Burning Question: What Next After the COVID Bike Boom?

Nov 16, 2020 at 8:57
by James Smurthwaite  


Cycling has seen a massive increase in participation in 2020 with the UCI quoting an increase of 253% in late April in the Western USA, the UK Government claiming cycling had grown by 200% on weekends this year and similar spikes around the world. Cycling's position as a form of recreational exercise that doesn't require close contact with others has been a big draw for new or returning riders and this is boosted by less traffic on roads during lockdowns, a desire to avoid public transport and increasing government spending in cycling infrastructure.

It has been an incredibly prosperous time for the bike industry and our recent Revenue Round Up has shown record financial quarters from brands across the cycling umbrella. However, it has been a double-edged sword with demand outstripping supply, especially following factory shutdowns earlier in the year in Asia, and many brands running out of product to sell. The factories are now all at max capacity with brands trying to keep up with a backlog of demand while also hoping to capitalise on the current boom in cycling. This means lead times are over a year for some companies and there's no end to this unprecedented period in sight.

But what does this mean for the industry, when will stocks return to normal and how do we ensure this leads to a healthy future for cycling? We posed the following questions to the industry and answers from Orbea, Hope, SDG, Trek and Canyon are below


- How has your year been financially?
- Do you have supply chain issues? What kinds of production delays are you facing?
- When do you think supply and demand will equalize?
- How healthy is the bike industry going into 2021? 2022?
- What does the industry need to do in order to make the growth of 2020 sustainable?



Nick Howe, USA Country Manager - Orbea
Orbea

How has your year been financially?


Overall, we have had a very positive year. With the initial shut down in Europe, we certainly were affected early in the Covid19 crisis, but the resulting "boom" in sales more than made up for it, and we are ending the year in a very positive space.

Do you have supply chain issues? What kinds of production delays are you facing?


When I posed this question to our global sales director to discuss this topic, his answer was an incredulous "of course!" Though we manufacture in Spain, we were still subjected to some of the shortfall of parts that the entire industry has seen over the past several months worldwide. With that said, we feel very lucky to have long relationships with really amazing vendor partners and they have worked extremely hard to fulfill our supply needs. That, combined with our unique position of owning and managing our own factories has helped mitigate the most arduous of these challenges. And, though we have all suffered on some level, we feel very lucky to have been able to continue supplying bikes even in the deepest wake of the pandemic.

When do you think supply and demand will equalize?


We believe that the current state of empty product reservoirs (both at the manufacturing and retail level) coupled with significant pent-up demand, could lead to a parts shortfall that will last well into the Summer of 2021. This timeline could also be significantly lengthened If the increased global demand continues at its current increasing rate. To think that this product shortage could extend to 2022 and beyond is more than feasible.

How healthy is the bike industry going into 2021? 2022?


There are many indicators to suggest that the global increase in demand for bicycles may be sustainable to upwards of 15%-25% of the recent jump. Things like the growing trend in e-bike adoption; the movement to outdoor and individualistic fitness pursuits; and the government-led push for bicycle transportation should support a trend along these lines. If we consider these factors and combine them with the retail side of the business receiving a much-needed cash infusion; this may be the best opportunity we've ever had to attain and promote industry health in every link in the chain.

The winner in all this is the end-user. Strong retailers offer consumers better shopping experiences, and strong brands combined with high demand mean more investment in innovation leading to better and better riding experiences in every category. Overall, it's an amazing time to ride.


What does the industry need to do in order to make the growth of 2020 sustainable?


We have an opportunity right now like never before. As a collective, we need to start by having our collective voice heard. Help perpetuate trends like increasing investment in infrastructure; help continue the push towards outdoor fitness even after the Covid crisis is over; keep ourselves as an industry from overcompensating for the increase in demand; then brands and dealers can sustain the health that this global event has given us as its silver lining, and riders can look forward to ever-increasing access and experience.



Alan Weatherill, Sales and Marketing Manager - Hope
Hope Tech

How has your year been financially?


The bike market actually started this year a little down, reflecting a wider economic outlook. Then came COVID. As we have already reported, although the bike industry has seen massive growth this year and we are reporting a 25% increase in sales, locally we have friends in other industries who are really struggling with redundancies and factory closures.

Do you have supply chain issues? What kinds of production delays are you facing?


Manufacturing most parts in house gives us more control, but we still have to buy raw materials. At the beginning of the pandemic we were holding increased stock of raw material to guard against the impending Brexit issues so this cushioned us from most of the supply issues. We also shutdown for a month at the beginning of the pandemic in the UK, then gradually opened up as we installed controls around our factory to create a safe working environment for our staff. This put us a little behind with orders to customers, but then the huge surge in orders now means that although our production is increasing we are still seeing demand outstripping supply.

When do you think supply and demand will equalize?


This is almost impossible to predict. There are so many factors involved in this and we’re being extremely cautious in our future planning.

How healthy is the bike industry going into 2021? 2022?


Cycling obviously saw a massive influx of new users earlier this year, with millions of people furloughed and also working from home, having more time to get out on their bikes. The great weather also helped. We’re thinking even if only 10% of these new cyclists continue to regularly ride, the industry will be in a healthy position moving forward.

What does the industry need to do in order to make the growth of 2020 sustainable?


In the UK there have been huge moves to make cycling a transport option, not just a sport. This is where we need to be as an industry. We all love to ride on our local trails, but the more widespread the use of bikes, the more accepted cycling becomes, the safer it is for everyone to ride.



Tyler Anspach, - SDG
Paired with the TELLIS Dropper the RADAR MTN is the ultimate combo for any Trail rider

How has your year been financially?


A complete rollercoaster. We started off the year with solid aftermarket and OEM numbers on the books then when COVID hit in late March, it was uncharted territory with quite a few order cancellations. But it soon became obvious that the boom was occurring. We had ample inventory to supply the initial surge, yet increased production lead times hindered our ability to fully capitalize. In the end, we’re just thankful to have plenty of work during these times and still finish off the year with substantial growth over 2019.

Do you have supply chain issues? What kinds of production delays are you facing?


Absolutely, we’re encountering unprecedented delays. We actually submitted some 2021 blanket orders this past summer to help offset the long lead times into next season. Luckily, our Tellis dropper hasn’t been greatly impacted by supply chain issues but with the core of our business being saddles and having a popular new model like the Bel-Air V3, it’s impossible for us to scale up when our factory is at full capacity and extending lead times over 300 days. Additionally, we had re-examined some new product launches and push back to 2022, which obviously isn’t ideal.

When do you think supply and demand will equalize?


I believe there will be some leveling out, but I don’t envision this occurring until the Q3 of 2021. At this time, vendors can finally deliver on the huge backlog and fulfill backorder demands. On the OE side, many of our partners have already pre-sold the majority of their ’21 bikes and forecasts are significantly higher for ’22, so it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

How healthy is the bike industry going into 2021? 2022?


The industry will definitely be off to a strong start in ’21, as current sell-through rates from our distributors and key accounts are trending exceptionally well during these typically slower months. But it really does depends on the supply chain, many of the larger players and those that control their means of production will definitely benefit. As a whole, I suspect the industry to remain quite healthy and to maintain numbers well above pre-pandemic times, especially with cycling participation up. While product flow for each brand/business is critical, it’s equally important to avoid any significant surpluses – a very likely scenario for some.

What does the industry need to do in order to make the growth of 2020 sustainable?



Continue to work with local organizations to ensure there’s plenty of trails that contribute to rider progression. It’s amazing to see how many new riders are out on the trails, but having the best possible experience by way of suitable trails for their skill level is paramount. In addition, working with federal/provincial/state/private landowners to increase trail access and maintain existing networks should be a priority, as there’s certainly going to be more traffic on the trails with the increase in ridership.



Eric Bjorling, Brand Director - Trek
Trek Slash 2021

How has your year been financially?


As with most of the industry, it’s been a very good year for Trek. Sales of all bikes and Bontrager accessories have been up in all categories.

Do you have supply chain issues? What kinds of production delays are you facing?


Everybody has supply chain issues. Whenever you mix production delays with unprecedented demand, you’re going to have a hard time keeping up. Bikes truly are the sum of a lot of parts and it only takes one hiccup in the chain to slow everything down.

When do you think supply and demand will equalize?


That’s the big question. We expect demand to remain strong well through 2021. We’re starting to see bikes roll in at a much better rate than earlier in the year but getting back to fully equalized will take a little bit longer. We think 2021 is going to be a great year for bikes.

How healthy is the bike industry going into 2021? 2022?


Every company is different but the overall bike industry should be healthy for the next several years if it can make the right moves. The long-term health of the industry will be determined by how we support new riders getting into the sport.

What does the industry need to do in order to make the growth of 2020 sustainable?


We need to welcome as many people as we can to cycling and encourage new riders to use their bikes. The way cycling loses is if all of these people turn around and leave their new bikes in the garage or basement because they feel that it’s not for them. We all have a big opportunity to change the world here and it starts with creating a great environment for people to enter the sport. Get them connected to their local cycling scene. Be inclusive. Broaden the base.



Vernon Felton, US Bike Product Director/Global Mountain Bike Marketing Manager - Canyon

How has your year been financially?


First off, let’s take a moment to note that COVID sucks. Pure and simple. Our hearts go out to anyone and everyone who has been affected by this pandemic. There is a lot of suffering going on out there—lost loved ones, lost jobs, lost opportunities. It’s a sobering time. It’s also, as probably everyone reads this knows, been a boom time for the bike industry.

Clearly, no one in the bike industry saw this coming when we created our 2020 bike lines years ago, but one of the net results of so many people being told to stay home has been that a lot of people have rediscovered that bikes are rad and they’ve been out there getting their ride on. That has meant a bump in bike sales for every brand I know of, including Canyon.


Do you have supply chain issues? What kinds of production delays are you facing?


Absolutely, delays have been a challenge…though it could’ve been worse given the global increase in demand for bikes and parts. Last Spring we definitely experience a few delays related to factory shutdowns in Taiwan. The materials were there, the workforce (for a time) was not. Stopping production, of course, was the right call—the act of building bikes has to take second place to the safety of the people who do the actual building of those bikes. As far as the current situation goes, many brands are rushing to submit their orders for 2022 bikes. It’s entirely possible that this could result in future shortages. We’ll see.

Inside Canyon

When do you think supply and demand will equalize?


That’s anyone’s guess, really. I think the answer depends, to some degree, on the course COVID takes in the coming year.

How healthy is the bike industry going into 2021? 2022?


Well, sales are up for most bike brands at this point. The same is true for a lot of companies that produce widgets that are suddenly in big demand. If any of you reading this had stock in Charmin toilet paper, your portfolio is probably looking strong right about now. Who’d have guessed…? But to get back to the big question, revenue is up at the moment, but past performance is no predictor for future results. If COVID hits the world hard this winter and we see massive global lockdowns, will people continue to buy bikes at the current rates or will they start tightening their belts? If people stop buying bikes or board games or bass boats (the last of these being an American trend), it certainly seems possible/plausible that there could be a significant decrease in consumption of things that don’t happen to be toilet paper or hand sanitizer.

I don’t have a cold, hard answer to your question, but I think it’s safe to say that the future is uncertain.


What does the industry need to do in order to make the growth of 2020 sustainable?


Great question. I’ll personally give some of the same answers today that I’d have given you before COVID hit. A big part of the COVID boom has consisted of new riders discovering the sport, as well as former riders rediscovering just how awesome it is to escape the daily grind on a bike.

In other words, bikes suddenly made sense to people we (as an industry) weren’t reaching. We’ve always needed to reach more non-riders. Simple as that. We need to get more people rediscovering the outdoors and the sheer awesomeness of riding their bikes. That’s a significant challenge in some places where trail access is limited or (for roadies) in places where city streets don’t feel safe for riders.

So, we need to reach out to people who aren’t already attending the singletrack church. That’s easier said than done, for sure, but it’s necessary all the same. Starting young would help. In the United States, for example, a lot of kids stop riding bikes at an early age. Trail access sucks, or their parents don’t feel great about their kids roaming freely on bikes, or the lure of a video game is more enticing than catching air. Getting kids on bikes, making it part of the school curriculum (or, at least making it an after-class, school-endorsed activity) would be a great start. In towns where high-school racing is a thing, we’re seeing real growth in mountain biking. Likewise, I’ve seen a huge boom in mountain biking in towns that offer after-school mountain biking classes.

We also need to improve cycling accessibility in towns and cities that have limited trail access or downright unsafe city streets. Riding a bike should be fun. A lot of people either don’t have a place to mountain bike or, rightfully, are concerned that riding on the road is too great a risk. We need to change that.

Those are big things changes that require massive tweaks to the public infrastructure, but if the COVID bike boom carries along any lesson worth learning, it’s that the bike industry would be doing a hell of a lot better if riding a bike seemed like the right thing to do for a hell of a lot more people.






252 Comments

  • 294 38
 I'm going to dive straight in as the exclusionist prick.

The trails have never been busier, and I've rarely come across so many conflicts between trail/land users (seeing jumps destroyed etc.). I've never had to stop for so many families with commuter bikes and small kids in the middle of trails.

It's harder and harder to find a proper natural trail, forcing me towards the absolutely packed trail centres round here.

I'm all for growing the sport, but not at the expense of the sport.

(And for all those who say I should dig a little, where I live now, nearly everything within an hour's drive has land use issues)
  • 101 4
 This sounds like a good rationale for building more trails.

Approach your local trails & open space department, or city council, with a plan. Show them the increased usage statistics and anecdotes, relay the positives of having a more physically active population, and ask for more funding and trails.

(substitute the structure of your local governing body).
  • 55 5
 agreed, huge increase in BC where it feels like everyone and their dog has decided to buy a bike or take up hiking. local riding spots blew up over night. huge increase of ebikes, huge increase of hiker/biker conflicts on downhill trails, trail associations basically shut down whatever maintenance they did and i've seen young kids picking up shovels trying to put in lines... i'm sad for my favourite mountain. i used to be there by myself riding and feel scared incase i got hurt but now i can barely find a parking spot. i'm stoked people are getting out and discovering the sport don't get me wrong but i just think that they're not fully aware of trail etiquette/wet weather riding etc
  • 80 3
 Fair enough that it’s not a foregone conclusion that growth is good. We should acknowledge that for everyone interviewed here (and for most of us at Pinkbike) there is a clear bias towards a bigger tent for the sport. But I don’t think growth automatically has to mean shitty, overrun trails.

In the long run it hopefully means more, better trails. More beginner trails so they stay off “your” trails. More signage, more bike lanes and infrastructure, more good trail centres.

Of course supply and demand has some lag, whether it’s bikes or trails. Support your local trail builders and organizations if you can’t dig yourself, and buy from brands that do the same.
  • 42 0
 When people chilling on the side of the trail see you riding towards them and then get on the trail heading towards you, you know we have a problem Facepalm
  • 25 2
 @brianpark: we have a few builders who actually get eaten alive on social media (by people new to the sport) for closing trails down in hopes of trying to conserve them through wet weather and increased traffic. our local association has pretty much no say on one of the local spots and it's just been a free for all. they cannot put up signage, they can't stop rogue trail building but they also aren't hosting build days because of the restrictions. it's hard for me to see any plus with this increased traffic for this particular mountain. then the other mountain they are allowed to work on has been so flooded with new riders that there is LINE UPS to drop in on these trails.. LINES. in places i've never seen more than a few riders a year before.
  • 12 1
 Whereabouts exactly are you? Pretty much everywhere I ride has probably grown at least 5-10 shit hot trails with covid related names.
  • 6 1
 Going to agree with you here. land use issues are extremely problematic in my area. With a recent change in forestry England managers, natural trails or anything of technical manner (especially jumps) has been completely destroyed, and no matter how hard we try to come to an agreement with forestry England they have denied or ignored our requests. The riding around me is very much lacking when it comes to jump lines and harder styles of downhill, and with our trails that we have managed to keep hidden from FE, the increase in their use will only lead to their demise.
  • 20 0
 I have mixed feelings about the uptick in traffic, but where I live there's not really a ton of trails to start with so two things have happened. 1) The limited mileage of trail that exists is busier than it's ever been and 2) New people are getting involved. A year ago it was hard to get anyone to show up to a work day, now at times there's more people than tools. We have people messaging our local Facebook page asking how to donate money to the club, for the first time in a long time we have some very good momentum for building new trails and creating a better riding experience for everyone. In my area this was definitely needed, mountain biking was a bit of an odd ball hobby that local leaders didn't take seriously, but because of COVID that seems to be changing.
  • 15 53
flag Narro2 (Nov 17, 2020 at 9:52) (Below Threshold)
 as you mentioned, exclusionist prick, i have been mountain biking for 15 years now, and today i am at my fittest, for both performance and technical, and i was able to achieve that cuz i have more people available to go ride with on the weekend or a weekday, before pandemic i was able to ride only the weekends for a few hours, cuz there were very few people to come with me, just weekend warriors... Also more people it means more helpfull hand on trails, the features that exists today around my area would have not been posible with the amount of people that were riding before covid bike boom. I am all for having more people in the sport.
  • 9 26
flag Jsmoke (Nov 17, 2020 at 9:54) (Below Threshold)
 Go dig a trail then.
  • 39 2
 Yes my local trails have been busy. They're all shared, so there are kids standing on the top of jumps, dogs sniffing and barking, groups of slower riders on my favourite trails. And i try to be polite to everyone. While I'd like to get a Strava PR, it doesn't really matter. I politely point out to (mainly ebikers) riding up what's obviously a downhill trail that they might, ahem, enjoy it more in the other direction. And tut under my breath when they ignore me. None of us has a God-given right to have perfect empty trails for us. Some of these people might be mates with the land owner or local council. One of them might be the one to call an ambulance for you when it goes wrong.
  • 11 2
 I've never ridden my road bike as much as in the last year. Crowded multidirectional trails full of new users who don't know etiquette is a recipe for disaster but you can always get away from people on back roads thankfully.
  • 7 2
 @mountainsofsussex: you just nailed it with that last sentece man +1
  • 15 1
 @brianpark: my assumption was that it could go one of two ways:

1. The boom is a flash in the pan. Busier trails in the short term but back to normal long term.

2. The boom is sustained. Busier trails in the short term but justification for expanding or building more trail networks.

I hope it's number two. More people cycling means more investment in the sport. More access, more trails, more facilities. Money talks and the mire MTBers there are to spend money the more you'll get offere [to spend your money on] in return.

Also, this is directly to you Pinkbike, you've got a whole bunch of people with a new hobby whose families never know what to get them for christmas. Sell the merch. Hard.
  • 11 0
 Yes, but this will only be temporary I think. People went out and brought bikes but they will probably sit in their garage soon for a long time.
  • 14 0
 @DidNotSendIt: As with almost everything, they answer may not be clear cut one way or the other, and may lie somewhere in between. The "Boom" may not be sustained, but things may not go back to normal. People are getting more into bikes and the outdoors in general because of Covid, but not everyone will keep doing it once things return to normal from a public health standpoint. Its not like the outdoors was invented when covid struck. Its always been an option or people, they just chose to do other things. I'm sure some people who discovered biking will fall in love and stay with it, but just as many will likely go back to doing whatever else they were doing pre-covid once its allowed.

Also it may not be a choice. Many people who are new to biking (or even people who already biking) may just be getting out more often due to other things being cancelled or maybe even being out of work. Covid has created alot of free time for people. Once everything opens back up alot of that newly free time disappears. Have to go back to work = no more weekday riding. Youth sports opens back up and all of a sudden that dad who is out there getting a ride in after work is now stuck at his kids soccer game or something like that.
  • 10 0
 @Ds1234: here’s me hoping for a cheap bargain.
  • 12 0
 This is honestly what I'm most concerned with. I experienced a decline of enjoyability of rides over the course of the year, which stands in directly proportional relation to the amount of people out on the trails. Same exact reasons you described. For months now all of my local spots have been packed full of bikers and hikers every time the sun was out. Unfortunately most of the newcomers don't stick to trail code or any sort of outdoors etiquette. It's really getting old now. But then again as seasoned riders, I think we need to persevere. It's after all a small and very temporary price to pay for the chance of getting more representation and political acknowledgement. To communal politics, mountainbiking is now a sport that's to be taken seriously, legitimized by massive surges in public popularity. In contrast, before the pandemic, there barely was any mountainbiking infrastructure in our municipality. But now there's even talk of legitimizing existing guerilla trails and founding official clubs.
  • 1 0
 @mitochris: me too
  • 5 0
 Step 1 Time to promote the importance of trail expansion over other infrastructure such as things that cost way more and are way under utilized. I'm all for all sports but most communities have a shortage of trails and are in ample supply of ball fields and other more specialized facilities. Trails accommodate many users and cost a fraction to build and maintain. Step 2 is to start asking trail orgs and land managers to creating or modifying existing trails to be directional and the educating the public on the importance of directional trails. Small systems can handle high numbers if everyone is going the same way. Obviously this isn't possible in every scenario but its a great help. Yes there's always that one dude who thinks he's cool climbing the rad DH line. It's a selfish move...
  • 3 0
 Anecdotally, managed to do a few long weekends visiting mates in Aberdeenshire and South Wales in the brief window we got to have a life again this summer. There has been a lot of lock down building going on around those places and more closer to home as well. This has led to conflict with land owners but also has brought some really amazing trails. I seen a fair few people out on trails, weirdly loads of dudes on ebikes so I don’t think they are new to the sport, maybe rediscovering.

Would like to say it would lead to some new infrastructure, probably will in Scotland and Wales but not down here in Little England, that would be waaaaay to forward thinking on the part of the FC. I predict more bike parks popping up, which isn’t a bad thing. Hell if I had the capital I would gladly trade me desk for a hoe in the rain
  • 3 0
 It was also nice being able to walk into a shop and see that they had the 9 speed cassette for my commuter in stock
  • 9 0
 @rickybobby18: It's not always that easy. Here in Germany for example, mountainbiking historically hasn't been taken serious as a sport. At least not as a sport with the development of which the authorities would concern themselves. There's frankly also not that much acceptance in the general public towards mountainbiking - it's often considered a rowdy sport for kids. So you've got ignorance from the authorites and also resistance from all kinds of other sides. For example hikers associations, alpinist clubs and environmental activists have often opposed plans to develop mountainbiking in certain areas. In my area there have even been cases where officially sanctioned trails were vandalized by haters so much that at some point the people just gave up rebuilding them. There's also legal issues - but I'm not going to bother you with the intricacies of German public law. In short, if you've got any officially sanctioned mountainbiking trails where you live, consider yourself lucky.
  • 8 0
 @brianpark: If a side effect of growth is crowded trails, so be it. At this point, I'd honestly even settle for any sort of positive recognition of mountainbiking as a sport by the authorities and the greater public.
  • 5 0
 @Ds1234: And then we can buy 'em for less later? Yah!
  • 4 0
 @rosemarywheel: "for sale: Santa Cruz Nomad, only used twice, in mint condition"
  • 4 0
 @BenTheSwabian: Serious question...why?

Why does it matter if there is positive recognition by the public? Most hikers hate mountain bikers.
  • 2 1
 @KavuRider: Cause maybe we can all learn to know each other better and they may realize it is more about the joy of (almost) flying and not about bashing through the wood making a mess. My mum and dad don't think much of it either (although this may be because I spend to much money on bike's and parts...)
  • 2 0
 @KavuRider: Because of the other thing I said. Over here, we've got practically no lobby and very little hope to ever see trails being built, or any other official effort to support growing mountainbiking as a sport. Thats why positive recognition is important. For recognition by the authorities.

And the hikers vs. bikers issue exists here too. But theres other haters aswell - lost of environmental activists actually. Can you believe that? Them of all people...
  • 2 0
 The lines have never been this long before at the gondolas in Switzerland. It’s not just the trails but all infrastructures are overwhelmed right now. This is not sustainable at all. I am pretty sure we will see lots of access issues in the Alps in the next years.
  • 7 7
 Mountian biking is dead, long live off road sports cycling
  • 4 0
 Around my town there are 6 ski resorts. Only one of those ski resorts has mountain biking in the summer. If we get more people interested in our sport then I dont see why there won't be more trail networks opening up to cater to the demand.
  • 5 1
 @Ds1234: two years when all these dentist bikes go garage sale, eyes peeled for the dealz.
  • 9 4
 1. First world problems during Covid 2. You were there first therefore no new riders, come on you were new once too. 3. Solution ride at night, trails are empty
  • 14 1
 All of the boring smooth machine build singletrack is being ridden so much that it is now full of roots, ruts, and is actually fun again. I call this a major win.

Also, it honestly bring a huge smile to my face to see the parking lots completely full of mountain bikers. I've seen more kids and families on bikes this year than ever, which is amazing.

I am really lucky to live in a place with way more singletrack than the local population could ever gum up. Plus, 80-90% of it is really freaking difficult, so that weeds out most folks. If the flow trails and smooth lower loops are packed full, that is just fine by me!
  • 4 0
 I agree 100% and would like to add they need to learn some trail etiquette.
  • 2 0
 I agree 100% and would like to add they need to learn some trail etiquette
  • 1 1
 @DanTae: I agree. More opportunity to monetise it means more bike parks, more professionally maintained trails, more good riding, more options (and probably also disproportionately more fairly uninteresting blue flow trails) and more ability to legitimise trail access and land use. The dozens if not hundreds of bike parks in the Alps are already a pretty good case study for that.
  • 13 1
 I loves new riders in the sport and will never see myself as a gatekeeper HOWEVER please do your part and make it know to newcomers that ILLEGALS TRAILS SHOULD NOT BE PUBLICIZED! Nothing pissed me off more than a newcomer to this hobby blasting illegal spots to massive audiences, be it facebook, youtube, IG, whatever. Shame the hell out of them and make it known that our sport has an etiquette and that this kind of behavior is not accepted.
  • 4 1
 @Ozziefish - the best cure for land use issues is political and economic clout pushing for more and better access. Mountain biking, unlike say skiing or surfing, is pretty space efficient. On a well managed, well built trail system, even peak use doesn't make it a shitty day (like you'd have with endless lift lines at an overrun ski resort, or with huge crowds of folks in a packed lineup vying for a few rideable waves), just results in the odd minute waiting to drop into a trail. Key point there, though, is "well managed, well built" - and that's a matter of advocacy and stewardship, which in turn are a matter of power in numbers.

In my little town in the very NW corner of the US, we have seen tremendous growth in rider numbers. But because of dedicated and passionate advocacy and stewardship, and because mountainbiking has gone completely mainstream (city and county counselors, teachers, doctors, all the pillars of the community are out there shredding, and so are their families), that means we're also expanding the trail network and creating more opportunity to ride. The well managed, well built trail system directs people towards the trails appropriate to their skills and preferences - and they in turn show up to build more of them on build days (well, that last one is a bit tricky with the pandemic, but that's starting to come along as well).

Yes, there's potential for things to turn into a bit of a shitshow - but of all the fun, healthy, and socially distant/pandemic-compatible outdoor pursuits, mountain biking has a pretty benign blueprint for managing growth in a sustainable way that allows lots of win-win for riders and their communities.
  • 1 1
 @Ds1234: For some, sure. But bikes are awesome, and you can reasonably expect that for a lot of them, the bug will stick. In places where there are good trails and solid MTB communities, there was lots of growth in the sport pre-Covid already. If the boom means that more communities will join in with that, we should see a pretty significant impact.

BTW - I know we're talking MTB here, but if you look at most of the industry responses, they are talking about cycling. As in, getting around by bike, not just going out into the woods to play. MTB will be more sustainable in communities where people can ride to trails and don't need to drive to and then park at trailheads. Those communities also tend to be more liveable places with less traffic congestion. I'm lucky to live in a place where I can do all my commuting and most of my errand running and getting around by bike. E-bikes are huge in that, of course, especially in the US where they help navigate the longer distances in the more sprawly layouts of our towns.
  • 4 1
 @sino428: A lot of those kids though are getting thoroughly bitten by the MTB bug - sure, many of them will return to youth sports leagues, but I wouldn't expect them to never ride the trails again.
  • 2 1
 @Macri: And I assume that means you'll be volunteering with your local trails association to facilitate that learning?
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: Agreed -I am in the Interior of BC and the growth has been crazy. That said, I often see people on trails they just don't have the skill to be on but to be fair the signage is poor. Although we are blessed with some of the best biking in the world, outside of the major Bike Parks we have a a lack of "skills parks " for practice, green trails and progression trails where there are options for ride arounds and varying feature sizes. I think a lot of this is a function of who builds the trails. The trail builders are generally long time riders and they build what they want - not knocking them but if you are a long time rider you likely don't ride green trails. Near me, the only easy trail sometimes is the climb trail - to get you to the fun stuff!
  • 1 0
 @g-42: My youth sports comment was more about the parents than the kids. I'm talking more about the adults that have more time on their hands because all other type of activities (including those of their kids) are being cancelled and freeing up time. But like I said in my original comment, what will really shake out is likely somewhere in betweem. Some people are finding a new permanent activity, others are finding a temporary replacement for other things they cant do right now.
  • 1 0
 @Yikes123: The Mice is rowdy but there are some beginner trails I believe in wesbank and Campbell mountain is suitable for any skill level.

Luckily most of our trails here in the Valley are bike specific so the increase in multi-use is not an issue. The trails have definitely seen way more wear and tear, but that just means the need for trail groups to better organize and do fundraising drives.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: the mice is mainly greens and blues. Campbell is green. Westbank has a good mix. Lots of options nearby for sure.
  • 1 1
 This is a trend that started 30+ years ago. I can tell you that my local riding areas in 1990 I was stoked to see another person, whether riding, hiking on a horse, etc every 3 or 4 days. Now you literally can't ride the same locations on the weekend without running into HUNDREDS of people. No exaggeration, cars parked lining both sides of the roads for over a mile. Combine this with fewer trails forcing everyone into the same places and it is a recipe for conflict.

The only solution is to get farther out. Even then you have to be way more careful about speed, blind corners etc. Just this weekend there were 20+ people on a trail that I have seen fewer than 5 people on in the last 2 years. I almost went head on with a hiker and her dogs at speed on a super remote trail as well. We just have to accept the new reality and hopefully lobby for more trails to be cut to reduce congestion.
  • 1 0
 @KavuRider: I think that depends where. The majority of hikers I know own a mountain bike. LIkewise most mtbers I now are also avid hikers.
  • 8 0
 Agreed. I go out on the trails to get away from people (both hiking and MTB), not see more of them. Not everything needs to grow and expand, this mentality has clearly had dire consequences for our society. It's already ruined hockey (Vegas has a team, wtf), apparently cycling is next.
  • 1 0
 @BenTheSwabian: Interesting because nearly all mountain bikers I know are avid and passionate environmentalists.
  • 5 1
 @fabwizard: Good point on 3. Fading light and the beginnings of winter weather have combined here in the UK to mean trails that were full to bursting in the summer are almost empty on a weekday evening now. You have to REALLY want to ride your bike to strap on a set of lights and a snorkel at 5pm and plough your bike into axle-deep ruts, then spend an hour getting it clean again afterwards before ruining your washing machine with your kit.

I'm looking forward to heading out later and doing just that!
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: that maybe true in canada or some places, but like germany or austria, it's getting worse and worse. its simply not allowed to build, maintain or even ride. and it doesnt get better.

if the industry doesnt start to help building or even lobbying with local governments, people will simply stop biking again.

southern germany is practically trail dead. checking trailforks pretty much tells you everything. the trails that are there, are only the most popular, and they are destroyed after this summer with no hope of getting them rebuilt.
  • 4 0
 @BenTheSwabian: sorry to hear that. Mountainbike Freiburg e.V. Kills it here. In my experience, being able to show how mountain biking is beneficial to the local economy (local bike companies, shops, hotels, restaurants, etc.) seems to be most effective (plus keeps kids out of trouble). Show them we aren't just stoners shredding the forest. Remember, thousands of us are extremely well off dentists ;-)
  • 2 0
 @Linkpin: Wash your bike, but it is only going to get dirty again????????
  • 4 0
 Bang on the button mate .....down here in the Peak District it’s well busy .....Cannock Chase my nearest trail centre ihas been stupid busy over summer .......I personally don’t like it one bit ....land owners that turned a blind eye are now starting to clamp down ......Half these newbies ain’t got a clue ...it’s a right shame
  • 2 0
 @fabwizard: I just like briefly to remind myself what colour it is between rides.
  • 4 0
 @rickybobby18: sadly its not that simple in the UK, as someone who volunteers a lot of time in to a local trail system on public owned land i am seeing that the increase in participation has if anything exacerbated any of the existing issues and created some new ones, particularly the increase in ebike use (which i will just point out i am not against the bikes or use of them). The crazy truth in the UK where i volunteer is that the response to increase use of the trails has meant the land owner (forestry commission) have actually closed some of the "wild trails".
  • 1 0
 @makripper: lots of mix but not sure where you are seeing all these beginner trails. Certainly not West K. Nothing without significant climbing for newbies. It’s not an issue for me, I have been riding for years. Lots of those who are brand new need basic skills and fitness and we certainly don’t have that.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: how many newbies could even ride up the first 200m from the gate at the mice. I am talking basics. Newbies need to build fitness and skill. I am talking some short cross country laps with progression features and a small skills park. Look up what they have done to introduce kids and newbies in Kamloops.
  • 3 0
 @Yikes123: huh? You can ride up the dirt road from the gate. Im pretty sure that should be easy enough for a beginner. Theres also the up trail. You basically described campbell mtn for short xc laps. Also there's test of humanity.
  • 1 0
 @Yikes123: The first 200m of the mice is one of the worst climbs up the entire mountain lol. They can walk that bit. The lookout loop/yellow brick road is a perfect challenging beginner loop and I've seen kids as young as 10 riding it.

Not saying a skills park wouldn't be rad, but there's plenty of good beginner riding around here as long as you're not a complete delicate flower.
  • 4 0
 I'm there with you 100%. I ride mountain bike and road (mostly paths due to not wanting to get mowed down by a texting twat) and my feelings of peace and serenity I get from biking are harder and harder to come by. The land managers where I live are and have been staunch anti-bicycle despite long-standing requests from bike clubs.

Frustrating!
  • 1 0
 @g-42: 100%
  • 127 0
 Looking forward to the article "Used bike market has exploded while new bike sales have plummeted" article at this same time next year.
  • 22 2
 This is absolutely what is going to happen. Once other activities open back up, the new bike market will tank and used bikes will plummet in price.
  • 11 0
 We can only dream, but I doubt it.
  • 12 13
 The lockdowns some people are in favor of are undoubtedly leading towards an economic recession that is going to effect everyone. I have a govt. job and have already taken a paycut...I will be very surprised if there aren’t a lot of almost new bikes in the buy/sell section in the next 6 months from people hoping to make a couple months worth of mortgage/rent payments. I guess our only hope right now is for a viable vaccine, and hopefully better long term planning from the people in power...but long term planning is not what humans are known for, especially politicians, just look at the state of education in my country.
  • 8 0
 It’s already happening! Facebook marketplace is flooded with almost new bikes right now. Not much in XS or S but if you’re looking for a M and up it’s ripe for the picking.
  • 14 0
 haha same with every labradoodle puppy people bought in lockdown.
  • 22 0
 @lastminutetech: This is both amusing and sad at the same time.
  • 9 1
 You will see a lot of entry level alloy hardtails on the market. I doubt you will see $2k and up stuff out there. Anyone who purchased a COVID motivated Stumpy or Fuel and decides to off load it once the other activities begin again, is not going to be looking to lose a lot of money. I am not too sure that the buy used discount is going to be there.

Around me, when I go into my LBS, the rack where they keep their sub $1500 bikes, both road and mountain, is cobwebs. The rack with the carbon framed >$2500 stuff, there is plenty of selection.
  • 3 0
 @lastminutetech: That's such a heartbreaking thought...
  • 5 0
 @Almazing: What's even sadder is that this year no one is doing Black Friday deals in the bike industry because why should they when people are paying full retail for stuff but when next year rolls around they will be begging you to buy at ridiculously discounted pricing as their warehouses will be flooded with inventory. I guarantee you the majority of the industry thinks that this uptick in demand will continue so they will produce twice as much stuff as they did this year for it to rot away a year from now.

Everyone should save their pennies for next year's Christmas season fire sale on everything bike related.
  • 4 0
 @BenTheSwabian: it is. As a life-long dog owner people don’t understand the responsibility. It’s not the same level as having a child but it’s definitely more than buying a bike
  • 2 0
 @Almazing: 100%. If we didn’t live in one of the most expensive cities in the world we’d be able to have a yard and we would 100% take on someone’s discarded, loving, living being that was bought with short sightedness and lack of commitment. Besides, our mastiff / ridgeback bozo would love a little sister!
  • 2 1
 @gus6464: Remember back in the day when all you did was a quick Google search for coupon codes and you were seconds away from receiving a 10-30% discount on the parts in your cart? This year has been rough with the amount of money I spent paying retail for parts. But I did take advantage of a certain website promotion that gave me a rather large discount on 2 bike parts that probably should not have been discounted. Gotta take advantage when the opportunity presents itself.
  • 2 1
 @unrooted: I'm not sure it's the lockdown that's leading to economic recession as much as energy crysis.
Seems like the 2008 crysis wasn't so much caused by subprimes than by the peak of conventionnal oil.
Then we had a relief as the US massively turned to unconventional oil (fracking, tar sands in Canada), but it seems we're now nearing the peak of unconventionnal oil. And this time no jocker.
I've seen an article saying there would be no more gaz guzzling cars sold in the UK from 2030 and same for Quebec from 2035, it may mean oil by then will be too expensive or more usefull for other things. And I'd be surprised if everyone can buy an e-car.
Anyone who can't afford an electric car will have to move by bike or e-bike.
I just hope I'm too pessimistic, but I see no reason not to be.
Let's see the bright side : We may soon have some 4, 8 or even more lanes wide bike lanes Smile
  • 3 0
 @learningcycles: this. No one is going to dump their brand new bikes for pennies. They will let them sit in the garage indefinitely before that.
  • 2 0
 @Cbc4447: Actually, I think this is still folk buying up new bikes and then marking them up/trying to flip them for profit. Been seeing a lot of this in my local FB Marketplace since the spring. And it seems to be the same few people who are constantly selling base Rockhoppers or Marlins for a few hundred over retail.
  • 1 0
 I'm already saving up!
  • 3 0
 My LBS told me that when the stimulus checks started going out for that month they were selling up to 4 Yetis per day. The majority were new riders or guys with an old hardtail in their garage. 6 months from now a lot of these are going to end up on Craigslist being ridden once or twice with the seller looking for a quick sale because they got laid off or need the cash. We haven't even begun to feel the long term effects of the pandemic on the economy. I know a lot of people who went on shopping sprees with their stimulus cash. Mine is still sitting in the bank. The next 6 months are going to be very interesting.
  • 3 0
 @bob-oso: yeah, some guy in SoCal is selling new stumpjumpers on craigslist for a few hundred over retail. I hope no one is buying those. What a doosh.
  • 1 0
 @bob-oso: that’s not what’s happening here. Thank god
  • 67 2
 One thing that EVERYBODY in the bike media industry should be doing is trumpeting good etiquette and best riding practice rules. Tell people that they need to stay on the trail. Tell people that uphill riders have the right-of-way. Tell people the general right-of-way rules. Tell people to pack out what you bring in. Tell people what they need to know to be good neighbors on the trail. Don't assume that people who are new to biking are just going to know these rules, and as the relevant media arm, it's your responsibility to tell them the rules. Most folks will follow the rules if informed of them. Of course, there are always people who will do whatever they want, but if everyone is informed things will overall go more smoothly.
  • 7 1
 Unfortunately I can only give you one upvote. It's really important that newcomers start to stick to trail etiquette.
  • 24 21
 Why do uphill riders have right of way though? Surely for the sake of safety downhill has right of way. I think this is one of the most ridiculous rules that has been carried over at the perception of difficulty. It's so much more dangerous to try and stop whilst going downhill than it is pulling over going uphill.

Maybe this is the good time to begin to evolve trails into directional and start re-designing the way us as a community ride to deal with the influx of new riders.
  • 13 4
 @originalstraygoat: if you’re so far beyond what you can see and it’s “more dangerous to try and stop whilst going downhill” then you were never in control in the first place. On directional trails maybe, but on a multi-direction trail what are you thinking??
  • 6 1
 @originalstraygoat: i've only ridden one-way bike-only trails so not sure on the reasoning.

But i'd guess that if the downhill rider has right of way and they see the uphill rider has stopped/yielded, they may be less inclined to slow down or they may try to pass too fast (trying to stay 'in the zone', which is understandable when you're on a good one) and there's the potential of a serious accident.

Conversely, if the downhill rider has yielded, there's not much chance of an uphill rider trying to pass too fast or losing control. Even if there was contact, the speed would likely be slow enough to mitigate any serious damage/injury.

That's just my guess. As i said, i've only ridden single-direction trails.
  • 10 2
 @originalstraygoat: On a non-directional trail you should never even go so fast that you can't stop in time. Thats dangerous.
  • 8 1
 @originalstraygoat: With you on directional trails. But frankly, for safety's sake, the uphill right of way on bi-directional trails makes sense - especially if they're multi-use. If you're going fast enough to where stopping/pulling over for an uphill rider is a safety concern, you're too fast.
  • 5 3
 @originalstraygoat: Uphill riders have priority when passing on trails. It is way more difficult to continue momentum going uphill than it is for a downhill rider to stop and make way for the uphill rider. Anyone who has stopped going up a steep section knows how impossible it is to get started again. Downhill riders should be in control and able to stop if necessary. What if there was a fallen tree or rock or a hiker? What would your plan to stop be then?
  • 2 9
flag ybsurf (Nov 17, 2020 at 17:31) (Below Threshold)
 Where I ride climber dont have right away downhill come first here.
  • 3 3
 @originalstraygoat: agree but in bc it doesn't apply here its downhill priority for sure I think that rule apply for more cross country trail like when I went to bend oregon but not bc trails.
  • 2 0
 @originalstraygoat: Uphill has right-of-way isn't exclusive to mountain biking. The same holds true for other trail user categories as well.

It's a good safety rule, and it's good sense.
  • 3 1
 I think my real issue is with non-directional trails. Also trails that are known to be directional but not defined so. Thankfully I don't hear of or have any close calls and I will be looking far enough ahead to judge if someone is going to pull out or not.

I still feel that the uphill rider will have far more perception through sound and vision than that of the Downhill rider.

@tortatortatorta this is kind of proving my point that it was implemented for ease of uphill riders. These other risks you speak of are accepted risks as a rider that can be mitigated.

Ultimately I feel it should be trail dependent. Thankfully I'm old, wise and skilled enough to read a situation and stop if I feel it's needed.

Just discussions no hate.
  • 4 3
 @ybsurf: Your so wrong - it applies in bc - it applies on the North Shore - it applies in the Okanogan. The uphill rider has a greater challenge to regain his momentum and clean the trail .
  • 4 2
 @ybsurf: that’s a load of horseshit. Downhill yields to uphill, it’s pretty damn clear across every trail organization everywhere in this province, and anywhere else I’ve ridden in Canada and the US.
  • 1 0
 @regdunlop: Thankfully we have lots of directional trails here.
  • 1 0
 Happily my local is bike only and the fun single track is one way only. Down! Just spent a few hours at another riding area where I had one of the tech descents all to myself to session. The bike boom is real here too though, shops cant keep up. In another area, bikers have built an amazing track above the ocean. Its been overrun with hikers and runners and dogs and isnt fun to ride anymore.
  • 2 1
 Forgot how much hate fills peoples veins, keyboard warriors throwing slurs at people. Lets end this by simply saying the rules are that uphill has right of way. Therefore the rules should be followed until they are changed. I very much agree that every new rider should be made aware of these sometimes unwritten rules and expectations. I'm outta here. Enjoy the fighting. Also super valid points that I certainly agree with on the uphill having right of way.
  • 1 0
 @g123: Just putting an opinion and observation out there. I still follow the rules. Like not tying my giraffe to a telephone pole in Georgia.
  • 3 1
 @originalstraygoat: that is legit funny.

I’m a tolerant guy and super courteous on trail. This topic is a real sore point though, because I constantly see riders who don’t care just ripping downhill past other riders, hikers, equestrians, joggers - you name it. It’s already hard enough for trail associations to maintain access in so many places, and pissed-off multi-user groups is the last thing anybody wants or needs. A tiny bit of courtesy goes a long way.
Many of the new riders I meet have no idea about this etiquette, and are happy when they learn. It’s the 3% that don’t care about anybody else that really destroys it for everyone. Comments like @ybsurf shared are plain wrong and hurting long-term trail access everywhere.
  • 2 0
 @ybsurf: nope same rule here in bc.

Unless it is a down hill only.
  • 2 0
 @g123: I'm not doing it as a dick move, each time I see people either rider or runners coming up a downhill trail or up they move to let me go so I just keep going that's all.
  • 65 0
 Vernon with the heartfelt response to kick off the discussion, big up. It’s been tough for many, good to acknowledge that. Great that business is great and more people are riding. Now we just need more trails.
  • 5 2
 One of the few Human Beings left.
  • 15 0
 I miss his no bs attitude. Bummed when he left bike media but glad he's still around the industry.
  • 5 1
 No BS, knowing that he is in charge over there has made me more likely to buy a Canyon.
  • 2 0
 @jmhills: If you just want to support him then yes. But silly enough, by the very nature of his job you won't actually be dealing with him once you've bought one of their bikes.
  • 2 0
 Agreed, good on him to start with that, this bike 'boom' is not a positive one IMO
  • 1 0
 @kevin267: Kind of depends. Lots of commenters here appear to look at the boom from a sports/recreation point of view but from what I understand, a large(r) part actually comes from from people moving out of the public transport and onto bikes for their commutes. And several cities have also used this time to make their streets more bicycle friendly. I may also be living in my own cocoon but for me it seems like the majority will stay on their bikes even if the capacity of public transport grows back to normal at some point. Not only from a freedom/happiness point of view (I do think the feel you get on a bike is addictive and getting back into cramped public transport would feel like a downgrade for most) but also because cities have now made investments that will save them money on the long term. I live in the Netherlands (where traffic is relatively safe for pretty much everyone) and once read a study about what it would cost a city if everyone currently riding bikes for their commutes would then rely on public transport or on cars. It would cost a massive amount every year to maintain an infrastructure for that.

So yeah I do agree that lots of sports gear is bought in an impulse and may not be used in a few years time. This will go for mountainbiking gear too for people who look at it from a sports/hobby perspective. But for those who got a bike to be able to move out of public transport, I may be optimistic but I think the majority will stick with it.

Then of course I do agree that there isn't anything positive about the virus per se. But just like many negative events (war, scarcity etc) there may definitely be a positive spin off. In the previous century the big world wars and the cold war have pushed technology to a point we'd probably never have been if it weren't for that. Then of course we could also argue whether the tech has only been good but I think we can agree that some of the tech developed has been used for good and friendly purposes. So yeah, when bad things happen there can definitely be a positive spin off.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I realize this but having someone who has ridden so much through out their lives and literally made a living riding, evaluating, and offering suggestions for how to improve a mountain bike is HEAPS better than say hiring an ex Amazon exec to help manage the bike product line...

I realize that people who run bike companies tend to be bike people but having someone like him in charge of the product line is just better.
  • 28 0
 What next? A lot of barely used bikes for sale next summer.
  • 4 0
 I am starting to see a bunch on local sale sites. Unfortunately for us, until new production equals out, used bikes will still carry very little discount. Judging by what i have heard on the production side, this isnt until next summer if everyone is lucky. That means cheap used bikes dont land until winter 2021 or summer 2022.
  • 15 0
 @Snowrydr01: A lot of people are not going to drop prices. They are going to be upset by the idea that the new $500 bike they paid $700 for is in reality only worth $200. They will demand that $500 price minimum and let it collect dust in the garage for a few years before giving up.

My prediction at least.
  • 6 1
 @JSTootell: my experience has been people new to most hobbies trying to sell newish gear seem to think it should be valued between 98-110% what they paid. Its usually entry level gear that nobody is interested in.

By the time they are willing to part everything will be obsolete.
  • 3 0
 Looking forward to pick up a SC Tallboy. Ideally off of some banker, dentist or jeweler who might have ridden it around the block twice at best.
  • 18 0
 @chrismac we also need more trail stewards. Trail maintenance has rapidly declined in my zone, and many others. Not able to keep up with the demand, and many people riding trails well above their skill level... Granted, I know progression has to come into play, but wow. The carnage to trails in my area from people riding around features is insurmountable.
  • 8 0
 Yep, this is us, no trail maintenance on the govt trails, but they find time to do go overboard decommissioning the user built trails. Lots of people want to volunteer but not allowed. People are bored with the same trails.
  • 22 5
 “Don’t buy consumer direct”, “don’t buy mail order”, “support small shops”. Heard it all for years.

After years of supporting small shops, when boom times came guess what happened. The loyal customers were thrown aside for the quick cash to be made gouging the new, the stupid and the naive.

The bike industry as whole doesn’t care how long you have been riding and how much money you have spent. They would rather chase instant gratification and the next big thing (e-gravel-mixed wheel size bikes!) than take care of those have supported them over the years.
  • 10 3
 My experience matches. I have had negative experiences with three bike shops lately. Two of them while trying to quote repairs after my GF was hit by a car! They blew her off, said the bike is worth a couple hundred bucks, go away. Surprise, I will be teaching her how to do all her own repairs on the $3000 bike she replaced the $500 with.

My closest LBS doesn't even respond to me anymore when I ask about getting work done. While I would rather just pay someone to true the wheel I built and save my time, I just do it myself now.

Surprisingly, the shop that has been the most helpful is Jenson's.
  • 7 1
 I like to support my LBS, but when I can get the same tires just about anywhere on line for almost half of what local shops charge it's a no brainer.
  • 7 1
 @bdub5696: even worse my LBS raised prices on everything 25%.

They charged me $18 for an innertube.
  • 3 3
 @JSTootell: Someone I grew up with owns a shop a few blocks away so I tried to order parts through him instead of on Jenson. Both times I tried it took over a week, and then he just couldn't get things in stock. Jenson gets me stuff in one business day every time, and actually have stuff in stock.
  • 4 0
 @RonSauce: go tubless Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @bman33: can't with those rims. Aero rim, Schrader valves. Who knows what they would have charged for tubeless valves.
  • 9 0
 My LBS experience has been different - they've busted their asses over the course of the pandemic to find ways to keep people riding, getting creative with cobbling together all sorts of solutions from bits and bobs floating around in back storage when needed parts were unavailable, getting creative with finding people bikes despite a general lack of supply, and pushing hard to keep up with the huge wave of service work. That's the Kona shop in Bellingham - but I know from friends that other shops here in town have done the same (been hearing epic stories of above and beyond about Earl's and Alleycat, for example).
  • 1 0
 @mtb-sf: Jenson's main warehouse is next to my local trails, so I just order stuff online and pick it up on my weekly ride. There smaller shop is a short bike ride away and I just ride there after work if I need to buy something I need quicker.
  • 14 0
 "The long-term health of the industry will be determined by how we support new riders getting into the sport." Trek has it right, if there isn't more investing into supporting new riders then the growth will slow down. Overall growth of MTB is a good thing I believe, but many here on PB seem to be afraid of new comers, especially those rowdy no good e-bike riders. New riders comes with some growing pains - but also hopefully comes more funding for better trails, community support and more people getting getting healthy.
  • 12 0
 Massive growth year for our local scene! We noticed at least a 250% increase in trail use (we use several game cameras to collect data for various reasons). Luckily we had private and public land waiting for expansion. After a late start, we still managed to add about 4 miles of beginner, in-town single track, and 2 miles of advanced, backcountry single track. We are planning to build about 8 more miles of in-town single track in 2021. We feel extremely lucky to have thousands of acres at our disposal. I can’t imagine how most areas are struggling.
  • 2 0
 @kungfupanda: Nice work! And congrats on the advocacy successes
  • 1 0
 @kungfupanda: nuttypoolog, I knew it was you.... I have a great pic for you profile.
  • 17 2
 As an economist in real life, I think it is better if I just stick to making jokes in the comment section rather than attempt an analysis on factors to consider. But I enjoyed the article!
  • 14 0
 As a trail building, advocacy, and mountain bike education non-profit in Washington State, we've tried to shift a lot of our messaging and communications this year to directly address this massive influx of new riders. For example, publishing beginner ride guides, tips for keeping trails in good shape (education on freeze/thaw cycles, etc), and also giving people concrete examples of simple things they can do each time they ride to aid trail maintenance (clearing drains, removing downed branches, etc).

It's so vital that new riders get off on the right foot and are taught proper trail etiquette, courtesy to other trail users, and a sense of ownership over the trails they visit. This is the only way that this growth in mountain biking will be sustainable.
  • 11 0
 Orbea:

"The winner in all this is the end-user. Strong retailers offer consumers better shopping experiences, and strong brands combined with high demand mean more investment in innovation leading to better and better riding experiences in every category. Overall, it's an amazing time to ride."

I don't see how this has been a win for the end-user. I'm getting back into the sport and trying to buy a bike–supply / demand means high prices and low availability. Norco (for instance) doesn't have demo bikes as they'll been sold. I'll keep riding my 2003 Gary Fisher for now ... lol.
  • 7 0
 How is the winner the end user when the market pricing for a new bike (if it's even in stock) is at MSRP or above??? What a platitude from Orbea. The winner in all this is the bike manufacturers and bike shops. I hope they are saving up all this profit they are getting right now for when things stabilize and/or there is a huge supply of 1-2 year old used bikes on the market.
  • 3 0
 @SeanC1: I also remember seeing retailer prices the same as MSRP and thinking WTF. It's like the Vancouver BC real estate market. lol

I have a hunch that many folks are buying new because there's not much savings to be had in the used market. Just a guess ... but I pass by most on Pinkbike classified for that reason.
  • 3 2
 @njcbps: hang on, are you and @SeanC1 actually complaining that retailers are setting their prices to the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Pricing?
  • 2 0
 @Socket: No, if you actually read my post I'm complaining about Orbea's comment that the winner in all of this is the "end user". That is a crock. How does anyone WIN when they can't find an item in stock or pay a high price when they do??
  • 9 1
 As a bike shop employee I feel the industry has (once again) shafted us. Sales are up year to date but the messaging from companies falls way short of adequate. Consumers are interested in spending money but vendors struggle to keep inventory available and the blame always falls on the LBS.

The fact is that 8+ months into COVID suppliers still can't nail down ETAs on new inventory, can't supply sufficient quantities of bread and butter product and refuse to inform customers the issue is with the supply chain not their local dealers. It results in customers resenting the local shops struggling to provide prompt service.

Customers don't think to themselves: "well Trek/Shimano has had a rough year getting their manufacturing partners to produce a large quantity of bikes/parts on a short timeline." They think: "gosh, my local shop really dropped the ball ordering bikes this year. They don't have anything on the shelf and are telling me it will be 8 weeks before they're able to source a new bike for me or a cheap derailleur for my kids shitty bike."
  • 1 0
 The messaging from the LBS's has been poor and inconsistent. But, as mentioned, it's likely not their fault.

It would be useful to at least communicate that "we don't know because the MFG's haven't told us."
  • 10 0
 So that's where Vernon went. Come back to the online forums, Vernon.
  • 3 0
 He was at Specialized the last I knew.
  • 6 0
 It's reasonable to think that a percentage of this year's newcomers will stay engaged in the sport long term, which is a major plus. However, any bubble (and this is one) will burst eventually. It's good that some of these companies aren't planning for 25% - 100% sales growth in 2021 to match 2020's numbers, but it kind of worries me that others might be.
  • 3 0
 Agreed, I can't imagine that used bike prices aren't going to plummet at some point as all the new riders who don't stick with the sport want to offload their $6k bikes just sitting in the garage. My guess is this happens around end of 2021 when supply of everything catches back up, but who knows.
  • 2 1
 Gotta save some cash for that new $300 specialized wind breaker. Progress!
  • 5 0
 As it stands now, the shop I work at we are seeing delays on bikes as far as June 2021, the boom might be all the people still waiting for the bike they ordered in 2020.
  • 6 0
 Don't you need to be around 102 years old to remember how best to handle a world wide pandemic -- IMO, these so called experts in the bike industry are just winging it. They have no idea how this is all going to play out. As far as trails around here. oooof!!! Ok, First few weeks of lock-down, the trails around here in northern VA we packed. That has settled down for whatever reason but, still foot traffic is a tad heavier than pre-Convid. I have seen more activity with the bicycle dot.orgs out there "grooming" new trails. For me, sorry, I have to roll my eyes and just look the other way.. So far, all I have seen are groups putting far too much work into trail building because they are taking the fun out of mountain biking by over-grooming the shizix of what was a good natural trail. Seriously, you might as well go in there with a paver. I appreciate the hard work they put in but, the stuff they're building is like riding on city side walk. aka boring. That has been going on for a while now, not just during these Convid times. There's several park systems in the area that have basically been flattened out and over groomed. Kinda wish they'd just leave em
oh de natural
  • 9 0
 Bikes will still be fun after covid. I'll bet all my bikes on it.
  • 5 0
 very smart on the part of Canyon to hire Vernon a couple years ago. all this trail conflict crap dorsnt bother me too much...and in most cases, its easy to just create a line and around people standing in the trail taking a selfie
  • 9 0
 Loads of used bikes!
  • 5 0
 Keep an eye on pinkbike classified!
  • 20 2
 @rojo-1: The people that bought these bikes are not on PB they bought a bike because gyms closed there doors due to the lock down. They will be sold on Craigs List or Face Book
  • 4 0
 @rivercitycycles: Good point. Shame, I don't want to browse Facebook, because that time would be better spent on pinkbike Smile
  • 9 0
 It's a bubble IMO.
  • 2 0
 I'm riding the storm. Making bike parts from amazon boxes, old face masks, and old disposable gloves and they are selling like hotcakes. Cha-ching. Lol.
  • 8 1
 If you think the bike bubble is bad...wait until you see the housing bubble we are in...
  • 3 3
 No joke man. With rates so low prices are crazy. Once the power changes hands you'll see those rates increase dramatically and the bubble will burst. Hopefully not as bad as the last time it went.
  • 1 1
 @onemanarmy: I'm not going to try and forecast what will happen. All I know is local housing is going for roughly 30% OVER list price. The landlord I was renting from a couple years ago listed her house and it was sold the same week. For sale signs all over this town quickly followed by sold signs right now.
  • 6 1
 What's next?

A sharp decline in used bike prices as we enter round two of these lockdowns only this time, with no stimulus checks.
  • 5 2
 What's next? Speaking of only people who've bought their first MTB because of the pandemic. In a year, boat loads of lightly used below-entry level spec bikes flooding the used market. In 2-3 years? Loads of used 2019-2021 mid to dentist spec full suspension bikes with less than 200 miles on them on sale, but sellers will try to sell as close to what they paid for. Courtesy of the 'haves' being able to make huge purchases during the pandemic. Statistically speaking, I wonder what percentage of people who bought their first MTBs because of the pandemic are going to stick with the sport. My bike shop friends don't think a vast majority will. And they know sales will start to taper off significantly in due time, which is why they're selling as much as they can for when all these used bikes completely flood the market.
  • 9 0
 I have a feeling the winter is going to filter most of them out. After not riding for 5-ish months during the cold and getting back out of shape, starting from scratch fitness wise for a lot of people may put them off riding as much next season. We can only hope, though.
  • 4 0
 @gnarcissist: This is so true. I ride all year round, even below freezing. An very cold and very long forecasted winter is going to separate those who stick with the sport and those who don't.
  • 6 0
 @gnarcissist: I bet soft saddle sales will sky rocketed in the spring!!!
  • 3 1
 @gnarcissist: isn't that the case with most seasonal sports? People have to give it a go at some point and some will find out it's not for them. Nothing irregular about that. There will be some extra second hand bikes for sale and few extra people on the trails, all in all I don't expect a cycling revolution.

The industry and biking advocates could use the momentum and push for access though, that'd be awesome!
  • 3 0
 But bikes don't suck any more, and trails are better, so this time could be different.
  • 2 0
 @Milko3D: Not necessarily. You're ignoring the fact that there's a pandemic going on around the entire world, which breaks trends normally found in seasonal sports. Without the pandemic, people would have still bought a mountain bike, though probably not in such massive numbers. With the pandemic, there are many activities people can no longer do, so the state of the world has driven them to find a new activity such as cycling. Lots of these people would not have turned to cycling if it weren't for the pandemic lockdowns and restrictions. So yea, this year has been very much irregular in practically all aspects of life. But recreation in particular.
  • 4 1
 @Almazing: Sure, this is the reason for the surge, but like you mentioned before a lot of people would drop the activity pandemic or not and move on to the next thing.

There's no reason to believe that the rise of popularity will continue. Anyway, I'm neither an epidemiologist nor an economist, I have no data to back my claim. I do believe in people's laziness though, perhaps just the surge of eBikes will continue at the expense of normal bikes.

We'll see Smile
  • 2 0
 All I know is its going to buy a massive Buyers Market in the next 2-3 years. All these "Johnny comes lately" Buyers will be selling their bikes in an overcrowded market. Should be able to get some great deals in the coming years.
  • 3 0
 It’s like this in almost every industry. Try to buy a major appliance, swimming pool, or anything to do with outdoor recreation.
If you’re into shooting sports there is near zero availability on ammo of any type.
  • 2 0
 On the business side of things, as stagnation in demand and market saturation increase competition for the manufacturers, things will only get better for the consumers. Decent entry level bikes will get more affordable, because thats the market segment where you fish for new customers. Naturally, some brands will lose against their competition in the struggle for market space and go out of business. But hey, nothing new under the sun.
  • 2 0
 I went out in some South Wales mud and slop this afternoon, and I had the whole trail network to myself. Where as on dry weekends there is no space in the forest carpark. So, you can still find empty trails if you avoid peak times Smile
  • 2 0
 I think the winter will weed out those who have truly found there passion from those who simply bought mountain bikes. getting out of shape and not being able to ride as much will discourage new riders. The used market will be flooded with the entry level mountain bikes that sold like lemonade over the summer and this will cause prices on the used market to drop. its great that the industry grew but it definitely could've been healthier.
  • 2 0
 I was in both my local shops today and I don't think they are sure where this is going or when it stops. Will 2021 be like 2020? Or does everyone have a bike who wants a bike? Are we going to be playing and watching team sports again by summer and the bikes start collecting dust? Or are all the people who bought $800 hardtails going to want to buy $3000 full squishes and we see another run on bikes, just higher end ones now.

Both of them were not sticking their necks out too far with more ordering than usual. Fat Bikes and trainers are sold out already for winter, but that might be also because we had a foot of snow in the first week of November and everyone got panicky.

The one good thing I see about this happening in 2020 vs 2015 is I think the big industry changes are done for a while. We aren't going to get slacker and longer, and we can't go to less than a single chainring in the front. So if there are bikes carried over for a couple of years by manufacturers or shops, it won't be anything like if you were trying to sell a 2015 in 2018 or 2019. The same timing is going to play well in the used market in a few years too if these all start showing up online. They won't be out of date unless someone starts making new standards again...
  • 2 0
 Most of the new riders at our local trail system have been great. Unfortunately, since like 5% of people are narcissistic jerks the overall amount of these idiots will.increase. They'll quit after their first real injury or when the weather changes.
  • 3 0
 Two random and unrelated observations:

I've ridden through more dog shit in the last 8 months than i did in the last 8 years.

And its impossible to buy a decent pair of heavy duty mtb gloves in a Large, anywhere.
  • 2 0
 The manufacturers and shops need to help the parts suppliers get their ducks in a row, and do their utmost to be excellent at customer service. There's nothing more annoying than buying a new $$$ bike, ride, break something, then let it rust for months while you wait for a replacement part, or even worse - a reply from the manufacturer.

This backfires more on the bike brand and shops than the parts brand IMO. Pointed out earlier here - but it seems shops are so busy selling to new customers they forget their loyal base.
  • 2 0
 The “plandemic” is just a really well planned way to change the world we used to live, the way we lived and it will never end if the humanity ever unite. In regards of bikes for sure a lot of people will find a way to at least get out of the depression on them, some will find their new passion and some will go directly to the marketplace or classifieds to sell them cheap. IMHO
  • 1 0
 In May I saw people and newbies riding bikes everywhere. Trails weren't that bad actually although I tend to ride more back country, but road and commuter paths were packed.

By July, it seemed totally back to normal, same small mix of roadies. So yeah might have been a boom , but doesn't seem that long lived. Sure was weird walking into the bike shop and not seeing any bikes on the floor (but plenty in the shop of course).

Glad I didn't need a new bike this year or next though, looks a little painful if you are picky like me.
  • 1 0
 Having a boom is a great reason to build more trails. Unfortunately the process for legal trail building is incredibly slow. At least in the US. Every legal trail requires an Environmental Impact Study before it can even be considered and approved by the governing body overseeing the land. The studies are not cheap or qiuck. Then with all the litigation following the study, it takes years in most cases to actually break ground on a new trail. Let alone time to actually build it. Due to this many trails and trail networks will suffer from the surge, long before any reactive expansion can happen. My local trail network has gotten ravaged this year by the additional traffic. However, on the bright side. The used bike market is gonna explode with lightly used high end bikes in the next couple years. Gonna be a good time to buy used.
  • 2 0
 And none of these men said, the one thing needed now more than ever-is education. HOW to ride your bike. Instruction for better safer riding. Maybe they are all doing it and crushing it so they didn't need to mention it?
  • 2 0
 Whats next you ask? Just for reference never ever ask “What Next” karmas a bitch it’ll bite if you ask it to! But next up famine, Corona Virus Zombies(they’ll steal our bikes)and worldwide financial collapse
  • 1 0
 "The long-term health of the industry will be determined by how we support new riders getting into the sport."-Eric Bjorling, Brand Director - Trek
I agree, maybe these big brands can turn some of their profit into trail building grants (some have) to give communities a jump start in building their own variable skill trail systems, ride parks, pump tracks, skills parks? More bike zones = more bike interest.
  • 4 0
 After the Great Reset we won't be able afford bikes...or vehicles to access trailheads...but we will have utopia!
  • 3 0
 "In the future you'll own nothing and you will be happy"
World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting. Davos, Switzerland 2020
  • 2 1
 Everybody says there are all these shortages but I really dont see it. I have been buying bike things just as much this year as any other. My bank account definately has not seen a slow down. If you search hard enough you can get anything you want and have it to your door next week.
  • 1 0
 Because i have worked in the vaccine business, that is funny? So apparently having a good job is funny! Ok if you find that funny then go ahead and laugh. Your ignorance is showing thru now because your BS statement about recombinant vaccines has been called out.
How about this- when I’m in Montana next summer, i will buy you a beer and we will sit down and discuss this. And after that, if you still feel the need to call me an idiot and a fraud to my face, we can proceed from there.
You ready to take on that challenge.
I’ll give you a call when I’m in town.
  • 1 0
 Are new riders that much of a problem? I saw some stat a while back that 2/3 UK covid deaths involved obesity, and even our own prime minister described us as the second fattest nation in Europe. People gotta change their habits, and often the first step is the hardest.

Even if they all give up next year the influx of second hand bikes onto the market will be good news for us, and good for people who weren't able to afford a bike this time.

Most of the complaints about crowded trails seem very minor when compared to the benefits in the medium to long term
  • 1 0
 More people riding bikes, which on the face of it, is a good thing. One downside is that a lot of new riders have no understanding of trail grading, trail etiquette or the skills to ride trails safely.
Restrictions have also seen riders going to places they wouldn’t necessarily ride, discovering some of the unofficial trails and then causing conflict with local residents due to disrespectful behaviour. There’s been an increase in trail sabotage and confrontations with non-biker trail users where I ride, which has been put down to out of area visitors coming for the day and not being bothered about any negative impact they may have.
  • 1 0
 As soon as tax season comes around people are going to suffer, sell their hastily purchased stimulus bikes and the trails will be void of the useless again. Lots of new trail has popped up around here due to Covid and most of the stuff is pretty good, so there's the benefit to that.
  • 1 0
 I think Vernon hit it on the head... I've been saying it for years. The bike industry does an amazing job of marketing to the riders we already have.. We don't tend to look outside our bubble.. Can we keep these riders on board? Hopefully..
  • 1 0
 2021 will probably be interesting... maybe we'll see a flood of used bikes... maybe not. The owner of one of my LBS's just posted on a local forum Santa Cruz has stopped taking 2021 orders for most models. He suspects his other brands to follow as orders reach projected production and supply chain capacity. He's a fairly cautious fellow, and has worked hard to not have his employees get burnt out during all of this (at least two paid week long shut downs).

There is usually a holiday glut of used bikes as some folks need present funds and look for something to sell. I just saw a posting for a basically never-ridden Megatower as the seller had a kid "and kid stuff is expensive..."

While we've seen an uptick in trail usage near me, there has also been an increase in activism, which is good.
  • 1 0
 Let me tell you what is going to happen post Covert 2020. Civil wars in most countries. And the money you blind idiots spent on overpriced bikes and parts at full and above retail mid summer will be regretted and wished to be spent on food and ammunition. And if we don’t have a total collapse economically the bike shops will drop like flies mid 2021 because of growing too fast this year and then not having inventory for the regular customers that have supported them all along.
  • 1 0
 Is no one interested in returning actual manufacturing back from Asia? Is Asia the only place on the planet we can build products? Are none of these "manufacturers" sinking their outlandish profits into home-turf manufacturing?

I guess bike/component availability will continue to be held hostage by the Asia-corporate state-capitalist monster.
  • 6 3
 Wonder what profit numbers would look like without layoffs, furloughs and overworked employees.
  • 4 1
 They would look less profitable... Duh
  • 6 2
 What’s next? Massive stagflation and economic collapse.
  • 3 0
 Looking forward to winter riding when the trails and fire roads will have less traffic.
  • 1 1
 I am in the motorcycle biz, and we have also had a record year in sales across the brands we sell. This was an interesting article, and as our industries can trend in similar ways at times, I am looking forward to another boomer year.
  • 4 0
 Time to increase supply chain capacity and relocate some production.
  • 5 2
 So good to see Vernon Felton !
Can PB get Felton back and send Levi to Canyon ?
Or a canyon ...
  • 3 0
 PB Academy might be watchable for me if Vernon was hosting.
  • 2 0
 Support your local trail association so that can stop worrying about money and spend their time building new trail to spread people out.
  • 2 0
 "Bass boats (the last of these being an American trend)". FYI, Vernon. Bass boats are also a trend in S. Korea and Japan. Bass fishing is big in those countries.
  • 3 1
 I'm quite enjoying the number of utterly fictional 'I'm not using my power assist' lines from people riding ebikes on the local 'no ebikes allowed' trails tbh.
  • 3 0
 ...... The Craigslist and Pinkbike buy/sell bike boom
  • 2 0
 I'm relearning to love riding in the rain and mud with less people. Bellingham has gotten so much busier. Don't move here.
  • 3 4
 Be careful what you all wish for. Look at skiing. It fucking sucks because of all of the 2 weekend a year warriors out there with their entire families. Huge lift lines, overcrowded trails, super overcrowded lodges, and no where to park. I Mountain bike to get away from all this bullshit. THERE IS NOTHING WORSE THAN A SUBURBAN FLATLANDER JERKOFF HAULING THEIR FAMILY TO THE MOUNTAINS FOR A VACATION. Educate yourself and your families first. That way you don't piss off others, and you can avoid or treat enevitable injuries.
  • 4 1
 dude, the mountain isn't yours alone. complaining about suburban flatlanders?? The ski resorts need their ticket sales as well.
  • 3 0
 Here's my burning question, Can we keep the same standards for a while?
  • 1 0
 I'm in a tough situation myself. Do I order my dream bike and wait a year for it to ship or do I wait until the 2022 model comes out. Thoughts?
  • 2 0
 What's next? A landfill full of disposable bike-shaped objects bought during the pandemic.
  • 2 0
 Get up earlier in the morning. Wait, scratch that. Party late and sleep in folks.
  • 4 2
 Shimano: *panic intensifies*
  • 3 1
 Back to alloy frames and lower the cost of buying new.
  • 2 0
 What's next? We ride those mfers
  • 3 1
 Every BOOM is flowed by a bust, you will see.
  • 2 0
 Get ready for the same problem with ski hills. . . It's coming.
  • 2 0
 I'm waiting for the bust to get a good deal on used bike parts...
  • 1 0
 New stuff too, fingers X'ed manufacturers, distros an giant online retailers massively over stock an the sale rail becomes as awesome as it was a few years back. Nearly everything I buy is last years model or sale rail clearance. Otherwise I wouldn't be riding.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark @mikelvy sounds like this needs a podcast..
  • 2 0
 We discussed it a little bit in the last one and we'll probably follow up on it next week, but the reality is we're even less qualified than usual on this topic. Most of the relevant information isn't public. That's why we asked the folks above!
  • 1 0
 Biking in general is going to continue to blow up again and not look back. Mountain biking grows but at a slower pace.
  • 1 0
 Next crisis will come: mobile.twitter.com/IceAgeFarmer/status/1328051729229774849. All for The Great Reset.
  • 2 0
 My biggest problem are the italics.
  • 1 0
 The trails and bikes were there before COVID. Not going to sustain the growth, as other interests return.
  • 1 0
 Second hand hike deals!!!
  • 5 0
 Second hand bike deals that it’s...and my thumbs need to lose weight.
  • 1 0
 @aharvey: I've been doing more hiking this year too.
  • 2 0
 COVID bike bust.
  • 1 0
 Cabbage Patch Kids rebooted...
  • 1 0
 Brands go bankrupt
  • 2 2
 Vernon who?
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