CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – Besides taking the bus, some commuters are using bicycles to avoid spending money on gas. But, even biking to work is getting more expensive.
Global supply shortages hit bike shops hard in 2020. Everyday repairs became difficult without the correct parts. Many places like Champaign Cycle are starting to finally bounce back. They said the cost of some bike parts has increased 25%, slowly bringing up their prices too.
“Some things have gone up not a lot; some have gone up the 25%. The entry-level hybrid bike has gotten significantly more expensive than it was two years ago,” Champaign Cycle general manager Alexander Hegeman-Davis said.
Back in 2020, they needed to close the shop for a week because they didn’t have enough parts. Most are manufactured overseas, and Hegeman-Davis said factory shutdowns, stalled ships off California’s coast and several company backlogs left bike shops across the country scrambling. Not to mention, local pandemic-related shutdowns caused demand to surge. At their lowest point, they only had around 18-20 bikes in the store. Now, they’re back up to their usual 250-275, but Hegeman-Davis said they don’t carry the same variety of bikes anymore.
Before the pandemic, some bike orders would have taken a only few days to arrive. But now, he doesn’t expect those same models to show up until fall of 2023. But, it’s not all bleak. Shops like Champaign Cycle have adapted to the ever-changing times, and Hegeman-Davis said despite new inconveniences, business is nearly as good as it was pre-pandemic.