High bicycle demand during pandemic causing shortage
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- Bicycle shop owners attribute the high demand in bikes to COVID-19. More people are tired of staying cooped up inside and bicycling is a great way to get outside.
‘Sales were up 300 percent, literally overnight. That demand basically emptied out most bike shop inventory in America, and then emptied out most of the warehouses from the manufactures during the month of May,” Steve Peterson, the owner of Trek Bicycle Store in Granger said.
Peterson said that by the end of May, most bike shops and manufacturers were out of recreational bicycle inventory. That’s why; fewer bicycles are on the floor and stands at bike shops across Michiana and the country.
“Unfortunately, yeah, if people are looking for that $700 mountain bike or recreational bike we can’t find them,” Peter Colan, owner of Spin Zone Cycling said. “We’re suggesting to look at the local market places, like Facebook marketplace, things like that, and see if you can find something.”
But, not only is there a short supply of bicycles, bike shop owners are having a hard time finding parts to repair bicycles.
“The bike business isn’t an "us versus them, it’s a "we all work together" industry. And several of the other shops in the area, I have built wonderful relationships with them,” Peterson said. “Because there is a time where I may need a part where they have or they may need a part that I have.”
When bicycles were in high demand, the parts supply dried up, this created a trickling effect. To keep bicycle service repairs for customers, local bicycle shops in Michiana have been working together, by trading bike parts with one another.
“The ability to get new bikes is hindered by the fact that the manufactured can’t keep up with t apart supply, the chains, the drillers, the shifters, the brakes all that kind of stuff, that’s also effecting service, so we’re having a rough time servicing bikes with new replacement parts because we can’t get them,” Colan said.