Tuesday , 22 September 2020




If viewed on a smart phone, best viewed in landscape.

For women, mountain biking can be both liberating and intimidating. It can also be both stimulating and frustrating. Are women well catered for in South Africa? Based on our research, we estimate that women make up between 20-25% of the South African mountain bike market. Whether it’s a fifth or a quarter, it’s an important segment that’s growing. We decided to find out more and ran the TREAD SA Women’s MTB Survey, presented by Biogen.


At total of 579 women completed the survey, which ran for six weeks and was promoted to women around South Africa via various social media channels. The questions crossed a broad range to gather sufficient information to help create a profile of the average South African female mountain biker. We have broken the responses into three parts, here is Part 2 – Your spending preferences:

When buying a bicycle, how important are the following to you? 1 = not too important, 5 = extremely important.

Not surprisingly, comfort is a very important factor in buying a bike. Comfort – or lack thereof – can make or break a woman’s riding experience. More comfort, means more desire to ride more often. Components was next most important to women, while cost also featured prominently in buying decisions. Colour was rather mixed in the reactions, but remains a 4 or 5 rating for more than 30% of women.

1 2 3 4 5
Cost 2.06% 4.46% 25.39% 28.82% 39.45%
Comfort 0.34% 1.54% 7.20% 30.53% 61.06%
Colour 19.97% 17.73% 31.50% 18.76% 12.74%
Components 0.52% 2.07% 12.22% 36.66% 48.05%

How likely are you to spend money (R450-R1500) on improving your MTB skills? 1 = highly unlikely, 10 = very likely


With a generally far higher level of self-preservation compared to men, it’s not surprising to see that 32.42% marked this with a 10 and 61.40% marked 7 or higher.

How much, on average, do you spend on vitamins and health support supplements a month?


Just 11.49% said they spend nothing on vitamins and health support supplements a month, while 30.19% spend at least R500 a month.

Do you use sports supplements for important rides or races?

A total of 18.87% say they don’t use sports supplements, while the overwhelming majority do, during important rides or races. In fact, 26.59% say they use sports supplements before, during and after an important ride or race.

Is there any other form of exercise you do?


There were 469 responses to this question, which shows that most women mountain bikers in South Africa do more than just ride mountain bikes. We were a little surprised to see running as the most popular alternative to mountain biking. Road cycling came in at No. 12 with 4.40%.

Which repairs can you do?

Great to see how self-sufficient most of the survey respondents are. For additional clarity, here’s the detailed breakdown:

Repair description % that can
Inflate a tyre with a mini-pump 78.69%
Inflate a tyre with a CO2 Bomb 84.19%
Plug a hole in a tyre 67.35%
Insert a ‘gator’ to cover a hole in a tyre 32.99%
Insert a spare tube 59.79%
Lubricate a chain 90.89%
Rectify a derailed chain 79.55%
Repair a broken chain with a chain link 41.07%
Readjust seat height 87.11%
None of the above 2.23%


Do you ride with ICE ID or similar?

Yes: 49.66%

No: 50.34%


On one hand this was concerning because easy-to-see/read key emergency information worn on you can be the difference between life and death. That sounds extreme, but mountain biking is a high-risk activity. On the other hand, it confirms that women are usually riding with another who they trust will be able to manage an emergency should one arise. The fact that women are also less likely than men to try to ride anything highly risky also needs to be taken into consideration. However, it’s better to be safe and carrying some form of emergency information – contact numbers of family members, medical aid name and number and any allergies or unique health info such as a rare blood group – could save or change your life for the better.

Do you have medical aid cover?

At total of 79.38% have medical aid cover. This is essential as mountain biking can be high risk, even while you’re circling the car park, waiting for the others to be ready to ride!

What brand of car do you drive?


Brand %
Volkswagen 14.88%
Toyota 14.70%
Ford 11.76%
Hyundai 6.98%
Audi 5.88%
BMW 5.51%
Nissan 3.30%
Mercedes Benz 3.30%
Renault 3.12%
Suzuki 2.94%
Landrover 2.94%


Of the 33 brands named, these are the top 10. Curiously 1.47% wrote ‘unknown’…

Relationship status: which of the following applies to you?


Relationship status %
I am single 17.53%
I am in a relationship 15.64%
I am engaged 2.75%
I am married 19.42%
I am married with young children (under 16) 24.23%
I am married with older children (over 16) 15.29%
I am a single mother with young children (under 16) 1.72%
I am a single mother with older children (over 16) 2.58%
I am a widow 0.86%

A massive 58% of our survey takers are married.

Employment status: which of the following applies to you?

Employment status %
I am a learner 1.20%
I am a student 2.58%
I have a part-time job 10.14%
I have a full-time job 74.05%
I am retired 2.06%
I am a pensioner 0.69%
I am unemployed 0.69%
I don’t work 0.52%
I am supported by my partner/spouse 2.75%
I am a stay-at-home Mom 5.33%


Full-time job, part-time job and stay-at-home Mom are the top three, with full-time job by far the largest.

Would you consider buying a new bicycle on terms (finance)?

Yes: 16.70%

No: 55.08%

Possibly: 28.23%


Do you insure your bicycle?

Yes: 70.79%

No: 29.21%


What did your bike cost?


Cost %
Less than R5000 2.58%
R5000-R7999 5.15%
R8000-R9999 2.75%
R10000-R14999 6.87%
R15000-R19999 6.87%
R20000-R24999 7.22%
R25000-R29999 9.11%
R30000-R34999 7.04%
R35000-R39999 7.56%
R40000-R44999 5.50%
R45000-R49999 5.50%
R50000-R54999 5.33%
R55000-R59999 4.81%
R60000-R69999 7.22%
R70000-R79999 4.47%
R80000-R89999 6.19%
R90000-R99999 0.69%
R100000-R119999 2.75%
R120000 or more 1.72%
I don’t really know 0.69%

Some observations: A total of 10.48% spent less than R10 000; a total of 24.22% spent under R20 000; a total of 30.93% spent between R20 000-R40 000; a total of 21.14% spent between R40 000-R60 000; a total of 17.88% spent between R60 000-R90 000.

Look out for SA WOMEN’S MTB SURVEY RESULTS: PART 3 – BIKES AND GEAR CHOICE coming soon. Did you miss PART 1 – YOU AND YOUR RIDING? Here’s the link:  PART 1 – YOU AND YOUR RIDING?

Got any comments or want to give some survey feedback, email joanne@treadmtb.co.za

SA WOMEN’S MTB SURVEY RESULTS: PART 2 – YOUR SPENDING PREFERENCES Reviewed by on .   If viewed on a smart phone, best viewed in landscape. For women, mountain biking can be both liberating and intimidating. It can also be both stimulating   If viewed on a smart phone, best viewed in landscape. For women, mountain biking can be both liberating and intimidating. It can also be both stimulating Rating: 0

About Joanne Badenhorst

scroll to top