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Bicycle boom during pandemic brings a backlog for bike shops

Some are waiting a year for bikes from Ind. shop
Posted at 6:48 PM, Jan 01, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS — The year 2020 was tough for many industries, but bicycle businesses are so busy that they're backlogged.

In Broad Ripple, Indiana, Jimmy Revard, owner of The Bike Line, said it was a year of firsts after 41 years of businesses.

“When the pandemic first presented itself, we were scared as anybody,” Revard said.

So, they prepared for the worst and found the best results.

"Craziness!" he said. "It's been the busiest year we've ever had by far."

He said they have been so busy that the store sold out of bikes.

“It started as COVID came on in the spring,” Revard said. And people have been buying bikes non-stop ever since.

“So they are trying to get outside, get exercise, get out of the house and cycling is a very safe way to do that,” Revard said.

Most of the bikes Revard and his team receive in the store are sold before they arrive.

“We’ve never had to back-order bikes before and now we have well over 1,000 bikes on back-order all of the time,” Revard said.

The bike store owner said customers are waiting up to one year for their bicycles.

Customers like Sherry Owensby, who ordered six bikes back in June, are still waiting for three more of those belted Christmas gifts.

“I was really shocked," Owensby said. "I really thought, you know, maybe it would be end of summer, you know, maybe couple months. But when he said Nov. 1, I was really shocked and then when we got to November, we called, they didn’t have any of them and we were like, ‘Oh, no.'"

“(It's) really hard to tell people that,” Revard said.

Revard attributed the delay to the pandemic.

“It’s the parts, manufacturers, it’s distribution, shipping, many many layers,” he said.

Now customers like Owensby are working on patience, not peddling, at least for a little while longer.

“They’re frustrated too, obviously want to get everything in right away for the clients, but it’s been really good," Owensby said. "They worked really well with us, and just kind like I said, waiting like we are."

This article was written by Megan Shinn for WRTV.