The Spanish bicycle market in 2023: trends, challenges and perspectives

After two years of record post-Covid recovery, also impacted by component shortages, the Spanish bicycle market has seen a decline in sales and turnover in 2022. Faced with these challenges, the Spanish industry is seeking to reinvent itself, with the support of the government.

How does the Spanish bicycle market reinvent itself after the components crisis?

Component shortage weakens Spanish bicycle market

In 2022, the Spanish bicycle market experienced a decline in performance due to a shortage of components. As a result, the volume of bikes sold fell by 13.6%, from over 1.5 million units sold in previous years to 1.357 million bikes sold in 2022. This drop in volumes was also reflected in total value, which fell by 6% year-on-year, with total sales of 2.714 billion euros. Despite this slight drop, these figures testify to the dynamism of the whole market, which has seen its overall value increase by 45.1% in 3 years.

Is the electric bike segment more than ever the leader in Spain?

Despite the recession, some segments are less affected than others. For the third year in a row, the electric bike segment stood out, outperforming the overall market. In the Spanish market, the e-bike now has the largest market share. In 2022, with just 237,182 units sold, this segment accounted for 45.66% of the total market value. Thanks to this fine performance, the e-bike segment has overtaken the mountain bike segment, which was in first place.

The Spanish bicycle industry, an economic lever for the country 

Serious bike mechanic examining and repairing bicycle in workshop. Bike maintenance and sport shop concept.

According to Javier Lopez, President of AMBE: “2022 has not been easy for the bicycle industry, but the increase in employment, the creation of new businesses and the positive performance of electric and urban bicycle sales reflect what the sector can offer Spanish society: cleaner mobility, jobs and business opportunities.”

Spain, Southern Europe’s next big bike producer?

Despite lagging behind the Portuguese cycle industry, Spain has a strong internal production dynamic. In 2022, domestic bicycle production increased by 2.8% in value, reaching 255.9 million euros. A total of 353,036 bicycles were produced in Spain. This performance was considered the best ever recorded, according to statistics from the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism. Between 2019 and 2022, this figure rose by more than 50%, illustrating the acceleration of national production.

With the acceleration of local production, Spain is also exporting more and more bicycles. Between 2021 and 2022, the total value of exports increased by 76.5%. Today, Spain is the world’s 7th largest bike exporter. Spanish bicycles are mainly destined for the French and German markets, which are important trading partners for this cycling industry.

The cycle industry recruits in Spain

In Spain, the bicycle industry is very dynamic and creates jobs. In total, according to AMBE, the bicycle sector directly employs 24,456 people. This figure is rising year on year, with over 1,235 people expected to be recruited by 2022.

Spanish cyclists, from sport bikes to city bikes

In a country where cycling is essentially a sport, whether conventional or electric, the city bike stands out. In 2022, sales of this type of bike rose by 22.5%. These figures testify to the growing popularity of bicycles among city dwellers. To meet the needs of these new cyclists, specialist stores remain the preferred purchasing channel, accounting for 83.78% of sales volume. Multi-media chains and supermarkets follow with 9.65% and 6.57% of sales volume respectively.

The growth of this segment is helping to diversify the Spanish bicycle catalog, enabling everyone to find the right bike for their needs and budget. In Spain, while the average cost of a conventional city bike is €305, the average cost of an electric bike is €2,940. This represents a considerable investment for novices wishing to purchase an electric bike.

A man cycling on an elizabeth bridge in Perth city, western, Austrakia, this image can use for bike, sport, relax, healthy concept

Spain, a country in the early stages of its cycling policy

In 2021, Spain adopted its first national cycling strategy, which runs until 2025. This is a major step forward in recognizing the importance of cycling for gentler, low-carbon mobility. For the first time, public investment has been earmarked exclusively for cycling.

With its slogan: “Efecto Bicicleta: cuando te sumas, todos ruedas” meaning in English “Bike Effect: when we get together, everything works“; this campaign is above all a social one, built around 5 strategic priorities:

  • Promoting sustainable mobility for a shift to cycling
  • Promoting a healthy lifestyle through active mobility
  • Exploit the potential of cycle tourism
  • Promote leisure and sport cycling
  • Coordinate government action to promote cycling

In addition to these promotional efforts, measures to improve legislation and urban infrastructure are also planned.

Ultimately, the Spanish bicycle market was hit by a shortage of components, resulting in lower sales in 2022. However, despite this recession, the e-bike segment has managed to outperform the overall market.The growing popularity of city bikes in Spain is testimony to the evolution of cyclists’ preferences. So, the Spanish bicycle market presents promising perspectives, with a booming sector, job creation and business opportunities. Legislative measures and appropriate urban infrastructure will play a key role in developing cycling in the country, encouraging citizens to switch to more sustainable mobility.