Canadians looking for a bike or components could expect to wait up to 18 months. Cycling businesses are expecting another year or more of production and shipping difficulties due to COVID-19.
Cycling became popular during the onset of the epidemic. But bike stores quickly ran out of supply for many bikes and parts.
Customers have been waiting for their orders for more than a year, according to bike store employees.
The problem stems from a lack of both parts and raw materials. These include materials such as aluminum and carbon, as well as shipment delays.
This means if a frame is being built and a chain can’t be located the bike is then delayed.
Shipping has lagged as demand has increased, and frequent pandemic shutdowns haven’t helped
Shipping can’t keep up with delivering products here. And production overseas can’t keep up with demand to get back to normal.
As a result, bike stores have experienced extraordinary waits.
If an order is put in now the wait can be up to a year to 18 months in some cycle stores.
Many have decided to already order all the bikes they require for next year.
Prior to COVID, a bike shop owner might anticipate orders to arrive in two to three weeks. This was for bikes that are built with parts from a variety of suppliers.
If you take a typical, full-suspension mountain bike, every component on there takes roughly 30 to 45 separate manufacturing factories to create just one bike. As tires come from one plant, wheels from another, seats from another, frame from another, hub bearings from another, and suspension components from another; this is why there is such a large spillover effect following COVID.
The delays are impacting all types of bikes. But most notably bikes in the $500 to $5,000 price range, including e-bikes.
Most of the things produced in Canada are usually created elsewhere. This is to keep the pricing down and the volumes high. But even with high-end, bespoke, American manufactured titanium or steel bikes the problem is still prevalent.
Cycling has grown in popularity throughout the epidemic, resulting in a scarcity of supply – not just for bikes, but also for their components. The scarcity is projected to persist until the summer of 2021.
It is recommended that people planning a summer of riding next year should pre-order their gear now.
If there’s a certain bike you like you can also pre-order for 2022. It is expected those bikes should arrive within four to eight months.
There’s also the option of buying used bikes, with many customers resorting to internet listing sites like pinkbike and Kijiji to find their next pair of wheels.
The delays are inconvenient for customers who are accustomed to receiving their orders within three to five days. Some stores have had people accuse them of ruining their summer.
Most consumers understand that shipping and production are beyond the control of any bike store however
That patience may have to be maintained as growth in the industry will remain for the next two years until the bubble bursts and demand and supply balance out.