Bikes

Bike Boom-Stock Update

There has been a huge bike boom related to COVID. We are updating this Bike Boom-Stock Update article regularly to give you the latest picture of what’s happening.

The first thing to say is that lots of bikes are available. The extreme shortages we had in the first COVID lockdown are now over and we have hundreds of bikes in stock. Having said that there are still some shortages in specific area. At the moment electric bikes and carbon road bikes are the main categories with problems.  

According to the Bicycles Association, there was a 60% increase in bike sales during 2020. This increase was replicated worldwide. With that level of extra demand, most bikes in the UK sold out very quickly. With £500 hybrids and mountain bikes being the first to run out. Most manufacturers work a year or two ahead. So it was not possible to just build more bikes straight away as there were not the parts available. Most brands did quickly ramp up orders for the 2021 model year. Bringing forward bike launches to meet demand. There have been ongoing issues with the ports, container availability and shipping costs which have all created bottlenecks and delays.

To try and keep supply flowing in our stores we brought in more bikes from Europe. Including whole new brands including such as Orbea. We changed the way we order bikes so we have a constant flow of bikes arriving in stores every week.

Where Are We Now?

The first bikes to sell out were entry-level hybrids they are now back in stock. Brands like Trek currently have hundreds in warehouses in the UK. We have good stock in our stores of bikes such as the Trek FX and Trek Dual Sport. Entry-level mountain bike stocks are now also pretty good. The Trek Marlins and Specialized Rockhoppers are all available. Entry-level road bikes are regularly arriving but are also selling very quickly. Although we are expecting large deliveries of the Trek Domane and Specialized Allez very soon.

There are still some shortages on higher-end carbon road bikes and full-suspension mountain bikes. There are bikes available in these categories but not a huge amount of choice at the moment.

What Happens Next?

2022 model year bikes are arriving regularly and we are already placing orders for 2023. onwards. By ordering so far in advance we have the best chance of getting the bikes everyone wants.

The biggest barrier to bike supply at the moment seems to be groupsets (gears and brakes). There are plenty of frames and wheels available but not enough bits to go on them, especially on higher-end bikes. This looks to be the case for at least the next 6 months and will continue to limit choice. The groupset shortages are caused by a mix of materials shortages, labour shortages and factories having to shut down due to COVID. This is also having a knock on effect on the availability of spare parts such as chains and cassettes.