The Nice Covid-19 Bicycle Scarcity

The Great Covid-19 Bicycle Shortage

bicycleBicycle. By JugendstilBikes – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Commuters seem to have lost their excitement at being squeezed into a poorly ventilated box with suspiciously unhealthy looking strangers. The resulting rush for healthier alternatives has sparked a persistent global bicycle shortage.

Bicycle shortages don't go away anytime soon – here's why

Robert AnnisSat,
November 7, 2020, 6:02 a.m. GMT + 10

At a makeshift counter outside The Bike Line, an independent bike shop in Indianapolis, staff regularly help out a steady stream of customers looking to buy a new bike or replace the rusty chain on an old ten-speed that has been dusted up in a garage for years.

In a normal year these requests would be handled quickly. But as we all know, 2020 is not a normal year. Within the Bike Line, the showroom floors that were once filled with shiny new bikes are now almost empty. The repair area is full of bicycles, waiting for reordered parts to arrive.

The Bike Line has felt the pressure to keep up with demand. With sales more than doubling, they still can't fill the store with new bikes. Although The Bike Line was primarily a Trek dealer, inventory was so low that summer that they had to look for alternative ways to get bikes. They ended up buying the entire inventory of Linus cruiser motorcycles – a brand they don't normally stock – from a dealership that had ceased business shortly before the pandemic. Those bikes were gone in less than six weeks.

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It will be interesting to see if this craze for bikes survives the winter; Biking through snow can be a challenging experience. In the meantime, if someone has a workshop that can equip this rapid demand for everything bike-related, then if someone has a better opportunity than now to test your range of products, I doubt it can be fitted out.

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