Traxio: ‘For first time, more e-bikes sold in Belgium than classic ones’

For the first time last year, more electric bicycles were sold in Belgium than regular bicycles. E-bikes now have a market share of 51,2%. However, bicycle sales have decreased.  After the top year of 2022, bicycle sales dropped by 12,9%. Still, more than 600 000 units were sold (606 017 to be precise), or more than before the corona pandemic.

The figures come from the mobility federation Traxio. The fact that the bicycle has the wind in its sails is also evident from the success of bicycle fair Velofollies in Courtrai, last weekend. The sixteenth edition of Europe’s second-largest (after Eurobike in Frankfurt) bicycle fair attracted almost 40 000 visitors.

According to Traxio, the e-bike has experienced rapid growth in recent years, partly because bicycles have become more important in commuting. But a certain electrification is also visible in the sporty segment. The Traxio figures show that 8 154 electric racing bicycles were sold last year. In 2022 there were 4 697.

A remarkable trend is the growing popularity of longtails. These bikes occupy less space than cargo bikes but still offer enough space to transport two children, for example. The longtail bicycles almost doubled in sales in 2023 to 6 328 units.

According to the Traxio survey, the consumer’s willingness to buy is high: almost half (47%) are eager to buy – and preferably quite soon /traxio.be

Potential

Another striking phenomenon is the sharp decline in mountain bike sales: ‘only’ 54 096 units in 2023 against 88 943 in 2022. Today, cyclists often opt for a gravel bike, a cross between a classic racing bike and an off-road mountain bike. Last year, 19 225 gravel bikes were sold, compared to 17 664 in 2022.

And the sector still has a lot of potential. At the end of November 2023, Traxio organized a representative market survey among 2 000 Belgian respondents regarding their purchase intentions for a new or second-hand bicycle.

Bicycle store

According to the survey, the willingness to buy is high: almost half (47%) are eager to buy – and preferably quite soon – while 17% hesitate. This is promising in both the short and long term.

Most consumers want e-bikes (46% purely e-bikes + 18% both mechanical and electric bicycles), and traditional bicycle stores (43%) and sports shops (29%) are the favorite channels for purchasing a new bicycle.

New vehicles

The majority also wants new vehicles; consumers are not enthusiastic about second-hand vehicles. Unlike the Dutch, Belgians appear reluctant to buy second-hand bicycles.

At Velofollies, the year’s trend was the gravel bike, as Traxio already noted, a sporty model for the road, which also offers the freedom to go offroad. E-bikes continue to do well, the Velofollies initiators confirmed, and electric mountain bikes and longtails are rising.

What also stood out when visiting Velofollies was that electronics play an increasingly important role, and above all, connectivity is booming. Everything on the bike is connected to the user via apps.

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