Since 2005, the Sani2c three-day stage race has given South African mountain bikers an annual dose of trail-riding fun. Yes, it’s grown to become the country’s largest mountain bike stage race. Yes, it’s an exceptionally important event for the South African bicycle industry. Yes, we finally have stats on the bikes of the Sani2c.
With around 4300 entrants, the KAP Sani2c is also the world’s largest mountain bike stage race. The three-day event (which has three different race groups – Trail, Adventure and Race) covers a total distance of 263km with 3785 metres of ascent.
Because it’s route is quite flowy and generally non-technical, Sani2c attracts a very wide range of mountain bikers, including quite a large number of first-time stage racers. With the support of the organisers, we created the first ever TREAD Sani2c survey.
We had a total of 893 responses. Some skipped some questions, but for each question we had at least 855 responses, which from a total race entry number of 4264 is an ideal sample size for 95% confidence level and 3% margin for error. Those that understand the mechanics of surveys will know that those are very, very good figures.
Here are the results of the bicycle-related questions and our analysis.
We were a little surprised to see Specialized this dominant. The brand has been the most popular at the Absa Cape Epic since 2010, but we were expecting it to have more competition at Sani2c. Three South African brands, Momsen (7th), Pyga (9th) and Silverback (10th) in the top 10 is an important achievement we feel.
|Age of bike||%|
|It’s a new bike||7.87%|
|I bought it in the last year||21.55%|
|About 2 years||26.11%|
|About 3 years||18.81%|
|About 4 years||12.43%|
|About 5 years||8.78%|
|About 6-9 years||3.65%|
|10 years or older||0.80%|
Despite a shaky economy, we are impressed that a total of 29.42% bikes were bought in the last year. A year that’s been the toughest we can remember for the SA cycling industry. And this stat begs the question: How often should you buy a new bike? Keep that answer in your head for an upcoming TREAD survey on bikes.
|R130000 or more||2.28%|
The average bike value is R51 408. This is around what we expected (okay, a little higher), but significantly lower than that at the 2016 Cape Epic which was R95 662. A telling stat is that 49.89% of the bikes cost under R40 000. This remains a key bike price segment in this country. Brands that successfully supply the R40 000 and under consumer will always be among the most successful brands in our opinion.
Confirmation that the hardtail is not dead. Sani2c has largely very smooth terrain and is one of the few stage races we would consider tackling on a hardtail.
Not surprisingly, 29-inch wheels are the dominant wheel size. Most of the 27.5-inch bikes we saw at the event belonged to women or were on very trail-specific bikes.
|Number of chainrings||%|
This was an interesting stat. We expect it to change over the next couple of years as single chainring drivetrains with 11 and 12 gears become more affordable. Amazing to think that just six years ago most mountain bikes had three-chainring drivetrains.
|I am very happy with 2/3 chainrings||47.63%|
|I bought my bike with a single chainring drivetrain||26.64%|
|I recently changed to a single chainring drivetrain||13.98%|
|I plan to change to a single chainring drivetrain||13.74%|
That 53.37% of riders have, or intend to have a single chainring drivetrain shows just how significant this theme is. There’s no other topic as hot as this one currently… If you’re still deciding, this article, The Great Chainring Debate that we published last year, will give you some insight.
|Bike service status ahead of Sani2c 2017||%|
|My bike had a major service||52.53%|
|My bike had a minor service||33.57%|
|My bike didn’t need a service||10.37%|
|My bike is brand new||3.53%|
That 86.10% of riders had their bike serviced ahead of the 2017 San2c confirms the event holds high value to most participants. High enough that they want their bike working as smoothly as possible for the event.
While this is good business for bike shops, it’s also a challenge as many leave it until the week before (or even the week of!) the event to get their bike to the shop, which can create ‘workshop jam’.
You can’t just drive your car to a dealership for a service on a whim. You have to book it in in advance. The same system should apply to bicycles…
Unsure of when to service your bike, or replace various parts? Have a look at our recently published guide, Maintenance, What to Replace/Service and When
|Major component brand||%|
|A combination of SRAM and Shimano||18.12%|
Shimano holds a rather strong upper hand at this event. The fact that double and triple chainrings are so prevalent as well as the average bike price being what it is this year, are no doubt the reason for this. Shimano is still very popular on low-to-mid range bikes (and older bikes). Another 2017 Cape Epic comparison: SRAM held a 56% : 44% ascendency over Shimano. A stat that’s remained almost unchanged since 2015.
The fact that some bike brands offer a SRAM (usually drivetrain/gears) and Shimano (usually brakeset) mix made us include this option. At more than 18%, it’s clearly not a trend and something that’s here to stay.
Interested in more South African stats? Here’s our 2017 Cape Epic bike stats article: Bikes of the 2017 ABSA Cape Epic, All the Stats.
- Gear choice at the 2017 KAP Sani2c – all the stats
- 2017 KAP Sani2c – all the rider stats
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