BEIJING: Zhou Changchang likes to spend his spare time cruising along the streets of China’s capital with his cycling club friends, on his Tiffany Blue bicycle made by the British company Brompton.
The 42-year-old teacher is part of a growing army of cycling enthusiasts in China, who are splashing out on premium bicycles made by the likes of Brompton, Giant and Specialized, fuelling a market that consultancy Research & Markets estimates could be worth US$16.5 billion by 2026.
Social media and e-commerce platforms say there has been a surge of interest in cycling over the past year and sales of bicycles and gear are booming.
Typically, Chinese cyclists will pay more than 13,000 yuan (US$1,870) for an inner-city, high-end foldable bike made by the likes of Brompton. High-performance road bikes, made for longer journeys, start at around 10,000 yuan (US$1,450) and can go many times higher.
Last month, media reported that a bicycle made by luxury brand Hermes sold for 165,000 yuan (US$24,500).