Bicycle imports fell to 3.5 million units in the first quarter of 2003, 13% fewer than in the same quarter last year, according to U.S. Department of Commerce data.
Most categories showed significant declines, with kids’ bikes down 18%; 26-inch bikes, down 19%; and 700c bikes, down 26%. Shipments of 20-inch BMX bikes dropped 8%. The only category that showed an increase was 24-inch bikes, which rose 12%.

The average unit value of imported bicycles continued to inch upward in the first quarter when compared to all of 2002. In the 20-inch category, (which represented 30% of all imports) the average unit value for the quarter hit $41 compared to $40 for all of last year. The value of mountain bikes (28% of all imports) was $86, up from $78 throughout all of last year.

China continues as the leading exporter to the U.S., representing more than 90% of all imports in the first quarter.

The National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA) Retail Data Capture Program reported a 5.9% gain in unit bicycle sales for May versus the same period a year ago. The 3-month rolling sales reflect same store sales among independent bicycle shops. Retail dollars were up more strongly, showing a 10.7% increase. Average price for the 19 brands tracked was $385, a 4.6% increase from the previous year.