The Chainlink

Some bicycle shops in Brooklyn are selling twice as many bikes as usual and drawing blocklong lines of customers. A chain of shops in Phoenix is selling three times the number of bikes it typically does. A retailer in Washington, D.C., sold all its entry-level bikes by the end of April and has fielded more preorders than ever in its 50-year history.

As the coronavirus pandemic shrinks life in major American cities — limiting pastimes and discouraging use of buses and subways — hundreds of thousands of Americans are flocking to one of the most basic forms of mobility: the bicycle.

In March, nationwide sales of bicycles, equipment and repair services nearly doubled compared with the same period last year, according to the N.P.D. Group, a market research company. Sales of commuter and fitness bikes in the same month increased 66 percent, leisure bikes jumped 121 percent, children’s bikes went up 59 percent and electric bikes rose 85 percent.

By the end of April, many stores and distributors had sold out of low-end consumer bikes. Now, the United States is facing a severe bicycle shortage as global supply chains, disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak, scramble to meet the surge in demand.

“I have never seen anything remotely approaching this,” said Ryan Zagata, president of Brooklyn Bicycle Company, where sales have soared by more than 600 percent this year compared with the same period in 2019. “If you went into a store three weeks ago you could find a bike under $1,000. Right now shelves are bare.”

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So, buy used.

I read this and think; keep your bicycle locked up tight at night because there will be an increase in stolen bicycles with this demand.

Unfortunately I thought the same thing 

NPR had a piece that highlighted how 90% or so of US bikes and bike parts come from off-shore, so there's a lot in play on the supply side as well.  

So -- Buy Used.

I agree.   Bikes, houses, boats, golf clubs, anything that stokes passion as bikes surely do can also command a high initial retail prices for that same psychological reason, and therefore the shrewd, knowledgeable patient and cash-ready buyer can always get a better deal used versus buying new as that passion moves to another object.  Really folks, for any of those items, look at what you'd pay new (with sales tax) and a better version used is usually to be found at a lower amount if you can stand the hassle and do the leg-work.  Heck, just the sales tax differential at 10% is a factor.  



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