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When did MTB overtake road bikes in sales figures?

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When did MTB overtake road bikes in sales figures?

Old 05-01-19, 01:29 AM
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Obeast
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When did MTB overtake road bikes in sales figures?

I started out in the cycling world with a road bike, specifically a vintage 7sp Nishiki but itīs getting rarer to find road bikes at the thrift stores these days. Itīs mostly mountain bikes and mountain bike style hybrids and of course a bunch of cheap azz Chinese full suspensions that are completely rusted up being no less than 5-10 years old.
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Old 05-01-19, 01:49 AM
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Old 05-01-19, 02:35 AM
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mtbs started to outsell road bikes in the late 80ies i'd guess.

I can tell you that road bikes very almost non existent 1990-2005 or so in europe. only mtbs.
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Old 05-01-19, 03:45 AM
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US Road bike sales were pretty low in the 90s. Lance helped road bike sales for a while in the aughts. Looks like they bested MTB sales in 2011, but then dropped off again. The free version of this info doesn't say whether it's by units sold or dollars sold.

Year/road/mtb


2005 16% 29%

2006 18% 24%

2007 21% 25%

2008 20% 26%

2009 20% 24%

2010 23% 22%

2011 24% 23%

2012 20% 25%
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Old 05-01-19, 03:54 AM
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1990 was the first year the cover of Specialized's catalog prominently featured a mountain bike, although '89 did have a small inset pic of a MTB on the cover, and a lot of copy inside dedicated to MTBs, and MTBs listed first, before the road bikes.
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Old 05-01-19, 05:18 AM
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Yeah, I'd say '89 or '90. By 1992-1993 most shops had cut way back on road bikes.
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Old 05-01-19, 05:35 AM
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Yeah, I remember around 1990 or so, everyone was going to bike shops looking for that magical "$300 mountain bike". Manufacturers obliged, and the rest is history. One of the worst casualties of this was that road bike manufacturers decided to limit tire clearance to 25 mm, in the hopes that anyone wanting to use a wider tire occasionally would need to buy two bikes instead of just one.

Every non-cyclist had to have an MTB (dammit!) as a way of getting into riding, without being too "extreme". You could sit upright like in an office chair, with a big soft seat and upright handlebars with long brake levers. Early MTB's often weighed 35 lbs, but that was not a problem since few ever went off the road (intentionally). Walmart has now pretty much conquered this demographic these days, and the "$300 MTB" now costs around $200, but it still weighs 35 lbs.
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Old 05-01-19, 05:43 AM
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If the criteria is what is available at thrift stores surely that will skew the results somewhat. Also where do hybrids fit which sit between road bikes and mountain bikes in specification?

Here in the UK we don't get thrift stores with bikes, most charity shops don't sell bikes except for the occasional child's bike and bike workshops tend to have fairly high prices for their bikes. On the secondhand market, ebay, facebook marketplace, schpock etc the cheapest bikes are usually in very poor condition and of generally low end to medium spec with no higher end models but all types of bike I would say. I recently got a road bike for Ģ6.50 off ebay, A Raleigh Pursuit from 2010, a bike that ranged in price from about Ģ180-350 depending on where you bought and at what time. Condition was rusted but low use with parts showing little wear. A bike that didn't even get the luxury of being stored in the shed but likely was left out in the rain at least some of the time.

I saw a large skip at a recycling centre once that just had bikes in pretty much, most were either very old or very cheap with the cheap being low end steel mountain bikes or children's bikes. However there did look like a few higher end models sometimes just the frames that looked like they had broken including some road bike frames.

Perhaps higher end models are just more likely through fatigue and actually being ridden to structurally fail in use. Certainly broken mountain bike frames are a common site but then those are regularly abused and damaged.
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Old 05-01-19, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
Yeah, I remember around 1990 or so, everyone was going to bike shops looking for that magical "$300 mountain bike". Manufacturers obliged, and the rest is history. One of the worst casualties of this was that road bike manufacturers decided to limit tire clearance to 25 mm, in the hopes that anyone wanting to use a wider tire occasionally would need to buy two bikes instead of just one.

Every non-cyclist had to have an MTB (dammit!) as a way of getting into riding, without being too "extreme". You could sit upright like in an office chair, with a big soft seat and upright handlebars with long brake levers. Early MTB's often weighed 35 lbs, but that was not a problem since few ever went off the road (intentionally). Walmart has now pretty much conquered this demographic these days, and the "$300 MTB" now costs around $200, but it still weighs 35 lbs.
And is still being sold with the same parts.
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Old 05-01-19, 05:57 AM
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And people can't figure out why their butt hurts, their bike is slow, and things on it keep breaking. So they give up the sport.
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Old 05-01-19, 06:07 AM
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I'm not sure the premise of this thread is correct, that mountain bikes outsell road bikes.


-Tim-
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Old 05-01-19, 06:09 AM
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Old 05-01-19, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
And people can't figure out why their butt hurts, their bike is slow, and things on it keep breaking. Then they post about it here. So they give up the sport.
vadsfmmv
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Old 05-01-19, 06:31 AM
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Old road bikes get a second life as single speed, IGH, and hipster bikes, so there's a demand for them.
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Old 05-01-19, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I'm not sure the premise of this thread is correct, that mountain bikes outsell road bikes.


-Tim-
It's close in terms of money (not necessarily units), but MTB appears to be ahead currently.

https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/u...ding-the-pack/

Ebikes are the real growth right now. Don't know if that will last.
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Old 05-01-19, 07:40 AM
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If you are basing it on what you see in thrift stores, you have to consider that people tend to KEEP their road bikes.
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Old 05-01-19, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
US Road bike sales were pretty low in the 90s. Lance helped road bike sales for a while in the aughts. Looks like they bested MTB sales in 2011, but then dropped off again. The free version of this info doesn't say whether it's by units sold or dollars sold.

Year/road/mtb


2005 16% 29%

2006 18% 24%

2007 21% 25%

2008 20% 26%

2009 20% 24%

2010 23% 22%

2011 24% 23%

2012 20% 25%
Source please.
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Old 05-01-19, 07:47 AM
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Part of the issue as I see it now is that there's an entire generation that's almost entirely unfamiliar with drop bar bikes. The demographic for them skews older, and the prices run higher for similar components. These higher prices also discourage younger people from taking them up.
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Old 05-01-19, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
And people can't figure out why their butt hurts, their bike is slow, and things on it keep breaking. So they give up the sport.
"It's much more comfortable to ride with my arms up high and my saddle too low, which puts all of my weight on to my butt. I'll then get an overstuffed, squishy saddle which my pelvis will sink into, increasing pressure on my taint. Wait, now my butt hurts. Cycling sucks!"
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Old 05-01-19, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by teejaywhy View Post
Source please.
https://www.statista.com/statistics/...ory-in-the-us/

It doesn't cite original source in the free version. I guess it might be from NPD Group, since they also use the term Specialty Bicycle in their reports.

NPD says Specialty Road was a bigger market than Specialty MTB in 2014, "but since then the gap has flipped as sales of the latter have grown over the last three years, while sports performance road bikes have slowed."
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Old 05-01-19, 10:15 AM
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Location makes all the difference..

Your location my confirm your theory,, where in other cities, it's a false assumption ..

I live in a county which is rural, mostly woods and forest ..


What you see , depends on where you look
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Old 05-01-19, 10:37 AM
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Most of the people who ride bikes around here ride some sort of MTB and very few on any kind of road bike or even hybrids. My own kids all own MTB's. It's not necessarily because I want them to have MTB's but just that was what was available.

Go into a Walmart and Costco and see how many road bikes vs MTB's.
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Old 05-02-19, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
"It's much more comfortable to ride with my arms up high and my saddle too low, which puts all of my weight on to my butt. I'll then get an overstuffed, squishy saddle which my pelvis will sink into, increasing pressure on my taint. Wait, now my butt hurts. Cycling sucks!"
Not a comfort problem that a bike equipped with an ass-hatchet saddle, skinny high pressure tires, twitchy steering and a riding position placing significant rider weight bearing on wrists and hands, wouldn't cure.
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Old 05-02-19, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Not a comfort problem that a bike equipped with an ass-hatchet saddle, skinny high pressure tires, twitchy steering and a riding position placing significant rider weight bearing on wrists and hands, wouldn't cure.
If only there were a middle ground.
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Old 05-02-19, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Obeast View Post
I started out in the cycling world with a road bike, specifically a vintage 7sp Nishiki but itīs getting rarer to find road bikes at the thrift stores these days. Itīs mostly mountain bikes and mountain bike style hybrids and of course a bunch of cheap azz Chinese full suspensions that are completely rusted up being no less than 5-10 years old.
There's a disconnect somewhere in your logic. Are thrift stores connected to MTB sales? If they are somehow connected, wouldn't the abundance of MTBs in the thrift shop mean people are getting rid of MTBs and not buying them or does it mean that they are replacing them with newer ones? Or are they getting rid of MTBs and replacing them with road bikes? Or maybe they are just getting rid of them?
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