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Shopping for bikes for under the tree is going to be different this year

It’s hard to believe that I am already talking about the holiday season, but Thanksgiving is just 2 weeks away, and that means that kids young and old are going to be asking for a bike. Maybe Santa knows something I don’t, but I don’t think he’s going to have much luck. As you may or may not know, bicycles have been scarce since about April. The perfect storm of elevated sales and lower production numbers, both a direct result of Covid-19 have made bikes all but impossible to find. Yes, you may get lucky if you go stand at your local big box, but chances are that even they don’t have any bikes in stock, and won’t be getting many in before Santa’s big day. if you’re thinking “Well I can just go to a bike store a spend a few more dollars, but at least I’ll get a bike that way”, you better be prepared to shell out around $3k. That seems to be the running threshold of the level of bikes that the bike shop can get their hands-on, and that number goes up if you wouldn’t ride an Extra Small or an Extra Large. Shocking, I know!

So what can you do about it? Well, maybe not much. Then again, maybe get a much better bike for the same budget. Christmas 2020 will be the year that used bikes will get a new home and be the shining star under that tree you put up way too early this year “in an effort to bring a little joy” Some of you are scoffing at the idea right now that anyone would be willing to get their kids, spouse, grandma, dog, etc. a USED bike for a holiday gift, but hear me out here. Yes, they’re going to be a little scratched, maybe a bit dirty, maybe chain won’t sparkle, etc, but do you really need or even want that anyway? I kid is really not going to care, and is going to just leave it outside to rust in the rain or get run over by your family truckster because you’re not going to see it in the driveway. Getting a used bike can bring many great things to the table too. Let’s list some (lists are super duper fun, right?).

  1. Used Bikes Are Cheaper – Yes you can still find used bikes that get up close to the $10k range, and no those people aren’t crazy for asking those prices (tho paying those prices is a bit coo coo if you ask me). Let’s say you were hoping to spend about $200 on a bike this Christmas. Well in the past that meant that you were going to a big box store and getting a shelf bike. This year you can take that same $200 and get a bike that has some miles on it and start to look at decent brands. That’s a big step in the right direction. You could also expect to spend about 1/2 – 3/4 of the original price if you wanted to stick with a big box brand so you could still do that and spend less.
  2. Used Bikes are already fixed – Yes it’s still a used bike, and yes the chain and sprockets are likely worn way past their limit, but any big issues with the bike have likely been addressed. Also most of the time someone brings a bike in to get a once over and tuned so they can sell it for the max money. That means if you’re shopping correctly you’ll actually be buying a bike that’s in great shape.
  3. Sell for close to what you bought it for – Assuming that you’ve taken care of that used bike, the resale is going to be close to what you paid for it. This is especially true with kids’ bikes. They grow out of them so fast that it is likely not going to sit in your garage for 10+ years collecting dust. I have seen many people pay $500 to get a ~10-year-old road bike. That same bike would have cost about $2-3k in its hay day, and then you can sell it in the next few years when you’re ready for that same $500.

So this holiday season when you’re looking for bikes on the marketplace apps, feel confident that a used bike, while maybe your only option this year, is truly a great option for so many people. If you don’t feel 100% comfortable with the purchase, or just want someone to look it over, feel free to give me a shout and take advantage of our $25 safety check.

Happy riding.

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