The only retiring Swicked Cycles owner James Durand expects he'll do is retiring customers' bikes. Photo submitted

The state of the bike industry, it’s not all doom and gloom – Part 1

By James Durand

If you’ve been following the press throughout COVID, then you’ve heard, on many occasions, how the bike industry has changed.

High demand, low supply, shortages of raw materials, no shipping containers available, the Suez Canal blockage … it seems to go on forever with the doom and gloom explaining why you will most likely never be able to buy a new bike again.

Well, take it from someone who is living it, the doom and gloom is NOT all realistic.

Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely high demand as the world discovers how amazing cycling can be during a time when so many activities have been limited. Getting out in the forest on a bike, breathing in endless fresh air, and maintaining a bit of sanity is pretty rewarding, and a huge stress relief.

And yes, with such high demand none of us in the retail bike world has as many options for bikes as we want, but in the last two years, we’ve seen more bikes on our floor than ever before.

There have been some issues – less variety, and the decisions of consumers have to be made a little quicker – but we have had plenty of bikes throughout COVID.

I hear from customers regularly that they have given up on hunting for a bike, because they assume there are none available, only to walk into Swicked and be shocked at how many bikes they see.

Some shops are looking bare, some are flush with product.

It may be luck, it may be the brands each shop represents, or it may be the approach of certain shops on their buying plans, I’m really not sure, but I know for certain, that there are some bike shops with great inventory and a large variety of bikes in their stores.

I counted our bikes at Swicked last week and we have well over 70 bikes on hand including mountain, road, and E-Bikes. Not bad for November.

I know for a fact that a few friends with shops down Island also have good inventory.

So, don’t assume that because one shop is lacking in bikes that the whole industry is faltering. Check around and see what’s out there, you may be pleasantly surprised and find your dream bike.

I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’…

Campbell RiverCycling