No supply: bike shortage forces Tahoe stores to focus on rentals

Mountain bikers take a break on the Tahoe Mountain Trail. Provided
Phil schwartz

The country suffers from an ATV shortage, and Lake Tahoe’s bicycle shops are no exception.

After placing orders for large quantities of bikes during the presale last October, many stores are already sold out or have a limited supply.

Tahoe Bike Company director Ed Weber has ordered bikes as early as the 2020 preseason, but is still waiting for his bikes to arrive.

A horseman negotiates a slab of granite. Provided
Phil schwartz

“When it comes to new bike sales, I’m very limited right now,” he said. “We made a pre-season order at one point there, but it really doesn’t matter. We buy an occasional bike. We never know when it will appear or what model it will be. Two or three of them show up and a few weeks later maybe another will show up. And that’s how it’s been since COVID. “

South Shore Bikes has the same problem and can no longer order bikes from their suppliers such as Pivot Cycles, Norco Bikes, and Giant Bicycles. With all of their undelivered bikes already sold, the store has gone for hire and has to wait until the bikes maybe arrive.

Pedal the Mule Deer Connector trail into the Angora Fire burn scar. Bill rozak
Tahoe Daily Tribune

“This year we’ve done business in a totally different way than in previous years,” said South Shore Bikes manager Kyle Hernandez.

So the question is, what is it that takes so long to get the bikes?

“The supply chain has not been up to the task of trying to catch up after all the extra sales last year,” said Olympic Bike Shop co-owner John Percy. “I think we all thought we could see an improvement, but the reality is there is less inventory than ever. At the moment we have an ATV on the ground for sale.

The Tahoe City-based bike store has sold almost every bike they’ve ever ordered and is waiting for them to show up to manufacturers. Their biggest problem is not being able to determine when the bikes will arrive.

“The way it’s worked so far, and I think there might be exceptions, almost every store has a good number of bikes on order with the different brands they deal with,” Percy said. “These companies say, ‘We’re going to send you bikes,’ and in some cases they try to give you deadlines, and in some cases they really don’t try to give you a deadline because they don’t. not. know. But they’re struggling to get all the parts needed to put these bikes together and get them here, and we’re going to see a slow trickle.

“A lot of bikes will be sold before we get here, because we know they’re coming, or we have a waiting list for the bikes we hope to come, so we can call people when they actually arrive,” he added.

In the meantime, Olympic Bike Shop is evolving its business model towards rental. This is an option that has always been available, but is now the golden mean until more bikes can be made.

“This year we are not going to sell as much [bikes], but we’re going to be able to rent a lot more, and with the number of people vaccinated and the CDC’s guidelines on outdoor activities, I think a lot of our restrictions that we had in place last year regarding our regular bike rentals don’t need to be there this year. “

At Incline Village, Vista Trail Bikes only offers rentals for those who wish to cycle along the Tahoe East Shore Trail, from Incline Village to Sand Harbor. The rental shop offers both electric bikes, traditional pedal bikes and a small selection of children’s bikes and trailers for families.

“Things are going well,” owner Ted Schlater said. “We’re busier than last year, that’s for sure. We expect a lot of people, who have been locked up for a while, to really want to go out and do things. We do a lot of advanced bookings. People book until September actually. But there are also a lot of bookings for May and June. “

An ATV cyclist negotiates a Lake Tahoe trail. Getty Images

About Jermaine Chase

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