If you are like many other people coming out of a COVID-19 lockdown, you are wanting to enjoy the warmer weather on a bicycle. Riding a bike is a way to get outside while being socially distant, get exercise, run errands to the grocery store, pick up take-out food, and commute to work, without the expense of operation and parking of a car or risky public transportation. In many cities including Chicago space is being reclaimed on streets with pop-up cycleways making safer cycling infrastructure. But unless you already have a bike or acted a month ago, you have probably found it difficult to purchase a new bike today that costs under $1000. The shortage also includes kids bikes and some bike components like tires and tubes. Why is there a short supply at this time?
The Bicycle Supply Process
With bicycle sales being flat for almost 14 years, bicycle retailers want to sell bicycles to new enthusiasts who have woken to the advantages of riding a bike. There are a variety of reasons that have created the perfect storm of a bike shortage:
Based on these factors, supply is expected to be more readily available by late July or early August. Factories around the world are currently working around the clock to meet current orders and bikes will be trickling into the US market, so some models and sizes will be available soon. When bikes are again available in greater quantities, it is hoped that consumers will return to retailers to purchase an new shiny bike.
Other Options for Obtain Bikes
If you are itching for a two wheel ride in the meantime there are some other options. Some people have bikes in their basement or garage that can be taken to a local bike shop and tuned up. The other option is to purchase a used bike at a garage sale or from a local Craig’s list seller. Be sure to take any used bike to a bike shop to be checked out by a professional mechanic to make sure it is safe to ride.
So, if you do not currently have the perfect bike, be patient, and a bike in that meets your riding style and budget will be available shortly at your local retailer. Happy days are on their way when the streets will be filled with happy, smiling people rolling around on the most efficient mode of transportation available--a bicycle.
Sharon Kaminecki and others comment on adventures in bicycling and other stories