Bicycles in short supply amid pandemic

Spring weather has you looking for a bicycle? Good luck finding one.  

It turns out bikes are a hot commodity in the age of social distancing. 

With the weather now getting very cycling friendly, who would have thought we would be talking about a bike shortage? But, that's exactly what we are facing, according to local bike shop owners.

"If you're looking for a $300 or $400 bike, it probably does not exist," said Justyna Frank from Cosmic Bikes.

With demand for bikes way up, and supply way down, there is a bike shortage in Chicago that stretches back to last summer.

"I feel terrible because I don't want to turn anyone away, because if they want a bike and I can't get it for them, it's frustrating," said Gillian Forsyth from BFF Bikes.


"I think in August of last year we had two bikes hanging on the wall, literally, that was it," said Forsyth.

"I would say our floor is probably right now about two-thirds empty compared to what it should be," said Frank.

They say the pandemic is behind not just shipping and production delays of bikes, but also sky-rocketing demand.

"Everybody wanting to get out because cycling is one of the best things you can do if you want to exercise and social distance at the same time," said Frank.

She says it's very difficult right now to find bikes at an entry level price point, and advises looking for used bikes, or booking an appointment ASAP to have your old bike built back up.

Many bike stores are offering waitlists right now and flexible policies on putting down deposits for new bikes. The owner of Cosmic Bikes advises "getting friendly" with your local bike shop if you want to get one by this summer.