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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.