I know we all gave a sigh of relief when 2020 finally ended. I know I sure did. Now maybe we can get back to normal…
Normal used to be that we had tires, tubes, trikes and bikes in stock today to take home with you. If you needed something special, it was a two day wait for parts and two weeks to a month for a special-order recumbent to arrive.
Here is what the “new” normal looks like. In 2021 parts availability will be hit or miss. Getting a specific tire, cycling computer, seat, etc. will be hard to do. It looks like bicycle components will be allocated to the biggest bicycle brands first so they can build bikes to sell to the public. Recumbent brands are very low in the pecking order. There are roughly 100 million bikes made each year. Each of the largest recumbent companies account for 2000-3000 bikes and trikes a year. Companies like Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, Giant or Walmart will have a lot more pull than recumbent brands like HP Velotechnik or Terra Trike.
Currently, the recumbent industry is going through a “toilet paper shortage” moment. Dealers are worried that parts and trikes/bikes will be in short supply and are ordering way ahead in larger than usual quantities in hopes to have inventory to sell this summer. As I am writing this, Catrike is 32 weeks out, meaning that if I order a bike today it will show up in 32 weeks. SEPTEMBER. Most of the other companies are saying 16 to 24 weeks.
The situation here at the Bicycleman is better than most shops. We took a chance last year and ordered heavily for the season before anyone had heard of Covid 19. We then had a record year in spite of the pandemic. Turns out recumbents are a perfect social distancing stress reliever.
Going into 2021 we are in an enviable position. Our showroom is full of recumbents and we have hundreds of recumbents on order. Because we carry over 13 brands and are the factory store for Linear Recumbents and Avenue Trikes, we will always have a great selection to choose from.
Something I would suggest to people thinking of buying a recumbent this year is to talk to us NOW. We know what we have on order and when they are due in. We expect many of the trikes and bikes will have money down on them before they arrive. This is a good time to talk through all the questions you need answered and then get something locked in for Spring.