INDIANAPOLIS — Business is booming for bicycle shops across the state and country, but it’s coming at a challenging time.
Bicycle manufacturing plants across the world had to temporarily shut down due to COVID-19, causing months of backlogged orders.
It’s impacting stores across the country, including in Indianapolis.
At Matthews Bicycles on the east side, racks are usually full both on the floor and hanging from the ceiling. However, that wasn’t the case Tuesday.
“We’re busy,” said Matthews Bikes owner Nancy Parent.
“It’s been off the charts,” added Scott Irons, the owner of Indy Cycle Specialist.
These shops said they’ve never felt so popular.
“Biking seems to be the new family thing,” said Parent.
“It’s a great way to get outdoors and get out of the house and stay safe and get some exercise, so everyone is wanting to ride a bike right now,” added Irons.
But COVID-19 warehouse shutdowns made it extremely difficult to get new inventory.
“There are several categories that we are already sold out of and looking at least a four to eight weeks on getting those sizes back,” Irons explained.
Both store owners ordered extra bikes before the virus had an impact on shipments.
“I ordered about 30 extra bikes, wishing I would have ordered 130, but I did get an extra 30, and those have come and gone,” said Irons.
“I’m hoping that we hit it just right so that when bike companies get new stock in, we are right there in line waiting with our hand up,” said Parent.
If you want a new bike this summer, Irons said buy one now.
“The most key is that you buy the proper size. Don’t buy something that doesn’t fit just to get a bike, shop around. You may try a used market, obviously Facebook marketplace, family and friends,” said Irons.
If these bike shops run out completely, they hope their servicing department can keep them afloat. Inventory could take months to restock.
“We’re probably saying August realistically and possibly November at the longest,” said Irons. “It’s so hard telling right now.”
It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to assemble a bike. Due to high demand, some stores may need a few days to assemble your order.
Parent said she hopes customers will remain patient.
“We will get to you, and happy biking!” said Parent.