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But the other two thirds of riders in some of Britain's biggest sportives rode 100+ brands between them...

One in three participants in some of the UK’s biggest sportives last year rode either a Specialized, Giant or Trek bicycle, according to research firm Sports Marketing Surveys.

It’s the second year that the company has conducted the research, and there’s been one change in the top three brands ridden, with Trek replacing Bianchi.

The fact the Italian brand was there at all in 2012 surprises us, given it is much smaller in the UK than Trek and a number of other brands; maybe people riding who own a Bianchi are more likely than owners of some others to ride the events at which the research was conducted?

For 2013, those were the Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia, Etape Mercia and Etape Pennines, all sponsored by Marie Curie Cancer Care, the Fred Whitton Challenge and the Wiggle Dragon Ride.

According to Sports Marketing Surveys, the research provides “insight into the equipment, expenditure, considerations, lifestyle and media consumption” of cyclists taking part in those sportives.

Giant, Specialized and Trek were used by 34 per cent of the sample – and the other two thirds used 119 separate brands between them.

It sounds a lot, but once you start making a list of bike makers, it fills up pretty quickly as names pop into your head.

The 122 brands used in 2013 was a big increase on the 87 surveyed the previous year, although quite why is unclear.

The model of bike was also analysed, with the top 10 models belonging to seven separate brands, and the most popular one made by Specialized.

Data was also captured for groupsets, helmets, shoes, clothing and wheels – the latter featuring 79 different brands, the top four of which produced the 10 most common models.

John Bushell, managing director of Sports Marketing Surveys, said: “Our work at CycloSportive events over the past couple of years has offered our clients significant, previously unavailable insight into a key sector of consumers.

“We believe the completion and availability of this new research could prove invaluable for road bike brands particularly, as the CycloSportive participant is of great importance to their business.”

This year, similar research will be conducted at two major events in Germany, and Mr Bushell added: “Being the second year that we have conducted this research – with the addition of the extensive European events – is particularly significant as it enables brands to analyse fluctuations in their market share for the first time, as the sport grows so rapidly”.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

45 comments

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Chuck [520 posts] 1 year ago
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Also surprised Bianchi were up there to begin with. Very rarely see any out and about.

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Gkam84 [9068 posts] 1 year ago
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I wonder how many ICE trikes were in the list.....not really, recumbents are not welcome on any of those sportives  14

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dave atkinson [6139 posts] 1 year ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

I wonder how many ICE trikes were in the list.....not really, recumbents are not welcome on any of those sportives  14

you want to get on some audaxes, they couldn't give a monkey's toss what you ride in the main and on top of that it's only 39p to enter*

*well, a fiver

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Flying Scot [908 posts] 1 year ago
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Etape Caledonia last year, 5000 entrants.... 2 Rattrays Flying Scots.

Combined aged, 111.

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Gkam84 [9068 posts] 1 year ago
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Dave Atkinson wrote:
Gkam84 wrote:

I wonder how many ICE trikes were in the list.....not really, recumbents are not welcome on any of those sportives  14

you want to get on some audaxes, they couldn't give a monkey's toss what you ride in the main and on top of that it's only 39p to enter*

*well, a fiver

I do want to get out and do some, but its pretty lonely doing 100km+ on your own, at least on a sportive you have people flying fast you all the time with the out bit of encouragement, until I go past them on the downhill and then look on in envy

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denzzz28 [28 posts] 1 year ago
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Thats the reason why I dont buy those three brands in the first place. "Everybody have them".

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joules1975 [313 posts] 1 year ago
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Sorry to be pedantic, but Specialized don't make their bikes, Merida make them and stick the Specialized badges on.

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glynr36 [637 posts] 1 year ago
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joules1975 wrote:

Sorry to be pedantic, but Specialized don't make their bikes, Merida make them and stick the Specialized badges on.

You can apply the same to most brands, and manufacturers in Taiwan/China, hardly a revelation.

Specialized still put a hell of a lot of work into the bike though.

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 1 year ago
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All true, but I bought a Trek because it was the right bike for me. Simple as that. There's a reason those guys sell a lot if bikes.

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Belaroo [44 posts] 1 year ago
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I want to resurrect my Mum's old Macleans track bike, it's at least as old as me, but I reckon it's going to be really fast, super short wheelbase. I like a Holdsworth, when I can find one. My Dad's rides like it's possessed, amazing to ride.
What about Koga Myata? I have a Dutch friend who does loads of road riding on his. Lovely looking bike.
I'd imagine it's like most hobbies, most go for the obvious easy to get hold of stuff and a few like to shop around and get something special.
You can pick up an amazing frame and build up something special, or get a bike off the shelf. It takes a certain type of person to shop around for something unique.

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Mpittick [14 posts] 1 year ago
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Pretty much everything you buy is manufactured in the Far East and not by the brand or company selling them. Margins for manufacturing in volume are tiny (in volume less than 5 percent of the bill of material in electronics for example) and the real value is in the R&D or intellectual property associated with the design. Just because you don't make something doesn't mean it isn't any good, the manufacturing process is low value and moves depending upon the lowest cost base available to do this part of the process.

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DeanF316 [135 posts] 1 year ago
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This fact tells you all you need to know about sportive riders. Ducks for cover.

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parksey [343 posts] 1 year ago
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notfastenough wrote:

All true, but I bought a Trek because it was the right bike for me. Simple as that. There's a reason those guys sell a lot if bikes.

+1

Having some obscure brand of bike doesn't make you more of a cyclist...

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Mooman16 [25 posts] 1 year ago
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Kinda creepy that how you roll on a Sportive is gonna be sold on to some market research group.

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Simon E [2539 posts] 1 year ago
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Mooman16 wrote:

Kinda creepy that how you roll on a Sportive is gonna be sold on to some market research group.

Perhaps it says more about the kind of people who ride sportives. You wouldn't get these marketing suits spending time and money to analyse the people riding audaxes!

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Joeinpoole [439 posts] 1 year ago
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parksey wrote:
notfastenough wrote:

All true, but I bought a Trek because it was the right bike for me. Simple as that. There's a reason those guys sell a lot if bikes.

+1

Having some obscure brand of bike doesn't make you more of a cyclist...

... and there's probably a reason why some of these obscure brands sell so few bikes too.

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nick h. [33 posts] 1 year ago
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Effing frustrating that this story doesn't contain the list! Is it supposed to be some big secret? I love anoraky lists like this. I WANT THE LIST!!!  14 14 14 14

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nick h. [33 posts] 1 year ago
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Effing frustrating that this story doesn't contain the list! Is it supposed to be some big secret? I love anoraky lists like this. I WANT THE LIST!!!  14 14 14 14

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obutterwick [474 posts] 1 year ago
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Depends where you live, I guess. Plenty of Bianchis here in York. Of my 12 who ride regularly together, 4 have a Bianchi.

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liverlepool [15 posts] 1 year ago
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I've got a trek, under a grand, use it most days and on training runs with club. Very good bike.
Also got a de rosa just for the hell of it. I'm not loaded but saved up for it and I love it. Couldn't really tell you why but it makes me smile.
Don't really have a point to make other than each to their own.

I also see loads of bianchis. Nice looking bikes but generally not set up for hilly sportives where you see a lot of them being pushed up hills!

And I want to see the list too!!

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Jerm [39 posts] 1 year ago
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Am also quite surprised Bianchi was there. I'm sure they're very nice but on the face of it don't offer the same value for money as a Giant. I accept that's based just on specs but that can be daily persuasive.

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J90 [286 posts] 1 year ago
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joules1975 wrote:

Sorry to be pedantic, but Specialized don't make their bikes, Merida make them and stick the Specialized badges on.

Indeed, they own 51% of Specialized. Not sure that it matters though, Merida make some quality frames.

I'm not surprised to see that Bianchis are on the rise, I've started to see a few more around now, one being used as a winter bike (shudder).

I'd be surprised if Pinarello isn't up there soon what with the Team Sky deal, the fact that they're stocked in Halfords these days and the fact you could probably fool people that you have a Dogma because the FP Uno looks quite similar.

Boardman and Planet X are two others that could be up there in a few years I think.

I don't see why people care that much about what other people ride though tbh, you get to a certain level and they're all the damn same anyway.

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J90 [286 posts] 1 year ago
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denzzz28 wrote:

Thats the reason why I dont buy those three brands in the first place. "Everybody have them".

I bet you drive a Vauxhall though....

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Squiggle [403 posts] 1 year ago
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nick h. wrote:

Effing frustrating that this story doesn't contain the list! Is it supposed to be some big secret? I love anoraky lists like this. I WANT THE LIST!!!  14 14 14 14

+1, link...?

I've got a new Trek which I ordered in minimal logos finish cos erm I didn't want anyone to know it was a Trek. After 1000km I wish I'd gone for bright pink with Trek all friggin over it it's that awesome.

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Nzlucas [122 posts] 1 year ago
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No one has mentioned that Giant make most of the other bikes Merida don't....

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paulrbarnard [182 posts] 1 year ago
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Its a market research list. Probably selling it for many £1000's. You have no chance of seeing the list...

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msfergus [22 posts] 1 year ago
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The only thing this survey will do, is generate a deluge of persuasive marketing materials trying to convince us that we've made the wrong choice, and this shiny new thing is better!

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bikecellar [268 posts] 1 year ago
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I would have thought a market research list of cars driven by sportive riders would have more value than a list of bikes ridden.  4

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briano 55 [18 posts] 1 year ago
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Joeinpoole wrote:
parksey wrote:
notfastenough wrote:

All true, but I bought a Trek because it was the right bike for me. Simple as that. There's a reason those guys sell a lot if bikes.

+1

Having some obscure brand of bike doesn't make you more of a cyclist...

... and there's probably a reason why some of these obscure brands sell so few bikes too.

Marketing!

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Northernbike [229 posts] 1 year ago
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I don't have a bike from any of the top three brands so not sure if that makes me a hip individualist or just not in with the in-crowd - probably the later I suppose  17

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