We asked, you answered: here are the results of the 2019 GRAN FONDO reader survey! Which trends have survived? Which are new? Read on to find out!

You were invited to take part in our annual reader survey for the fourth time this year to help us get to know you better, to learn more about your bikes and to hear about your preferences. A whopping 6,464 of you answered our call, more than ever before. So, first of all, we want to say thank you! And we want to share with you the survey’s most interesting findings.

Why a reader survey?

Ultimately, we don’t produce our content for our own enjoyment, but for you our readers. We want to know who you are and what you’re interested in. What kind of bikes do you want to see? Which brands are you excited about? But we also want to get to know you, because cycling is much more than just a hobby – it’s a lifestyle! Your feedback helps us tailor our content to your preferences. Getting your feedback on our articles and the app is equally as important. Both help show us what we need to work on, and we’re not the only ones that benefit from these insights. Some well-known brands also use the results of our survey as a guide – anonymised, of course. This gives you a direct influence on developments in the bike industry!

What does the average reader look like?

Averages can only provide so much information but they are an interesting starting point to look at. While Michael and Stefan were the most common names among the participants of the last two years,this year they were narrowly beaten by Thomas. Of course, this wasn’t thanks to just one Thomas, but to the 128 Thomases who participated in our survey.

So, our “average reader” is called Thomas. He’s 42 years old and has a hefty household income of € 89,581. Compared to last year, that’s an increase of almost 10%. You’re doing well! Thomas is most likely to ride a Canyon, Specialized, Cannondale, Trek or BMC. Not much has changed here since last year. It’s not surprising since Thomas usually rides his bike for 33 months. He spent € 3,415 on his current bike and he’s budgeted € 4,217 for the next. Besides cycling, he’s interested in travel (52%), good coffee (51%), electronic gadgets (38%) and photography (36%).

What do Thomas and the remaining 6,336 of you ride?

Every year, the question of what you ride is one of the most interesting. First let’s look at the types of bikes. The slight downward trend for road bikes continues this year, though 52% of you still own one. In the 2019 survey, the biggest growth has continued in gravel bikes for the second year running, which have gained another 7% and can now be found in 38% of your garages. They’ve caught up to endurance bikes, sharing 2nd place. By the way, on average you each own 2.22 bikes.

Alongside your road bike, 53% of you own a mountain bike. Strictly speaking, there are more mountain bikes among you than road bikes, though the comparison isn’t entirely fair given that we didn’t differentiate between various categories.

About 72% of the bikes have a Shimano drivetrain, with one-fifth of those fitted with an electronic Di2 groupset. SRAM feature on approximately 20% of bikes, of which one third use wireless eTap. About 8% of the field rely on Campagnolo, though the electronic EPS version makes up only one tenth of these.

The disc brake trend has continued to grow so much this year that 46% of you now rely on disc brakes. We’ll probably see a majority here soon because 79% want disc brakes on their next road bike! The trend away from 23 mm tires continues. Tire widths of 23 mm or below make up less than 10%, whereas 25 mm tires now account for 48%. 28 mm tires are found on 22% of your bikes and 21% of you are riding widths of at least 30 mm or more.

The enjoyment of riding isn’t a side effect. It’s the root cause!

The enjoyment of riding has become an even bigger motivating factor to get on your bike this year. For about 80% of you it’s the driving force. Riding for fun comes in closely behind exercise, which is the reason 85% of you gave for riding. Nonetheless for most of you, it’s both – fun and exercise. That’s how it should be! Another very popular reason given for cycling is recreation and relaxation. At about 38%, the desire for adventure and commuting also play an important role – certainly, some of you even manage to combine both. The social aspect of riding motivates around 27% of you and 20% ride primarily for competitions and races.

Bikes off the shelf?

The trend towards custom bikes has decreased slightly and this year 58% of you prefer stock bikes. Nevertheless, about 34% still want a personalised bike and 8% even want a custom made frame with tailor-made geometry. This trend may be related to the increasing quality and versatility of production bikes, which leave less and less to be desired. But that’s also why many still want to stand out from the crowd with a personalised and customised bike. The ever-increasing share of online sales plays a role too, seeing as you can’t usually configure these bikes as freely.

Top 10 – the most commonly ridden road bike brands among GRAN FONDO readers

If we look at the road bike brands that you ride most often, there are no changes in the top five this year, but there has been some movement from fifth place downward and a new player in our top ten this year is SCOTT. Overall, the top ten make up about 57% of the market.

These are the brands you currently ride

1. Canyon (= / 14 %)
2. Specialized (= / 9%)
3. Cannondale (= / 7 %)
4. Trek (= / 6 %)
5. BMC (+1 / 5 %)
6. Giant (-1 / 4 %)
7. ROSE (+2 / 4 %)
8. FOCUS (-1 / 3 %)
9. SCOTT (+2 / 3 %)
10. CUBE (-2 / 3 %)

Description: Brand (change in comparison to the previous year / market share in percent)

Which brand will it be next?

When asked which bike you’d buy next, BMC have made the most gains this year, bringing it to 3rd place. Pinarello have also gained in popularity and were able to secure a place in the top ten after finishing 21st last year. Trek has dropped down a few positions.

These are the brands you want to buy next

1. Canyon (= / 19 %)
2. Specialized (= / 10 %)
3. BMC (+2 / 8 %)
4. Cannondale (= / 7 %)
5. ROSE (+1 / 5 %)
6. Trek (-3 / 5 %)
7. OPEN (+3 / 2 %)
8. FOCUS (+4 / 2 %)
9. Pinarello (+11 / 2 %)
10. Cervélo (-3 / 2 %)

Description: Brand (change in comparison to the previous year / market share in percent)

Electric road bikes

We drilled you on E-road bikes a bit more this time to find out how much they matter to you and what you think makes a good E-road bike. It’ll be interesting to see whether a similar trend will develop here in the coming years as it did with eMTBs. Compared to last year, the number of those who categorically oppose E-road have declined slightly and now stands at 27%. This is countered by 42% of you who see the development as being a positive thing, as it allows riders of different fitness levels to ride together. About 3% can imagine buying an ebike in the near future. If you’re one of them, you can find a good overview of the best E-road bikes in our big group test.

The main motivation for buying an E-road bike is that it allows riders of different fitness levels to ride together. Regardless of whether this is due to age, illness or simply a lack of training. The motor is your most important criterion when shopping for an ebike: it shouldn’t produce any resistance when switched off or when riding faster than 25 km/h and should generally convey a similar feeling to that of a normal road bike. This also means that the motor has to be quiet. The battery capacity and the associated range is another important factor. The classic expectations of a good road bike such as comfort and low weight also rank high on your wishlist.


We are particularly happy to hear that besides loving your bikes, you also love our app and that you’re using it more than ever. 44% of survey participants use our app regularly. So, if you’re one of the people who primarily read our content online: give our free app a try – GRAN FONDO doesn’t read better anywhere else, especially on a tablet! Our Instagram account is also growing in popularity.

Best brand

Every year, we ask you which brand you think builds the best road bikes. While the answers are entirely subjective – after all, very few people have the opportunity to test and compare the different products themselves – they still add up to give some interesting insights. The brands that come out on top can rest assured that they’re doing the right things with their brand image, product range, marketing and product performance. The brand OPEN has made the biggest gains in this category, able to climb up 8 places and thereby make its debut in the top 10.

1. Specialized (= / 24 %)
2. Canyon (= / 13 %)
3. BMC (= / 11 %)
4. Pinarello (= / 6 %)
5. Trek (+1 / 6 %)
6. Cannondale (+1 / 5 %)
7. Colnago (+1 / 4 %)
8. Bianchi (+1 / 4 %)
9. Cervélo (-4 / 4 %)
10. OPEN (+8 / 2 %)

Description: Brand (change in comparison to the previous year / market share in percent)

Lucky winners

Für uns ist die Leserumfrage immer ein großes Fest: Wir lernen euch nicht nur besser kennen, sondern dürfen us to get to know our readers better, but we also get to treat a lucky few of them! Thanks to the brands we partnered up with we had amazing prizes to give away in a lucky draw amongst the survey participants. The winners are:

FOCUS Paralane²: Heinz B.
BMC Teammachine: Lars A.

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