With new bicycles in short supply, family-owned bike shop relying on repairs to get by

Missouri

FENTON, Mo. – Business is sparse for the sellers of spokes. It’s been hard getting their hands on some new bicycles.

“Scrounge, scavenge yeah,” says Chuck LaRico, manager at Olde Towne Fenton Cyclery. “All the repairs are busy because the new bikes are sold out. So that’s what we’re doing now is repair work pretty much.”

The bike shop is filled with bicycles, only they’re not for sale; they’re for pick up.

“I just tell them, ‘Sorry, we don’t have any bikes,” LaRico says. “It’s tough. I’d say about $10,000 worth of business we’re losing in business or around $8,000 turning away people. It’s horrible.”

The repair business is how this mom-and-pop shop and others like it are keeping things in motion even when the product can’t be found.

Repairs are how many bike stores worldwide are getting by during the pandemic.

LaRico says he sold the last of his new bicycles in May 2020. Backlogged by the supply chain disruption during the pandemic, every brand has told this family-owned store the same thing.

“The bikes went first, now parts are kind of drying up a little bit,” LaRico says. “The bikes aren’t being bought, just repairs. Tires and tubes are hard to come by, small things like that.”

In the meantime, they’ll continue their repair work and wait on the delivery of new bikes.

“Could be now or could be the fall. They keep saying a month. That was a year ago,” LaRico says. “Every month they keep saying a month and it never happens.”

So have some patience with your favorite bike shop; they’re spinning their wheels waiting, just like everyone else.

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