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Are you planning to buy a new bike? Expect to wait at least a few months or even longer to pedal your favorite path or street.

Due to increased demand caused by the year-round pandemic, a shortage of parts and a production slowdown, some bikes have been out of stock for more than a year. It’s a global shortage, and it’s affecting Tern of the Wheel, the local bike store at 404 W. Broadway in Bradley.

“There are bikes that we have had out of stock for a while like in August [2020], and some of those bikes weren’t even going to see this year, ”said Marty Linneman, 37, director of Tern of the Wheel. “… It’s up to two years of waiting on a lot of bikes. “

Tern of the Wheel exclusively sells Trek and Electra bike models, and Linneman checks his order status online with the Wisconsin Bicycle Warehouse daily. The outbreak began shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in March 2020.

“When the lockdown hit, it created a really big bike boom,” Linneman said. “But I think at that time also the factories were at a lower capacity or some closed.”

He said orders for bikes were running out of stock soon and there was a lot of competition for bikes from retailers.

“Whoever claims them first or orders them first, they’re in line to get it,” Linneman said. “If for some reason I decided I didn’t want to [a certain bicycle] … it goes to whoever is next in line.

Bicycling Magazine reported in November 2020 that bicycle sales were up 120% from the previous year, citing a Washington Post article. People were looking for new ways to exercise with closed gyms and other means of transportation. Interest has not gone down, and neither has the backlog.

“I was hoping as the vaccinations and everything hit the production would increase, but I think at this point it’s kind of a hole so deep it’s going to take a while to dig. “said Linneman.

To complicate matters, Linneman added, the two major parts suppliers SRAM and Chimano have encountered a shortage of materials.

“They can only produce a limited amount,” he said. “Trek and Electra are just two of the hundreds if not thousands of bicycle companies in the world who want all of these parts as well, so they can only distribute them to a certain extent and be available. They may even have thousands of frames built but no parts to put in them and are waiting for some parts. “

Before the pandemic, Linneman said he could order 15 bikes at a time once a week or every two weeks. With an order of 15 bikes, he can get free freight. Now he’s barely able to order one bike at a time, and it costs $ 25 shipping for each bike, increasing the cost.

“There is a couple who bought a pair of bikes,” he says. “I ordered them in August. Their original ETA when I sent out the order they thought it would be in March. And then I checked again, and it got pushed back to April. Now hers is pushed back to August or beyond and her husband won’t even have his until 2022. “

If Linneman ordered the popular Trek Dual Sport 3 today, it wouldn’t arrive until May 1, 2023.

“If you have a bike that you ride, hang on to it,” he said. “They are hard to find and we have seen people traveling from a great distance. Some that come to mind, there was someone from Detroit, someone from Columbus, Ohio, one from Madison, Wisconsin where they will find online that you had this bike, pay for it with a card. credit and say, “I’m going to be there to get it when I can.

{p dir = “ltr”} The parts shortage also affected his repair business, but they were able to bypass some of the shortages. Last year there were no inner tubes for big bikes.

“There were a few months where we were just fixing a lot of tubes because that’s all we could do,” he said. “Typically, most bike shops don’t repair the tubes. It’s something you do more in an emergency. You walk into a bike shop and they’re going to sell you a new inner tube, but we found ourselves fixing a ton of them because that’s all we could do.

{p dir = ”ltr”} Tern of the Wheel bicycle sales represent approximately 45 to 55% of the store’s activity.

{p dir = “ltr”} “We are losing so much in sales and the accessories that come with it,” said Steve Linneman, the father of Marty, who bought the bike shop in 1986.

{p dir = “ltr”} Steve, 69, is the owner and still works in the store until he retires next year, then Marty will become the owner. The workshop has four full-time employees who take care of the repair activity.

{p dir = “ltr”} In 2019, Marty Linneman said that if a customer wanted a bike in stock at the warehouse, it could be delivered the next day. The pandemic has changed all that.

{p dir = “ltr”} “If we had had the same availability of bikes in 2020 as in 2019, we probably would have sold at least twice as many bikes last year,” he said. “It’s probably a low bullet count.”

{p dir = “ltr”} Tern of the Wheel is Kankakee County’s only bicycle store, and the others are over 40 km away in Frankfort, New Lenox, Watseka, Homewood, Joliet and Cedar Lake, Ind.

“It puts the whole load on us, which is good,” said Marty Linneman. “We love business and everything, but nobody likes to be totally overwhelmed either, so it was pretty stressful last year when you had to tell people the turnaround was taking so long, but it’s not like we were all sitting there strolling. “

Other retailers in the region that sell bikes – Dick’s Sporting Goods and Target, for example – also have limited supply. Dick’s only had a few adult bikes and was expecting a dozen more to be delivered. A sales associate said his inventory “took a hit” during the pandemic. There are a lot of bikes for small children. Target, in Bradley’s Water Tower Plaza shopping center, had two hybrid bikes, an ATV, and a handful of youth bikes.

Tern of the Wheel has a limited stock of bikes, including a large Electra electric bike. The good news is that some bikes ordered today could ship by the end of the year or in about three months, depending on the model. These would mainly be children’s bikes and the like, Lineman said.

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