The Beat on Bikes: New Data Shows Garmin Users Cycling More This Year

The Beat on Bikes: New Data Shows Garmin Users Cycling More This Year

Each summer, the world’s eyes turn toward France for the single biggest event on the cycling calendar, and this year is no different. As some of the toughest endurance athletes prepare to compete, the rest of us can’t help but feel inspired to be a little more active — a trend that cyclists in the Garmin community have been steadily advancing for the past year.

Using data from the Garmin Connect™ community of cyclists who log their miles on our Edge® cycling computers, we can see that cyclists are pushing harder year-round — whether  that’s in pursuit of one day completing a race or simply for the enjoyment of time spent on a bike. Whatever the motivation, it’s clear that Garmin cyclists aren’t slowing down.

The more the merrier

In the past 12 months, Garmin cycling activities have increased 7%, and that figure is normalized to account for cyclists who purchased their first Edge device during the same time frame. So, yes. More people are joining the Garmin community, but the OGs are going on more rides too.

What’s even better? Women are the fastest-growing cycling demographic within the Garmin community, with a 9% increase in cycling activities this year. (Side note: Did you catch UNBOUND Gravel this year? Women’s cycling is getting more intense than ever, and we love to see it.)

Take it indoors

Is there a human alive who wouldn’t enjoy a leisurely pedal along the seaside in Nice? We doubt it. But if that’s not your reality, don’t worry — the Garmin lineup of Tacx® indoor trainers all but guarantees you access to realistic-feeling rides year-round without the hassle of ever leaving your home.

Indoor cycling activities logged on Edge devices are up 12% over last year. Could it be that the December 2023 launch of the Tacx® NEO 3M — the most accurate and powerful direct-drive trainer in the Garmin lineup to date — inspired some more indoor training sessions? We know winter can be a bummer, but multidirectional movement offered by top-of-the-line integrated Tacx motion plates helps soften the blow.

The more you ride, the better you ride

We know, we know — it’s not necessarily surprising that the more you do something, the better you get at it. But it’s worth pointing out that cyclists who are averaging a normalized power of more than 180 watts are riding at least 70 miles each week. (Don’t speak the lingo? No problem. Your Edge cycling computer tracks your normalized power number when riding with a power meter to give you a comprehensive idea of your average power when you throw in factors such as hills or descents as you ride.)

Also worth noting is that your VO2 max — the number that captures how well your heart, lungs, circulatory system and muscle cells are working together — is typically better the more you ride. Cyclists who ride 90 miles per week are achieving an average VO2 max figure in the mid-50s, which, depending on your age, is likely landing you in the “superior” category.

If you really want to excel, a short ride or two a week may not cut it.

Across the globe

Garmin cycling products are used by cyclists around the world. And since we’re always game for a little friendly competition, we decided to look into who’s doing the best. This can , of course, be defined in multiple ways, but Garmin users in the below locales are leaving the rest of us in the dust in their respective categories. As you’re perusing these stats, keep in mind that they include everyone — riders who may be competing as well as those who only dust off the pedals once in a blue moon (but hey, we’re trying, okay?).

The fastest? The United Arab Emirates.

Good luck catching up to cyclists in the United Arab Emirates. As a whole, they’re averaging 16 mph on their rides.

The most powerful? Denmark.

Garmin cyclists in Denmark are averaging 196 watts of normalized power each time they hit the pedals.

The longest rides logged? Italy.

Italians are spending the most amount of time on their bikes, with each ride lasting a little more than 2 hours on average.

The farthest rides logged? Italy, again.

Given the above statistic, it’s not surprising that Italians are also covering the most distance at an average of 29 miles. With all that coastline and climbing, we can’t imagine wanting to do anything but explore every inch of it.

The most miles ridden per capita? Belgium.

When taking population into account, Belgians logged the most miles over the past year, coming in with 362,165,857. If every citizen tracked a bike ride in Garmin Connect during that time frame, that’d be 30.24 miles per person.  

Ride like the pros

You don’t have to be a professional cyclist to train like one. If your performance is leaving a little to be desired, or even if you’re less concerned about the data and more concerned about finding fresh ways to exercise, shop the full lineup of Garmin cycling products to perfect your ride.