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'Cycling Is the New Golf'

4 7515 Sales & Trends



LONDON, UK – “Cycling Is the New Golf. Middle-aged men and women have decided that they are better off spending three or four hours on their bike than hitting a little white ball around a fairway.” This comment is made by Humphrey Cobbold, chief executive of Isis Equity Partners; owner of Wiggle. He considers to float the UK based online bike retailer as cycling increases in popularity.

According to a recent article published in the renowned UK newspaper The Guardian; the growing interest in cycling is spurring Wiggle’s growth. The company’s 2010/2011 turnover in the year to 31 January, reached GBP 86.8m (100.9m euro) and more than quadrupled in the last five years. Profits surged 43% to GBP 10.2m (11.9m euro) in 2010/2011.

The article in The Guardian notes: “Even without the buzz generated by high-profile wins such as Mark Cavendish's recent triumph in the world championships road race, the sport has a growing amateur fan base with sportives – cycling competitions – popular fixtures. Britons are also queuing up to compete in triathlons, with last month's event in London, which attracted 13,000 entrants, the world's largest.”

All this prompts owner Isis Equity Partners to consider to sell the cycling online retailer. The estimated price tag is GBP 200 million (232.5m euro). Next to the sale Isis CEO Humphrey Cobbold is also contemplating on an IPO. He acquired a stake for GBP 12m (14.0m euro) in Wiggle in 2006. At that time the business was valued at nearly GBP 30m (34.9m euro).

At the online retailer offers, among others, Giant, Felt and Dedacciai bikes as we all Oakley and Nike accessories. Last July Wiggle had free delivery throughout Europe for its customers. The company ships to 80 countries worldwide and has eight different versions of the Wiggle website available for customers: English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Dutch, Italian and Portuguese.

by Bike Europe last update:11 Jul 2012


  • # 1

    Kenny Roberts

    Considering I've been in the cycling industry for over twenty years and ridden my share of trails and roads I would have to agree that Cycling for 2-3 hrs is probably better for you than playing golf. However, I think it can also be how you approach the sport that is the real deciding factor. Anybody that has golfed a fast 18 holes while walking the course (yes, riding the little electric cart is cheating!) can attest to the fact that it is actually a pretty good workout-espcecially if your golf skills are lacking as mine are!

    The same could be true about people's approach to cycling. While, any cycling is certainly better that laying on the couch, intesity is key and actually getting that heart rate up there definitely increases the health benefits. That's one reason that I have to take a wait and see attitude on the growth in cycling, especially with the large increase of electric bikes on the market. Urging people to increase their intensity will be key key in making a healthier population and relying to much on that little electric motor will just make for more lazy people that think they are being healthy. In that case maybe we'd be better off walking 18 holes on the golf course. Or better yet, pedaling our bikes to the golf course and then playing a round!
  • # 2

    Henri Manders

    Anything is better then laying in your couch, even riding with your electic bike to your electric cart and play golf.
  • # 3


    Cycling can be integrated into your every day life and play a vital part in reducing health and environment issues.

    Cycling ca be a big positive for all and should not be regarded as a threat to car industry or golfers.

  • # 4


    Here in the U.S., it's more like electric cycling is the new golf. And yes, we are usually required to use electric golf carts by the golf courses to keep things moving. Both are considerably better than being on the couch. I ride my electric bike to the golf course pedaling most of the way except for a big hill where I kick in the power. My golf cart usually stays on the cart path and I do get a lot of walking in on 18 holes. Calling either cheating is ignorant.

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