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Decorah bike shops see a surge in bike sales as the impact of COVID-19 is felt

Posted: Mon, Sep 14, 2020 2:37 PM

It comes as no surprise that bicycle sales in Decorah are skyrocketing just like they are in larger cities. With miles and miles of both paved and off-road trails, Decorah has become a biking destination for cycling enthusiasts. Combine that fact with the extra time people have had at home over the past 6 months plus the government stimulus check many received because of COVID-19, and you have a recipe for a monumental increase in bike sales.

Decorah Bicycles manager Josie Smith says,"We've definitely noticed a surge in the cycling scene here in Decorah. Folks are definitely looking for ways to get out and enjoy the outdoors."

Oneota River Cycles owner Deke Gosen explains that most bike manufacturers are located in Asia, so COVID-19 has had a direct impact on production. "Between the anticipated impact of the coronavirus and the tariffs placed on China last fall, bike manufacturers decreased their production significantly. They expected people would pull back as a result of the pandemic, so they planned accordingly," explains Gosen. "But when people didn't pull back, and instead spent more time outdoors enjoying activities like biking, everything became bottlenecked, and and as a result, backordered."

It's not just new bikes that are selling though, it's bike parts too. "When it started to become more of an issue to get new bikes in," explains Smith, "we saw an influx of folks bringing their bikes in for service work. Ultimately, if a new bike couldn't be purchased, folks made do with what they had stored away for years. Ironically, this also led to not only a bike shortage, but a parts shortage, too. Tires and tubes, for example, in certain sizes were hard to come by because of this."

Smith says electric, pedal-assist bikes have become extremely popular this year. "We sold double the amount of e-bikes this year than in years prior. Because of the bike shortage and the unknown of when product would become available, some folks made the decision to purchase their first e-bike. We feel that most folks who went this route were already thinking about investing in an e-bike in the future, and the shortage of what we call 'acoustic bikes' (bikes without battery or motor) contributed to the investment happening sooner," explains Smith.
When it comes to getting your hands on a new bike, both Smith and Gosen agree -- it looks like it's going to be a long wait. "It could be a long time before things stabilize," shares Smith.

To get the latest on store hours, updates, and inventory in stock, visit:
Oneota River Cycles -
Decorah Bicycles -