Bike Makers Gear Up For Growth With Automatic Shifting
Bicycle sales have been flat for 12 years, and companies are looking to woo new riders, says Jay Townley, an industry analyst with Gluskin Townley Group. With an estimated 160 million people considered potential riders, strong sales could reverse the trend.
Automatic shifting uses a computerized gear from bike component maker Shimano called Coasting, which is also used in new bikes by Trek, Raleigh America and Giant Bicycle. Shimano spent several years figuring out why ridership has decreased. It realized people wanted to ride for fun, but they were intimidated. The company was shocked to realize its efforts at making newer, more high-performance bikes weren't winning over new riders.