A new study reveals that the sale of bike is set to reach a new high this year, growing to £700 million and up 8% on 2011. And the Mintel research predicts even greater growth in the coming five years, with sales reaching £800 million by 2016, up by 23%.

A spokesperson said: “With obesity rates rising among both adults and children, there is clearly a political and financial imperative to encouraging greater physical activity and cycling is a relatively inexpensive way of doing this.

"Role models in the Olympics means there is now an almost unrivalled opportunity to try to stimulate cycling participation but it needs some central funding and co-ordination."

Of course, it’s likely that cycle clothing will also be in greater demand. Depending on your cycling aims, the chances are you’ll prefer cycling if you wear a pair of cycle shorts, a cycle-specific jacket and a pair of cycling gloves. The rest of your kit can be borrowed from other pursuits such as walking or running.

Who are the cyclists?

Today, more than a third (34%) of the UK cycle. The “hardcore” cyclists – those who ride about once a week or more often – account for around half of all cyclists (16% of UK adults), with 6% of Brits taking to their two wheels on most days.

Sadly, 5% of the country (around two million people) admit to not being able to cycle while a further 1% of Brits say they can't cycle but intend to learn to do so in the future.

Men are more likely to take to the road by bike than women, with more than four in 10 men (41%) admitting to being a cyclist compared to just a quarter (26%) of women. Twice as many men (8%) than women (4%) claim to cycle most days.

Six in 10 Brits believe that cycling is a good way to reduce road congestion, but more than half state that not enough is done about cyclists who break the rules of the road and a further 49% say it is too dangerous to ride a bicycle on the road. More than 40% would like see more dedicated bicycle lanes or routes.

When it comes to safety, only a third of cyclists own a helmet and only two thirds of these cyclists wear a helmet regularly.

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