(Photo via Wheels in Motion Facebook)
If you’re looking for repairs on your bicycle, you’d better do it sooner than later.
That’s according to Jennifer West, owner of Wheel in Motion in Kemptville, a bike repair and maintenance shop, who is cautioning residents about a worldwide shortage of bike parts.
West says it’s a serious problem because not only are shops already low on supplies, but once they run out, it’s doubtful they’ll get more this year.
“I go to my suppliers and they are completely gutted,” she said. “I go to certain pages and I don’t see anything coming in until 2022. So, we’re starting off with a shortage, we may not get our full complement of what we’re asking for, which means then over time, shops are going to run out.”
West is still waiting on around 30-40 percent of the items she ordered last year.
She says shops have been asked to place their annual order by March 31st, in order to secure stock for next year, which is typically done in the fall.
This means a shop like Wheels in Motion has to place a minimum order on par with the large bike shops in cities like Ottawa and Toronto, to secure parts next year.
West points out that Gears Bike Shop in Toronto had to close a few weeks ago so it could consolidate its supplies and staff with other locations.
Fortunately for West, because she runs her business from home, she has no concerns about having to close shop.
“I don’t have the overhead of rent, thank goodness for that,” she said. “Otherwise I would probably end up being shut down too. So, I suspect over time, more shops will probably close because if you don’t have the parts, you can’t repair the bike – how can you keep the business going and how will you pay the rent?”
West has been telling residents they need to book appointments with their favorite bike shops as soon as possible, before parts run out.
She expects the next few years to be very tough on the industry.