Colorado’s New and Used Bike Market Is Booming Because of COVID-19
Early into the pandemic bicycles have been onerous to return by. Many retail shops had empty cabinets and lengthy wait instances earlier than new stock would hit the ground. However what about now? Is the frenzy over? The quick reply: It relies upon what you’re on the lookout for.
Throughout a typical September, Campus Cycles would have practically 350 bikes obtainable and the service division can be turning round orders in a few week to a week-and-a-half. This September, nevertheless, the Denver-based biking retailer solely has about 80 bikes obtainable and the service division is scheduling two-and-a-half weeks out, says proprietor Michael Bower. (Earlier this summer time, the service division was 5 to 6 weeks out.)
Bower describes this 12 months as “unprecedented,” including the bicycle market is just like the shopping for craze with rest room paper all of us skilled earlier this 12 months. Whereas the bicycle market has barely slowed down from April, Might, and June, Bower says stock could not absolutely get better till late subsequent 12 months or early 2022.
“Due to COVID-19, the trade as an entire offered over a 12 months’s value of bikes within the first 4 and a half to 5 months of this 12 months,” Bower says. “It caught us off guard as bike outlets, it caught bike producers off guard, and caught components producers off guard.”
The Pro’s Closet, a Boulder-based firm promoting used bicycles, had 1,000 bikes on the market when COVID-19 hit, says Matt Heitmann, the chief advertising officer. Whereas TPC’s stock remains to be secure, sitting at 600 bikes, the corporate is promoting by its stock in 12 to 13 days. Earlier than the pandemic hit, TPC’s stock would promote out in 20 days, Heitmann says.
Whereas it’s nonetheless attainable to search out bikes at retail shops, the stock isn’t as huge because it was, and lots of bikes promote on-line earlier than making it to the showroom flooring. The availability and demand largely is determined by the kind of bike you’re on the lookout for and the sum of money you’re prepared to spend. Bower says he’s receiving one or two bikes per week within the $500–$1,200 worth vary, however has extra stock for bikes priced at $2,500 and above. “What I might inform folks is should you’re curious about a bicycle, if there’s one thing that you really want, I might do my investigation proper now. I might make plans proper now,” he says. In relation to mountain bikes, Bower says he gained’t get them in till subsequent April, but he has a number of folks paying deposits to order one.
The scarcity of provide in retail shops has led many customers to search for used or preowned bikes on web sites like Craig’s Checklist, eBay, and Fb Market. In line with a fielded survey from PeopleForBikes—a nonprofit biking group based mostly in Boulder—six % of people that bought a motorbike earlier than March 1 (pre-COVID-19) did so from a personal get together, comparable to a neighbor or on-line market. That quantity doubled to 12 % between March 1 and September 1. “We’ve got seen extra of us flip to the used market and the private-sale market than in earlier years, however it’s actually not the bulk,” says Patrick Hogan, bicycle trade analysis supervisor at PeopleForBikes. “However we’re seeing some provide be supplemented by that market.”
Sloan Lake resident Phil Heyer has been shopping for and promoting bicycles on-line since 2016. Heyer says pre-COVID-19, a mid-range bicycle would take a number of months or a full 12 months to promote on eBay. This 12 months, he’s promoting them in a matter of days. Heyer has offered 4 highway bikes and 5 bike frames since April, however now finds himself on a six-month seek for a brand new mountain bike.
Kate Agathon, a Golden resident and bike owner, has been shopping for and promoting bicycles since 2012. Three years in the past, Agathon offered a full-suspension mountain bike that retails for $3,500 for $1,200. If she offered that bike this 12 months, it will have gone for $3,000, she says. “That’s what made this 12 months so uncommon. You might promote bikes for unheard of costs,” Agathon says. Moreover, Agathon has been getting inquiries from folks out-of-state, one thing she says hasn’t occurred earlier than.
A number of Denverites are utilizing this scorching bicycle market as a aspect gig. Central Park resident John Reeves, who has labored primarily as a nurse for the final 4 years, has been shopping for and promoting objects on-line for years. When he was positioned on a compulsory furlough, he shifted his focus to promoting bicycles. “Once I went on furlough, I seen the costs of bikes have been going up and provide was going manner down,” he says. “So, I simply began shopping for as many as I may. And it’s been type of loopy.” Reeves says he’s offered practically 100 bicycles since April and typical provides them for 20 to 40 % greater than the listed worth on Bicycle Blue Book. Costs on Bicycle Blue Guide are based mostly on “predictable provide and demand and secure markets,” Reeves says. “And with bikes, it hasn’t been predictable provide and demand in any respect and the market has been utterly unstable.”
Whereas it’s onerous to trace the private-sale market, it’s obvious that the demand remains to be there, and bicycles are nonetheless a scorching commodity. Hogan, with PeopleForBikes, says he doesn’t assume demand will decelerate a lot this 12 months. “I feel the demand remains to be there. I feel impartial bike sellers should get inventive with how they meet that demand,” Hogan says. “We’ll nonetheless see demand in November and December when mother and father are on the lookout for bikes to offer their children for Christmas and that form of stuff. I’m not completely positive if the trade will be capable of meet that provide as that they had in earlier years.”
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