When the Coronavirus epidemic began, CNN began a real-time tracking stock that seemed to be highly impacted. Unsurprisingly, stocks like Netflix, UberEats, and Zoom, all under the category “Stay At Home” saw a major increase in revenue. Other stocks, especially in the business and travel industry, such as airlines and hotels, took a significant dive. Yet, one industry, which took many by surprise, surpassed its competitors in the exercise industry. The Bike Boom, which is now being referred to as the significant uptick in bicycle purchases and riding, began bringing in major profits as individuals had an increased desire to exercise whilst maintaining a safe distance.
Canyon, a high-end and direct-to-consumer bike company, announced that it was beginning talks with private equity and buyout firms. However, in September, Canyon, a 30-year-old German bike brand, announced a 30% increase from the previous year, stating they made $474 million in global sales for 2020. Investors began wondering how to get in on the suddenly profitable industry.
Around the same time Canyon reported their increase in sales, one of Canyon’s suitors named KKR & Co reported a $450-million fundraising for Zwift, an app fitness program for cyclists and runners. Other fitness apps such as Strava and Wahoo, which are also popular with cyclists, began to be profitable investments.
Stephen Frothingham, editor-in-chief of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, an industry publication, says E-bikes are beginning to see major profits as well, but that they are still in the early stage and there’s a lot of room for development. “A lot of companies are riding high, but a challenge they all have to grow is getting enough bikes.” Most bikes are made in China and Taiwan, so if these countries see a decrease in production, then the whole industry has a chance of being affected. Frothingham states that increased capacity needs to be considered to meet the intense demand. However, despite vaccines and a lessening of worry, the bike boom is still expected to continue for the remainder of 2021 and possibly into the upcoming year as well.