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2014 Kona Bike Count Analysis

For whatever reason I like statistics and I also like the bicycle business so something that always piques my interest is the annual bike count at Kona for the world Ironman Championships. There is little true data on sales and who is doing well over others so this is one case where we see a lot of brands and can compare.  Lava Magazine does these and the full list for 2014 is found here. I am only going to look at the top ten.

This is a place were Cervelo Rules and they have rightly placed a lot of emphasis here. When the Shiv came out I felt it was the start of a trend for other manufacturers to focus on Tri specific bikes and that Cervelo’s lead here may erode, and that is what is happening but they are still the leader by a wide margin. This year they did again but didn’t really grow their numbers while others did, some by quite a bit.

A few things first. The number of athletes at the 2014 Ironman was higher than in 2013 so some build in growth anyways. Taking that into account a +2 bike growth isn’t great. Also last year Trek and Speclized combined were still quite below Cervelo as a whole, this year they exceed Cervelo’s count.

Also this is a tiny sample of the many more thousands of Tri bikes that are out there so maybe doesn’t mean a thing, but these are consistent from year to year and Ironman people upgrade frequently as well.

Ledt’s take a visual guide to the Top 10

#1 Cervelo

#2 Trek

#3 Specialized


#4 Felt

#5 Quintana Roo

#6 BMC

#7 Cannondale

#8 Ceepo

#9 Giant

#10 Scott

Here is the list:

Manufacturer 2013 2014 Change
Cervelo (-) 488 490 +2
Trek (-) 220 260 +40
Specialized (-) 209 242 +33
Felt (-) 115 129 +14
Quintana Roo (+1) 80 76 -4
BMC (+3) 68 76 +8
Cannondale (-) 79 72 -7
Ceepo (+4) 52 68 +16
Giant (+1) 66 68 +2
Scott (-5) 91 66 -25

So let’s make some general statements. Cervelo kept their lead but didn’t really grow. Trek and Specialized are catching up, but it will still take a few years at this rate. Ceepo did well and Scott really fell off (down 5 spots and 25 bikes). Scott probably doesn’t feel too bad (Their sponsored athlete Sebastian Kienle won the race!) Trek certainly coming on strong, wonder how many of these were Project Ones and these folks like to go custom!

Aragon 18 fell out of the top ten, they held the 8th spot last year, down to 11th and by 11 bikes. Their spot was taken by Ceepo. Don’t know a lot about Ceepo, neat looking frames and maybe that is part of the attraction but doing something right (at least at Kona)

Cervelo revamped their entire Tri range in the last 18 months, the P5, P3 and P2 (or P3 105 as I call it) are all new. But folks didn’t rush out to get them (at least according to this list) in any greater numbers. Specialized’s Shiv and Trek’s Speed Concept have stayed the same but now folks are seeing them as innovative and Cervelo can’t be seen as the leader now, more of a triumvirate of brands (and that didn’t work out so well for the Romans).

Anyways, all of this is just based off of one count and one race, but still very interesting.

Also we can see brands come and go. I did a bit of backwards research and looked at the 2002 numbers and LiteSpeed was #5 but declining having just been passed by Cervelo into #4, by 2005 Cervelo was on top and have been there since. In 2002 87 people showed up on a LiteSpeed. This year only 7(!) folks showed up on a LiteSpeed.  Took a look at their site and they are certainly out of the hard core Tri bike scene now. Specialized wasn’t really on the 2002 list, they were still well below others in 2005, now up to #3. Another brand that really imploded was Kestrel, #2 in 2002, still #4 in 2005, now languishing well out of the top 10. In 2002 there were a fairly massive 156 Kestrels waiting after the swim transition. This year, a mere 18! And Kestrel still has Tri bikes just doesn’t seem to get much love.

Will be interesting to see how things go next year?

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