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Long waiting lists at bike shops as cycling demand soars

21:51 28/02/2021

The coronavirus crisis seems to have given everyone the same idea: let’s go cycling. Which is fine if you already owned a bike, but for those looking to buy it’s another story.

Bike shops around Belgium have reported that the phone is ringing off the hook as people call for information on placing an order - only to find out that they can order now but will probably have to wait until February 2022 to take delivery.

Unfortunately for the sellers there is a worldwide shortage due to demand and due to the fact that some sellers made things worse by cancelling orders at the beginning of the pandemic because they incorrectly thought that there would be a slowdown in sales.

Those cancelled bicycles were not fabricated so are not available. Also unavailable are spare parts.

Elian Demarco, who works in a bike shop in Mons, told RTBF: “What we are currently experiencing is unheard of. Everything we will be receiving is already sold, so to have a bike for this summer, forget it.

“Anyone who wants to get back to cycling and doesn't want to spend a fortune, will just have to get in line. Normally at this time of year, in the worst case, there’s a two- or three-month wait, and we have some stock.

“Currently, in store, stocks are almost non-existent, and the same goes for manufacturers. It's an 18-month wait if I order it today. It’s a nightmare to not be able to serve our customers."

There is one bright spot: if you are looking for a BMX or a folding bike you should have no problem finding one.

And if you have a big budget you will probably be able to find something - but be prepared to pay for the availability.

One bike retailer in Uccle told RTBF: “We have ordered more bikes, expanded our brands and models, we are even renting a warehouse for our two stores.

“So we will have bikes. Certainly not all models, types, in all sizes, but we will have arrivals at different times depending on the brand.”

Written by Richard Harris