WASHINGTON, DC (BRAIN) Feb 10, 15:48 MT Suppliers imported 15.6 million bikes last year, down 4.1 million from 2010’s record 19.8 million bikes, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Imports were 2.5 million bikes below the prior-eight-year average of 18.1 million units.
Imports of all categories with wheel sizes below 700c were substantially down. Hardest hit were 20-inch imports, down 1.6 million bikes, a 31 percent drop. Even mountain bikes, one of the strongest adult categories, were down 17 percent last year.
The 700c import category was the only one to show an increase over last year—imports were up 152,304 bikes, a 12 percent jump. Because the Department of Commerce categorizes bikes by wheel size, 29er imports are mixed in with road bikes, and this partially explains why 700c was the only category to show growth.
Imports from China were down 4.2 million bikes, most of the losses coming from cutbacks in kids' categories. Imports from Taiwan were up 7 percent, with big gains in the 20-inch and 700c categories.