The Bike Shortage Continues

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Thomas Coder, Staff Writer/Co-Editor

Pictured is the Specialized Rockhopper. It is a staple bike of the Specialized lineup, as it is popular for being both versatile and affordable. Priced at a modest MSRP of $560, this bike is a solid option for riders of all types. Today, however, if one wanted to purchase this bike, it would not be available from Specialized themselves or any Specialized dealer. They would have to purchase it from an independent seller, not certified as a Specialized dealer, for a price of at least $1000. This is the reality of the vast majority of riders in the market for new bikes. The price point does not matter, any specific bike model takes a vast amount of hunting down to find at the moment. To put it simply, the reason that this is happening is because there is simply not enough production to meet the demand. Universal bike sales, since the pandemic has started, have increased over 120%, and because of the pandemic, more integral production points and factories have had to shut down. A limited amount of stock met with a soaring amount of demand has caused somewhat of a crisis, for both consumers and employees in the industry.

This reality of bike availability has caused many people to turn to alternative ways of getting bikes. The most common of these ways is through Facebook Marketplace, which saves sellers from the inconvenience of boxing bikes and saves buyers from the inconvenience of having to assemble bikes. This is not a perfect system, however. Opportunities have not rested in the available profit for bikes, and it is common that pricing for low quality bikes is currently soaring. Additionally, there has been a growing concern for the market of stolen bikes. Now, bike thefts are profiting more than ever, because the market for bikes is so lucrative. There are ways to mitigate this, however.  The best way to search for a bike is to call as many bike shops as possible, and ask them to put it aside. Buying directly from a certified dealer is the best option, since it keeps all warranty viable and it virtually guarantees that the bike is properly assembled. If one does purchase a bike from someone else, it is advised that the bike gets assembled at a store, to ensure the safest option.