Updated: December 04, 2020 10:59 PM
Created: December 01, 2020 09:54 PM
Since the pandemic began business has been good at a number of bike shops across the Northland. But while their flow of customers has been steady, their supply no longer is.
"Initially we had a lot of inventory, said Brent Edstrom, owner of Galleria Bicycle in Hermantown. "But once we sold through our bikes my manufacturers, my suppliers, they were all out of not just bikes, but parts and accessories."
Denis Sauve, the co-owner of Twin Ports Cyclery in Duluth, has been experiencing a similar problem ahead of the winter biking season.
"The fat bikes are almost non-existent. Not because the dealers don't want them, but many of the major bike companies quit making them."
Edstrom said the issues stem from the pandemic. While the demand to ride rose, the Coronavirus put a spoke in the supply wheel for new bikes, tires, and other repair parts.
"As soon as the lockdowns kind of went into effect, everybody came in [and] bought a bike," Edstrom said. "I mean, that was the only thing they could still do, was ride their bike. With all the bars and restaurants and sporting events being closed, they came and bought a bike. Then, at the same time the factories overseas shutdown for a while."
That shutdown caused a backlog of orders. Twin Ports Cyclery recently learned a shipment of fat bikes won't arrive until February, which is too late in the season, and there's already a wait on spring bikes. So, the Duluth shop is turning their focus to repairs.
"Somebody will have a perfectly decent bike [then] say, well maybe I should get a new one, which they can't do right now," said Sauve. "We say, well why don't you change this part, this part, and this part, and you're going to be where you want to be."
Sauve added that customers should expect to see higher prices on bikes and parts, and experience longer wait times at repair shops.
Edstrom said he starting seeing a high volume of requests to fix bicycles during the summer.
"Because people couldn't buy new bikes last year, they pulled all their old bikes out for repair. We were two or three weeks out for repairs pretty much all summer long."
He recommended that if people have rides that need some love, they should bring them in as soon as possible.
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