Cycling contributes billions to Australian economy

Family of four riding their bikes

David Toscano

Posted October 21, 2021

Cycling has pumped more than $6.3b into the Australian economy, according to a new report, as more and more people turn to bike riding for transport and recreation.

The report, commissioned by WeRide Australia, shows spending on cycling-related purchases among those who rode at least once a week increased 43 per cent in 2020, creating economic benefits and direct jobs in the industry.

The Australian Cycling Economy 2021 report, prepared by EY, estimates that in 2020 the Australian Cycling Economy delivered:

  • $6.3b in direct industry output
  • $3.4b in direct value add
  • 34,295 direct jobs

“Cycling economy” is defined as not just spending on bikes but related goods and services including accessories & equipment, servicing, bike hire, merchandise and media & subscriptions.

The report found 1.7m bicycles were purchased in Australia in 2020, of which 28% (476,000) were children’s bikes, with the average retail cost of a bicycle coming in at $900.

RACV General Manager arevo Mobility Elizabeth Kim said the report is timely as we look at COVID recovery and the role active transport, including cycling, can play.

“It’s great to see the insights from the report commissioned by WeRide, giving us unique data on cycling’s significant economic contribution to the Victorian economy."

“We hope it adds support to the important investments government are making to get more Victorians riding,” she adds.

Bike rising along Torquat foreshore

Lifestyle factors stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic are fuelling a cycling boom. Image: Supplied


The RACV supports and encourages cycling for Victorians of all riding abilities through a specific bike map on the arevo Journey Planning app that uses the latest cycling infrastructure, bike and road data in Melbourne to help cyclists find safer bike routes.

RACV Bike Assist also empowers Victorian cyclists to call a taxi or cycling expert to help in case of an injury, a broken bike, a punctured tyre or another cycling event.

Victoria equalled NSW as the state with the highest number of cycling consumers, while the majority of Australians (31%) spending on bikes earned between $50,000-$99,999 per annum.

Victoria (34%) trailed just the ACT (43%) with the highest percentage of adults spending money on cycling.

Exercise and fitness was the biggest reason adults chose to cycle (82%), while 42% of adults chose to ride as for transport reasons such as to work, school, or shops.

53% of adults that spent money on cycling identified as male, compared to 47% that identified as female.

Lifestyle factors stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic are fuelling a cycling boom in Australia. In fact, cycling levels around the country increased by up to 69% compared to pre-COVID, according to a Bicycling Australia report earlier this year. 

New to cycling? Here’s how to get started:

Budget bike buying guide 

Tips to build confidence on a bike

Tips for riding a bike safely in the dark

Tips for riding a bike in the CBD

Bike rules for beginner cyclists in Victoria

Did you know RACV has roadside assistance for bicycles?
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