Over the last two years, the European bicycle market has experienced record growth supported by the increasingly pressing need to move and travel in an alternative, sustainable and safe way.
In 2020, around 22 million bikes were sold in Europe, two million more than the previous year, with a turnover up 40% which exceeded, for the first time, 18 billion euros in the history of the bicycle industry, as underlined by the Conebi Report 2021 (European Confederation of the Bike, E-Bike, Components and Accessories Industry on the cycle industry).
An evolving sector, which is meeting the demand of professionals and two-wheel enthusiasts with increasingly innovative proposals and trends, as emerged from the 29th edition of Eurobike 2021 fair, which was held again in attendance, from 1 to 4 September 2021, in Friedrichshafen, Germany, hosting producers and brands from 68 countries around the world.
Environmental sustainability, advanced technology and the research for comfort were some of the key words that characterized the event and that are shaping an industrial sector in great turmoil. Because the demand for traditional bicycles has not only grown, but above all that of e-bikes and – even more recently – of e-mountain bikes, opening new horizons both in the production of vehicles and in the field of supplying dedicated equipment, including textiles for technical sportswear.
By presenting the Greenperforming philosophy to Eurobike, M.I.T.I brought the EcoSoul range to the Friedrichshafen fair, one of its most innovative proposals for the production of high-performance warp-knit fabrics designed to meet the technical needs of the bike world, but always in the full respect for nature. M.I.T.I’s EcoSoul technology combines the use of 100% post-consumer polyester (the one that basically comes from the reuse of common plastic bottles) with standard elastomer. All EcoSoul fabrics are also Bluesign® and Oekotex class I certified, and use recycled polyester with GRS (Global Recycled Standards) certification. These are features that make them suitable for making technical and “eco” garments for sports, but also versatile textiles for outdoor activities by bike.
e-bike: from cycle tourism to everyday life
The bicycle and the electric bike have become an important part of our life: from a lean and fast vehicle for moving around city traffic to an alternative and innovative way of traveling. A choice that promotes sustainable mobility helping the environment and that inaugurates greener ways of experiencing places and our daily habits. Eurobike 2021 focused the spotlight on the e-bike market which, as confirmed by Conebi, recorded a real sales boom in 2020, with a 52% increase in volumes compared to 2019 and a turnover of 10.6 billion euros. This is also made possible by a wider and more varied audience of users, often with an advanced age, since the technical comforts offered by electric bicycles make the vehicle more accessible for anyone, even regardless of the physical abilities of the individual. In line with the recent transformations of the market, the EcoSoul technology presented by M.I.T.I allows the creation of garments for sportswear that combine great attention to the environment with multiple design possibilities: these are textiles made with dyeing and highly sustainable finishing, without compromising the performance and yield of the fabric, which can be piece-dyed or printable in a personalized way, to create various types of products, suitable for the tastes of an increasingly transversal and changing target.
e-MTB: on the road and in the natural environment
As confirmed by Eurobike 2021, among the lovers of electric bicycles, a large market niche prefers e-mountain bikes. A growing trend that is also guiding the technological proposals of manufacturers, with lighter and more performing vehicles, but also its related products, with the offer of increasingly innovative products also in the textile field. Those who choose the electric mountain bike love adventure sports and move around in nature even in severe conditions and on uneven paths. For this reason, bikers can never underestimate the choice of clothing suitable for dealing with complex or climatically variable environmental conditions. The fabrics born from the EcoSoul technology that M.I.T.I presented at the fair want to respond precisely to these needs, allowing the wearer to keep the best physical performance, even during the winter season and at low temperatures, thanks to the features of high breathability, to the perfect maintenance of thermal comfort, the ability to dry quickly without retaining moisture on the skin and 4 degrees of elasticity that allow it to adapt perfectly to all body movements.
According to Laura Gambarini, M.I.T.I Marketing & Communication Manager: “The Bike sector has benefited from a great development in recent months, also driven by the possibility of playing this sport alone, outdoors, in full compliance with the Covid regulations of each Country. As Eurobike 2021 points out, the issue of sustainability is one of the main drivers of this growth process, both for the growing sensitivity of users towards the environment – and the need to find effective ways to preserve it – and for the possibility of everyone to approach to cycling thanks to e-bikes. For this reason, despite fair modalities still conditioned by the Pandemic, being an event finally in attendance, we registered a great enthusiasm among the public, of strong interest in innovation and with the desire to experiment with new and more sustainable production opportunities“.