Bike sales up in slightly 2012, but sales of 26-inch bikes down 20 percent.

Those are some stats from Bicycle Retailer. Sales show modest growth in overall sales in 2012 compared to 2011, mostly in road-oriented bikes including roadies and hybrids and comfort bikes. But the amazing stat is the rise of the 29er mountain bike compared to the descent of those with 26-inch wheels, despite 29ers costing more. Having bought my first 29er last year, I wonder if the rise in the 29er is riders like myself buying second bikes or first timers buying them instead of 26ers. It’s probably a combination. This year will likely see a rise in 27.5-inch wheels in the mountain bike world, which I’m guessing will further drop 26er sales. That’s not to say 26-inch wheels are doomed, but it’s interesting to see how bike buyers are responding to more choices in wheel sizes by voting with their wallets. See more here.

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