A global shortage of bicycles might see Australians miss out on their two-wheeled Christmas wishes.
The bike boom that began during coronavirus restrictions earlier this year is continuing and those with a bicycle on their list of gifts to buy are being urged to reserve their purchase now or wait until at least 2021.
Manufacturers around the world have the pedal to the metal to fulfil orders, but there is a large backlog to fill and only weeks until Santa slides down the chimney.
Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards said people should visit their local bike shop as soon as possible.
“If you see a new bike at the top of a Christmas wish list, the time to head to the bike shop is now, otherwise you may miss out,” said Mr Richards.
“People are used to putting in the early order for the turkey or seafood, but this year you should add a bike to the list of November jobs.”
Melbourne bike shop VeloCycles has reported that many bikes on order are taking a long time to arrive in Australia and that stock may be exhausted soon. Walkers Wheels in Montmorency has sold out of bikes, but a shopfront sign says they are still open for servicing.
“If you can’t get a new bike for a loved one, you could give them a servicing IOU or gift card to restore their old clunker back to its original glory,” added Mr Richards.
As well as increased demand from the COVID boom, global bike manufacturing has also been affected by Donald Trump’s increased tariffs on goods made in China. Bike companies had stopped building bikes in China but are now starting to return, despite the increased cost.
Companies that have been able to continue to produce enough bikes have then been stumped by logistics issues, with shipping delays slowing down the flow of products from the factory to shop floors.
While it is expected that Santa’s elves are working hard to assist bike companies in making some new bikes, the shipping delays have also made correspondence with the North Pole difficult.
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.