SUMMIT COUNTY, Colorado (CBS4) – The demand for outdoor equipment continues to grow, even if life experiences fewer restrictions, but the production of popular items? It didn’t quite catch up.
“I could sell a bike every day if we had inventory, if not more than one a day. But yes, people are looking for bikes to call, they go to different stores and unfortunately there is not much available at the moment, ”said Bob Hufnagel, long-time manager at Rebel Sports in Frisco.
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Hufnagel is still preparing for a busy summer. Rebel Sports will continue to rent mountain bikes, path bikes and racing bikes for the summer. Rebel Sports also does repairs and the list of bikes that need a little TLC this year? It seems to be endless. Great for business when Hufnagel can get the parts.
“The parts supply will be a big problem for repair work this summer. I know 12-speed chains will sell out by fall unless someone buys them online. Some people are going to buy them, double the price, and resell them online so this really will be their only option right now, ”he said.
The shop tried to prepare by ordering parts months in advance.
“Just to try to remove any bottlenecks,” he said.
New bicycles are practically impossible to get. Usually the store sells its fat bike rental fleet in the winter, but it is decided to stick with the bikes this year.
“We have to wait until we get assurances from our suppliers that we can get more bikes.”
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This also applies to others in the industry. Fly shops say rods are in short supply, as is fly tying material.
The demand for technical outdoor clothing is also increasing.
“Many brands responded by canceling many products in production, which resulted in factories laying off many employees. So there was a void in the supply chain. You have factories with no employees, you have mills that don’t make fabric, so that’s what created this backlog, ”said Jon Frederick, the US manager for Rab and Lowe Alpine.
Fredrick said some companies have decided to move to a more eclectic “soft technical” style that is suitable for working from home. Others, like Rab, continued to produce the products it always offered.
“What we are seeing now is this massive demand from retailers who are saying, ‘Look, our tech space is overwhelmed by consumer demand, but our suppliers’ products, our brand, are not meeting that demand because there are so many brands still got that kind of soft technical, ”said Frederick.
As the technical clothing and hardware backlog begins to revive, meeting demand will be a challenge for highland retailers this summer. Especially when it comes to the most popular items like bicycles.
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“Unfortunately, the best option now is to pre-order a bike for the next season. So order a bike for fall when the 2022 bikes become available, ”said Hufnagel.