Insights

Decoding next‑gen Cycling Brands

Dive into the visual landscape of cycling brands, discover top brands and learn from our insights.

Animated illustration of a cyclist riding their bike

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Decoding next-gen
Cycling Brands

Brand maps are a long-established tool for marketers to analyse competition. For our design maps, we took the concept and approached it from a design perspective. You can think of design maps as organized mood boards of markets. For this cycling design map, we analysed more than 30 cycling brands. We focused on emerging brands, from the conventional to the eccentric. We scanned hundreds of websites, social media assets and products to identify patterns and connect the dots. Like every single map in the world, it is wrong by definition. But also useful by reducing complexity and helping the observer to navigate through crowded environments. Take a look at how our favourite brands are shaping their visual identities and offering a new perspective on cycling. Followed by our predictions and identified gaps in the market.

We decoded and visualised the market for cycling brands.

Amateur cycling, whether for fun, health or tourism, is one of the most popular sports in Europe. With sales of bicycles in Germany reached a record 7.36 billion euros in 2022, the market is booming and many brands are entering the scene. (Source: New York Times, 2023)

Riding the wave of the bicycle boom, the global cycling apparel market is experiencing comparable growth, with an expected valuation of $4.63 billion in 2024, projected to expand to $7.98 billion by 2034. (Source: Fact.MR 2024)

This expansion presents an excellent opportunity for brands to enter the market. As more diverse cyclists take up the sport, new brands can start small by creating identities that resonate with these emerging groups, building brand affinity from the ground up.

The design map illustrates the positioning of emerging cycling brands in the market. For ‘amateur’ cycling brands, positioning on the map depends on style – whether down to earth, minimalist or very eccentric, and approach – emphasis on experience or performance.

Four axis graph sorting brands and identities into categories
AColorBright ‘Cycling’ Design Map (2024)

At the heart of the dynamic world of cycling brands is a fundamental question: What drives your ride? Is it the community, the adventure or a quest for a personal best? As we explore this question, let us consider how these motivations are intertwined.

We’ve noticed a trend where many brands are incorporating bold and eccentric prints and patterns into their jerseys. These designs are playful and appeal to cyclists who want to make a statement. In contrast, some brands are sticking to classic styles while focusing on improving product performance. Only a handful of cutting-edge ‘new school’ brands have managed to broaden their reach to appeal to diverse audiences by offering products that meet different needs. They effortlessly blend a range of styles and experiences, including a focus on community and high performance through their technical products.

Using the visual landscape, we explore how each brand carves out its own space, shaping the visual story of cycling in today’s world.

Four axis graph with brand imagery and photos sorted into categories
AColorBright ‘Cycling’ Brand Map (2024)

4 distinct brand identities were identified by analysing the visual brand elements

We identified four distinct identities for the cycling brands and conducted an in-depth analysis of how they strategically use branding to communicate their core values. To delve deeper into the branding elements of each identity, download the deck.

1— New School

New School brands master every aspect, delivering top-notch quality products and a compelling brand experience. Their diverse product range caters to both cyclists seeking uniqueness and those aiming to blend in. Their branding is versatile and sophisticated, reflecting the mastery they exhibit in every aspect of their offerings. New School brands captivate with sleek aesthetics and cohesive imagery, creating a visual language that resonates with cyclists seeking both uniqueness and sophistication.

A cyclist casually lounging in couch.
MAAP brings a blend of laid-back, fun style to cycling while maintaining a strong focus on performance.
Source: MAAP

2— Pure Performers

Committed to authenticity and a genuine cycling experience, Pure Performers embody the essence of classic cycling apparel. They prioritise functionality and technical precision in the creation of high performance products.

Their branding is polished and dynamic, reflecting their passion for innovation and pushing boundaries in the cycling industry. With a focus on modern aesthetics and forward-thinking design, Pure Performers seamlessly blend style with substance, ensuring that every aspect of their brand resonates with the spirit of adventure and excellence.

cyclist in a desertic environment
Straede is a brand specialising in minimalist cycling apparel designed to simplify and enhance functionality. Embracing a “less is more” ethos, their products enable cyclists to focus solely on the sport. Their branding mirrors this philosophy, maintaining authenticity without unnecessary embellishment.
Source: straede

3— Quirky Cruisers

Quirky Cruisers redefine cycling with a unique flair that resonates with their niche community. These brands offer an alternative cycling experience that appeals to riders who value individuality.

Their branding is bold and unconventional, mirroring the eclectic spirit of their niche community. Quirky Cruisers infuse their marketing with creativity and personality, capturing the imagination of riders who seek a distinctive and offbeat cycling experience. With an emphasis on self-expression and nonconformity, their brand identity celebrates individuality and embraces the unconventional.

cyclists posing by a sponsored car
BBUC tells a story of cycling that goes beyond the physical activity and infuses the experience with fantasy and dreams. This essence is vividly reflected in the names and graphic designs of their collections. Their campaigns offer a perspective on a fast-paced world in search of perfection, with modern designs photographed with analogue cameras.
Source: BBUC

4— Easy Riders

Easy Riders prioritise simplicity, accessibility and comfort in their cycling endeavours. Their approach to the sport is down-to-earth and friendly, as they value ease and enjoyment above all else.

Their branding is approachable and welcoming, reflecting the laid-back ethos of Easy Riders. With a focus on simplicity and comfort, they convey a sense of warmth and accessibility that resonates with cyclists seeking a stress-free and enjoyable experience. Their brand exudes a friendly charm, inviting riders of all levels to join their community and embrace the relaxed joy of cycling.

portait of a cyclist with lila jersey
The name “TAN LINE” comes from the tan lines athletes get from training outdoors in their gear. With a commitment to the environment, TAN LINE focuses on using recycled and sustainable fabrics. Their clothing features minimal designs with almost no prints, offering beautiful colour combinations in harmonious pastels and earthy tones.
Source: TAN LINE

Stuff that we expect to see more of in the next years

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In the ever-evolving landscape of cycling brands, we predict four notable trends that will reshape the industry.

  1. Fashion collabs: No industry escapes to collabs these days. For cycling apparel brands, they serve as a mean to go beyond just equipment. For example, we’ve seen MAAP’s partnership with Unimatic for a watch or Pas Normal Studios’ collaboration with Salomon for shoes. But the most surprising one was probably Rapha x Palace, who created a limited edition switch-out kit for the riders of the pro tour. Skateboard and cycling brands together – who would have thought?
  2. Off-bike collections: You can only sell a certain amount of bibs and jerseys, but you can always expand the product portfolio to more lifestyle clothing. Now even at a party, you can let people know that you are a cyclist. As seen with Isadore’s Party T-shirt.
  3. Next-gen brands getting into professional cycling: In the world of professional cycling, next-gen brands have established themselves: Rapha was the first to sponsor EF Pro Cycling Team. Recently, MAAP joined forces with Lifeplus-Wahoo to sponsor a women’s professional cycling team recognised by the UCI. Pas Normal Studios continues its expansion into the global gravel scene with the launch of the PAS Racing Team, 18 international riders who will compete in gravel races around the world.
  4. Colorful bibs: You heard it here. It was fun to experiment with the jerseys, but brands are taking it to the next level. Colourful bibs are in. See pedla’s paprika bibs, velocio’s oxide red bib or MAAP’s light ore or Celestial blue version.

Taken together, these trends point to a blooming future for the cycling industry.

Brand Index

Brand nameFounding yearHeadquarters
Rapha2004United Kingdom
PEdALED2007Italy
Babici2009Australia
Café du cycliste2009France
Gobik2010Spain
Attaquer2012Australia
God and famous2012United States
Search and State2012United States
Alé2013Italy
Eliel2013United States
Isadore2013Slovakia
Q36.52013Italy
MAAP2014Australia
Pedal Mafia2014United States
Pedla2014Australia
Velocio2014United States
Void2014Sweden
BBUC2015Austria
CHPT32015United Kingdom
La Passione2015Italy
Pas Normal Studios2015Denmark
Romance2015United Kingdom
Albion2016United Kingdom
Ryzon2016Germany
Samsara2016Canada
Trikoterie2016Austria
Iris2017Netherlands
Le braquet2018Canada
Ostroy2018United States
Tan line2018Spain
KAMA.2019Austria
Veloine2019Germany
Angry Pablo2020United Kingdom
Rubber n road2020United States
Universal colours2020United Kingdom
Wilma2020France
Straede2021Germany
MAD.ONE2023Danmark

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