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Bikes in high demand, shortage hits Lincoln shops

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 7:43 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - During the pandemic, bikes have been some of the best selling items in Lincoln and as demand goes up, supply has been hard to come by.

According to Union Cycliste International, cycling has increased by 20 percent since the pandemic began and 50 percent of Americans planned to ride their bike more often post-pandemic.

While this spike has been good for business, Cycle Works in Lincoln says it has caused a bicycle shortage across the country, and even in the Capital City.

“Our companies were saying batten down the hatches, get ready it’s going to be tough. But three weeks later in April they were saying that we’re running out of bikes; they were totally caught off guard,” said Cycle Works owner, Kris Sonderup.

Cycle Works staff says shortages have become so extreme, only 5 percent of inventory ordered in March of this year has arrived. They say it’s not just bicycles, but bicycle parts have also been hard to come by.

Some supplies of top name brands like Trek are back ordered until 2022, but there is positive news moving forward. Industry experts expect the shortage to end towards the end of this year or early into next year.

Even though it’s been hard supplying bikes, Cycle Works says they have still been able to accommodate most customers and get them on the trails of Lincoln.

“There have been some extremes where some people had a newer bike and I’ll actually pull it off one of our floor bikes to get them going. We’ve been pretty fortunate just because we were pretty aggressive last year, so we were able to get a lot of the bikes we ordered in 2020 and just tried to get ahead of the curve,” said Sonderup.

Cycle Works staff say their goal is to retain 15 to 20 percent of new cyclists into next year and while supply is expected to return to normal over the next couple years, industry experts anticipate that the biking demand may be here to stay.

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