Obesity and Oil Prices Fuel Bike SalesFriday, September 19, 2008
Regular reader of this blog know of my passion for utilitarian biking – while you’ll never catch me on an exercise bike, I’m happy to ride my bike if it gets me where I need to go.
But there’s a chance that with increasing rates of obesity and higher oil prices, I soon won’t have the bike paths to myself anymore.
According to an article in this week’s ECONOMIST, Giant Manufacturing, the world’s largest bicycle-maker (Taiwan), sold a record 460,000 units last month. For many models, buyers now put down deposits months before their bikes come off the assembly line (reminds me of the current situation with hybrid cars).
Apparently since 2004, wholesale prices of bikes have gone up by 23% in Europe, 45% in America and almost 50% in Asia, even as thousands of low-cost factories churn out boatloads of cheap bikes.
For more on the economics of the bicycle check out the full article in the ECONOMIST.