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New Bicycle Shortage Continues as Manufacturers Struggle to Keep Up With Demand

If you're looking to buy a bike this summer, you may be out of luck. A cycling boom sparked during the pandemic continues.

Posted: Jun 17, 2021 4:09 PM
Updated: Jun 17, 2021 4:15 PM

If you're looking to buy a bike this summer, you may be out of luck. A cycling boom sparked during the pandemic continues. Manufacturers are struggling to supply products as more people are eager to enjoy the outdoors.

Jason Dohrmann has never seen a bike shortage like this before. Dohrmann's family-owned store, Summit Ski & Cycle in Los Angeles, ran out of inventory last year, putting the brakes on business. "We're definitely not making that much money, but we're just making enough to survive right now," he says.

It's a similar problem across the U.S. The pandemic slowed bike production, and manufacturers have yet to catch up. At the same time, demand skyrocketed last year and isn't slowing down.

Matt Powell from the market research firm NPD Group says sales between December 2020 and February 2021 grew 55% compared to the same time during the prior year.

It's not just bikes. Americans are buying products for a variety of outdoor activities. "We're seeing camp furniture, grills, coolers, hammocks, recreational tents, all very strong. And then, of course, the cycling business has been outstanding," Powell says.

Dohrmann says he thinks he won't have bikes to sell until next year. Until then, he is switching gears, focusing on bike repairs when he can get parts. "Bikes would have to sit here for an extra couple of weeks just waiting on a part when usually we get it done in one day," he says.

Dohrmann plans to ride things out and is hopeful that new inventory will soon spin out of his showroom.

Electric bikes are also seeing a major spike in sales.

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