How Has COVID-19 Impacted Bike Retail in North America & Beyond?

May 7, 2020
by Daniel Sapp  

We have received numerous emails and one press release after another over the last few months informing us of how COVID-19 has impacted the bike industry in various respects. Races have been canceled or postponed, trade shows have been postponed, cancelled or conducted online, and the Olympics are now rescheduled for next year. Brands have laid off employees, instated new policies and programs to get products into the hands of consumers, and switched production to manufacture PPE for healthcare workers, to name a few. We've got a full timeline here and have been keeping track of the Good News from the Industry here.

Bike shops are, in many ways, the heart and soul of cycling. Many riders purchased their first bike from one, make friends there, go there for advice, meet up at them for group rides, and stop by just to talk about bikes or have a beer. A lot has changed recently, forcing retailers to quickly react and develop new strategies for doing business. We checked in with a mix of them and asked a few questions to see what they've done, how the pandemic has impacted their business, and their thoughts about the future.

This will be a two-part series. We have reached out to numerous other retailers, globally, and will provide a follow up to this story when we talk with more retailers as time progresses.



The Hub and Pisgah Tavern - Pisgah Forest, North Carolina


The Hub is one of the premier bike shops (with a bar) on the East Coast of the United States. Sitting squarely at the entrance to the popular and rugged Pisgah National Forest trails, the store provides a full-service bike shop and sells outdoor goods for other trail activities. In normal times, it's common to see dozens of patrons outside on a sunny weekday enjoying a post-ride beverage and food from one of the rotating food trucks. Currently, most local trails are closed and travelers from outside the county are not welcome. thehubpisgah.com

Have you laid off staff?


Sam Salman, Owner: We have laid off zero staff. We have continued to keep all 22 on the payroll.

Are you selling more, less, or the same?


SS: We are selling much less than needed. Without the doors/trails open, the shop is unsustainable.

Are you doing online orders, curbside pick-up, or in-store?


SS: We have developed and opened an online store. It has been doing well for our branded merchandise and we are super thankful to all that have placed orders. The Pisgah Tavern is still offering to-go packaged beer and wine, with curbside service.

What is your safety protocol? How has that changed?


SS: We have been operating on an “Open with Closed Doors” scenario. Basically, appointment only service and curbside call ahead for bike and gear purchases. We have hand-san, wipes, and disinfectants being used on a schedule and continue to keep distancing.

How have the customers changed? Are you noticing more core cyclists or new riders?


SS: It has been a solid "local love" scene. We have had a slew of bikes and online orders headed out-of-state, but the majority of service has been locals. Exercise, being an essential activity, has kept the pathways and limited trails busy.

What is your prediction of long-term outcomes? How do you believe this will impact you over the next year?


SS: As long as the PPP comes through, we will be able to regain enough steam to turn the engine back over. Pisgah will be overrun quickly when things do open up, and we will be ready with arms wide open. We were very fortunate to have had a great 2019, which has floated us to today. Our staff has been flexible and trusts the long game. I believe it will take 16-24 months to get back on track. Much will depend on Pisgah/DuPont re-opening trail access to hikers and bikers.



Trailhead Cyclery - San Jose, California


Situated in the California Bay Area, circumstances were somewhat different than other places in the United States due to an earlier "shelter in place" order. Like most shops in California did when they heard the news of the order, Trailhead covered up all the windows and shut down business. Then they made voicemail changes, updated Google hours, updated their website, and sent out social media notices and email newseltters. They also had to contact all of the service customers who had bikes in for repair… as owner Lars Thomsen says, "it’s a big deal closing a shop!" Then they got word that bicycle shops are designated essential businesses and as such, were allowed to stay open. However, opening back up was not an easy choice to make.

After much thought, advice from friends, colleagues, and staff, Trailhead decided as a crew to open back up. Back to changing the voicemail, new Google hours, another new website home page, and all the rest. Some of the staff couldn’t return to work for various reasons. Whether it was that they were over 65 or near to it, living with grandparents, living with ill parents, students with crazy new online schedules, or just not ok with the risk, they did not have a full crew opening back up. trailheadcyclery.com


Have you laid off staff?


Lars Thomsen, Owner: I haven’t laid anybody off, in fact I just hired a full-time mechanic and would hire two more if I find ‘em. We hired a full-time sales employee as well bringing us up to 21 employees in our 5000 square foot shop. The shop is busier than normal and we are selling all sorts of bikes and gear. The one area that is really fun to see selling really well is all the DIY stuff. Cleaners, lubricants, tools, sealants, repair stands, and all the small parts that go with, like brake pads, tires, bleed kits, spokes, cables, and housing.

How has what you are selling and the way you're selling changed?


LT: Thankfully, we launched our new web store just days before the SIP came down hard on everyone! It’s been a quick learning experience for the crew to handle a new stream of sales from our web store and Specialized. Specialized really stepped up for their dealers and made it really easy for folks to buy on their website and choose the shop they wish to pick up the product from. Trail Head Cyclery was in the top ten shops nationwide for folks using this shopping tool they call Click’n Collect. Other suppliers like QBP, Hawley and BTI stepped up as well, filling web orders and sending who knows how many small packages. They all dropped their shipping minimums for freight deduct and have really busted out to help the dealers like us.

Are you doing online orders, curbside pick-up, or in-store? What is your safety protocol? How has that changed?


LT: We adjusted our hours from 10 to 7 down to 11 to 5 so that we could spend some time cleaning before and after hours. We also use the time to return all the voicemails and emails, collect orders, and ready them for curbside pickup. We keep the double doors wide open so folks can come and go without touching the handles. Signage greets folks at the door stating that we are open BUT… the 6 Foot Rule is in effect! Yield for customers leaving the shop. Limit 5 customers inside at a time. Hand sanitizers made with 91% isopropyl mixed with aloe vera are everywhere - made by my wife since you can’t go buy the stuff. We taped off the checkout areas encouraging the 6-foot rule and have signage all around the shop reminding people, “hey, we may be open but this is serious folks!”

Many customers really understand the extra effort we are putting in to stay open and stay as safe as possible. Others just don’t get it and walk right up to you, or they are just killing time walking around, and sometimes we have to remind them it’s not the time or place for hanging out. We get it, we want to hang out too! But now just isn’t the time. I found a dealer to sell us two dozen matching bright green bandanas for all the staff to wear and that really helps put the message out that we need to be cautious. And, we look like badass vigilantes...

How have the customers changed? Are you noticing more core cyclists or new riders?


LT: Our core customers have been so supportive and it makes me super appreciative of them and the cycling community. In addition to the core customers, we’ve made so many new friends… 220 new customers in April alone! Remember cantilever brakes? How about Girvin suspension? Stumpjumpers with cursive writing on the downtube? Oh boy, all the classics are being pulled from the rafters and we’re selling 26” tires like crazy! Dried out dust wipers and rock hard brake pads... even all the Juicy brakes that should have died a long time ago are resurfacing. Between all the repairs and building sold bikes, the service crew is pinned and I’m seeing some repairs scheduled outside of two weeks now.

What is your prediction of long-term outcomes? How do you believe this will impact you over the next year?


LT: Thankfully most folks are super understanding and I really think all of this is leading to a raised appreciation for the local bike shops. As stated by the US Government, we are an Essential Business and that is elevating our importance among the average citizens. I think some good will come from this. For 23 years, I’ve been working towards elevating the value of the professional bicycle mechanic and I think more has been done to accomplish that in the past month than those 23 years combined!

I predict that cycling is experiencing a rebirth even bigger than the years of Lance Armstrong. It is fueled by the development of eBikes and foundation work laid out by organizations like People for Bikes, the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, and Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz. Families are riding together for the first time and solo rides are growing in popularity by necessity, with social media platforms to share progress and videos. Customers are learning how to buy online from their local bike shops and pick up in-store, set up service appointments, and respect the expert advice of the seasoned staff. Yes, cycling is growing exponentially and there aren't many downsides to that.



TechnOlodge - Saint-Sauveur, Québec, Canada


TechnOlodge is a six-hundred square foot shop of three employees approximately forty-five minutes north of the eastern Canadian metropolis of Montreal in Saint-Sauveur. The town is a tourist destination for city dwellers looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of cars, buses, their daily routines, and fast-paced lifestyles. They see snow six months of the year with sunshine and 25c temperatures the other six. Life up there is much different from much of the world. People are properly resilient and live in a life of extremes.

The shop has only been open for a year and specializes in premium repairs for riders that are willing to pay for quality over quantity, as they say. If you passed the shop on the street may not know we even exist as they're located in the basement of a busy coffee shop. There's an "underground speakeasy" vibe and business is reliant on word of mouth and the quality of each and every job that goes out the door. TechnOlodge keeps less than five stock bikes on the "sales floor" at any given time and sells more custom, one-off builds, than stock bikes. technolodge.ca


Have you laid off staff?


Addison Zawada, Shop Manager: Fortunately for us the necessity to lay off staff has not shown its face. This is partially due to a small staff initially but also has to do with the seasonal timing of the beginning of this global lifestyle change. For a bike shop in this area and environment, COVID-19 happened at the best time possible. I will elaborate more on that in a moment but, In short, we are making the best of a bad situation.

Are you selling more, less, or the same?


AZ: This only our second spring season so our answer could be biased in that sense. Our sales are exponentially higher than they were this time last year. Three factors come in to play here for us: Firstly, this date one year ago we had only been open for twenty-nine days. Secondly, because of COVID-19, there are three fewer shops open in our area. Currently, we are the only shop open and this gives us a chance to bring in customers that might have shopped elsewhere previously. Third, in our area, the situation that has presented itself has led more people to venture outside and enjoy the fresh spring weather. Social distancing is very simple in this area because the population is low and the area available for activities is vast and growing every day. As the snow melts away it sheds light on new areas, trails, and places to explore that have been dormant since November. People want to get out of the house, they want to escape from reality for a few moments a day, a bike delivers this opportunity.

Are you doing online orders, curbside pick-up, or in-store?


AZ: For in-store, we have moved to appointment only for the time being though we have adapted a combination of all three. Not curbside per se, but we have grown our delivery business drastically. I personally am in an old school mindset and very stubborn to move more of the bike industry online. It is something that I have been very against for a long time as I watch many of the shops I grew up in closing doors because companies are going consumer direct. In this time though, it has become a necessity for survival and safety. We have adapted our online site to schedule and sell everything we have in the shop, from gear to services. The ability to book service appointments has been a game-changer for us and is one of the more positive outcomes of this whole thing.

What is your safety protocol? How has that changed?


AZ: We are adapting every day and changing our shop structure to fit the situation. We recently remodeled our shop to be more open and welcoming to customers. We are a very small shop at six-hundred and forty square feet so that remodel came at a very disappointing time as we have had to reconfigure and restructure the shop to a more constricted space. Before, our workspace, boutique, parts wall, and cash register were all in one open floor plan allowing customers up-close access. I feel it creates a more positive feel and a more trusting environment since they are able to see everything we do all the time. But now we have had to split the floor into two. Our personalized work area and the sales floor. We have limited customers in the boutique area to two maximum and moved a single work stand out front to inspect and write up repair quotes outside of the physical workspace. On the work side of things we are maintaining our space but have had to restrict and limit space to our customers for everyone's safety.

How have the customers changed? Are you noticing more core cyclists or new riders?


AZ: New cyclists are a rare occurrence in our area as most people have and ride their bikes often. In the community, most people are outdoor enthusiasts. With that being said we have had a large influx of customers that have and ride a bike but are now putting much more time on the saddle and thus causing them to appreciate a properly working bike. We are seeing a lot more people taking better care of a bike that may have been neglected for years.

What is your prediction of long-term outcomes? How do you believe this will impact you over the next year?


AZ: For the longterm, we have completely restructured our planned summers and we have backed down from seven days per week to only six. This will allow us to have Sundays off to ride together, host cookouts, and spend more time with friends and family. We will extend that schedule until the end of the year, at least. For our business, I believe for this outbreak to be a blessing in disguise though I know this is not the case for a lot of shops and businesses out there. I am thankful for our situation but also sympathize with those businesses that are struggling. This is an opportunity for us to all take a step back, slow down, and get an outside perspective. It's a great, unfortunately, forced, episode that will force us to adapt to the way industry is ultimately going. On the flip side, I hope that bike manufacturers also see this as a realization that brick and mortar stores are a necessary part of the business just as much as they are. Customers need both to survive and direct-to-consumer is not a way to provide balance to both ends of the spectrum.




Fat Tire Farm - Portland, Oregon


Fat Tire Farm is a core mountain bike only shop located in NW Portland, OR that sells everything from kids' bikes up to high-end custom mountain bike builds. They operate an in-house suspension service center and even have a demo center in Hood River. While the demo center isn't doing much business at the moment, the Portland shop has been quite busy. Portland is an anomaly for a mountain bike shop as the city hasn't had many legal trails until recently when the local trail alliance was able to procure a trail system 15-minutes from town. This has helped the scene and stoke for mountain bikes in Portland, a city that prides itself for two-wheeled transportation, has grown in recent times and become stronger than ever. fattirefarm.com

Have you laid off staff?


Barry O'Connor, General Manager: We’ve had to lay one person off and it was strictly so we could maintain social distancing. The back of the shop was crowded, so one mechanic is on temporary unemployment.

Are you selling more, less, or the same?


BO: We’re selling "different". We’re still doing plenty of service and bike sales but the high-end market has fallen off a bit and there are a lot of newer riders looking for an entry-level mountain bike. A lot of people are dusting bikes off in the garage for the first time in years so service has changed a good bit. Most of the trails around here have been closed for the last six weeks or so so people aren’t riding as much as typical. We don’t have as many higher-end bikes in for regular mantainence.

Are you doing online orders, curbside pick-up, or in-store?


BO: We’re doing curbside pick up. Our doors are locked and we aren’t letting customers in. We have a tent and racks set up out front and we are checking service bikes in outside and bringing bikes out for customers to test ride. We’re sanitizing all of the bikes as they go in and out.

What is your safety protocol? How has that changed?


BO: Everyone in the shop is wearing facemasks. We’ve moved some mechanics out onto the sales floor to space them out more since the doors are locked and we're going through large amounts of alcohol spraying bikes down when they come in and out. It’s a challenge asking customers to maintain 6’ of distance. Some people are conscious of it but others are somewhat cavalier and have little regard.

How have the customers changed? Are you noticing more core cyclists or new riders?


BO: It’s a mixed bag but there are definitely more new riders. The silver lining I see is that there’s the potential for a whole new group of people to get into the sport right now. There’s more time, kids are home from school, they have a bike and they’re going to ride it more than ever - even if it’s not the best one. It’s exciting to see that they could become part of our community. There are lots of new faces, the majority of people we are seeing are new faces but there are still a lot of our same customers too.

What is your prediction of long-term outcomes? How do you believe this will impact you over the next year?


BO: There’s no way to know. Optimistically, it could be a growth year for cycling, and people are going to have more time on their hands... maybe they are going to reflect on what matters and refocus their energies. We can hope we get more people out on the trails. We’re tracking well for the year financially which is consistent with other shops on the region but at some point, the economy will impact what’s happening at the shop level but I hope the interest int he sport will continue beyond this period of time.



Over the Edge Sports - Fruita, Colorado


Over the Edge is an iconic shop located in the riding destination of Fruita, CO. Fruita sits in the western part of the state, straddling Interstate 70 and is a no-brainer stop on any cross-continent mountain bike trip. Tourism has helped the small town grow from a fruit-producing and farming culture into one that is largely sustained by tourism. The town continues to grow each year but with COVID-19, tourists have been far fewer than normal and bike rentals aren't bringing in business as they usually do. otesports.com

Have you laid off staff?


Landon Monholland, General Manager: We had to let our part-time staff go. We employ 17 people in peak season. Our season is so intense in March/April/May that we rely on part-timers to make it all work. We retained our core 12 full-timers thanks to the SBA loans. Now that our store has re-opened we are getting "blown to pieces" and customers seem to think we should still be able to offer our normal "same hour" service that we normally do. But the six weeks we were closed, it gutted the budget for the staff that makes that possible.

Are you selling more, less, or the same?


LM: Everything has changed, we are normally a destination bike shop servicing folks on bucket-list mountain bike vacations. We normally service bikes within the hour while folks shop for our branded merchandise. We normally demo high-end bikes from dream brands, but unfortunately, we shut down our demo bike use to curb the allure of traveling to our small town. Despite Colorado's stay at home order, we were seeing folks fleeing the high country mountain towns. Those folks were coming from Colorado's Covid 19 hot spots. We decided to close to protect our staff and to not further the problem. While we believe that mountain biking and camping are safe activities, the folks that were coming here were mostly NOT keeping to themselves. There was a lot of 'vacationing' going on. On the flip side, from Fruita locals, there was a lot of online bullying and shaming of folks who came here to ride their bike and safely go back home. It's easy when you live in a rad place like Fruita CO to moan about people coming to your town, but realizing that you are essentially 'locked down' in paradise needs to be realized.

Are you doing online orders, curbside pick-up, or in-store?


LM: We hastily created an online store, but so far it hasn't done much.

What is your safety protocol? How has that changed?


LM: We have opened our large back window to talk with customers at a distance. We have a portable sink outside and the city allowed us to block off two parking spaces for more room outside. We have a rope across our back door and we keep customers coming inside the store to five or less. Our front door is locked so that we can control the entrance and exit and all employees wear masks.

How have the customers changed? Are you noticing more core cyclists or new riders?


LM: We are seeing a massive interest in cycling by folks who've never really done it before. Hordes of discount store bikes have been brought in to be "serviced" and we spend a lot of time delicately trying to address the problem of the BSO (bike shaped object). We try to do an honest repair estimate on those bikes despite most repairs on them being not cost-effective. Out on the trails we are seeing families with younger children riding. Folks who would normally be doing ball sports or playing video games. I predict a whole generation of "COVID Kids" to be coming up who discovered mountain biking during this crazy time in history. That part of this nightmare is RAD! #covidkidsride

What is your prediction of long-term outcomes? How do you believe this will impact you over the next year?


LM: I predict we'll celebrate our 25th anniversary in year 26 and it will be awesome! March, April, and May represent about 60% of our year's revenue so the timing of this couldn't have possibly been worse. However, our amazing trails aren't going anywhere and as long we can keep our kick-ass staff we'll see things back to "normal" in 2021. I'd like to give a huge shout out to everyone who chose to "raincheck" their demo reservations instead of demanding a refund. Overall, humans have been pretty awesome to us. Mountain bikers are a pretty cool group of people as a whole!



Fanatik Bike Co. - Bellingham, WA


Fanatik is a large shop located in the flourishing bike mecca of Bellingham, Washington, just a couple hours north of Seattle. The store features a full-service brick and mortar establishment but the shop has also become a well-known and established online retailer specializing in custom high-end mountain bike builds. Riders are able to order nearly anything imaginable from the Fanatik's website... from custom bikes and wheels to parts and accessories. They also offer a full repair service and bike rentals. The nearby trails are regarded by many as some of the best riding that can be found. fanatikbike.com

Have you laid off staff?


No, we have not had to lay-off any staff! We actually hired a few new folks in early March in preparation for a busy summer, right before the severity of all this started to hit home. The main thing we've been striving for throughout this wild ride is to keep our employees safe, and part of that is keeping them employed. Thanks to our e-commerce store, we’ve been able to do that, and continue helping our customers get out on their bikes. We’re all feeling very fortunate to still have jobs right now.

Are you selling more, less, or the same?


We are on track with last year, which feels sort of miraculous. If you start to really look at what social distancing means for a lot of people, and what forms of recreation many folks still have access to, it makes sense though.

Are you doing online orders, curbside pick-up, or in-store?


Through our e-commerce store, we are able to get products to both local and national customers. We set up a "curbside pickup" option that allows our local customers to find what they need online, and swing by during normal business hours to pick it up. This is done at a kiosk we put together in the parking lot since our storefront is closed to the public in order to keep the employees that are on location as safe as possible. The service department is up and running in a similar way, wherein people drop their bike off outside, we get them a quote, and invoice them through an online transaction.

What is your safety protocol? How has that changed?


We've got quite a bit going on. Anyone who is able to work from home is doing so. For those of us who need to be on-location, we are maintaining a 6-foot distance from all other employees. We've got a big supply of disinfectant wipes, which we're using to regularly clean our individual workspaces, along with cleaning common areas (bathrooms, break room, etc) after each use. Instead of sharing phones, we each keep a personal phone and landlines that might encounter more than one user get cleaned after each use. We also have policies in place so anyone who thinks they might be getting sick makes their supervisor aware of it immediately. The shop owners have been incredibly generous in offering all of our employees an extra week of paid time off to help with situations where we may not be able to work for an extended period of time. We’re all very grateful for that.

How have the customers changed? Are you noticing more core cyclists or new riders?


People are out mounting biking more regularly than they have in the past, there's no doubt about that. We've seen a large number of long-time mountain bikers take the opportunity to invest a bit more into their bikes, whether it's a new custom wheelset or upgraded suspension. But we're also seeing a number of newer cyclists — those who have maybe dabbled in the past — really jump into it now that mountain biking is one of the more acceptable sports in terms of social distancing. My co-worker mentioned that he ran into a lady on our local trails a few evenings ago with a Ripmo AF she'd just picked up from us. She was a new rider, and really appreciative that we'd been able to help her get out of the house, get some exercise, and even just smile. Biking will do that to you, and we're really grateful we're allowed to keep providing that for folks.

What is your prediction of long-term outcomes? How do you believe this will impact you over the next year?


That's a tough question because this is all an unprecedented, historic time. We're very fortunate in that we already had a strong online sales platform in place, which has really been the main factor in our ability to weather this all. Beyond that, we're really just figuring it out as we go. One thing that I personally have found really helpful, as someone working from home, is to make concerted efforts to keep up verbal communication with my co-workers. It hasn't always played out, but we try and do a weekly video meeting just to check-in, seeing how we're all doing and kind of setting that baseline of "we're in this together." I definitely encourage anyone working from home to do the same, it's helped keep us all sane.



Skirack - Burlington, Vermont


Skirack is a large shop in the city of Burlington, Vermont - close to great mountain biking, skiing, and on the shore of Lake Champlain. The shop has been around for over fifty years and has grown into one of the top specialty retailers in the region for not only bikes but other outdoor goods. Skirack would typically be entering into their busiest season for mountain bikes as the snow is melting and people are trading out their skis for two wheels. Due to COVID-19, the shop has made some big changes in order to keep customers and staff safe as people are still looking to be outside, now more than ever. skirack.com

Have you laid off staff?


Max VanOrman, Company Leader: Initially, we did lay off some staff. After the small business loans from the government came through we were able to continue working and have started to be able to hire staff back.

Are you selling more, less, or the same?


MV: This is the time normally where things are ramping up for bike sales in the year with the season changing. Things are definitely still ramping up and we've found creative ways to serve the public and get people on bikes without face-to-face interaction. We are very much still busy but in a different way than in the past.

Are you doing online orders, curbside pick-up, or in-store?


MV: We're doing full curbside pick up. If someone purchases something online or over the phone, we can bring it out. We're allowing drop off for service bikes and we have a sanitizing process for bikes in order to stay on top of safety procedures.

What is your safety protocol? How has that changed?


MV: We have installed plexiglass barriers to separate our work stations in the service area so techs have a safe place to work. Everyone is required to wear a mask and we clean and sanitize every few hours on top of lots of extra hand washing and surface cleaning.

How have the customers changed? Are you noticing more core cyclists or new riders?


MV: We've been around for 50 years and have a really good core community and that hasn't changed but we have gotten a lot more interest from entire families, where maybe one person or a couple didn't ride, in getting out together on bikes. I think the stimulus money has been helping that one member get a bike as well so it's really been a good mix of core riders along with new ones.

What is your prediction of long-term outcomes? How do you believe this will impact you over the next year?


MV: It's tough to say right now. There's so much changing on a daily basis. It's been nice that we've had business and our phones have been going off the hook so as long as orders and shipments continue to happen, we'll be in good shape to get back into the swing of it. One of the biggest things that has been out of our control are trail closures and the lack of trails being maintained due to social distancing regulations but the local trail advocacy groups are working hard on plans to get the trails back open and running. It's really awesome to see the bike industry is booming and people are trying to find ways to stay active and healthy.



Park City Bike Demos - Park City, Utah


Park City Bike Demos was started in 2016-17 with a model that you could try any bike on the floor on the trail and as the bike was ridden more, the price would slowly become a better value. While that worked for a while, eventually the shop struggled and then changed hands to its current family owners. David Demartini says that his family took over the shop out of a passion for bikes and the idea that they could create a place that was cool and useful to the community. The model has changed to more of a traditional bike shop but they still have a full demo and rental fleet. There are standard brand-new bikes, accessories, and service department. While the shop is only in its second year, things are off to a good start, and April has been their busiest month yet. The focus is to be community centric... a place people can find what they need for their bike, have great service, and hang out... when the time is appropriate. parkcitybikedemos.com

Have you laid off staff?


David Demartini, Owner: No, we haven’t had to lay off any staff. Not having the doors open as we normally would, we delayed some seasonal staff but we’ve kept on all of our core staff.

Are you selling more, less, or the same?


DD: We are seeing more bikes go out the door than ever before. I think that with the restrictions in place, especially in towns that are outdoor and active focused people are more active. We’re seeing more bikes being sold and bikes that have been hanging up in the rafters coming back in to get back in shape. Participation in the sport seems to be going through the roof.

Are you doing online orders, curbside pick-up, or in-store?


DD: We’re doing curbside pickup for service and appointment only for sales. We take appointments by phone and online. One or two per hour, depending on what the appointment is looking for to limit the number of people in the shop and exposure. This also helps us give a great level of service to customers with the staff we have.

What is your safety protocol? How has that changed?


DD: For the past month, we’ve done appointment only. We require all of our staff to wear masks and sanitize anything and everything that people may contact during appointments. We encourage customers to wear masks and we have sanitization stations situated throughout the store space. That, along with limiting people in and out of the shop. Summit County, where we're located, has lifted regulations so in a week, we are going to transition to not requiring an appointment. We are following all of the guidelines that are recommended and required - things like plexiglass in front of registers, spacing on the floor, rental and merchandise sanitization protocol, steaming apparel that's been tried on, sanitizing test bikes, etc.

How have the customers changed? Are you noticing more core cyclists or new riders?


DD: I think we’re seeing similar core cyclists as we have seen in years past but we're also seeing a lot more new to the sport cyclists or at least recently renewed participation to the sport. The type of rider coming in is a bit more broad than we're used to which is a great sign for the sport.

What is your prediction of long-term outcomes? How do you believe this will impact you over the next year?


DD: That’s a tough one. I think if we take the immediate, what we’re seeing is that there are more people out enjoying riding bicycles in whatever shape or form which is a great thing for the industry and shops like ours. We hope that continues so more people re-adopt riding a bike or start riding for the first time. We hope those that already have done that will continue to do so. Bikes are an important and valuable piece of life and we’re super excited to see this as a silver lining in the situation. I think it’s hard to predict exactly what will happen but what we’re seeing now indicates we may see participation in the sport grow and I hope that’s the case.



Bike Components


The outlier in this group of North American retailers is Bike Components, one of the largest online retailers in the world. Founded in 1997 and based in Germany, Bike Components ships worldwide, representing over 300 brands, carrying over 60,000 products, and employing nearly 200 people. The brand also has a brick and mortar retail store although, at the current time, it is closed due to COVID-19. We were able to touch base with CEO Philipp Simon to see how they were getting along despite the pandemic.bikecomponents.de

Have you laid off staff?


Philipp Simon, CEO: No! Quite the opposite. We were hiring. Especially for the logistics department.

Are you selling more, less, or the same?


PS: A lot more! We sold kids bikes like crazy... and Clif bars. I don’t know if that was for cycling actually or for the emergency depots. Plus, we saw a rather high interest in 26-inch tires. With so many people pulling out their old bikes during the “soft” lockdown here in Germany (where we’ve been allowed to ride bikes luckily), it almost felt like a revival of old standards. All in all, what makes me really happy is that we were still able to do our jobs and the demand won’t let us pause.

Has the way you process and fulfill orders changed?


PS: Yes, definitely. The biggest challenge was and still is to keep up with our standard lead times between incoming orders and delivery of the parcel. We are running special shifts in the logistics department on Sundays and holidays since the beginning of the lockdown. Our staff is literally giving everything to fulfill all incoming orders. Employees from all other departments (incl. marketing, product management, purchasing) are helping out there as well.

What is your safety protocol? How has that changed?


PS: The biggest change was the distance rule. You have to keep a distance of 2 meters to all of your colleagues. Missing high-fives or hugs or handshakes are not a problem. And meetings can be done digitally, that is no big deal. But in the warehouse and the logistics department, it affects the processes heavily when a runner can’t go directly to the packing station or two runners meet in the middle of a corridor. We also give out masks to those who want one, but wearing them is not mandatory. The distance rule is way more important. And we do not welcome visitors at the moment. Neither suppliers nor agencies nor media.

How have the customers changed? Are you noticing more core cyclists or new riders?


PS: We register a lot of new riders visiting our webshop these days. Plus, we see a high concentration on certain products of those new customers. The group of core cyclists grew as well, not that much, but still noticeable. In terms of products, these guys ordered pretty much what they would have ordered in a “regular” season.

What is your prediction of long-term outcomes? How do you believe this will impact you over the next year?


PS: There was a significant plus of people that enjoyed riding a bike in nature or commuted to work by bike during the lockdown. This was definitely catalyzing our business, but also the bike business in general. Despite the fact that local shops had to close their doors for several weeks. I hope all those people that have discovered the bike (again) recently, keep riding it. Be it for sports or transportation. And I think that we, the whole bike industry, can keep that fire burning. Thus, I see a lot of work ahead of us. And that is luckily very good news!





131 Comments

  • 61 0
 My local bike shop is way more busy than usual and have hired people and gotten a van to take mechanics to the people. They basically fix bikes on someone’s driveways. Way more bike sales. More people are out riding around the neighborhood apparently.
  • 9 1
 Yeah, this year has been absurd for us. Complete bike sales have been insane. Also 3p platform sales have been well beyond anything we could have imagined, multiple times better than the last few years. We had to hire multiple bike mechanics just to keep up with the work but it seems we're one of the lucky few... based on this article anyways. I just hope with the gangbuster bike sales will lead to more people needing work done to their bikes mid-season which will lead to more business to the local shops.
  • 8 0
 I have never seen it this busy in a shop in my long years in this industry. Service is stacked up; waves of bikes pulled out of the barn; bikes everywhere! storage maxed out! And bike sales are crazy. Just about all bikes under 1k are sold out in most MTBs and kid bikes. It's busy and wish we are had more staff!
  • 1 0
 That is quite smart to implement a mobile bike repair service in these stay at home orders. It seems it will be a while before it gets back to normal.
  • 4 5
 I think it really depends on if local trails are open or not. In Vancouver all of the trails are in BC parks which are all closed/off limits so I can't imagine they're doing great. Here in the Okanagan (4h east of Van) almost all of the trails are on crown land and everyone is riding their bikes.
  • 1 0
 It really hurts to see this from a very long time customer,racer, mechanic etc. I know of shops that are doing great because average people are seeking recreation. These shops geared towards hardcore riders are going to suffer and I wish I had a solution. Sometimes cutting staff is worse than loosing your business for now.
  • 9 0
 @scott-townes: Our shop has been absolutely slammed as well. Although it is for sure going to be short lived it has been great business wise, granted mentally we could be better XD.
The first couple weeks were great, but for whatever reason we are now starting to get the crowd that would normally shop at their local wally world for a bike, meaning when I tell them are bike start at around 500 buck they think thats out of this world. By all means that totally fine and i understand not everyone can drop a ton of money on a bike, but its when they start wasting our time telling us how ridiculous spending that much money on a bike is when i get irked. Mind you this person is wasting our time while a dozen other PAYING customers are hanging out waiting for us to have time for them -_-
  • 6 0
 @friendlyfoe: Huh? The number of Vancouver-area trails in BC Parks is negligible. The trails are busier than normal and so are the shops I've talked to.
  • 1 2
 @JLW124: everything I've read says Fromm cypress Seymour and Burke are all closed?
  • 2 0
 @friendlyfoe: Fromme is open, much of Seymour can be ridden if accessed from the west as opposed to parking in the BC Parks (now closed) lot. I just picked up a rear shock rebuild kit from BSP, guy working there said business was gonzo busy.
  • 2 1
 so if bike shops are fine, how about high-end bike brands will they be the ones suffering?
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: Burke is heavily impacted but the others aren't. The trailforks desktop site shows what's closed.
  • 1 0
 Glad to hear it!
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: Incorrect. 2 of the 3 north shore mountains are open in Vancouver, aside from Seymour road for shuttles. Everyone is riding.
  • 1 0
 Here too, we have 7 bike shops in town of 25k and they're all slammed. Our trails never shut down so that helps
  • 2 0
 In the Uk we are allowed to get out for daily exercise (walk, run or ride ect). I popped into my local shop which I tend to only use for essentials (small shop set up for road riding rather than mountain biking) and they have been bizzy with new bike sales and servicing. Definitely more people out in the local woods and parkland, easily spot the new guys and girls as they don’t have a helmet.
  • 2 0
 We had One LBS close up here due to a state order. Trust me they didn't want to. Now they are opening back up and beyond swamped. Like to the point they are considering hiring another mechanic.
  • 2 0
 @MrDiamondDave: Yup. My old shop begged me to come back! I’m putting in a few days a week dealing w the crusty barn bikes as I have a knack for that breed. They brought on another guy just for new bike builds as sales are through the roof!
  • 19 0
 The bike shop I work for is pretty big as are most of these in the article. The owner offered all the employees the opportunity to take voluntary leave if they didn’t feel comfortable being exposed to the possibility of contracting covid. A ton of the employees wound up taking it. We’re a small family run chain in Ohio. Myself including the rest of my coworkers who have decided to stay, most of our service department stayed, have been busier than ever! We deal in everything from kids to tribikes and mtb. Being from Ohio we don’t have as big of a mtb community as some places, but we’re growing every day and so are our trails! Our shop and warehouse is normally stocked up with about 2,000 bikes that we build up over the winter to get us usually to about July before we have to start putting orders in. We’re down to about 500 bikes in the store and have about 1,500 bikes in order. The service department, which I work in, has been busier than we have EVER been in the spring/summer. Our normal turn around is about 48 hours during peak season, we have a pretty big crew, and we’re so backed up on repairs we’re looking at almost two weeks out. When everything was first coming down with stay at home orders I know all of us were worried. Speaking for myself, I’m not the most educated on business, but this surge of business has put my worries at ease. I’m sure it’s not going to last forever, but holy crap it’s been heart warming to see the way we can bring our communities together with the common goal of just wanting to get out, ride a bike and have some fun! I hope this can grow our local MTB scene even bigger!
  • 5 0
 It's crazy to hear of bike shops like that. The bike shop I work at has a storage facility with maybe ~200 bikes and maybe another ~50-75 bikes in the store. I do wish cycling was bigger in my city...
  • 1 0
 same here, turn around times quadrupled in our service shop.
  • 4 0
 @Ryan2949: Like I said I work for a small family run chain. We have four all together, the one I work at is the main shop and we’re gigantic. The others are no where near the size of this one. Most people wouldn’t think of Akron/Cleveland as having a huge cycling community but man we love our bikes here!

@MrDiamondDave: My only real complaint is having to tell people it’ll be 10 days lol. Other than that I’m loving it!
  • 15 0
 If you need anything at all... shop local.
  • 1 0
 Or go to a good physical store somewhere else if you don't have a decent local one.
  • 11 0
 I finally got a full-time job as a bike mechanic at one of the 3 local bike shops on February 15th, something I've been trying to find forever. And of course March 22nd I get laid off until further notice due to Ontario's shut down. My shop has been curbside pick up and shorter business hours ever since. But other bike shops are busier than ever. Bums me out :/
  • 1 0
 From what I've understood they've also had to lay off their two part-timers.
  • 2 0
 @Ryan2949: everyone at our shop got laid off. If people need a bike they can call and make an appointment with one of the bosses. Blows so hard.
  • 2 0
 @FrsknSld: My shop is family owned and run, I am the only staff member that isn't family or a friend of the family, so I got the short end of the stick (the part-timers are students who worked only weekends). They're all working other than myself. Mostly due to hours being cut. Normal schedule was
Monday - Wednesday 9:00am - 5:30pm,
Thursday and Friday 9:00am - 9:00pm,
Saturday 9:00am - 5:30pm
and Sunday 12:00pm - 4:30pm

But now they're only Tuesday - Saturday 10:00am - 5:00pm, so no need for extra full-timers in the shop.
  • 13 0
 @Ryan2949: mine is also family owned and I’m the owners son. Still laid off. I cry haha
  • 2 0
 That is crazy. Here in BC our bike shops have been busier than ever. One of the local shop owners told me they've never done as much business as they're doing now.
  • 10 0
 I'm grateful that Trail Head have been open, even with restrictions. I went the other day and had to wait in line for a short bit. The staff has always been really helpful as well and I don't think it took any longer than usual. Personally, I've noticed a lot more folks riding bikes-all kinds. In Santa Clara County, the preference has been for people to stay home and not to travel for exercise-hoping cycling enjoys a bit of a rebirth because of this. Lars and his crew have always done well by me and as I said, I'm glad they're available and doing well.
  • 5 0
 Lars/trailhead are absolutely stellar. I always stop by and chat for a bit when riding over in SC.
  • 3 0
 With you 100% on your take on Trailhead. Great shop, great owner and great staff. So happy to see that they are thriving during this difficult time.
  • 11 1
 My LBS is packed. I was hanging out there the other day, overheard one of the mechanics: "Yeah, the guys bringing in the high dollar bikes are so laid back, like 'just fix it whenever', but the people dusting off their ten year old beach cruises that have been rusting next to their stock of pool chemicals are like, 'when are you going to have this done for me, monkey?'; it's f*ckin crazy out there..."
  • 1 0
 That’s been the case here in NorCal. Our hours have been reduced but me and the other employees don’t leave until 2-4 hours after close. It’s crazy out there
  • 10 0
 Glad to hear Trailhead hasn’t had to lay anyone off. Great staff and the only mechanics besides myself that I’ll let do any work on my bikes.
  • 13 3
 F .. this corona shit. F... It all
  • 3 0
 Put your teeth back in lol
  • 5 3
 People are going to slowly figure out that the china virus has been spreading unchecked since December and this whole thing is going to blow over.
  • 3 2
 @JohanG: you sound like your dumb dangerous twitter troll leader
  • 2 1
 @JohanG: 75k dead in 3 months. Blows right over.
  • 2 1
 @JohanG: it has doubled the deaths from the Vietnam war in 3 months ! Nothing to worry about though !!
  • 9 1
 Over The Edge situation seemed hyper dramatic......weird.........used to live in CO can't quite get a feel for what is going on there..............
  • 11 4
 Very uncomfortable. I lived in Grand Junction, and he’s right about Fruita being like a resort. However, it also has the largest regional hospital between Denver and Salt Lake City. Locals have a right to be salty about people flocking there to escape their higher Covid density cities.

The whole statement came off super weird, pretentious, and and dismissive of the health risks...and understandably salty about the loss of business
  • 7 1
 Over the Edge in Hurricane has to be one of the better bike shops I've been to with super friendly staff, quick service and group rides. A while ago I went to the OTE is Sedona and could barely get a person to talk to me. The service was the complete opposite from the Hurricane shop. After reading this article I'll stay away from both the Co and Az locations.
  • 1 0
 @digitalsoul: The guy came across as a bit of an odd duck, but I'm not sure he said anything that would keep me from going to his shop.
  • 1 0
 @digitalsoul: shoot. sorry about the Sedona cold shoulder. Even to locals/natives, Sedona is, let's say, "unique". Best.
  • 7 1
 I work in a private, local chain in NorCal. When SIP hit we (managers) across all shops had a couple conference calls with leadership. Immediately called all staff and said "hey, this could be really bad. Apply for unemployment now in case you need it. Here are the resources available to you. You can opt out of work at any time and we get it, there will be a place for you when this blows over."

We thought we might have just a couple days work for a few people, then maybe another week or so for management before having to shutter. A couple mechanics opted out. All my sales staff stayed on. 1 PT guy laid off for a couple weeks, then brought back on as we optimized workflow to allow for another body Ithe shop. We have an excellent website tied to inventory at all shops and they simply cannot get enough staff crammed into office space to process orders (gotta maintain distancing after all). I'm at about 25-35% normal inventory levels for bikes. Our main bike supplier is taking 3-5 days longer than usual to ship orders. Almost every bike that shows up is paid for before it's out of the box.

No in-store shopping. No test rides. No returns. Because there's only so much sanitizing a person can do. We usually have a big sale in April. This obviously didn't happen. 90% of our customer base have disappeared for the last 2 months as they already have bikes. The only communication we've had from our regulars is when a couple dropped off beer for us, or emailed just to ask how were doing.

As someone else mentioned above, even with all of this, April was our biggest month. Ever. My sales staff are all voluntarily 4 days per week instead of 5 because the new way of doing business is mentally and emotionally exhausting. All hourly staff are getting paid better, and will have up to a week extra PTO when it's all over and back to sanity. We went from 5 days lead time for repairs to 3 weeks. Our mobileechanic is booked out 3 weeks. We offer home delivery if bikes to local customers. I usually do 1-2 per month; for 3 weeks straight I did at least 12 per week.

The fun parts if the bike shop life are on hold. No group rides, nobody stopping by on their lunch break just to chat, no test rides, no personalized suspension setup or fit services. It is crazy and I feel grateful to work for a company that can handle it so professionally.
  • 8 2
 Glad to hear you boys and girls are dealing with the same shit as us in the PNW. Its great to be busy at work but our personal lives suffer...we have a hard time dealing with those people who never followed the closed trail signs or the shelter in place calls...enabling them has been painful. This region is truly a playground for the rich pricks that flood our shop with bullshit. $$ isn't everything.
  • 5 0
 How are shops doing with keeping inventory in stock? My local bike shop has been struggling to keep bikes on the floor because there just isn't any availability to restock from the manufacturer's. Has that been the case elsewhere?
  • 1 0
 from what i can tell this is pretty much the case everywhere at least in the US. I know a few brands are completely out of bikes and the brands we carry are pretty sparse atm. Honestly no one would have predicted this so there isn't much that could have been done. I'm sure its great for brands that had either over produced bikes our ones that need to get rid of old stock as at this point thats the only option some people will have.
  • 2 0
 @butters1996: 1000% the owner of the shop I work at was saying bike sales are up by almost 40%. Dudes been in business for 60 years and hasn’t seen anything like it before lol
  • 7 0
 Every bike shop in New Zealand:

We can't sell enough of everything. We are (almost) running out of stock.
  • 7 0
 Is the “26 isn’t dead” crowd actively recruiting all of these people who are dusting off their vintage bikes?
  • 8 0
 pot sales have gone up. Smoke from home.
  • 2 0
 Caliva deliver - kerb side pick up anyone?
  • 4 0
 I work for a large shop in the northeast. This is the busiest we've ever been. We've had to hire 6 new employees just for my location and are looking for more. Service is backed up for two weeks, approaching three. Most popular hybrid models are sold out, not only in our stores, but at a manufacturer level as well. I've done almost 180 service write-ups in the past 4 days and the mechanics are working day and night shifts to churn all of it out.

Company wide, the stress is showing. The insane business volume combined with the many safety protocols we have in place has made our jobs 10x harder. It feels almost unsustainable and we don't know how much longer it's going to go on for. Many of my coworkers have families and households they want to keep safe, but don't have any option but to keep coming into work.

I wanted to share this perspective because it didn't seem like any of the shops in the article were experiencing this level of craziness. Any other shop workers in the same situation?
  • 2 0
 I have a friend in Boston that dropped their bike off for help with a shifting issue - could be a simple bent derailleur hanger or something more serious. Lead time for that level of work is currently 10+ days. He already dropped it off so I couldn't help him, but I can only imagine how long something more serious would take...warranty claims must be impossible right now.

I called that shop yesterday to see if they had some replacement pedal pins - absolutely nothing in stock and the manufacturer in the UK is on intergalactic backorder. Even home depot is out of grub screws.

It's insane how busy these guys all are and I hope that it's an overall net positive for the industry but man is it going to be a tough summer for everyone. I'm fortunate that I have a bike stand and some wrenches but now I'm just hoping I can keep my wheels true and not have any nasty spills in the meantime.
  • 1 0
 @sjma: Ha, your friend probably went to my shop. We're even running out of stock of tires and tubes we keep in plentiful stock... crazy times.
  • 2 0
 Thank you for bringing this up. The burnout is real. I want to be happy for all these people expressing interest in the sport because they have much more time on their hands. But we still have to work and the expectations are kind of unrealistic. I wonder how many of these bikes are gonna sit in the garage when things go back to "normal."
  • 4 0
 My shop has been super busy, 2x-3x more than usual. Its great staying busy and making money but were running out of bikes and having a hard time getting our hands on some. Luckily were able to get some parts and accessories still but hope we get some bikes soon.
  • 2 0
 We're in the same boat!
  • 1 0
 There are definitely some distribution issues across the board for all bike companies. But I'm sure they're working on a fix.
  • 4 0
 I work for a company that has many bike shops all around the San Francisco Bay Area. I can't get into specifics, but I can honestly say that we're doing more business than usual, due largely in part to our online presence. Each week, at least half of the sales revenue is from our website. And our service departments are insanely busy. At my shop we're scheduling out at least until the end of the month. But we're also struggling a bit. A lot of our employees have chosen to not work during this time for whatever reason. And customers are starting to get less and less reasonable. The few sales people left up front are at wit's end. I guess time will tell if we can maintain this. But I for one am happy to be working. I'm still putting in 40 hours a week.
  • 2 1
 Sounds like you work at Mile’s Bikes.
  • 1 0
 @Zwini: Miles Biles. We sell only bile, and only from some guy names Miles.
  • 3 0
 The bike shop I usually go to for service has been closed and then sometimes only open for odd hours. I have since gone to another bike shop where they are so busy that it takes 3 weeks to get your bike looked at. Great time for bike mechanics with tools and access to parts to become independent and offer their services close to the trails. If they're any good, they'll get a good customer loyalty opportunity. not everyone wants to purchase a bike but trying to get repairs done is another story.
  • 5 0
 Trailhead is technically in Cupertino. It’s a great shop with really good mechanics. Nice to have a Core MTB shop that’s local.
  • 3 0
 I work at a shop in Northern Utah, and we have been absolutely hammered. In order to keep up with increased volume, we haven’t changed hours, and find ourselves working until 10pm just to keep up. Revenue is through the roof, with multiple bikes being sold every day, and 2-3 new service tickets being written every hour. It’s interesting to see how bike shops around the country are being affected. Good job PB! Now give us the Donut!
  • 3 0
 All those spin class & gym people riding for real, 2nd hand fix ups will lead to new bike sales again after they max out their old rig, encouraging newcomers/re finders who just want to be fit is a lot better than more Ebikers. Opportunity also for skills sessions for newbies.
Historically bicycle use surges in tough times.
Tip of the iceberg
  • 3 0
 Not only is this a possible short term blessing for some local shops but it could save many in the long run who hadn't put effort into alt/online sales channels. Covid forced this, and those that got onboard will have a better chance of long term success.
  • 4 0
 With the chance of downhill parks not opening this summer, I went ahead an purchased an ebike. Turns out all you anti ebike folks were right its totally not fun at all and no one should buy them/ride them at all.
  • 1 0
 Just skip to straight E. Sur on
  • 3 0
 No one, in any of the final question about "outlook" talks about the financial armegeddon that WILL occur, not if, but when and it is already happening. Discretionary income is what fuels this industry (maybe not bare bones entry level OR commuters) but most of this sites features and that income has evaporated world wide. It is delusional to think this 'boom' thats happening is a sustainable business model. Buckle up.
  • 3 1
 Our local bike shop in BC had to hire another mechanic and have said they are really busy too. I’ve had nothing to do but ride and buy bikes/parts there. My buddies in the ER need something to do - everyone has stayed away due to COVID and now their ER and beds have been empty and they are bored.
  • 1 0
 Well make sure you hurt yourself and need to go to the ER so your buddies can be less bored. Blank Stare
  • 2 0
 I live in Kelowna BC, each time I've been to a LBS recently (both in Kelowna and West Kelowna) I've had to line up for over half an hour to get in. The guys in each shop have been flat out and there's a minimum of 2 weeks wait to get your bike serviced. I guess some good has come of it, down side is seeing a LOT more traffic on the local trails than normal.
  • 6 0
 I’ve actually made it a point to shop at my LBS more.
  • 2 0
 My local bikeshop in the Czech Republic is so busy that they had to hire me to help them (I'm 17yo, helping them in the afternoon after my school has finished). Because it's the beginning of the season + everybody has a lot of time people figured - let's ride bikes! Now everyone wants a bike or parts fast, but our suppliers are late...
  • 2 0
 I hope it really sparks a long lasting interest in the kids and some of the grown ups to ride bikes more, ride bikes again.. here it is pretty crazy, everybody seems to buy new bikes, rebuild/upgrade old bikes.. the kids are out building stuff, I have seen on sunday maybe 10-15 kids building jumps.

A new generation of riders hopefully!

Oh, and the road riding was pretty good the last weeks, but more and more cars again now.
  • 7 1
 Wish more Canadian shops were featured.
  • 1 2
 Yes, you would never know PB is a Canadian site. What gives PB?
  • 5 0
 The owner of Over the Edge in Fruita sounds like a real piece of work. Yikes!
  • 2 0
 It's normal, they wanted to kill the 26 " But, they forgot the millions of bikes sold that slept at the bottom of garages, cellars or attics ... Let's get out of our 26 "we don't need anything else to be free and happy!

The 26 "is not dead, I like 3x7 3x8 3x9 speeds too !!
  • 2 0
 I just wonder if manufactures are being able to keep up with stock replacement? are factories open? or are lbs just selling current/old inventory? specially those who depends on good coming overseas

other than that, good thing sales number steady or seeing increase/small reductions, makes me honestly happy
  • 2 0
 The bike community is f*cking rad. Hearing about people get back into riding, locals supporting shops and general positivity throughout this makes me smile. Definitely time to see more good folks out on the trails then listen to the bitterness in the comment sections.
  • 2 0
 I work in a busy shop in north Vancouver and we've been INSANELY busy. We had to stop booking service appointments as we were booking a month out and we've been crazy busy on the sales front too.
  • 2 0
 Saw a family of 7 down the street, all with new bikes. None of them knew how to ride, it was beautiful and hilarious, and they way the world should be. Hopefully a certain number of these people hold onto their new hobby.
  • 3 0
 Lars and the team are welcoming to every level of rider, and work hard to keep everyone safe and happy! so glad they are our local bike shop!
  • 1 0
 We've gotten busier....just in a different way. It's all in how you positioned yourself in the market. We've always had a mobile repair component to the business, it's how we started out and grew to needing a storefront in less than 6 months. Then it kinda became a novelty for awhile only being utilized by a few. After mid-march when people were told to stay at home, it has been RIDICULOUS the amount of service that has come from the mobile piece. We've pretty much shut down to appointment only and are doing MORE business but ALSO having more free time as when there's no appointments, we're doing our own thing rather than being chained to the shop. And moving forward, we're probably going to stay tat way....
  • 1 0
 The cycling market here in Texas is white hot right now. Quality and value-priced used bikes don't last more than a few hours on FB marketplace. The big box retailers are completely sold out of cheap bikes while the real bike shops are also doing an incredible amount of volume. The downside? The public trails are FLOODED with people making social distancing a challenge.
  • 1 0
 It appears the big shops whose profits based in low margins on volume arent doing so good. One my good friends runs a smaller shop focused on BMX, custom built wheels, and service. MTB is growing (its pretty flat where we live). He’s absolutely making more money than ever. So...
  • 1 0
 My LBS (Golden Bike Shop) is about as busy as ever. They've slightly cut hours and are open by appointment only and only have one customer in the shop at a time. As of last week, they were one week out on just getting an appointment for a service! Honestly, the shop has been just about the only place I've been going other than the grocery store and a few local restaurants for take-out.
  • 1 0
 All five of our stores as well as our warehouse have been really busy! We actually need to hire more help to build and get things shipped through our online store. We were not expecting this kind of craziness, we actually expected things to slow down but they have just accelerated.
  • 1 0
 Excellent article! Stopped at Universal Cycles in Portland to pick up an order yesterday and they've got the social distancing dialed in with only 2 customers in the door and marked spaces to wait outdoors. The registers are over 6 feet from the customers picking up and they drop your order at another second of counter and you leave. Very safe, very simple. Great to see them busy as well. Since WA just opened up trails on Tuesday this week I'd be Fat Tire Farm starts seeing business pick up even more.
  • 1 0
 I work at a bike shop in the North Bay Area and we have had to hire 2 extra people to keep up with demand. We have had to close to the public 3 days during the week to keep up with the service demand. Just about any bike under $1000 from trek is back ordered until August. We have sold about 2-3 months of merchandise this month.
  • 1 0
 Hmmm..
Jenson USA set a record for sales in March. They're selling so many bikes, the crew from the Corona store was brought into HQ to help with bike builds.
Two other stores(one a 3 store chain) near me in SoCal have also reported record sales numbers.I was just in one of their stores(Riverside) yesterday, and despite throwing new bikes out as fast as they can build them, they have more open space on the floor than they do bikes.The store mgr incidentally told me that Specialized and Trek nation wide are selling hand-over-fist.
One Giant/Pivot/Scott store had to start closing early, so they would have time to get to all the repairs brought into them.
They sold out of their inventory quickly, and are struggling to meet demand.
Shit, I noticed the weekend following the lockdown announcement, WAY more people hiking/biking on the local trails, horse trails, and sidewalks, and it's been EVERYONE. Families with babies and toddler, single people, couples, the elderly...EVERYONE. And it's been consistent every weekend since
It's not just the bike industry either. Anything people can get their hands on, they're throwing money at. I'm guessing it's the people who are still employed, and those who are getting the $600 boost on top of their unemployment benefits
Odd that PB chose to write the opposite
  • 1 0
 I hope my LBS hires someone to answer emails. I sent a request in to book a service slot monday morning. So far nothing but crickets. I realize they are busy, but more than 4 days to answer an email? Meanwhile big online shops like chain reaction process, ship and deliver an order in less than a week. I guess I'll do mine own service, buy online and listen to the whining from the shops about how people "don't shop local".
  • 1 0
 Well here in the UK virtually every bike shop has sold out of anything that's below £1k, even the distributors are empty in a lot of cases. Workshops are fully booked and spares are in short supply.

It was really strange going into one of the local ones to pick up a new chain and cassette to see a virtually empty shop floor, asked if thy were struggling only to be told they were selling everything faster than hey could unpack it.

Plenty of new bikes and people in fresh kit wobbling around everywhere too, hopefully they'll stick with it when a new version of normal appears.
  • 5 0
 26 ain’t dead! Smile
  • 4 0
 At the shop I work at, April was our busiest month Ever, like ever ever.
  • 2 0
 I work at Garmin/Tacx, and we run out of indoor trainers before lockdown was announced, people got crazy. Today lockdown was released where I live, after 7 weeks.
  • 1 1
 Great to hear shops are diversifying in ways that should continue to boost their sales after Covid-19 (will there be an "after"?).

As a DIY mountain biker with his own in house "shop" I mostly purchase consumables from brick and mortar stores, (cleaners, grease, oil, sealant, rebuild kits, etc..). Also, services offering custom modifications would be a draw, but there aren't any shops within 90min (or more) of my home-base offering this sort of thing (anodizing, custom paint, custom decals, custom CNC parts, etc...). If I could grab an espresso, or slice of wood-fired pizza while I mull around the showroom...I would be more likely to enter the "typical" bike shop (a lot smaller with much less of a performance minded customer base than any of the shops in this story, and less inventory). Its a smart move, I think, to see more shops moving to online retail or delivery services (fix that flat in your driveway). Its not that I'm against brick-and-mortar (well, I do oppose strip mall development....) but I think the writing has been on the wall for awhile now, no? Shops in many cases will need to diversify and rely more on providing services, and perhaps less on retail sales at least as it has been traditionally approached.

Not sure if online sales can work for "typical" smaller shops, especially in more rural regions, but maybe a groups of shops within a region could form an online collaborative, maintaining a "shared" inventory for online sales?

But then again, what the hell do I know? I'm not a business-person, or an IT specialist (or a dentist)
  • 1 1
 bike shops are a thing of the past. cheaper prices now direct from component companies. And who doesn't know how to work on their high end bikes. well, i guess there are a few. don't like bike shops because they do sub par work being under extreme time constraint from bike shop owners.
  • 1 0
 They can't even do the simple & easy things right like customer service. I'm prepared to drop probably 2 bills on my seat post and can't get anyone to even acknowledge that they received my email. The LBS can't die fast enough.
  • 1 0
 My local shops are turning me away saying they are too busy :/ and jenson ratail store is closed so they arent servicing which i dont understand since everyone one is still open.. oh will ride safe ????
  • 2 0
 yep, local shops are doing well. at least some of them. and ebikes are flying out the door.
  • 1 0
 Our bike shop in Nebraska has been selling bikes like crazy. I've seen at least five people ride by my house on brand-new bikes.
  • 4 0
 Excellent reporting.
  • 2 0
 In Germany, online Shops as well as local stores are selling like never before.
  • 3 0
 Great article. Thank you!
  • 3 0
 Yeah, Trailhead represent! Best shop & staff in the Bay area!
  • 2 0
 Damn I miss Portland bike shops.
  • 5 6
 Shops here cant keep bikes or parts in stock. Everyone seriously is setting sales records. 60+ miles of trails are open and busy....huh....seems some states are doing it right....
  • 1 0
 The shop I work at has sold over 250 bikes in under a week. ( not mountain bikes, just normal bikes)
  • 2 1
 California bike shops are busier than ever. $1500-2k bikes dont hang around too long
  • 1 0
 Fat tire farm in Portland Oregon! Woot woot! And traction works suspension shop, good dudes
  • 1 0
 How’s Victory Velo doing in auburn, CA? Hopefully it’s in part two
  • 6 9
 Props to Over the Edge in Fruita for this comment: "It's easy when you live in a rad place like Fruita CO to moan about people coming to your town, but realizing that you are essentially 'locked down' in paradise needs to be realized." All riding destinations should welcome respectful riders and hikers from towns within a reasonable distance.
  • 5 2
 This is so dumb. Fruita/Grand junction are essential to the area. Bringing a bunch of respectful tourists can really threaten that, and I’m not even a supporter of the shutdown
  • 5 2
 "All riding destinations should welcome respectful riders and hikers from towns within a reasonable distance."

"Respectful" as in respectful to our state government's guidelines NOT to travel more than 10 miles from your home to recreate? We are fully welcoming those riders. I have zero problems with tourists during "normal times" but now is different.

covid19.colorado.gov/safer-at-home/safer-at-home-local-and-personal-recreation
  • 3 0
 @NoahColorado: If visitors are coming from the Front Range, that's not what I would consider a reasonable distance. If they're popping over from Glenwood Springs, that's fairly reasonable, especially if they're staying out of town and camping away from people.
  • 1 0
 i need sealant and lube.....no money
  • 1 0
 My shop has made more money than ever because of covid
  • 1 0
 I love that all these 26" tires are coming to the surface. Heck yea
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