Rob and Jennifer King run Sasquatch Cyclery out of their garage. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

‘Hop on it now’: Parts crunch hits cycling

New bikes are hard to get and used bikes are selling at a premium this year

The snow is melting, so it’s time to hop on a bike and get out on the trails – but if you don’t have a bike ready to go, you might be in a bit of a pickle, with new bikes, used bikes and even bike parts going at a premium.

“If you want a new bike you’re pretty much out of luck, to be frank,” said local bike repairman Rob King of Sasquatch Cyclery in Sparwood.

Lockdowns and shutdowns and travel advisories and all the complications that came with the pandemic had put Canadians on their bikes in a bid to get outdoors and stay active – and as a result, the industry had a severe bottleneck on its hands that had bike stores around the world running thin on new inventory.

The Elk Valley was far from immune.

At Gearhub in Fernie, salesperson Dennis Holland said parts deliveries were sadly few and far between. “It’s going to be like that the rest of the year,” he said.

“We are pre-selling almost all of our bikes. There’s very few that are getting put on the floor that are just up for grabs.”

Kevin Frank At Straight Line said that the story was the same for them. “A lot of our bikes that are coming in are spoken for, that’s for sure.

“At this point coming into bike season we should have a full stock of bikes, but we have four.”

Frank said that lower manufacturing capacities earlier in the pandemic combined with steady, and then increasing demand meant the industry had fallen way behind, and wasn’t likely to catch up again anytime soon.

For the coming season, it was too late to get a new bike, he said.

“Mountain bikes are really hard to find, the used market is really tough too. Prices are high, and they’re going quickly.”

King concurred, saying that used bikes were going at a premium.

“If you’ve got an old bike you were riding last year and you want to upgrade, you’re probably not going to get a new bike but there’s definitely buy and sells out there where you could definitely get a good used bike and if you book now you might be able to get it in in a few weeks and get it tuned up.

“Just be careful with your bike, you don’t want to break too much you might not be able to ride it for a while.”

Holland said that the time to get ready for the coming season was yesterday.

“If there’s stuff you need, or think you might need in the future, hop on it now for sure.”

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