A cycling mania has hit the UK as flashy bikes have become new prized possessions of the country’s affluent class. Already slated as the country’s new status symbols, bikes are selling like hot cakes! Young and rich men and women are gradually stepping away from their Porsches and Ferraris to make way for these uber cool luxury bikes in order to set a new style statement and impress their peers.
Keeping in sync with the recent bike craze that has swept Europe, BMW manufacturing the most expensive and luxurious cars in the world, launched their new bike collection earlier this year. Riding high on the success they received last year, BMW introduced a series of bikes that catered to cycling enthusiasts as well as those who cycle for pleasure. The bikes were up for sale only at authorized BMW outlets and on their online shopping website. Some of the models include the-BMW Mountain Bike endure 2012 costing $4,458 and the BMW M Bike Carbon Racer carrying a price tag of $3,603.
Bike sales in the UK reached as high as 5.7 per cent in the last year, reported Halfords, the country’s largest bike retailers. With increase in sales, UK’s cycling industry is now estimated to be worth £ 1.5 billion. Describing the rising cycle popularity as ‘amazing’, Simon Mottram revealed that the turnover of his company, manufacturing the luxury bike Rapha, has reached £ 13 million. There is an increasing demand for premium bikes and luxury cycles costing around £ 10,000. The most expensive model to have hit the cycling circuit is the S-Works Mclaren Venge costing a whopping £ 12,000. It has been developed by an American company Specialized and co-created by McLaren, whose Formula One drivers Jenson Buttin and Lewis Hamilton have made quite a name in the European Grand Prix.
The boom in UK’s cycling industry is attributed to Mark Cavnedish, Professional Cyclist and also BBC Sports Personality of the year and Sir Chris Hoy and of course also due to the popularity of the MAMIL which simply stands for ‘middle aged men in lycra’! In a research conducted by Mintel, retail analyst, it was found that the chief buyers included the rich and wealthy. It appealed more to affluent men aged 35-45 years for they believe that cycling and owning a bike will further improve their ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘living a healthy life’ image. The research further reports that one in two men from this age group owns a bike. Mr. Mottaram of the Rapha fame now wants to target men between the ages of 30-50 years as he believes that they are “brand conscious and keen on the sport”. While explaining the sudden growth in the cycling industry, he stated that today’s generation, which has both the education and the money, have new and unique ways of leading their lives. They see it “more in terms of personal development, wealth and happiness”.
The cycling frenzy has not yet cast its net of influence on the low income groups who still find it economical to buy a car instead of splurging on a super-luxurious bike. However, with BMW launching the very economical yet savvy BMW Cruise Bike which costs only $915 their perception might just change.