Webb City bike shop copes with bicycle shortage

Bike Shop Employee Repairs Bike

“To have a child walk in and not be able to get a bicycle, it’s sad,” said Webb City bike shop owner, Debra Johnson.

You might not think it while looking inside Bicycle Specialists, a Webb City bike shop, but our nation is currently experiencing a bike shortage.

“This year, there is not anything to order. None of the bicycle companies have anything available,” said Johnson.

And like so many other problems right now, this shortage is caused by COVID-19.

As more and more people look to get outside while still observing social distancing, bicycling has exploded in popularity around the world. And while Bicycle Specialists does have a handful of higher end bikes still available, most of the bikes customers are looking for just aren’t there.

“I’ve just gotten down to where I know what to tell them. It’s kind of like a recording: I’m sorry I’m not able to help you. It makes me very sad that people want bikes and I’m not able to get them,” said Johnson.

But there is a silver lining for bike shops that also do repairs, and that includes this one. A lot more bicyclists are fixing up their old bikes since new ones are hard to come by.

“Since I didn’t do too good getting the bicycles in, I decided to spend some money with some repair parts. We bought tires and tubes and chains, things that need to be replaced on bikes,” said Johnson.

Bicycle Specialists prides itself on fixing bikes in one to two days, but they’re now getting so many repair requests that they’re asking customers to give them a week.

Johnson says she’s been checking for new bikes to order everyday online, and is confident the situation will improve. She said on Friday she learned that a new batch of bikes might be available to her come July.