COVID and an unexpected surge in demand have been major factors in causing the best of times and worst of times for bikes and component sales. Components are back-ordered, and there are massive lag times for most new bike deliveries. Some parts are more than a year away from being shipped to customers.
Robert Margevicius, Executive VP at Specialized Bicycles, stated there was a 38% surge in bike sales in 2020, which has destroyed the supply chain. That’s the best of times part. The worst part is that the shortage of bikes and bike parts is expected to last another year. The surge in demand has overwhelmed overseas factories, and shipping is way up in general for tons of products.
Lead times for common components are over 300 days in most cases. Although the factories that produce the share of bikes and components could expand to meet this new surge in demand, factory owners don’t believe that this burst in bike enthusiasm will last beyond the next year. As the pandemic recedes, they don’t want to be left with expanded factories, and the costs associated with that, to watch demand plummet.
Margevicius predicts a 43% increase in sales over the next decade, although nobody knows what will happen once movie theatres, malls, restaurants, and sporting events are back up and running. However, for now, it is unknown when this will happen, which is what is fueling the surge and shortage. It will be at least a year until things fan out and everything is back to normal.