National bike shortage proving difficult for local bike shop owners | Central Missouri News

COLUMBIA − Colombia is ranked No. 46 as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States.

Walt’s Bicycle & Wilderness currently only has 35 bikes available, but they usually have an inventory of at least 350 bikes.

With over 65 miles of trails, bicycling is part of the town’s identity, but a national bicycle shortage is causing problems for many local bike shops.

Sam Botts, the store manager of Walt’s Bicycle & Wilderness has struggled to source new bikes from vendors such as Trek and Specialized.

“We only have 35 bikes currently on sale, Botts said. “Usually we have an inventory of 350 bikes, but the rest of the bikes in the store are lined up to be repaired and tuned up.”

According to Velo.comthe current bicycle shortage will most likely continue into 2022.

The reason for the bicycle shortage is partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With cycling being one of the safest socially distanced activities and with schools moving to online learning, many people have taken the opportunity to ride their bikes and place orders for new bikes.

A large majority of orders placed in 2020 have still not been fulfilled by local stores, which are waiting for companies to send frames and other parts.

Brian Kukla of CycleX says that even the most common parts are proving increasingly difficult to find.

“Parts such as brake pads, bicycle chains and even wheels are becoming increasingly difficult to find in this market,” Kukla said.

Bicycle sales last year increased by more than 120% than sales in 2019.

Today, sales continue to increase due to the limited amount of supply available.

For people who can’t buy a new bike, old bikes are taken out of storage and sent to stores to be retuned and greased for the trails.

Maria R. Newman