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Inside The Pro’s Closet: Trends and Data - Q3 2019

By Spencer Powlison

Surprises — when you buy a used bike, you’re bound to run into a few. However, at The Pro’s Closet, we are working to make buying a pre-owned bicycle as transparent as possible. To that end, we’re going to shed some light on trends in the pre-owned bike marketplace. That’s why we’re producing this report based on our data.

Three key takeaways from Q3 2019 data:

1. Specialized dominates all major bike categories by a lot — and that is nothing new.
2. When they're on home turf, core brands that focus on just one bike category can compete with larger companies.
3. Hardtail mountain bikes aren't dead!

Before we dive in, here are a few caveats. All of this data is from July 1-September 31, 2019, unless otherwise noted. Our inventory fluctuates on a daily basis, so we don’t always have the same brands, models, or years of bikes available. And of course, our data does not necessarily reflect the broader market of used bikes sold person-to-person on marketplaces like Craigslist, eBay, or Bicycle Blue Book.

We hope this information will be insightful, interesting, and useful for everyone from a first-time bike buyer to a lifelong industry insider.

Mountain biker riding around a corner on the trail

1. Specialized reigns supreme

Of the 114 bike brands sold through The Pro's Closet in Q3 2019, Specialized was king by a long shot. It earned 21.5% of all bike sales and a whopping 25% of road bike sales. To that end, Specialized is also the most popular brand in saved searches when our customers are looking for a specific bike.

2. Santa Cruz and Cervelo punch above their weight

Unlike many bike brands, Santa Cruz and Cervelo don't try to do it all. They focus on their core categories — mountain bikes for Santa Cruz and road bikes for Cervelo. In our sales data, that pays off in a big way for Santa Cruz, which was the second most popular brand of mountain bikes, beating out major brands like Trek and Giant. Cervelo came in at fourth in the road category, essentially even with Giant. It is worth noting, however, that both Santa Cruz and Cervelo are owned by Pon Bicycle Group, a conglomerate that owns 10 bicycle brands.

3. Hardtail mountain bikes aren't dead!

You wouldn't know it from magazine ads, online reviews, or even our own saved search data, but demand for hardtail mountain bikes is still strong. In Q3, 19% of mountain bikes sold on The Pro's Closet had no rear suspension. That's quite a contrast to the measly 3.5% of saved searches for this category of bike. In fact, hardtail sales were essentially tied with cross-country full-suspension bikes (110mm of travel or less).

Want more? Read the full report on Q3 2019 (PDF).


1 comment


  • Some of us love our high-end Treks so much we can’t part with them. Seems like this could have an effect on the used market. It would be interesting if there was a way to see brand based retention and repeat buyer info.

    Thanks for the great articles!

    mooreeri on


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