What’s hot, and what’s not? Which topics and trends are on your minds? Which brand has taken the lead in your garages in 2022? We’ve evaluated more than 12,000 responses and now we’d like to share the most interesting insights and answers with you.
Like in previous years, we’re blown! Once more, your response was overwhelming. We counted 12,338 participants from 87 countries this year. And you can be sure we don’t take your readiness to answer up to 90 questions for granted. So, first off: a huge thank you to all of you at this point! And even though we lured you with a cool prize, we hope that you recognize an opportunity behind it all: the opportunity to take an active part in shaping the world of mountain biking. We’re not wallpapering our offices with the results – we use the findings to select our range of test bikes and decide on the focus of our issues. Also, we’re not the only ones with a keen interest in your opinions and concerns. Many manufacturers fall back on the results of our survey to adjust the orientation of their products. So, with your participation you’re actively influencing the decisions of manufacturers – how cool is that?
87 countries | Up to 90 questions | The most comprehensive and representative survey in the mountain bike world!
Who are you?
Now, let’s hold up the mirror to you and shine a light on who you actually are. And if you’re thinking “What, me?!” then yes, exactly! We mean you, Michael; and you, Peter; and, yes, Thomas, we’ve also got our eyes on you. Why? You have the three most frequent first names in this year’s survey. Actually, we’re not surprised: the result is exactly the same as in previous years. Sabine, Sandra and Susanne, you didn’t think we’d forgotten you, did you now? You’ve made it a bit more exciting, though: by a razor-thin margin, Sabine wins the title of most frequent female name, while Sandra and Susanne share second place in a tie. Unfortunately, you girls only make up a little over 5% of our participants. We’re pretty sure that’s because you spend more time on the trails than doing surveys. Or is it our fault? If so, let us know how we can do better and get your attention.
Time leaves none untouched – it has also left its mark on you. Your average age is now 53. That’s 3 years higher than last year. By the way, our oldest reader is 86 years old! That’s not only impressive, it also gives us hope for our own future in sports. It’s great to know that eMTBing is accessible to all age groups and has the power to unite generations. Three generations on one trail? We love the idea!
Your increased income shows that you not only “stepped on it” on the trails but also at the office. Your net income rose by € 4,723 to € 80,975. Professionally, you often call the shots, because almost 30% of you are employed in management or even hold the position of CEO. You’re also a pretty academic bunch. After all, 73% of you have a university degree. That includes the 5% of you with a doctorate. So, there is bound to be some scientific smalltalk on the trail. But please make sure to get the footnotes right ;).
Where do you come from?
Sitting in our cozy little office in Leonberg in Germany, we are amazed at how far our issues make it into the wide world – even though the majority of our readers tend to live “close to home”. German-speaking countries are the main players – nothing new there under the sun. 45% of you come from Germany, 9% from the Alpine Republic of Austria, and 7% of you read in Switzerland. Our second largest readership sits on the other side of the Channel: 11% of our readers are in the UK. The birthplace of mountain biking, the USA, is home to 6% of our readers.
Hats off! On average, you have 24 years of mountain bike experience, including your non-motorised time. Just for comparison: that’s about the age of some of our editors – and you’ve been relying on motor assistance for roughly 4 ½ years. No doubt about it: eMTBing is still an emerging sport with a lot of potential for development. The proportion of newcomers who have joined in the last 12 months is 17%, same as last year. A warm welcome to you at this point, we’re thrilled to have you on board! Biking without an “e” still seems to be very popular as well: almost half of you regularly ride a bike without motor assistance. Even so, 13% of eMTBers aren’t keen on mountain biking without “e” and only started their mountain biking career with the ebike.
70% of you use the eMTB for touring, to discover new places or simply to enjoy nature. Just as many of you consider the fitness aspect relevant and use the eMTB to relieve stress and as a healthy form of exercise. 58% of you think it’s important that you can ride more trails with the ebike and not always the same old ones. You can significantly expand your reach and enjoy more variety. But with all this fun, work shouldn’t be neglected: 24% commute on the eMTB. On the bike to work? Absolutely! We were surprised to see that the four main reasons for you to take your eMTB out of the garage are precisely the same as last year – to the last percentage point. What do we learn from this? That the eMTBer is a real creature of habit. Other everyday uses for your bikes are transporting goods (4%) or children (3%). Only very few of you ride with a stopwatch in mind: only 1.6% also use their eMTB in races. Perhaps this number will increase in the future with new race-optimised motors and bikes? We’ll see. Anyway, no matter the purpose: you achieve an average annual mileage of 2,142 km. That’s 129 km less than last year, but we’re sure that this will prove an excellent incentive for next year!
Compared to the last survey, forest roads are your favorite this year (34%). When it comes to trails, easy singletracks are very popular (25%), closely followed by technical trails – downhill as well as uphill (22%). So, riding the eMTB downhill is not the only cool challenge… 4% of you like to fly on asphalt.
Last year’s survey already showed that it’s less the capacity of your battery than the capacity of your thighs that limits you. With ever more powerful batteries – 750 Wh is the new standard – the problem will fade into the background for most eMTB enthusiasts. Your user behavior confirms that. Over 80% of your rides tend to be shorter than 50 km. Of course, battery capacity is less of an issue here than on the 1% of rides that are more than 80 km long. One proof that you prefer to burn your thighs rather than your battery is that 33% of you mostly use the weakest support mode – for Bosch and Shimano that would be ECO mode. Only 4% of you speed through the woods mainly with maximum support: you seem to be in a real hurry. Swapping or charging up the battery mid-ride rather takes a backseat with you. 14% have an extra battery and only 5% use a range extender. Is there going to be a larger share of range extenders with the new generation of light eMTBs in the offing? It will be interesting to see. Also, how will smaller batteries affect usage?
Now let’s take a look into your garage: 77% of you already have an eMTB. An all-time high! 15% of you own an eMTB hardtail, but the majority (62%) have a full-suspension eMTB in their bike cave. Another favourite companion is the MTB without a motor! 51% of you still own one. More of an outlier is the e-road bike (2%) and the cargo bike (1%). Or maybe you’re one of the 2% who don’t own a bike yet? If so, then how about we get you started right away with our interactive purchase guide? On average, you relieved your wallet by € 5,330 for your bike, which is almost € 500 more than last year. This is probably due to the rise in prices in recent years. Oh, and on average you’ve been loyal to your bikes for exactly two years (longer than many marriages…).
Honestly, which bikes do you really use and which ones just decorate your garage? By a wide margin, the full-suspension eMTB is your number one! 54% of you use it most often. Although more than half of you own an analogue mountain bike, only 22% mostly use this model. The hardtail eMTB is not too high in your favour either: only roughly 10% of you like to be given a good shake on a regular basis. Seems like the extra comfort and off-road qualities of full-suspension bikes are in high demand.
After a slight dip last year, Specialized has won back your hearts this time around. 16.0% of you are riding one of the American eMTBs, banishing CUBE and Haibike from the top spot. 13.3% of you are still riding bikes by last year’s leader Haibike, leaving the Franconians at third place after a drop of 2.6%. CUBE remains glued to second place with 14.5%. So, the race is pretty close! Behind the top 3, it gets thin pretty quickly. Trek trails in fourth place with 5.1%.
First of all, you were never as satisfied with your bikes as this year! On a scale from 0 (not at all satisfied) to 5 (completely satisfied), you rated your bike at an average of 4.31 – adding another 0.04 points compared to last year. That’s a new top score! This confirms the trend we have been noticing for years: eMTBs are very good already – and they are getting better all the time.
SIMPLON convinced you the most this year. With a rating of 4.62, the Austrians are clearly above average and have now made the leap from second place to the top. We are not surprised, as we were very happy with the SIMPLON Rapcon PMAX TQ ourselves this year. What’s noticeable is that last year’s leader Thömus has dropped out completely this year. The reason is that, unfortunately, the minimum number of ratings was not reached.
How many bikes does a biker need? You got it: n+1! (Yes, we know that the academics among you – and there are quite a few of them – get all excited about formulas ;)). So, we took a closer look at which bike purchases you are toying with and what will find its way into your garages in the near future. 31% of you are planning to buy an eMTB sometime soon. Not surprisingly, the full-suspension bike is the top contender. Despite the exciting trend towards light eMTBs, only 18% of those inclined to buy an eMTB want to go with the light assistance version. For the 9% who are undecided, we recommend taking a look at our article on light eMTBs vs. full power eMTBs. Analogue bikes and other ebikes only play a minor role in your purchase plans with 2% each. 28% of readers surveyed are still undecided whether or not to buy a new bike at all, and if so, which one. Your budget for a new bike is € 6,029 on average. (By the way, have you already told your better half?) That’s almost the same as the average price in our budget comparison test. It’s also € 521 higher than last year: the price increases send their regards. (Three cheers for price increases! Okay, boos will suffice.)
Corresponding to the brands that are already in your garages, the three big players Specialized, CUBE and Haibike are in a neck-and-neck race. While Specialized are once again number one in your garages, the Californians rank only third in your purchase plans with 10.7%. Haibike seem to have lost some ground with you, vacating the top spot and dropping to second place with 13.6%. CUBE take full advantage of this and pull ahead to take first place: the company from Oberpfalz improves their score by 2.3% to 14.3%. But beware, Orbea is sneaking up on the leading group from behind. Compared to last year, the Spanish company makes good 3% and climbs from sixth to fourth rank to 7.1%. Is that possibly due to the good performance review in our last group test?
Drop shipment is booming and other multi-channel concepts are emerging. Despite this, you’re still loyal customers in your local bike shop. A full 73% of you bought the last bike locally from a dealer. Online sellers and drop shippers have lost almost 5% compared to last year with a new share of a mere 20%. Maybe it has something to do with the limited availability this year. You also prefer to buy new bikes. Only 8% of you bought a used bike. About 12% used a leasing offer. And you love your bikes! That’s obvious from the fact that 72% of you had them insured. The majority of bikes are covered by household insurance. 23% are covered by a special ebike insurance.
What else do you do besides biking?
Biking is the most beautiful hobby in the world, no doubt about it. But we all have other interests as well. It’s like eating, we get tired even of our favourite food if it’s served every day. That’s why we asked what gets you going apart from biking. How fortunate that biking combines nicely with many other activities. For example, with your number one interest, travelling. A full 50% of you love travelling – whether to new or familiar places. That’s a whopping 11% more than last year! Is it because the travel restrictions have been lifted? Anyway, we’re totally with you, what could be better than exploring new countries, regions and cultures – with or without a bike? On average, you schedule nine days for your holidays with a budget of € 187 per day. Your interest in camping and van life (30%) shows that you’re no snowflakes and can do without luxury for a bit.
Electronic gadgets are still quite the rage with 31% of you, same as last year. As are cars and, in particular, electric cars or electromobility with 30% each. This is just perfect, so make sure not to miss out on our DOWNTOWN magazine. Its focus is everything to do with urban mobility and transport in the future. Check it out! Last but not least, we are stoked that 22% of you share our passion for good coffee. Let’s have a cuppa – cheers!
- Travelling 50 %
- Cars 32 %
- Electronic gadgets 31 %
- Camping / van life 31 %
- Electric cars / electromobility 30 %
- Photography 26 %
- Delicious coffee 22 %
- Good wine 22 %
- Beer 20 %
- Wellness 18 %
- Urban mobility (e.g. urban (e)bikes, cargo bikes etc.) 16 %
- Watches 14 %
- Children’s bikes 7 %
- Design furniture 7 %
- Yoga 5 %
Bosch is still the number one motor manufacturer for you – no news there. 46.7% of you have a Bosch motor on your current eMTB, and 42.7% again want one of the Stuttgart motors in the next bike. The second most common opinion (21.9%) is that the motor manufacturer is less important than the overall performance of the bike. We couldn’t agree more! FAZUA made it onto the list for the first time this year. That’s probably because of the new FAZUA Ride 60 motor, which is being used in more and more light eMTBs.
How happy are you with us?
What interests us most, of course, is how happy you are with our work. Because no matter how many meetings, feedback rounds and brainstorming sessions we hold in the office, what matters in the end is your opinion! And so we’re really excited about the overwhelming amount of constructive criticism and positive feedback from you. A huge thank you from our whole team!
It’s so cool that you rate our app with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. We’d love it even better if more than 45% of you used this centrepiece of our work. Reading really turns into a great experience with interactive features, lots of high-resolution images and a modern design. Give our app a try and delve into our latest issues today.
38% of you have already poked your noses into one of our print issues. It’s great that you rate the annual issue with 4.5 stars.
The lottery fairy has spoken!
If you don’t care about statistics, numbers and trends and just want to know whether or not you’re the winner, then you’ve now reached your goal after quite a long scroll. Together with our competition partner HAIBIKE, we congratulate our lucky winner – an imaginary drum roll here, please – Olivier from France on his new HAIBIKE AllMtn CF 12 worth € 6,999! But even if you came away empty-handed this time, the next reader survey is sure to come!
And that’s it! As usual, the 2022 reader survey was exciting and informative for us. Once again you got the chance to have a say in changing the world of eMTBs according to your own ideas. For one of you, of course, it was especially worthwhile. It won’t be long before we’re ready to launch the 2023 reader survey – so keep your eyes peeled for your next chance to win the big prize!
Note: Experience shows that the brand that provides the winning bike has a slight advantage, as it attracts more fans of the brand, which may distort the results slightly.
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Words: Felix Rauch Photos: Julian Lemme