in Data & Insights

RTB = Real-Time Biking

May is Bike to Work Month, intended to bring awareness of biking as a viable mode of transit to alleviate our trafficked commutes. To know how many bikers there are, cities quantify with a real-time bike counter. We have some deeper insights into those bikers.

Here at Quantcast, real-time and quantifying things are our specialties, and we help advertisers get Quantified™ so that they can better understand their audiences and use RTB technologies (the “B” here is for “bidding” in real-time bidding, not “biking”) to attract the right customers to their products. We like to think we’re fueling the economy by helping consumers do what they do best, consume. We also like to bike to work, so we analyzed consumption patterns from massive amounts of our proprietary real-time data to get at the profile of the bike commuter.

Bike commuters skew toward three categories: young male, well-educated, and making a 6-figure salary. Though the composition (by gender) of the set of bike commuters that intersects with the set of this post’s authors is 50/50, females overall represent a much smaller proportion of bike commuters (other research backs this up).

Biking is a popular pastime on the West Coast, which is the top spot for bike commuters, with vast expanses along the coasts and hills to boot all across the West (“uphill both ways” is not just a story grandpa tells annually at Thanksgiving; it’s also the commute du jour in San Francisco).

Concentration of Bike Commuters by Designated Market Area (DMA)

Because of our core capability in understanding digital audiences, we are able to locate the top bike commuter areas, and the darker areas on the map show the densest concentrations of bike commuters. This roughly aligns with America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities as reported for 2012 by and with our view into the audience’s affiliations (55 of the top indexing organizations for bike commuters are large universities, mostly in the American West and the English shires).

America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities (courtesy of

Bike commuters care about the essentials of commuting: fenders, trailers, lights, panniers, bike lanes. Also, about other, fancier bikes they don’t ride to work, and about various components for their ride.

Outside of the usual bike-related stuff, bike commuters have an affinity (more so than the average person on the internet) to sports & outdoors, technology, consumer electronics, music, and pets. They may be literary (they are interested in books and in PBS), but they also strongly exhibit the typical college-age-male pastime – online humor (read: memes).

If you want information like this for your audience, website, network, or campaign, get Quantified today for free!

Posted by Ksenya Gusak, Head of Sales Insights, and Mark Cooper, Engineering Manager – Measurement