exceeded US$12 billion, rising 53.4% year on year, hitting a new record high.
Other peripheral items for cycling are also selling hot both online and offline. Relevant data showed that spare bicycle parts’s turnover increased 100% year on year during the 618 Shopping Festival.
Xu spent more than the cost of his bike for other gear such as his helmet and eye wear.
Industry insiders observed the booming cycling economy didn’t develop overnight. Instead, it was associated with the popularization of shared bikes as well as the building of more urban greenways.
Over a half of cycling enthusiasts are born in the 1990s, according to a report released by Meituan.