Bike sales boom as people look for new ways to get out, commute and exercise during the pandemic

Chicago News

CHICAGO — Bike stores across the city and the country are seeing a big boom in sales as stir-crazy people pay up to get out.

“We’re replenishing the floor as often as we can, we’re also selling off the floor as soon as they come in,” said Adam B. Kelley, Village Cycle Center.

Kelley said once the stay-at-home order came through, the phones started ringing.

“At first it was kids’ bikes, then we saw a surge in every type of bike: hybrid bikes, electric road bikes, literally everything,” Kelley said. 

In the U.S., bicycle sales over the past two months saw the biggest spike since the oil crisis of the 1970s. Sales of adult leisure bikes tripled in April, while overall sales doubled from 2019, according to market analysts.

“I was walking from the Loop and I decided, I passed the store and have been in the market for a while with the quarantine no better time to get one,” customer Tim Hahn said.

The craze has led to shortages in many big retail stores and smaller bike shops, but Village Cycle Center in Old Town is keeping up with the demand so far.

“Production has been shut down in Asia for many months where all these bikes are built, so as soon as Trek gets them in Wisconsin they give them to us. We have shipments coming in every single week as soon as they’re available,” Kelley said.

With many gyms still closed and commuters fearful of public transit, the cycling industry could continue to flourish for now.

“I’m definitely noticing a lot more people outside. That’s why I got it once the bike path opens June 22nd I’m really looking forward to that,” Hahn said.

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