Biking business booms, supply can’t keep up

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 6:21 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The pandemic has caused a lot of people to hit the brakes on group settings and roll their way into newfound hobbies.

Among those activities, cycling.

Though the business is booming, the global supply is scarce.

A local bike shop owner in Rapid City, Tim Rangitsch, thinks this is by far the worst supply has ever been for the business at large and ACME bicycles.

“Globally, a lot of people realized bicycling is a great sport that you can do safely outside and distanced from people,” says Rangitsch. “A lot of people started to rediscover cycling or entered new to cycling and it created a global demand like nothing has ever been seen before in the bicycle world.”

Taiwan and China, where most bikes come from, shut down before the United States. Coupled with the Chinese New Ye, the high demand for bikes brewed the perfect storm to level supplies.

Shops are planning ahead by ordering bikes for the 2022 and 2023 season that haven’t even been produced yet

“We’re working around the clock. I mean, we literally do things at 10 o’clock at night,” says Rangitsch who’s adapting to the shortages.” We get on our computers and buy one bike here and three bikes there. I kind of refer to it as being Groundhog Day, you just wake up and do the same thing again and try to figure it out.”

The growth has caused some bikes to be backordered at upwards to 10 months out, if they’re ever seen at all.

Before the pandemic, shops could show off dozens of potential bikes. Now, they’re might not even be one.

Trent Hullihen, who works in the back end for ACME bicycles, says parts aren’t so easy to come by.

“We all work here and are in this industry because we love riding bikes and love getting out on bikes. The amount of people that you see on bikes is like 10 fold what it was even 2 or 3 years ago,” says Hullihen, saddened by being unable to get his hands on what used to take weeks for customers. “For us, it’s kind of disheartening, because you have people come in and its like, ‘yeah, I can’t really do anything for you right now.’”

ACME bikes is taking phone calls to retrieve parts for personalized bikes that can be reserved in advance.

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