Bike sales are going crazy

@steveb At least some of us are defying the recession / Covid bollocks.

I bought a Sigma today, I live a street away from the only decent bike shop in Bali. I’d been toying with the idea for a while but as the streets are almost empty and my belly is growing rather large…

I am one of those in UK facing this problem…no stock of reasonably priced bikes - gyms closed! What do you do??

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I’ve always been a big fan of parks—both for walking and for biking—even before pandemic times. Luckily for me, I bought my current bike over a year ago when there was no shortage. Luckily again, on Long Island, NY, where I live there is no shortage of state parks. Some of them are huge and some have plenty of semi-wild trails and paths, which is perfect for me.

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Although temporary solution - have been gifted one (quite old obviously)…which will hopefully serve the purpose of me re-learning the bike riding thing…and actually ‘how do you change gears - there are so many!!’ Last time I rode a bike was about 40 yrs ago…however, I still can…just need to learn the new-fangled stuff!!

The trade certainly has gone nuts since lockdown. Quite a few things have come together and many of my clients and friends still in the trade have either done extrremely well, or cleared their stock overhangs and so can walk away debt free.

With all the new talk about shifting people from cars to bikes, proper cycling infrastructure and generally a more cycle friendly world, I really want it to be the start of something great, but for those in the trade I suspect it’s going to be a very short-lived upturn.

The cycle trade has many many problems, most of them deeply embedded and unlikely to change in the short to mid-term. There are huge issues with the supply chain, always has been, so even if everyone continued to buy and use bikes the trade would still be trouble.

But the harsh reality is the interest in cycling won’t sustain. The weather will turn, the roads will fill up again with cars, free time will disappear and all those new shiny bikes bought in the last few months will rot in the shed for a year then get dumped on the 2nd hand market.

Much the same happened in 2012, after the Olympics. I still had my own shop at the time and couldn’t buy in bikes fast enough to meet demand. Six months later I started to buy them all back to then sell-on as reconditioned. With two years the industry was back on it’s knees.

I sold my last sizable bike trade business two years ago, so other than some bike trade clients I’ve not really been effected. Apart from one of my remaining bike trade businesses: Bike box hire. It’s only a small business but normally turns a few grand profit each season, which is fine as it’s entirely “self-service”, there is no work involved at all. Except of course no one is traveling now, so every single booking I had for this year is now cancelled and refunded, which was a bit of a bollox!

Define reasonably priced?

hi steve, for me anything under £300 as I didn’t even know if I could still ride a bike! Yes I can - but I still have to figure out how to change gears!! So someone has donated one (problem solved) so I can ‘give it a go’ and then see if I want to pay for something a bit better in the future? Bit like trying out stacks…see if they work in a project. But hey think only Stacks4stacks do that??

Pretty much everything you can buy new under £300 is going to be a dog. It’ll often use incompatible parts, be heavy, uncomfortable, have poor quality gears and brakes and generally be not very nice to ride.

We used to get people in all the time saying “I don’t want to spend much, in case I don’t enjoy it”. We always replied if you don’t spend much what you buy won’t be enjoyable to ride.

If you want to give yourself a proper go at cycling you need a machine that is at the very least reliable and comfy. And that means you will need to spend north of £300. Min I’d say is £400, but really £500 nowadays.

Better to go 2nd hand.

Wait a few months and you will have have your pick of hundreds of bikes that have been ridden about five miles.

Guy down the road from me bought himself a lovely bike last month, passed me going up a hill while out walking the dogs. Met his at the top. He was genuinely shocked how hard it was. He’s not used it since. That bike did the total of 500 metres. It’ll be sold in Sept, no doubt for about a third of what he paid.

Hi Steve
Exactly my thoughts, although 2nd hand market is impossible also if you have no idea what you want…so I now have a ‘free’ secondhand bike (it may not be very good BUT it will give me an idea and then I can decide if I want/am able to cycle more (sorry 68 yr old full time carer here!!). If so my thoughts are the same as yours and I could potentially find a good deal in about 6 months ++

It’ll be sooner than that.

I’d say at least 50% of the bikes sold in the last two months will be already sitting unused. Most live to their max now, so with so many at 80% salary it won’t be long til they look to get something back on that unused bike they bought on a whim.

And of course, credit card bills will start to arrive soon.

I wish that was the case with my bike! I had to pay for it more than for a used car… (Specialized “Stump Jumper”, US$ 1,800). But it is all that I could wish for in terms of features, comfort and quality. I’m in my 70s, so at my age, comfort is becoming more important than ever.

You mean—literally—how to change them, or rather when/why?

Hi I have the concept of gears (not THAT old), but now they are on the left and the right - last time I rode a bike only had a few gears. Sure I will work it out!! So more a bit of ‘when’ and ‘which ones’ I suppose!!

Commuters will think about other ways to get to the work (if not doing homework) than public transportation. Like car or this bike.

I think the significant difference now is that things have changed in that public transport will now be seen as not being the solution by a growing number of non cyclists. That will draw in more cyclists and the public attitude to cycling will shift. In the UK there is still so much more to be done to encourage more people to commute by bike, but at least it is moving in the right direction.


I did shop around for a 2nd hand bike but Indonesians have a strange mentality for selling used gear. They want almost the asking price of the original even though it’s battered or a few years old- case in point. Macbook Air 2015 second hand here IDR 14,500,000 (about USD $1,000). New 2019 Macbook Air IDR 17,000,000. Same goes for cars where there is a healthy second hand market, this plays to my advantage though as I can sell my car every 2 years and upgrade to a new car for a very small amount of money.

Anyway, my new bike is probably a cheapie but the choice here is limited to almost nothing but it gets me out and moving. Struggling with these big handlebars though, I’m too used to BMXs although that was a few decades ago.

Fire up some photos of the gears you have (gears at the back, in the middle and the shifters on the bars) and I’ll walk you thru using them.

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Hi Steve, will PM you later thanks!!

They’ve obviously taken the stack developer business model on board then :)

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