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The Best-Selling Bikes of the Month: January, 2023

What bikes were hot this month? We take a closer look at our best-selling road, gravel, mountain, and e-bikes.

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:Bikes

It’s the end of the month, which means it’s once again time to dig into our sales data and check out some bike trends. If it’s your first time here, TPC carries more brands and models than any other bike retailer. We sell hundreds of new and Certified Pre-Owned bikes every week. This puts us in a unique position to see how different bike models stack up. January may have been pretty cold and icy across most of the country, but it seems like plenty of cyclists are already scooping up bikes in preparation for the spring thaw. Let’s dive in!

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Best-selling road bikes

1. Specialized Tarmac
2. Trek Domane
3. Trek Madone
4. Trek Emonda / Giant TCR

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The Specialized Tarmac reigns supreme this month. The battle among road bikes has long been contested between the Tarmac, the Trek Domane, and the Trek Madone. By the end of last year, the Domane came out on top. But this year, the Tarmac has come out swinging, selling nearly as many units as the Domane and Madone combined. The big surprise this month is that the Domane’s endurance rival, the Specialized Roubaix, dropped out of the top 5. It’s usually right up there, but it got edged out by the Giant TCR Advanced, which also managed to tie the popular Trek Emonda. The TCR Advanced has never made it into a monthly top 5 before, but it is one of the best combos of performance and value out there, so it might keep gaining steam this year. 

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Best-selling mountain bikes

1. Specialized Stumpjumper
2. Trek Fuel EX
3. Orbea Oiz
4. Specialized Epic
5. Yeti SB140

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Will any mountain bike ever dethrone the Specialized Stumpjumper (the non-Evo version)? It doesn’t seem likely. It’s the longest-running mass-production mountain bike around, so there are countless Stumpies for sale, and its the quintessential trail bike. Only the Trek Fuel EX comes close, but it remains locked in an eternal second. The Orbea Oiz taking third place was a pleasant surprise. Orbea has been steadily growing in popularity over the years and the Oiz is the first Orbea to break into the top 5. It did so in style by knocking down the perennial XC favorite, the Specialized Epic. Fifth place was a surprise too. It’s the 27.5” version of the SB140 (not the brand new 29er version Yeti just released). It goes to show that some riders still like the feel of small wheels. 

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Best-selling gravel/cyclocross bikes

1. Orbea Terra / Niner RLT 9
3. Cannondale Topstone
4. Cannondale SuperX
5. OPEN U.P.

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The gravel segment never fails to switch things up. The top 5 will probably settle down into the expected Specialized Diverges and Trek Checkpoints by the end of the year. But within each month, there will be a lot more variety. Gravel riders always seem more willing to branch out and try other brands.

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The Orbea Terra and Niner RLT 9 have made appearances in the top 5 before, but never in first place, where they tied (note: aluminum and carbon model sales were combined for simplicity). The Cannondale Topstone (aluminum and carbon) and SuperX are persistent regulars. Fifth place is a newcomer, though not really a new bike. The OPEN U.P. is one of the original boutique carbon gravel bikes. Most of those sold were 2017-2019 models, so it seems like the secondhand market for these bikes is starting to pick up. 

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Best-selling E-bikes

1. Specialized Turbo Vado
2. Trek Allant+
3. Trek Domane+ (HP & LT)
4. Specialized Turbo Vado SL
5. Specialized Turbo Levo

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Other than the Domane+ and the Levo, the top selling E-bike list is dominated by hybrid-style commuters like the Turbo Vado and Allant+. E-bikes have always appealed to utilitarian riders. The Domane+ ranking so high is interesting though. Sportier dropbar road E-bikes usually aren’t among the top sellers, but maybe Trek got something right with its latest electrified endurance road machine. 

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Interesting stat snacks for January

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This is the best month for the Specialized Tarmac that I’ve ever seen. It was January’s overall best-selling bike, and it outsold everything else by a very large margin. Many of the Tarmacs going out the door are the older Tarmac SL6, the previous generation. This tends to happen after the new model (the Tarmac SL7) has been out for a couple of years. We begin to see an influx of the previous generation, which is great for shoppers who want a used bike with up-to-date features and performance. 

[product-block handle="2020-specialized-vado-4-0-ltd-l"/]

The second best-selling bike of the month was the Turbo Vado commuter e-bike. This hurts my racer’s heart, but hey, if it’s getting more people out on bikes instead of driving, I can only see that as a good thing. It looks pretty dang practical too, so what do I know? 

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In the mountain bike world, short- to mid-travel trail bikes still rule. The only model with more than 150mm of travel in the top 10 was the 170mm Specialized Enduro in seventh. The classic 27.5”-wheeled Santa Cruz Bronson (not the new MX version) is still hanging on in eighth place, and this is the first time in a long time that it’s been joined in the top 10 by another 27.5” model in the SB140. I guess 27.5 isn’t dead yet. The 27.5” Santa Cruz 5010 and the older generation Yeti SB5 are still consistently strong sellers in 16th and 20th. May the jibs and good times last forever!

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[product-block handle="2019-yeti-cycles-sb5-turq-lunch-ride-l"/]

In the gravel bike arena, I actually think the OPEN U.P. is going to stay strong. We are seeing more and more U.P.s (and some U.P.P.E.R.s) come into TPC every month, and nice ones don’t last long. Perhaps we’re approaching the OPEN U.P. zenith in the used marketplace.

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I also want to call out the tenth place gravel bike, the All-City Space Horse. It's interesting because all of the Space Horse models we had in January were MicroSHIFT Touring models with a flatbar setup and a microSHIFT 1x drivetrain. This might be the first time I’ve ever seen a microSHIFT bike break into the top 10. The affordability of the Space Horse helps, but drivetrain makers like microSHIFT, along with some Chinese brands, are stealing some market share from Shimano and SRAM. This may be the tip of the iceberg for cheaper drivetrain alternatives.    

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