Bike boom during COVID-19 causes stock shortages in Hawkesbury bicycle shops

IF you rushed out to buy a bicycle during the COVID-19 lockdown, you weren't the only one.

Local stores are struggling to keep up with demand, with one shop owner claiming he'd never seen such a spike in sales - not even Christmas could compare.

Upcycling: Windsor Cycles business partner Greg Williams said bicycle repairs were in demand more than ever before. Picture: Geoff Jones

Upcycling: Windsor Cycles business partner Greg Williams said bicycle repairs were in demand more than ever before. Picture: Geoff Jones

Windsor Cycles business partner Greg Williams said over April and May, sales hit figures "we'll probably never see again".

His shop sold 350 bicycles in six weeks, which was "better than any Christmas rush".

"No one expected it to happen, and every retailer and wholesaler was hit," Mr Williams said.

Supply lines from around the world were affected.

"When the virus hit China, all the factories shut down. Now they're way behind in their production schedule," said Mr Williams.

BMX and kids bikes are still in stock, and suppliers are working hard to fill the shop up again with more varieties for adults.

Repairs are also on the rise. "We're getting more repairs than ever. We used to do same day repairs and now there's a two-to-three day turnaround," Mr Williams said.

Over in Richmond, Bicycle Centre Hawkesbury is having similar problems.

Business manager Daniel Kapetanovic said sales peaked just before Anzac Day, when bikes were "the real hot commodity".

Hot commodity: Daniel Kapetanovic, owner of Bicycle Centre Hawkesbury, said bicycle sales peaked just before Anzac Day. Picture: Geoff Jones

Hot commodity: Daniel Kapetanovic, owner of Bicycle Centre Hawkesbury, said bicycle sales peaked just before Anzac Day. Picture: Geoff Jones

"Even now the strength in sales is still well beyond normal," Mr Kapetanovic said.

He said the bike boom was largely due to compromised public transport during the coronavirus.

"Coupled with stock constraints through both factory closures and once reopened factories are running at reduced capacity, it's like a perfect storm really," he said.

Mr Kapetanovic anticipated stock shortages would be around until next year.

"We're at about 50 per cent of the stock that we would normally have," he said.

"The most common bikes we've been selling are mountain bikes in the sub-$1,500 mark, and electric bikes have been strong as well."

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