Cycling in Numbers: Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

By Adam Marsal

This article is dedicated to everyone who likes both: cycling and figures. Dive into some hard data on our beloved sport.

How many bikes are there in the world?

It’s estimated there are over 1 billion bikes around the world. Despite the enormous growth of car usage in the last decade, China is still the world’s cycling superpower with more than 450 million bikes. While US cyclists are taking care of 100 million bicycles, Japan keeps the third position with more than 75 million bikes. Surprisingly, there are more bicycles in Germany (62 million) than in Brazil (40 million) and they both score higher than India (30,8 million). These six biggest cycling countries are followed by Italy (23 million), Indonesia (22,3 million), UK (20 million), France (20 million), and the Netherlands – a relatively small country with 16,5 million bikes in traffic.

Bicycle parking
There’s over 1 billion bikes all over the world. © Profimedia

Which country is the greatest bike producer?

China is still the biggest bike manufacturer in the world. Together with India, EU, Taiwan, and Japan, it’s responsible for 87% of global bike production. That is 15,000 bicycles per hour, 234 per minute or 4 bikes every single second, if you like. According to Statista agency, every 19th person in the world buys a new bike each year. The global bicycle production exceeds car production 2,5 times when we count all bikes and cars produced since the 1950s.

How many bikes are discarded annually?

Considering the hordes of bicycles produced annually, it is no wonder that hundreds of thousands of bikes end up at the scrapyard every year. Approximately 15 million bikes are discarded globally each year.

Bike graveyard
Bicycle graveyard in China. © Profimedia

Which countries love their bikes the most?

If you look for a city where bicycles are held in high regard, you should go to Copenhagen. In 2016, there were more bicycles than cars in the streets of the Danish capital for the first time in history. The rise of bike production in the last 20 years has been up by 68%. According to statistics, 9 out of 10 Danish citizens own a bike whereas only 4 out of 10 people have a car. All people in Denmark combined would cycle around the world 35 times every day. The fact is that every Copenhagen’s resident cycles 3 km a day on average whereas half the kids in Denmark cycle to school. On top of that, a quarter of all trips up to 5 km are completed by bicycle.

What types of bikes are most popular?

Many surveys and polls were carried out with various groups of riders, yet the results provided led to similar charts. The most popular bicycle is a road bike preferred by approximately 65% of respondents. The MTB has been preferred by up to 20% of people whereas gravel and hybrid/CX bikes were popular among 6% of riders.

Road bike is the most preferred type of bicycles. © Profimedia

What are the main health benefits of cycling?

The benefits of cycling totally outweigh the risks. Some studies say that cycling can prolong the time of your life by 3 to 14 months. A study from England revealed that cyclists have the exact rate of fitness as people 10 years younger who do not cycle. A Dutch study shows that people who cycle regularly are less likely to get sick by one day a year in comparison with people who don’t.

On average, cyclists take 15% fewer sick days than those who are not sporting. It has been proved that adolescents that cycle are 48% less likely to be overweight than adults. The alarming fact is that the percentage of kids cycling to school has dropped from 82% to 14% in the past 30 years. But it is not only about health. In this calculator, you can calculate how much money and CO2 emissions could you save by cycling instead of driving.

Family cycling
The number of children riding their bike to school has dropped significantly. © Profimedia

How much CO2 emissions are reduced by using bikes instead of motorised means of transport?

Every cyclist commuting to work four days a week at 8 km saves 750 kilograms of CO2 emissions each year. According to the European Cycling Federation, a cyclist emits 21 g of CO2 per kilometre whereas by commuting by bus, you will emit 101 g of CO2. It has been proved that the Barcelona bike-sharing program reduced annual CO2 emissions by more than 9 thousand metric tons.

How many bikes are stolen every year?

With the pandemic crisis, the number of bike thefts grew significantly. After calculating national bike theft statistics, we can conclude that 3 million bikes were stolen in Europe last year, which makes 340 bikes per hour. According to, 400,000 bikes are stolen every year only in the UK. found out that the most targeted bike brands in the UK have been Specialized (28%), Trek (17%), and Giant (14,7%).