Shortages of bike parts in a cycling boom.

The UK’s relaxed lockdown meant you were free to get out every day and cycle. While France, Spain and Italy were on a strick lockdown, the UK suppliers had the first choice on buying stock, but now Europe is opening up, it means the demand for limited spare parts is huge and means long waiting times.

Cyclists are willing to spend money on repairs on older bikes as there is a shortage of new bikes available. Now we are seeing a shortage in parts available to carry out the repairs. The due in stock times for parts keeps extending.

Selling at the full RRP

And for the first time in years, many bikes and spear parts are selling for the full retail price and online competition is almost extinct.

Those looking to buy a new bike through the cycle to work scheme are finding that independent bike shops do not want to sell a bike via the scheme as they have to pay 10% of the cost to the scheme as they have people queuing up to buy at the full RRP they would rather sell to.

Throw-away society

We are seeing more low-end bicycles thrown away as it will become cheaper/cost-effective to buy new than to repair. This will be the same for low-end wheels as the cost to repair will out way the cost of replacing the complete wheel or upgrading. These wheels are found on all brands of bikes from Giant to Trek, Specialized to GT.

High consumption

During the boom, we are seeing a high number of new bikes brought online not assembled correctly. Headsets lose, crank arms falling off and pedals cross-threaded. These bikes come flat packed in a box and require’s a competent mechanic with the correct tools, coupled with no first service being carried out after 30 days purchase, causing mechanical issues and means a higher demand for the mobile mechanic to offer home build service for bikes sold directly to the consumer.

The Fix Your Bike Scheme

£50.00 towards having your bike fixed, with the first 250,000 vouchers up for grabs at the start of August. At the hight of bike shops at their busiest time of the year. Whilst all positive to get more people cycling, would the money be better spent on better infrastructure and cycling paths to help get more people to cycle to work, to town and for fitness in the longterm?

2021 Predictions:

Once the supply of new bicycles starts to keep up with the high demand, people won’t be so willing to pay or wait for repairs. They will go online and buy new. A throw-away society as it will be cost-effective to replace low end and old bikes with a new bike delivered directly to the consumer and have a professional mechanic make a home visit to assemble and set up giving the new rider a piece of mind before hitting the road. Particularly in the high peak summertime, old bikes will still be renovated as we often become attached and recycling old classics back to there former glory. These jobs can be done in the winter when the mechanic has more time.

We will see more mobile business startups, as people will want to become self-reliant as people become unemployed or not seeing a future working for someone with no or little pay rise to cover everyday living. Mobile is a way to start a business with lower costs and we will see some shops close, as the cost of doing business outweighs making a profit.

With the promotion of cycling more, for health reasons, people not wanting to use public transport, local councils encouraging cycling to reduce pollution, combined with more cycleways, bike parks and the use of e-bikes is only positive for the bike business. And we expect to see growth continue for many years as lifestyle change for the better.