Do we really understand what’s happening to the cycle trade?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Bmblbzzz
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Re: Do we really understand what’s happening to the cycle trade?

Post by Bmblbzzz »

Jdsk wrote: 2 Jul 2024, 10:17am And for this week: it's likely that we'll soon have a government that won't play at opposing "the war on motorists",...
That's ambiguous. By "won't play at opposing", do you mean they will be serious in opposing it? Or that they won't indulge in even the appearance of opposing it? Or something else?

(IMO neither apply; you can't really oppose something that doesn't in reality exist. But they will be no less pro-motorist than any other government.)
atoz
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Re: Do we really understand what’s happening to the cycle trade?

Post by atoz »

Bmblbzzz wrote: 2 Jul 2024, 10:35am
Jdsk wrote: 2 Jul 2024, 10:17am And for this week: it's likely that we'll soon have a government that won't play at opposing "the war on motorists",...
That's ambiguous. By "won't play at opposing", do you mean they will be serious in opposing it? Or that they won't indulge in even the appearance of opposing it? Or something else?

(IMO neither apply; you can't really oppose something that doesn't in reality exist. But they will be no less pro-motorist than any other government.)
I disagree. The economics of traffic congestion, deteriorating road infrastructure and rubbish public transport are a major cost to society and a disincentive to investment in the UK. It's basically too costly to continue as we are, to say nothing of the environmental consequences. Sunak and his motley crew didn't care because they were desperate for votes- well that worked well lol. Starmer and co will have to care. There really isn't a choice anymore.
Bmblbzzz
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Re: Do we really understand what’s happening to the cycle trade?

Post by Bmblbzzz »

I hope you're right, but governments of all flavours have been steadfastly ignoring the necessity since whenever you care to start measuring.
Jdsk
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Re: Do we really understand what’s happening to the cycle trade?

Post by Jdsk »

atoz wrote: 5 Jul 2024, 3:41pm ...
The economics of traffic congestion, deteriorating road infrastructure and rubbish public transport are a major cost to society and a disincentive to investment in the UK. It's basically too costly to continue as we are, to say nothing of the environmental consequences. Sunak and his motley crew didn't care because they were desperate for votes- well that worked well lol. Starmer and co will have to care. There really isn't a choice anymore.
I'd like to have heard a lot more on active travel from Labour. But i do think that they'll avoid the performative nonsense. Areas for hope include the metropolitan Mayors and more local decision making, the 20 mph limit in Wales, greater emphasis on preventive health (especially because there'll be so little money for interventional healthcare), and a generally smarter approach to *policy based on evidence.

Jonathan

* The think-tanks are buzzing as I type.
Bmblbzzz
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Re: Do we really understand what’s happening to the cycle trade?

Post by Bmblbzzz »

There's a gap though between avoiding the performative nonsense (in all policy areas) and actually dealing with things. I think we're unlikely to see measures designed to actively reduce car travel at national level. But we have to wait and see. In the meantime, we have a weekend!
PH
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Re: Do we really understand what’s happening to the cycle trade?

Post by PH »

Where did the thread about the cycle trade go?
rareposter
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Re: Do we really understand what’s happening to the cycle trade?

Post by rareposter »

PH wrote: 5 Jul 2024, 5:00pm Where did the thread about the cycle trade go?
I'd argue that it's kind of related - the "utility cycling" market in the UK is poor because there's limited safe infrastructure (which is purely a political decision) and shops are therefore focussing their efforts on the leisure market, ideally the top end leisure market which is "high end road/gravel bikes".

That then leads to a feeling that cycling is exclusive, expensive, niche, performance, lycra etc which in turn puts off potential new cyclists.
Jdsk
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Re: Do we really understand what’s happening to the cycle trade?

Post by Jdsk »

rareposter wrote: 5 Jul 2024, 5:04pm
PH wrote: 5 Jul 2024, 5:00pm Where did the thread about the cycle trade go?
I'd argue that it's kind of related - the "utility cycling" market in the UK is poor because there's limited safe infrastructure (which is purely a political decision) and shops are therefore focussing their efforts on the leisure market, ideally the top end leisure market which is "high end road/gravel bikes".

That then leads to a feeling that cycling is exclusive, expensive, niche, performance, lycra etc which in turn puts off potential new cyclists.
There are other factors, but that volume of use is very important to the trade. As upthread: Oxford has a lot of bike shops.

Jonathan
Bmblbzzz
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Re: Do we really understand what’s happening to the cycle trade?

Post by Bmblbzzz »

PH wrote: 5 Jul 2024, 5:00pm Where did the thread about the cycle trade go?
It got repurposed. Discussion about the future of bike shops is happening elsewhere, perhaps in the thread about Mercian. Though if you stick around, it'll come back here in a while.
Nearholmer
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Re: Do we really understand what’s happening to the cycle trade?

Post by Nearholmer »

The idea that cycling is mostly “sport”, or at least “exercise”, and is only for exceptionally fit people, is deeply embedded, and if you notice both Raleigh and Halfords have felt it necessary to run advertising campaigns attempting to re-broaden the appeal of it. My reading of things is that outside of a few cities, the perception of utility cycling is that it’s for “poor people”, so has negative appeal from an aspirational perspective.
rareposter
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Re: Do we really understand what’s happening to the cycle trade?

Post by rareposter »

https://www.ft.com/content/a78cc945-6f5 ... 87187d15b2

Slightly more mainstream and financially orientated article about the current situation although it doesn't really give much that hasn't been discussed in the previous pages.
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Cugel
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Re: Do we really understand what’s happening to the cycle trade?

Post by Cugel »

Jdsk wrote: 5 Jul 2024, 4:42pm
atoz wrote: 5 Jul 2024, 3:41pm ...
The economics of traffic congestion, deteriorating road infrastructure and rubbish public transport are a major cost to society and a disincentive to investment in the UK. It's basically too costly to continue as we are, to say nothing of the environmental consequences. Sunak and his motley crew didn't care because they were desperate for votes- well that worked well lol. Starmer and co will have to care. There really isn't a choice anymore.
I'd like to have heard a lot more on active travel from Labour. But i do think that they'll avoid the performative nonsense. Areas for hope include the metropolitan Mayors and more local decision making, the 20 mph limit in Wales, greater emphasis on preventive health (especially because there'll be so little money for interventional healthcare), and a generally smarter approach to *policy based on evidence.

Jonathan

* The think-tanks are buzzing as I type.
Policies have always been based on evidence. However, politicians are adept at choosing (or even creating) the evidence they prefer whilst ignoring or denying the stuff inconvenient to whatever might detract from their power and ideology (and, if the politician is a Toryspiv, their paymasters' directives).

WIll Labour be different? It was in 1945 but that was unusual, with the unforgiving realities of WWII persuading many that some evidence really is more evidential than the massaged, prefabricated and otherwise distorted kind.

Think tanks - oh gaw! They haven't always shown evidence of "a generally smarter approach" eh? No.
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Wipperman_95
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Re: Do we really understand what’s happening to the cycle trade?

Post by Wipperman_95 »

Nearholmer wrote: 5 Jul 2024, 5:37pm The idea that cycling is mostly “sport”, or at least “exercise”, and is only for exceptionally fit people, is deeply embedded, and if you notice both Raleigh and Halfords have felt it necessary to run advertising campaigns attempting to re-broaden the appeal of it. My reading of things is that outside of a few cities, the perception of utility cycling is that it’s for “poor people”, so has negative appeal from an aspirational perspective.
Yeah; as I've already said, look at the mainstream UK cycling media; roadcc, Bike Radar, GCN, etc It's mainly performance/ racing - all the latest expensive lightweight, aero, electronic tech. Utility, commuting/ touring hardly gets a look in.......GCN are especially poor.

Thank goodness for someone like Russ from Path Less Pedalled, or Jack Thurston.
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rareposter
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Re: Do we really understand what’s happening to the cycle trade?

Post by rareposter »

Wipperman_95 wrote: 10 Jul 2024, 12:22pm
Nearholmer wrote: 5 Jul 2024, 5:37pm The idea that cycling is mostly “sport”, or at least “exercise”, and is only for exceptionally fit people, is deeply embedded, and if you notice both Raleigh and Halfords have felt it necessary to run advertising campaigns attempting to re-broaden the appeal of it. My reading of things is that outside of a few cities, the perception of utility cycling is that it’s for “poor people”, so has negative appeal from an aspirational perspective.
Yeah; as I've already said, look at the mainstream UK cycling media; roadcc, Bike Radar, GCN, etc It's mainly performance/ racing - all the latest expensive lightweight, aero, electronic tech. Utility, commuting/ touring hardly gets a look in.......GCN are especially poor.

Thank goodness for someone like Russ from Path Less Pedalled, or Jack Thurston.
It's a bit of a circular argument though. Look at any specialist publication or website. Cars, music systems, cameras, tech in general. Fashion as well.

No-one is reviewing the basic "average" [thing]. The people who use those [things] don't care enough to go and buy a specific publication dedicated to that [thing] - to them, the [thing] in question is a purely functional item, it works to the level they want it to work, does the job it's designed to do and the only time they'll ever search online for "what bike for..." or "what car..." is when they need to buy a new one.

Ironically, GCN are actually one of the broadest - they've done some excellent videos on commuting, touring, reviews of some of the more esoteric bikes on the market like e-cargo bikes for example. But their main market is the people who actually care enough about the kit they're using to watch the videos. Someone riding 2 miles to school / the office / the station is not remotely bothered about whether Ultegra Di2 is worth the extra over 105 Di2 or which bike is fastest up Alpe d'Huez because they're usually riding an entire bike that costs less than a single Ultegra chainset and they're leaving it locked out in the rain.

And no-one really needs a video or a magazine telling them how to do that.
Last edited by rareposter on 10 Jul 2024, 1:28pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nearholmer
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Re: Do we really understand what’s happening to the cycle trade?

Post by Nearholmer »

^^^

Well said.
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