Hold onto your sugar cookies and candy canes, December is almost over! Which means it’s time to unpack the trends from the last year of bike sales here at TPC. What were the best-selling bicycles?
In case this is your first time here, TPC sells practically every brand and model of bike under the sun, usually through our Certified Pre-Owned inventory. That means our sales data is quite a treasure trove of insights. Let’s get into it!
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Best-selling road bikes of 2022
1. Trek Domane (+1)
2. Specialized Roubaix (-1)
3. Specialized Tarmac (-1)
4. Trek Emonda (-)
5. Trek Madone (+1)
It was super close all year among the top 3, but Trek came out on top with the beloved Domane endurance road bike taking the #1 spot ahead of the Specialized Roubaix and Tarmac. The Domane actually trailed for most of the year but came back strong in the last half of 2022 to beat its rivals.
The Trek Emonda had fourth place locked up, but the final position in the top five was hotly contested, with the Madone aero road bike narrowly beating out Cannondale's Synapse endurance bike and Giant's TCR Advanced all-rounder race bike. This small victory allowed Trek to secure the holy road bike trinity of getting three models — an endurance, an all-rounder, and an aero road bike — into the top-five.
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Best-selling mountain bikes of 2022
1. Specialized Stumpjumper (-)
2. Trek Fuel EX (-)
3. Specialized Epic (-)
4. Trek Top Fuel (+1)
5. Scott Spark (+1)
It seems no mountain bike will dethrone the Specialized Stumpjumper anytime soon. This versatile trail bike is a perennial favorite in TPC’s mountain bike inventory. It's been around since the dawn of mass-produced mountain bikes and it;'s arguably the quintessential do-it-all quiver-killer bike. Its top competitor, the Trek Fuel EX is also an extremely strong seller, easily securing second place.
Specialized and Trek's full-suspension XC bikes took the next two slots. Then the final position in the top 5 went to the Scott Spark, which just barely edged out the ever-popular Giant Trance, selling just a single bike more. The Santa Cruz Tallboy was not far behind. It was so close between all of these bikes, that I expect the final three positions in the 5 to be hotly contested.
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Best-selling gravel/cyclocross bikes of 2022
1. Specialized Diverge (-)
2. Trek Checkpoint (-)
3. Cannondale Topstone (+1)
4. Giant Revolt (+1)
5. Specialized Crux (-2)
Specialized blew the competition out of the water this year with the Diverge. We sold nearly twice as many Diverges as the second place Trek Checkpoint, which was no slouch in terms of sales. The popularity of these two models, and the third place Cannondale Topstone, indicates a strong appetite for compliance-enhancing features like Specialized’s Future Shock, Trek’s IsoSpeed, and Cannondale's Kingpin suspension.
Is ‘cross coming, or is it going? In the last quarter of the year, the Specialized Crux dropped two positions to #5 on the list while the more gravel-specific Cannondale Topstone and Giant Revolt each moved up a place. This seems indicative of trends in the industry. As gravel continues to explode in popularity, CX bikes need to adapt. We'll see if the latest Crux model, which has new gravel-forward features like increased tire clearance, can help the Crux climb back up the rankings.
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Best-selling Tri/TT bikes of 2022
1. Trek Speed Concept (+1)
2. Cervelo P2 (-1)
3. Specialized Shiv (-) & Cervelo P3 (+1)
5. Felt IA (-)
The Trek Speed Concept secured TT glory this year, but Cervelo and Specialized were right on its heels. Cervelo might be just sixth in our overall brand rankings, but the Canadian brand throws down in the TT/Tri category with two models in the top-five, and the P5 just barely missing out. The P3 managed to climb a place in the last half of the year, and tied for third with the Specialized Shiv.
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Interesting stat snacks from 2022
Comfort is becoming more and more popular. Four of the top-10 best-selling road bikes in 2022 were endurance road bikes: Specialized Roubaix, Trek Domane, Cannondale Synapse, and Giant Defy. Read more about why you might want to ride an endurance road bike.
However, there’s still a lot to be said for all-rounder road race bikes. Over half of the top-20 road bikes fall into this category. These lightweight bikes aren't overloaded with futuristic aerodynamic shapes or novel comfort features. While many all-rounders do feature some sort of aerodynamic shaping, only two dedicated aero models made it into the top-20: the Trek Madone and the discontinued Specialized Venge.
Apologies to the bike park crowd, but according to our numbers, most riders still want shorter-travel trail or cross-country-style mountain bikes. Three XC(-ish) bikes landed in our top five: Trek Top Fuel, Specialized Epic, and Scott Spark. Short-travel bikes are becoming incredibly capable, and the growing "downcountry" segment of beefed-up XC bikes easily outsold enduro mountain bikes this year.
The biggest-travel mountain bikes in our top-10 were the Santa Cruz Bronson and Hightower, and they occupied 9th and 10th. In fact, no mountain bikes in the top-20 had more than 150mm of rear travel (the 170mm Specialized Enduro finished this year in 23rd).
Speaking of Santa Cruz, MTB sales are dominated by 29ers, but the 27.5" Santa Cruz Bronson somehow remains in the top-10. In fact, this proven platform surprised us by beating the 29er Hightower in 2022. Can it hang on in 2023? Switching to a mullet wheel set-up this season should help it stay current for years to come. As long as there are riders who prefer agility, playfulness, and style over pure speed, smaller wheels will always have a place.
Based on sales, gravel riders seem much more willing to experiment with off-beat bike brands, different frame materials, and progressive designs. Sure, we’ve got established players like Specialized and Trek topping the rankings. But as you move down the order, we begin to see a lot more variety than in the road and mountain categories. The Niner RLT and Salsa Warbird are regulars in our top-10 gravel bikes. In the top-20 we begin to see a very eclectic bike mix with the Open U.P. / U.P.P.E.R., 3T Exploro, BMC Urs, Bombtrack Hook, All-City Cosmic Stallion, Cervelo Aspero, and Evil Chamois Hager all showing strong numbers. All of these bikes approach gravel very differently. The genre is still evolving, and personally, I love the variety in bikes that it has produced.
We’re also tracking significantly more interest in road e-bikes than mountain e-bikes. In fact, the delta is nearly 100%. Now, the “road” e-bike category encompasses commuter-style bikes, so the most likely explanation is that the interest in easy urban mobility has given the road side of the e-bike category a boost (get it?).
Of course, it wouldn’t be The Pro’s Closet without some rare one-off bikes getting shipped off to happy customers. Here are three bikes that caught my eye. They weren’t in the top-10 (or top-100) in sales because only one of each was sold:
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What bike did you buy this year? Let us know in the comments!