TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Lack of supply is a common problem for many industries during the pandemic and that’s no different for the bicycle industry.
At a trail in Tyler, cyclist Ashlyn McKinney tells KLTV, “it was almost impossible to find a mountain bike around here, most of the bike shops are completely out of stock.”
While forced to social distance, many people craved a way to be outside while staying safe.
“One of the great ways to do that is actually through cycling,” says Joshua Phillips.
Phillips is the owner of Cycology Bike Co., and he says they prepped their shelves with enough stock to last through their cycling peak season; March to October. He adds, “what we didn’t prepare for was the immense growth that we were going to experience in that short period of time.”
During their seven month season, it’s typical to sell two rounds of inventory, which is130-150 bikes. They sold those two rounds in the first two months. Phillips says once people couldn’t find any bikes to buy, they grabbed their old bikes and brought them in for repairs -- resulting in a low stock of repair supplies.
“So all the bikes that you see right now are all repair bikes,” says Phillips. “Two of the most common things we use for repairs are tubes and tires and there was a certain time when none of the suppliers across the entire United States, no supplier we have access to, had 26 inch tubes or tires,” he says.
According to Phillips, bike industry leaders predict this high demand to continue during the pandemic and could last up to two years.
He says, “if that’s something that’s really going to happen we need to find a way to capitalize on that so that we can continue to grow our industry, so that we continue to grow the local businesses and those independent bicycle shops and make this industry stronger than it’s ever been."
He says at Cycology Bike Co., they’re beginning to see supply trickle in after being out of stock completely since May.