Grand Forks Bike Store Reports High Sales, Some Models Sold Out
As residents of the area seek to get out during the pandemic, sales of bikes have increased to the point where they are becoming hard to find, and what is left in stock is high end.
In recent weeks, The Ski and Bike Shop on South Washington Street has sold over 300 bikes in the $ 500- $ 800 price range, depleting the store’s stock of mid-range bikes. These bikes are being made overseas, and the coronavirus pandemic has slowed shipments, making it harder to restock the store. Customers have switched to high-end bikes and are having older bikes restored.
“It just happened overnight,” said Terry Knudson, one of the store’s three co-owners. “With everything going on, I think a lot of people wanted to go out and enjoy the outdoors. “
Knudson said he’s seen sales like this before, but that was about 15 years ago. Before the pandemic, the company was able to receive deliveries of new bikes about once a week. The last one arrived about a month ago, which means customers who have pre-purchased have to wait. The store expects its next delivery in the course of next week.
Two months ago, a customer could have bought a bike for $ 550. These models sold out quickly, followed by the $ 700 and $ 900 models, meaning people who want to spend time outdoors on the bike trails should start their search for the high end.
“I wish we could get more bikes faster, but nobody can,” Knudson said.
The low supply of mid-range bikes has made customers much more aware of what type of bike they should buy, according to Pat White, another co-owner of the store. Some customers make three to four visits to the store before getting into high-end bikes, which can range from $ 1,000 to $ 6,000.
White said the higher prices can be a hard pill for some customers to swallow, but ultimately it has helped them make more appropriate choices about which bike is best suited to their lifestyle. While they may seem similar, using a mountain bike as an ATV in places like Turtle River State Park or Pembina Gorge can lead to damage, and customers are now more aware of the differences.
“The economy has forced them to make the right choice for themselves,” White said, adding that putting people on the right bike helps customers appreciate them more.
It’s not just sales that keep the store busy, it’s repairs. People are rummaging through their garages looking for old or damaged bikes that they can get restored. Small repairs can be done on-site, but the store is considering a two-week lead time to refurbish an old bike.
“It’s been crazy,” said Dave Sears, bicycle mechanic at The Ski and Bike Shop. “It’s always our busy time, but everyone is pulling their bikes out of the shed. “
Sears is a cyclist, as are the owners and staff of the store. He said going out for a walk helps him focus on things outside of the pandemic.
“It lets you take your mind off everything that’s going on in the world,” he said.