Washington bike shop owners tackle bike shortage

LYNNWOOD – Owners of bicycle shops in Washington have raised concerns over a shortage that is leaving racks empty across the country as more people buy bikes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gregg’s Cycle chief executive Marty Pluth said most racks are empty and the remaining bikes have already been sold and are waiting to be picked up, KING-TV reported. He said the wait to buy a bike is now at least four to six weeks.

“I joke that we have become the toilet paper for the pandemic,” said Pluth, who operates the store in Lynnwood, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of Seattle. “People are calling us from as far away as Oregon and California. The supply chain is pretty much broken.

Currently, Gregg’s Cycle only has about 10% of its normal inventory, with 8,000 bikes out of stock.

Pluth attributes the increase in demand to the coronavirus pandemic. He said more people have started buying bikes for transportation and exercise as public transportation and gyms shut down to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Harvy’s Bikes, which is also in Lynnwood, is also seeing increased demand. Owner Harvy Massoud said the store is doing double the repairs, but struggling to get bike parts from manufacturers.

“The bikes are so rusty, but we fix them,” he said, referring to some customers who bring bikes over 30 years old. “We go through them, and we make them almost like new. “

Pluth said that due to demand, purchasing has changed.

“You look online. You deposit a deposit. We’re telling you when he’ll be there, in a month or so. You come in, pick it up and off you go, ”he said.

Industry experts believe it will be another year or two before supply catches up with demand again.

Maria R. Newman