DENVER — A supply chain nightmare has resulted in a bike shortage across much of the country and Colorado.
Bike stores say it’s taking months to fulfill orders, and the problem doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
In 2020, tthere was an increase in demand for bicycles coupled with a strain on supply mostly coming from Asia. The hope was the industry would improve over time.
"It has changed, and it has not changed for the better," said James Sharpe, owner of TriBella.
Sharpe’s store specializes in custom bikes. For them, not getting one bike part is detrimental.
"We do so many bikes over $12,000, and, often times, it is one single part, one $20 part we can’t find anywhere on the planet and that holds up the sale going through," Sharpe said.
If a customer calls looking for new bike, they could be left waiting.
"Depending on the price of the bike, the brand and the customer’s needs, the typical answer is four to eight months," Sharpe said.
It’s a similar answer Allen Cowgill was given when he tried to buy a bike from Brooklyn and have it assembled in Denver.
"That was one of the places I found that had a model I liked, and it is not available until 2022," Cowgill said.
With no signs of the industry returning to normal, Sharpe is planning ahead to weather the storm.
"We’ve already placed an order for these parts in late June to get us, hopefully, through to the middle of 2023 when we think supply will return to normal," Sharpe said.
Even as the definition of normal continues changing week by week, bike enthusiasts and business hope to find a steadier path soon.