electrical bike Colorado’s New and Used Bike Market Is Booming Due to COVID-19
Early into the pandemic bicycles had been onerous to return by. Many retail shops had empty cabinets and lengthy wait occasions earlier than new stock would hit the ground. However what about now? Is the frenzy over? The brief reply: It relies upon what you’re searching for.
Throughout a typical September, Campus Cycles would have practically 350 bikes accessible and the service division can be turning round orders in a couple of week to a week-and-a-half. This September, nonetheless, the Denver-based biking retailer solely has about 80 bikes accessible and the service division is scheduling two-and-a-half weeks out, says proprietor Michael Bower. (Earlier this summer season, the service division was 5 to 6 weeks out.)
Bower describes this yr as “unprecedented,” including the bicycle market is much like the shopping for craze with bathroom paper all of us skilled earlier this yr. Whereas the bicycle market has barely slowed down from April, Might, and June, Bower says stock might not absolutely get well till late subsequent yr or early 2022.
“Due to COVID-19, the trade as a complete offered over a yr’s price of bikes within the first 4 and a half to 5 months of this yr,” Bower says. “It caught us off guard as bike retailers, it caught bike producers off guard, and caught elements producers off guard.”
The Pro’s Closet, a Boulder-based firm promoting used bicycles, had 1,000 bikes on the market when COVID-19 hit, says Matt Heitmann, the chief advertising and marketing officer. Whereas TPC’s stock remains to be steady, sitting at 600 bikes, the corporate is promoting by means of its stock in 12 to 13 days. Earlier than the pandemic hit, TPC’s stock would promote out in 20 days, Heitmann says.
Whereas it’s nonetheless attainable to seek out bikes at retail shops, the stock isn’t as huge because it was, and plenty of bikes promote on-line earlier than making it to the showroom ground. The provision and demand largely depends upon the kind of bike you’re searching for and the sum of money you’re keen to spend. Bower says he’s receiving one or two bikes per week within the $500–$1,200 worth vary, however has extra stock for bikes priced at $2,500 and above. “What I’d inform individuals is for those who’re inquisitive about a bicycle, if there’s one thing that you really want, I’d do my investigation proper now. I’d make plans proper now,” he says. Relating to mountain bikes, Bower says he gained’t get them in till subsequent April, but he has a number of individuals paying deposits to order one.
The scarcity of provide in retail shops has led many customers to search for used or preowned bikes on web sites like Craig’s Checklist, eBay, and Fb Market. In accordance with a fielded survey from PeopleForBikes—a nonprofit biking group based mostly in Boulder—six p.c of people that bought a motorcycle earlier than March 1 (pre-COVID-19) did so from a non-public social gathering, resembling a neighbor or on-line market. That quantity doubled to 12 p.c between March 1 and September 1. “We now have seen extra of us flip to the used market and the private-sale market than in earlier years, however it’s actually not the bulk,” says Patrick Hogan, bicycle trade analysis supervisor at PeopleForBikes. “However we’re seeing some provide be supplemented by that market.”
Sloan Lake resident Phil Heyer has been shopping for and promoting bicycles on-line since 2016. Heyer says pre-COVID-19, a mid-range bicycle would take a number of months or a full yr to promote on eBay. This yr, he’s promoting them in a matter of days. Heyer has offered 4 highway bikes and 5 bike frames since April, however now finds himself on a six-month seek for a brand new mountain bike.
Kate Agathon, a Golden resident and bicycle owner, has been shopping for and promoting bicycles since 2012. Three years in the past, Agathon offered a full-suspension mountain bike that retails for $3,500 for $1,200. If she offered that bike this yr, it will have gone for $3,000, she says. “That’s what made this yr so uncommon. You possibly can promote bikes for unheard of costs,” Agathon says. Moreover, Agathon has been getting inquiries from individuals out-of-state, one thing she says hasn’t occurred earlier than.
A number of Denverites are utilizing this sizzling bicycle market as a facet gig. Central Park resident John Reeves, who has labored primarily as a nurse for the final 4 years, has been shopping for and promoting objects on-line for years. When he was positioned on a compulsory furlough, he shifted his focus to promoting bicycles. “Once I went on furlough, I observed the costs of bikes had been going up and provide was going means down,” he says. “So, I simply began shopping for as many as I may. And it’s been sort of loopy.” Reeves says he’s offered practically 100 bicycles since April and typical gives them for 20 to 40 p.c greater than the listed worth on Bicycle Blue Book. Costs on Bicycle Blue E-book are based mostly on “predictable provide and demand and steady markets,” Reeves says. “And with bikes, it hasn’t been predictable provide and demand in any respect and the market has been fully unstable.”
Whereas it’s onerous to trace the private-sale market, it’s obvious that the demand remains to be there, and bicycles are nonetheless a sizzling commodity. Hogan, with PeopleForBikes, says he doesn’t assume demand will decelerate a lot this yr. “I believe the demand remains to be there. I believe impartial bike sellers should get inventive with how they meet that demand,” Hogan says. “We’ll nonetheless see demand in November and December when dad and mom are searching for bikes to provide their children for Christmas and that type of stuff. I’m not completely certain if the trade will be capable of meet that offer as that they had in earlier years.”