LE MARS (KTIV) -- They're a common sight on the trails and roads during the summer. But a shortage of both road and mountain bikes could throw a wrench into some of your cycling plans.
"Normally we generally run an inventory of about 60 to 70 bikes on hand," said Kevin Richards, owner of Bike Central. "Right now we are at about 11."
Bicycle showrooms across Siouxland have had fewer and fewer bikes over the past year and Bike Central in Le Mars, is no exception. Toward the end of last season, it started to become difficult to order bikes.
"Usually no matter when we order, they have something in stock and we can get it within four to five days," said Richards. "Then we were noticing it was weeks, and then months. Now, since there was such a rise in demand, most of the manufactures sold out, as did we as retailers."
Richards calls it a "perfect storm." That high demand, as more people got out during the pandemic, but a low supply.
"So what we are experiencing right now is, I think there are some frames available, but nothing to really put a whole bike together," said Richards. "You might be able to find a frame, maybe a couple of wheels, but as far as your drive train, your pedals, your cranks, your shifting systems, those things are very short supply. So when you add that all together, a complete bike is pretty hard to find."
One event that could feel this impact: RAGBRAI. Thousands of cyclists roll down the road on bikes that are in short supply.
"It will certainly affect, I think, some people's participation," said Richards. "But again if they have a bike, we can service it, and make it a good quality ride for them."
Richards said while the low inventory is a little disconcerting, they're just taking it a day at a time.
"The unfortunate part is we don't know when they are coming, although we have them on order and as soon as they are available, we'll get some," said Richards.
Richards said to continue to be open-minded and patient when searching for a new bike. He said you might have to make some sacrifices when it comes to price or color. But he expects to see full showrooms across every dealer by next spring. This year, RAGRAI will start in Le Mars.