HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – While we are slowly transitioning out of this global pandemic and people are returning to work, there are still major supply chain issues in a number of industries. One of those industries struck hard: bicycle manufacturers.
“I started looking for a bike about a year and a half ago,” Alabama Interscholastic Cycling staffer Jake Fields said. “I was calling bikes shops 3 states away to try and find one.”
Fields works at an organization that gets kids into biking.
“We’ve had issues like getting kids bikes, but luckily the community has come together to help share bikes, help find more,” Fields said.
After a year and a half search for a new personal bike, Fields found one about a month ago. He’s just one person experiencing the effects of a nationwide bike shortage.
Tommy Reagh is the co-owner and President of Trailhead in Huntsville. He said they’ve been dealing with shortages since May of 2020.
“From our understanding, a lot of the hold up is the parts that make the bike. There’s a lot of times when you look at a bike, there are seven to eight vendors it takes from tires, to breaks, to shifts, to saddles,” Reagh said.
He said it’s steadily getting worse as the weather warms and demand grows. Manufacturers just can’t get keep up and bike shops are the ones who suffer.
“We probably have less than 10 percent of what we would normally stock. We have about 5 bikes for sale in here right now. We get a little shipment in, they’re here for a couple of days and then they’re gone,” he said.
Reagh said their showroom has now become a place for repair overflows, but they did plan for supply chain issues throughout the pandemic. They have most of the parts they need for any repair, but he said now there’s another roadblock:
“Things are getting rationed as well, so when we go to place an order for something there will be a limit of five or a limit of 10 and we need 50,” he said.
Reagh said there are some items people come looking for that have an estimated ship date of March 2023. Reagh said placing backorders and staggering them is the name of the game as long as there are backlogs.
Because repairs are the store’s main source of income, he said they will make it out of this just fine.
“We’re hanging in there, things are okay, fortunately, we’ve got a good core of cyclists in town keeping things going,” Reagh said. “I just hope for everybody involved it gets straightened out sooner rather than later.”