If you’re a cycling sports enthusiast, you probably know about the Tour de France, the world’s most significant cycling race. In 2022, 176 cyclists participated in the 21 stages for three weeks, testing their endurance, discipline, and motivation.
Although cycling is a competitive sport, it is a hobby many enjoy. People do cycling to boost their health, go to work, or just for recreational activities.
The difference between the number of bicycles produced and cars worldwide is narrow; there are at least 1 billion bicycles and around 1.5 billion vehicles.
Will bicycles dominate cars in the future? Here are some cycling sports facts about the growing cycling industry.
- China produces 60% of the bicycles in the world.
- Utrecht, Netherlands, scored the highest with 77.84 in the global bicycle index for the most bicycle-friendly place.
- France has the largest share of active riders, with 905 men and 98 women in 2022.
- The average speed of the fastest cyclist record in the world is 184 mph (296 km/h) by Denise Mueller-Korenek.
- The record holder of the longest distance cycled in a lifetime was achieved by Tommy Chambers, with a total of 1,286,517 km.
- Jason Kenny remains undisputed as the Olympic cyclist with the most medals for track cycling, with 7 golds and 2 silvers.
- Great Britain has the most Olympic medals for track cycling, with 79 as of 2023.
- With an accumulated 3.5 billion viewers worldwide, Tour de France is the most-watched cycling event as of 2022.
- 67% of Indians ride a bicycle at least once a week.
- Men are more likely to commute among cyclists at 24.5% than women at 22.9%.
How Many People Do Cycling As a Sport?
These are just some of the interesting statistics about cycling. Keep reading this article to know how the numbers have evolved through time as bicycle usage changes.
Cycling Statistics Worldwide
The pandemic-fueled bike boom has changed consumer behavior when buying bicycles. At the height of the pandemic in 2020, Americans have spent $7-8 billion on bicycles and accessories.
Worldwide, countries continue to produce bicycles each year. In 2019, there were at least 1 billion bikes in the world. Although the sales remain steady, market revenue continues to soar at 5.64% annually.
Know more about the countries leading bicycle production and other relevant cycling stats.
1. 60% of the bicycles in the world are produced in China.
(Worldometer, Gentleman Marketing Agency)
Among the top 5 producers of bicycles worldwide, China leads the ranking along with India, the European Union, Taiwan, and Japan. These countries produce 87% of global bikes.
The ranking explains why China is the world’s manufacturing superpower, with a 28.7% output rate.
China’s citizens are also becoming more conscious about the country’s environmental footprint and pollution, contributing to increased bicycle production.
2. Utrecht, Netherlands, tops the global bicycle index with 77.84, making it the most-bicycle friendly place in the world.
The Dutch city of Utrecht’s love for biking is influenced by its high score in cycling infrastructure, good weather conditions, safety, and sharing rate.
Other cities and countries that made the list include:
- Munster, Germany (65.93)
- Antwerp, Belgium (60.51)
- Copenhagen, Denmark (60.46)
- Amsterdam, Netherlands (60.24)
- Malmo, Sweden (55.88)
- Hangzhou, China (52.55)
- Bern, Switzerland (48.76)
- Bremen, Germany (47.81)
- Hannover, Germany (46.7)
It is apparent from the list that 9 out of 10 cities best for cyclists are in Europe. These places were ranked based on six parameters, namely:
- Percentage of bicycle users
- Weather conditions
- Crime and safety (accidents and bike theft rates)
- Bike-sharing opportunities
- Special events (e.g., “no car days”)
3. The Netherlands has the most number of bicycles per capita with 16,500,000 between 16,652,800 people.
The widespread use of bikes in the Netherlands contributes to its top ranking.
Countries with a high number of bicycles per capita are places with well-regulated laws on cycle path lanes and traffic by undertaking huge infrastructure developments.
Other countries with the most bicycles per capita include:
|Country||Population||Bicycles||Bikes Per Person|
Cycling Sports Statistics by Country
In the US, the number of people who ride bikes reached around 51.4 million, which includes those who participated in sporting activities at least once in 2021.
The cycling events industry market has increased by 5% and is expected to grow at that rate until 2027.
Find out which countries have the greatest cycling sports population through these relevant statistics.
4. In 2022, France had the highest number of active riders, with 905 men and 98 women.
France has the highest number of active professional riders at all levels among all countries.
France remains true to its title as the home of cycling as its biking population continues to rise.
Countries with the highest number of active professional men riders include:
- Belgium (672)
- Italy (399)
- Spain (374)
- Netherlands (186)
- Germany (173)
- Great Britain (170)
- United States (151)
- Australia (130)
- Colombia (127)
Meanwhile, countries with the highest number of active professional women riders include:
- Italy (96)
- Netherlands (95)
- Spain (93)
- Great Britain (64)
- Belgium (47)
- United States (43)
- Australia (34)
- Germany (33)
- Canada (31)
5. Belgium ranks first in the UCI world ranking with 19,822.6 points.
Belgium garnered the highest score in the UCI ranking based on the race’s importance, the competition level, and the racetrack’s toughness.
Top countries with high scores include:
- France (13,844.1)
- Denmark (13,097.5)
- Great Britain (12,458.4)
- Slovenia (12,054)
- Spain (10,126.6)
- Netherlands (9,958.6)
- Italy (9,751.9)
- Australia (8,809)
- Colombia (7,691.2)
Cycling Record Statistics
Cyclist Filippo Ganna, an Olympic gold medalist, achieved the greatest distance covered by a male cyclist in 1 hour at 56.792 kilometers (35.288 miles) at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen, Switzerland, on October 8, 2022.
Discover more interesting world records through these cycling statistics.
6. Denise Mueller-Korenek is the fastest cyclist in the world, with an average speed of 184 mph (296 km/h).
Denise Mueller-Korenek remains undisputed for her title as the fastest cyclist in the world (both men and women) after successfully setting a record on the salt flats of Utah in 2018.
7. Tommy Chambers holds the title for the longest distance cycled in a lifetime with 1,286,517 km.
(Guinness World Records)
Glaswegian cyclist Tommy Chambers traveled a total distance of 1,286,517 km from 1922 to December 25, 1973. All of his cycling took place in Britain and Ireland.
Chambers was also part of the Douglas Cycling Club. During his stint, he won 60 racing prizes all over the country, including 12-hour and 24-hour races.
8. Only 4 Tour de France riders won 5 times.
(The Sporting News)
As the most prestigious cycling event in the world, the Tour de France’s coveted title was only achieved by 4 riders from all over the world. Here’s a tally of the results:
|Cyclist||Total wins||Years won|
|Jacques Anquetil||5||1957, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964|
|Eddy Merckx||5||1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974|
|Bernard Hinault||5||1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985|
|Miguel Indurain||5||1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995|
For every country, the top 5 countries with the most Tour de France wins are:
|Country||No. of wins|
9. Jason Kenny won the most Olympic medals for track cycling with 7 golds and 2 silvers across 4 Olympic games.
Great Britain’s Jason Kenny is the most decorated Olympian track cyclist with the most gold medals by any British athlete. Kenny garnered his 7th and last gold medal before his retirement at Tokyo 2020.
10. As of 2023, Great Britain has the most Olympic medals for track cycling, totaling 79.
Great Britain has a total of 33 golds, 26 silvers, and 20 bronze, ahead of the 2024 Olympics.
Top countries with high Olympic medal count include:
Cycling Viewership Statistics
Several cycling tournaments in the world gather enormous crowds. For example, the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships expects to attract 1 million spectators in person and a huge TV audience worldwide.
That’s how expansive the cycling fan base is. And that’s only for one of the many cycling events held annually. Continue reading the article to know more about viewership statistics.
11. As of 2022, Tour de France is the most-watched cycling event, with 3.5 billion viewers.
(Amelia, NBC Sports Group)
As one of the most significant cycling events in the world, the 2022 Tour de France’s viewership count didn’t disappoint. France Télévisions and Eurosport reported that “a Frenchman watched an average of 5 hours 41 minutes of the Tour”.
In the US, the Tour de France drew more than half a million viewers on USA Network, proving that Americans have a growing familiarity and viewership of the event.
12. Yrokshire’s UCI Road World Championships 2019 gathered a record-breaking TV audience of 329 million.
(Insider Media Limited)
Compared to the 2018 viewership rate, the global viewing figures during the 2019 UCI Road World Championships increased by 31%.
The event was televised in 124 countries and was deemed as “inclusive, innovative, and inspiring” because of its diverse viewers from various cities and regions in the world.
Across 28 countries, the global average bicycle-riding frequency is 35%, and people’s favorability towards bicycles is 82%. The figures imply that no matter what reasons people have for using bikes, most still prefer it over other modes of transportation.
In this article, learn more about the distribution of bicycle usage in various countries and demographics.
13. Topping the global ranking, 67% of Indians ride a bicycle at least once a week.
Many Indians prefer to ride a bicycle compared to other modes of transportation. According to a 2022 survey, 9 out of 10 urban Indians believe cycling reduces carbon emissions. The survey also revealed that:
- 88% believe cycling plays an important part in the reduction of traffic.
- 8 in 10 urban Indians (82%) want new roads and infrastructure to provide greater emphasis to bicycles over automobiles.
- 2 in 3 urban Indians (65%) believe cyclists in their area respect traffic rules.
- At least 55% of the urban Indians polled believe cycling is extremely dangerous in their area.
14. Globally, 24.5% of men are likelier to commute among cyclists than women, at 22.9%.
From the figures above, it is apparent that there is a gender gap that exists in cycling. There are several reasons why fewer women ride bikes:
- Women and girls may not have consistent access to bicycles
- Lack of protected bike lanes for road safety
- Intersectional issues of marginalized women
- Weak sense of security against violence and harassment
Although these issues can’t be solved immediately due to their systemic nature, it’s important to note everyone has societal roles in achieving a safer, more inclusive, and better environment for cycling.
Cycling sports statistics only show that more people are becoming familiar with cycling as it continues to gather millions of audiences worldwide.
Not only as a competitive sport, but cycling also offers many benefits. Many rely on their bikes for work, exercise, or recreation. Cycling has truly been integrated into our shared social environments and spaces.
How many people do cycling as a sport?
In the US, around 51.4 million riders participate in cycling as a sport. Meanwhile, 7.1% of Germans and 10.2% of Danes in Europe participate in cycling.
Where is cycling sport most popular?
Cycling is prevalent in Europe, especially in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Denmark, and Spain.
Why cycling is the best sport?
Cycling has various health benefits, such as increased cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, decreased stress, and reduced anxiety and depression.
Is cycling a high impact sport?
Cycling is a low-impact sport that causes less strain and injuries. It only involves fluid motion and controlled movements.