‘I’ve never seen inventory like this’: Spokane bike shops still dealing with shortage

SPOKANE, Wash. – This past year has been tough on many industries. When it comes to outdoor recreation, demand is actually at an all-time high.

With the weather warming up, you may be tempted to buy yourself a new bike. However, getting your hands on one may not be as easy as it seems.

“I’ve never seen inventory like this. This is definitely a strange time,” said Tim Dunn, manager at The Bike Hub.

The Bike Hub in Downtown Spokane is usually filled to the brim. Over the past few months, bikes on display have been far and few between.

“We do have some bikes trickling in here and there. As soon as they come in we build them up and people seem to buy them pretty quickly,” said Dunn.

It’s an issue bike shops are facing all across Spokane. The good news is demand is at an all-time high.

“The number of bikes that we sold last year was more than we’ve seen in past years,” said Dunn.

Meanwhile, supply is at an all-time low.

“For certain bikes, we’re looking at getting them next year,” said Dunn.

It’s a similar situation at Bicycle Butler, except you’ll notice the store looks a little more full. That’s because they’re selling used inventory in order to get by.

“We’re in the middle of about a two year backlog it seems like and I don’t suspect anything going back to normal foreseeably anyways,” said Spencer Horton, manager of Bicycle Butler.

Bike shop employees say the pandemic is to blame.

“As soon as the pandemic hit, all the bike shops and factories closed down overseas. Everybody got sent home so they weren’t making anything,” said Horton.

With summer just around the corner, both Dunn and Horton suggest taking advantage of what shops do have to offer.

“Keep what you have for now or just grab something. Start riding something,” said Horton.

“If you do find one that you want, buy it right now. Don’t wait until later,” said Dunn.