How Many Bicycles Are There in the World – You’ll Be Surprised! (2023)

(Last updated on January 18th, 2023)

The earliest bike design was created in 1817, and since then, we have been lucky enough to have bikes as a form of transport. Cycling is an amazing way to stay in shape, get fit, and make new friends. In recent years bikes are becoming even more popular, and because of this, there’s a high demand for bikes.

We are often asked how many bicycles there are in the world. In this article, we’re going to be speaking about the number of bikes in the world and also giving you some interesting facts about how popular they have become.

Hybrid bike on the side of the road
Hybrid bike on the side of the road. Picture Credit Unsplash

So How Many Bikes Are There in the World?

In total, there are just over a billion (1,000,000,000) bikes in the world of what we know, which is constantly changing. This number changes often, but it typically grows yearly, with more people taking up cycling and existing cyclists getting new bikes.

Where Are All These Bikes?

Bikes are used all over the world, and you will see them in nearly every country. Some countries utilize the bike more than others. Typically countries with larger populations or where there are bigger cities see more bicycles. These countries are where you will find the majority of the world’s bicycles. We can only give a rough estimation as these figures are constantly changing.

CountryBike Population
China500,000,000
USA120,000,000
Japan75,000,000
Germany62,000,000
Brazil42,000,000
India32,000,000
Italy24,000,000
Indonesia22,000,000
UK20,000,000
Rest of the world100,000,000+

What’s interesting about this information is that over half the world’s bicycles are currently in China. With 80% of the Chinese population being in cities, it’s the most efficient form of transport, and they are incredibly cheap to buy there as that is where a lot of bikes are made.

Cycling in a city
Cycling in a city. Photo credit Unsplash

How Many Bikes Are Being Made?

Bikes are a very mass-produced product, and when buying a bike, you have a lot of options. You get mountain bikes, road bikes, electric bikes, hybrid bikes, recumbent bikes, and many more. Some cyclists tend to own multiple bikes, and typically people will change a bike every few years if they are using it regularly.

Over 360,000 bikes are produced daily. That’s an incredible four bikes a second come off the production line. Typically over 47,000 bikes are sold each day, and the spare goes into companies stock to be sold later in time.

A question we are often asked is, where do the old bikes go? Many old bikes, if beyond repair, are scrapped or broken down for parts to fix other bikes. There are also many charities, such as World Bicycle Relief, who take these old bikes, repair them if needed, and donate them to countries where they will come in handy for transport purposes.

Road bike riding
Road bike riding. Photo credit Unsplash

Where Are These Bikes Made?

A very common question we are asked is where are bikes made? The first thing to mention is there’s a big difference between where a bike is made and where a bike is built. Many companies will say their bikes are made in the US, UK, or Europe, but this can mean they are just partly assembled in that country.

The majority of bikes come from East Asia. Low-end and mid-range bikes are typically made in China, and high-end bikes are typically made in Taiwan, but this can change depending on the brand. Many cyclists question the quality, but they are actually very strict when it comes to quality.

The factories in East Asia can produce a better product in bulk, generally cheaper than we can in the UK or the US. They have better machines and more workforce and have been doing it much longer than other countries. Many factories make bikes not just for themselves but for multiple brands.

Most brands now outsource their parts from East Asia and build the bike in their factories. This is the best of both worlds and means when cyclists order a bike, they get a quality product at a very low price compared to if it was all made in the same place.

Some companies do it all in-house, but these are typically boutique brands with the ability to custom design bikes and frames. They cost much more, but it’s nice to have something very unique.

Who Is Riding These Bikes?

An interesting question we are often asked is, who is riding these bikes? Well, what’s interesting is in the UK, for every three men who ride a bike, one woman does. In recent years, we are seeing more women take to bikes and hope it becomes a more mixed sport.

Regarding transport, the most popular age group to ride bikes is children, and the older people get, the fewer people take to the bike for transport. Regarding leisure, the most popular age to ride a bike is 45 to 55, followed by 15 to 25.

Fixed Gear bike on a wall
Fixed Gear bike on a wall. Photo credit Unsplash

Read more:

How Long Does It Take to Bike Across the US
Most Bike-Friendly Cities in the US
Best Bike Helmets

Why Are Bikes So Popular?

With so many bikes in the world, it’s important to understand what makes them so popular;

Cost Effective

Cycling is an incredibly cheap sport. You can get a budget bike and be on the road for as little as $100. It costs nothing but your own energy to cycle from one point to another, and when servicing comes around, it can be done very cheaply.

It’s a Sport

Not only is cycling just for transport, but it is also a very popular sport. Races like the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia have made cycling a very competitive sport that many people are interested in joining in.

It Keeps You Fit

Cycling is excellent for training muscles and amazing for your cardiovascular system. It is very low impact and can help you lose weight, increase blood flow, and has many other benefits.

It’s a Great Form of Transport

Cycling is becoming a very important form of transport, and many people are ditching the car and taking to the bike. With cities having better cycling infrastructure and electric bikes making it easy to arrive at work without even breaking a sweat, they are an incredible tool for getting around.

Bike lane sign
Bike lane sign. Photo credit Unsplash

Bikes vs. Cars

When it comes to driving and cycling, comparing the two is very interesting. Here are some interesting facts about bikes and cars;

Growth

The first thing to mention is the amount of growth the bicycle has had against the car. In 1965 the number of bikes sold compared to the number of cars sold was around one for one. Since then, bicycles have grown heavily in sales; now, for every car sold, two and a half bikes are sold.

We appreciate this statistic that cars are much more expensive and bikes are much more accessible. It does show the amount of cycling has hugely increased in the past 50 years and continues to grow heavily.

Cost

Regarding cost, bicycles range anywhere from $50 to $15,000 for general production bikes. Cars can cost as little as $10,000 all the way up to millions of dollars. Obviously, cars are much more expensive due to having more parts and being more complicated.

The difference is staggering when it comes to the general cost of owning a bicycle compared to a car. Here’s what you can expect from each, the savings for owning a bike is huge.

CostBicycle AnnuallyCar Annually
Insurance$0$1700
Maintenance$200$1300
Fuel$0$3000 (600 Gallon)
Parking$0$200
Total$200$6200

Practicality

When it comes to the practicality of a bike and a car, although a car might cost more and be tougher to park than a bike, it has its advantages. The first being the fact you are weatherproof. A car is much nicer on rainy days when the sky is falling.

Also, when it comes to owning a bike, it takes a lot of work to give someone a lift. Having a car does mean you are not just able to carry people but goods as well. You can also find traveling to work is a less sweaty job with a car compared to a bike.

Cyclist riding up a hill
Cyclist riding up a hill. Photo credit Unsplash

Top Bike Brands

There’s a huge amount of bike brands in the world, and when searching for your ideal bike, you will come across many. We are often asked who are the best bike brands. Here are some of the top brands you will have probably heard about;

Giant

Not only have Giant been making their own bikes since 1972 and grown to a point where they have an incredible range of different bikes to offer, but they are also making bikes for other brands in their own factory. They have definitely covered the market when it comes to cycling.

Trek

Trek started in the US in 1976, and they made their own bikes for many years before outsourcing. They have made bikes that have won many competitions over the past 50 years and are very good at creating new bike technology. In 2014 they were making up to 25,000 bikes a year, which has increased.

Cannondale

Cannondale started in the 1970s, but they didn’t make bikes. They made cycling accessories until the mid-1980s when they released a touring bike that became very popular. In recent years they have been making all kinds of bikes and have bikes that have won some incredible races, such as many grand tours.

Conclusion

There are over a billion bikes currently in the world, and that number is constantly growing. It’s great to see people turning to the pedals for commuting or a fitness fix. We love cycling and highly recommend it and believe it’s going to be a great solution to the world getting busier, and it will really help us manage the environment of our world.

Road bike in a night city
Road bike in a night city. Photo credit Unsplash

Frequently Asked Questions

What percentage of the world owns bikes?

Typically 42% of the world’s households own a bike, with some households owning multiple bikes. They are becoming increasingly popular still as a mode of transport in cities.

How many bikes are sold each year?

Typically 17 to 20 million bikes are sold per year. This is a huge amount, and we believe in the future, it will grow more.

What country uses bikes the most?

The Netherlands uses bikes the most, and it has been estimated an average of 28% of all trips are done by bicycle.

How big is the bike market?

It’s estimated at 59 billion currently, but that is expected to grow next year to around 62 billion. There’s a lot of money in cycling.

How many people ride bikes?

It is estimated that 50% of people cycle. It might be renting a bike or owning their own, but many people take to pedal power.

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