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Strava: 2022 Report Says More E-Bikes, More Gravel

Photo: Cannondale

Even if you’re not a Strava-addicted cyclist, the year-end data the company compiled is pretty interesting, especially for its Most-Exercised Activities report.

Enough sports fans use Strava when they venture outside, so the general trends detected are accurate enough for the population as a whole.

Strava 2022 Report - Individual vs Group Activities
Individual activities versus group activities

What did we discover in 2022?

Alpine skiing is booming, as is the gravel phenomenon. There has also been a boom in marathons, especially in Europe. Those who ride in groups tend to cover longer distances and in adverse conditions (dark and cold). And women are commuting by bike far more than ever before. Even more men!

Off-road, anytime, anywhere

Whether it’s a desire for new discoveries, a love of the outdoors or adventure, in 2022 just over half of Strava users – 52% – were loaded with off-road activities. The phenomena in strong growth are those of gravel biking and eMTB, as far as biking is concerned, transitioning into running, we’re obviously talking about trail and ultrarunning. Although for some solitude can be a strong trigger, activities on the trails are more likely to be done in groups (55% of the total).

Strava Report 2022 - E-Bikes in Europe
Percentage of e-bike activities in Europe
Strava 2022 Report - E-Bikes by Age
E-bike activities by age group

E-bikes for easy access

We focus on the use of pedal-powered mountain bikes, a rapidly growing phenomenon that makes the sport more “democratic”. Pros and Cons. But there is no denying that e-bikes help enthusiasts of all levels to take on and overcome exciting new challenges.

The e-bike boom between ecology and savings

The share of registered Strava cyclists using an e-bike is up 26% this year, albeit unevenly, with more mature users trending higher than younger users. And in some countries, adoption of this new technology has unfolded in a surprisingly disruptive way (unlike in others gear-hesitant, like a mud-covered gearbox).

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Strava Report 2022 - Long Haul
Anyone who has cycled more than 100 miles – 160 km – in Europe

Long distance love

If the marathon is a lifelong goal for many runners, tackling 100 miles (just over 160 kilometers) is a rite of passage for many cyclists. In 2022, the percentage of cyclists with at least one 100-mile ride will be 22% globally, even in those countries that use a metric system, like ours. Unfortunately, the number of stops for coffee breaks, fixing flat tires, or sugar “packs” is still too high to count. In any case, the UK is at the top of this particular ranking.

Strava 2022 Report - Mobility
Mobility before and after the pandemic

Gravel boom and mobility

Although 100 miles is ridden on asphalt in most cases, long-distance gravel riding is an increasingly popular way to switch between different types of surfaces.

The bike is increasingly being understood as an alternative mode of transportation to motorized vehicles, fortunately. Unsurprisingly, when offices and businesses closed due to the global pandemic, the number of cyclists riding bikes to work decreased. Two years later, a rebound in this form of travel — the so-called commuting — is showing up most rapidly on Strava among women, who are returning to pre-pandemic levels.

strava-2022-report-top-destinations
The best destinations around the world

around the world

In 2021, travel around the world has resumed. Over the past year, 101% of enthusiasts and athletes uploaded activities outside their home country, up from 3% in 2019, before the pandemic hit. Italy ranks third in this particular ranking, after France and Spain.

The full report is here

E-bike, a new frontier in sustainable tourism