Strava, the social network for athletes, has released a comprehensive new survey of Women’s cycling. The survey of UK female cyclists aims to determine motivations, influences, buying attitudes and views on barriers to entry for more women taking up cycling.
Based on when they took up cycling, respondents were segmented into four groups: ‘new starters’ (less than one year), ‘recent’ (1-5 years), ‘established’ (6-10 years) and ‘long term’ (10+ years). Around two-thirds of respondents got into cycling in the past five years.
The report comes during the Aviva Women’s Tour, which features the Strava Queen of the Mountains competition for the third year running. The survey reports that 61% of female cyclists are inspired by pro cycling, and overall 64% take an active interest.
Respondents have a diverse range of cycling experience. 51% have been cycling for less than 4 years. 62% took up cycling for general fitness and 56% were influenced by friends & family.
When asked “What motivates you to cycle now?”, 84% said general fitness, 59% said friends & family, and 32% said events. 29% said weight loss and 26% said commuting motivates them to cycle.
Overall, for all female cyclists on Strava, two thirds ride up to 5 hours per week on average. For riding activities at least once a week, just 22% say they ride with a cycling club.
Barriers to entry
Respondents expressed a view on the presence of barriers for women’s cycling, and the majority feel that cycling is an accessible sport. 60% disagreed that there were barriers in place for women wanting to get into cycling.
Of the 40% who agreed that there were barriers, 78% believed this was due to a perceived danger of cycling, followed by mechanical proficiency at 71%, with 59% flagging barriers around the subject of body image.
On average, female cyclists spent £1,050 in 2015 on cycling – including apparel, equipment, events and other related expenditure. The majority of female cyclists on Strava own 2 bikes, with an overall average of 2.1 bikes per person for all survey respondents. On average, they purchase a new bike every 4.1 years.
Olympic 2012 Gold medallist and Wiggle-High5 rider Dani King, said of the report: “With women’s cycling growing both professionally and recreationally I was delighted when Strava asked me to get involved with this report. Since I’ve been cycling I’ve consistently heard two things. 1. Women aren’t interested in professional cycling and 2. There are significant barriers in place that prevent women from cycling. This report addresses these often quoted stereotypical views and shows them largely not be true.”
“There is however still more to achieve and with growth of media coverage surrounding women’s cycling and increased focus from the industry, I hope women’s cycling can reach its full potential; both in a sporting and recreational context.”
She added: “I hope that participation in women’s cycling continues to grow and that the industry uses this report to help serve female cyclists even better.”
The Strava Women’s Cycling Report will be available free of charge to the UK cycling and sports industries.
For more information on Strava, please visit http://www.strava.com.