The rolling hills of Syracuse have been home to cyclists for years. However, a renewed interest in cycling is plaguing local Syracuse bike shops. The shops have seen their inventory decimated and the demand for bikes far outweighs their supply.
The nationwide bike shortage comes on the heels of the pandemic restricting access to gyms, traveling, and other outdoor activities.
Paul Komanecky, owner of Syracuse Bicycle, sees the surge of bike riders as a good thing but overwhelming because now manufacturers have to catch up.
“We have 4,300 bikes on back order from our main manufacturer Trek,” Komanecky said. “And we probably have about 6,000 bikes on back order all together.”
Typically, Syracuse Bicycle has 600 to 800 bicycles in stock, but that number has now dwindled to 200 bicycles.
“The demand so far outweighs the supply,” Komanecky said.
People are traveling to Syracuse Bicycle from Michigan, Rhode Island, Philadelphia, and New Jersey on a daily basis.
“So anything we get, we’re selling,” Komanecky said.
Steve Morris is the owner of Mello Velo Bike Shop & Cafe.
“I probably can’t order any single bike right now from any of our wholesalers,” Morris said. “Entry level bikes get your foot in the door mountain bikes or hybrid bikes are nonexistent.”
With little to sell, Mello Velo is focusing on repairs and bike parts. The bike shop did not display a wide array of bicycles but a symphony of air pumps and squealing bike chains.
“It’s hard to be picky this year when it comes to size and color,” Morris said. “I am turning away more people than I would want to.”
Although Mello Velo Bike Shop’s situation may be challenging, Morris admits their situation is not as bad as others.
Rick Wright, the owner of Advance Cyclery, has never seen anything this awful in his 41 years in the business.
“The supplier is telling me next year,” Wright said. “We’re backed up so bad that I have to lock up the door and not let people in.”
The shop is crowded with bikes that are not for sale but for repair. Not only is there a bike shortage, but there is also a lack of parts, which makes Wright’s job difficult. Wright is one of the two people that work at Advance Cyclery. The two man army is loaded with over 100 bicycles that need repair.
“Typically speaking, bike sales tend to slow down around Labor Day,” said Komanecky. “However, last year that was not the case. So, I foresee the sales continuing to surge.”
Mike Lyon is a member of the Board of Directors for the Onondaga Cycling Club. The club hosts weekly rides and partake in an annual charity ride. However, with the shortage affecting bike shops, such activities may be limited or put on hold.
“This year is worse than the COVID year,” Lyon said. “A friend of mine who owns The Bikery tells me he can’t get parts. A bike has been there for nine months because parts are hard to come by.”
Although the emergence of new bike riders has led to a nationwide bike shortage, a lack in manufacturing of bikes and its parts have prolonged the shortage into post-pandemic days.
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