Spring fever is arriving at bike stores that are already expecting to run out of stock during the summer due to low stock levels.
“It’s a raging frenzy. We have had the fallout from the past year.” Etienne Roy Corbel, owner of Dumoulin Bicyclettes in Montreal, said, “The enthusiasm for cycling has caused an increase in demands from manufacturers, and the big challenge we face now is the supply. “Unfortunately, we will not be able to take advantage of the windfall profits, in the sense that we are so restricted in our access that we do not provide for everyone who wants to ride a bike,” he adds.
Usually, at this time of year, Frenette Bicyclettes, in Portneuf, already received 90% of their stock, but the pandemic requires, they must deal with a smaller display room.
“We sell the bikes we expect. It’s enough that I don’t take any more deposits. I just take people’s names to avoid making payments because they’re too long. Anyway, we’ll all sell our bikes. I’ve been in this business for 36 years and have never seen it in my life,” Silvan Dion, owner of Frenette Bicyclettes, confirms.
“Last year we had stock. We sold our bikes very quickly and ran out of them in the middle of the season. I haven’t had all of my 2021 bikes yet and I am already booking them for 2022.”
According to Mr. Dion, this situation, which affects all categories of bikes, also has an effect on prices.
“All prices have gone up. A kids’ bike costs between $ 20 and $ 25 extra. There are high-quality bikes that will cost between $ 400 and $ 500 more,” explains Dion.
Latecomers noted, “After June, it will be very difficult to find a bike,” he warns.
Everywhere in Quebec
Montreal, Rimousky, Chicotime buyers call. People call from everywhere to find bikes, “says Mr. Dion.
At Bosk Vélo Café, in Quebec, Lucas Parent, co-owner, has also noted the growing number of followers since the start of the pandemic.
“The season of sales has come a long way. We are in March and are currently experiencing the peak of the rush.”
Buyers, who found themselves in the water last year because they waited so long, won’t get the job done twice. Depending on the type of bike desired, delivery times can vary from March to July, according to Mr. Parent.
“It could last even into the fall in some models,” he adds. Despite these special circumstances, Mr. Barnett believes clients know how to demonstrate their understanding.
More Quebecers On two wheels
- 32% of Quebec’s population Spending on purchasing and maintaining bicycles increased last year compared to the 21% of Canadians ;
- Since the start of 2021, sales at bike stores have increased by an amount 87% nationwide
Raymond Dutil, former Rocky Mountain president, Procycle, in Saint-Georges de Beauce, talks about a true ‘bike boom’.
Quebec, which exports to more than 40 countries, has sold all of its 2021 models. They will be delivered by June to its retail network.
“It is a global phenomenon affecting the entire bicycle industry at the moment. Companies like Shimano, which delivered parts in 90 days, have reached more than a year of delivery,” said Mr. Dutil.
Over the years, bike production at the Saint-Georges plant has been relocated to Asia for reasons of competitiveness. However, the heart of activities remained in Quebec since BOS research and development continued.
According to Mr. Dutil, sales of electric mountain bikes are booming.
“The electric mountain bike accounts for 50% of our sales in Europe. In North America, it’s about 5%, but it’s on the rise. It was zero three years ago.”
The trend is here to stay
On the side of Vélo Québec, Jean-Francois Reault notes that cycling was already on the increase before the pandemic, but that COVID-19 has accelerated the trend.
“People want to be outside and be active.” The bike is an ideal tool for both commuting and leisure, he says.
“It’s a good way to replace activities that were canceled during the pandemic. Cycling is easier. Cycling is easier. It’s easy to cycling.” It requires less supervision, “adds Mr. Reault, calling for his flock.
“This trend has been observed in Quebec, but also in the rest of Canada, the United States and Europe, where cycling is increasing in the context of the pandemic,” he said.
The good news, Rhault says, is that many new fans are at risk of remaining active in the sport after the pandemic.
“It is important for the Quebec government and municipalities to support this trend by improving facilities and developing programs to support this practice,” he adds.
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