Bicycles selling like hotcakes in U.S. stores

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The struggling U.S. automobile industry may do well to take some lessons from its non-motorized brethren because bicycles are selling like hotcakes.

Americans purchased more bicycles than new cars and trucks combined in the past year — and all without employee discounts or zero-percent financing.

“Our sales have almost tripled in the last couple of years,” said Bob Ippolito, executive vice president at Pacific Bicycle, the largest bicycle distributor in the United States.

The company, which is owned by Canadian Dorel (DIIsv.TO: Quote, Profile, Research), sold 5 million bicycles last year, ranging in price from $50 to several thousand dollars.

“Sales are the best we’ve had in five years,” said Ron Lippner, vice president of Cadillac Bicycle at Kent International, a private company that manufactures and sells more than 1 million bikes a year.

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