COLORADO SPRINGS — "Our goal is to get people on bikes they'll love." William Bryant is part of the Ted’s Bikes team. The oldest bike shop in Colorado Springs is marking 50 years. Only the Golden Anniversary will be remembered for more than longevity. Getting customers on the bikes they want has been challenging during the pandemic year.
In the early days of the pandemic the bike business surged with people looking for an outdoor activity. Sales spiked while the supply chain stopped. Overseas bicycle factories were part of the global shut-down aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19.
A year later factories are again operating. Only, bike demand continues to outpace production. "Getting bikes to us, but it's taking time,” said Bryant, “Everybody's still looking for bikes now. When we do get any bikes in they're already spoken for, they're already sold, we can't keep them on the shelves even if they're not spoken for."
The staff at Ted's work the internet trying to track down what customers want. The business model now includes swaps with other shops. "We're still trying to get the customers on the bike they want and doing that's taking a lot of extra steps now," said Bryant. When bike shipments arrive, they do not always come with a full range of bike sizes. Customers may also have to compromise on color choices.
A small yet growing inventory is preferred to the no bikes from previous months. “It’s been so hard for us to predict where the industry’s going,” said Bryant. It is uncertain when the days of you see it, you like it, you buy it same day will return.