2020: The year of face masks, 1,5-metre distance... and bikes!

2020: The year of face masks, 1,5-metre distance... and bikes!

Safe to say 2020 was a strange year, as the coronavirus pandemic brought new rules, habits, and words to countries around the world. While 2020 may go down in history as the year COVID-19 took over, last year was also a very big year for the humble and beloved bicycle

2020 saw 1,1 million new bikes sold in the Netherlands and a huge rise in the popularity of the electric bike. The pandemic may have left many uncertain about their jobs and finances, but this didn’t stop the Dutchies from buying new bikes!

Impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Dutch bike sales

With the national lockdown introduced in the spring, gyms were closed, international travel was strongly advised against, and people living in the Netherlands were asked to work from home as much as possible. While the country may have always had a serious love of bicycles, the lockdown saw many turn to the bike as a way of staying active and keeping busy at a time when there was little else to do. The summer also saw many using their bikes as a way to explore different parts of the country as they decided against a holiday abroad. 

2020 saw bike sales rise by nine percent compared to 2019, almost doubling the sales from 2010. The increasingly popular choice here in the Netherlands is the e-bike: 547.000 were sold in 2020, 125.000 more than were sold in 2019.

Record number of bicycles sold in the Netherlands in 2020

Last year's bike sales resulted in a record turnover of 1,65 billion euros, 31 percent more than the year before according to the Bicycle and Automotive Industry Association (RAI Vereniging) and the trade association BOVAG. 

While 2020 also saw a rise in the popularity of online shopping, it seems as though a traditional bike shop remains the most popular option when it comes to purchasing a set of wheels: seven out of 10 new bikes are bought in bike shops, while only one in 10 are ordered online.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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