2020 is an unprecedented time. I don’t have to tell anyone that. We have a pandemic, quarantines, social distancing, murder hornets, demonstrations, riots, and everyone is looking over their shoulders wondering, “What’s next?”
People have been laid off or furloughed, and I’m grateful to still be employed and passionately working in the e-bike world, working on this magazine and making e-bike videos for the EBA YouTube page.
I’ve been talking to friends with bike shops around the U.S., and they’ve all been saying that they are selling out of bikes, parts and accessories. The bike business is booming, especially electric bikes. It seems that people, when quarantining at home, have collectively decided to get back on their bikes to get out of the house for a while and still be able to practice proper social distancing. To that end, people across the country are dusting off their bikes and taking them to their local shop for a tune-up.
This, of course, has led to bike shops developing protocols for drop-off and pick-up, often disinfecting the bikes carefully before bringing them into the shop. Some are delivering the bikes back to customers. Most bike shops are letting in only one customer at a time, and this leads to even more personalized service than usual. Even during the pandemic, people are buying e-bikes. The lower-priced bikes are virtually flying off the shelves, but the higher-end stuff is still moving at record levels.
“I’ve been talking to friends with bike shops around the U.S., and they’re all saying that they are selling out of bikes, parts and accessories.”
According to Bicycle Retailer, cycling sales in the U.S. in April topped $1 billion in retail sales, where it’s normally between $550 and $575 million for that month. This year the U.S. sales of e-bikes in units will very likely surpass 400,000 units. That’s up 33 percent over last year’s 300,000 bikes. That has me fired up! There’s nothing better than seeing more people on two wheels having fun. I talked about this in a podcast interview with industry veteran Larry Pizzi (page 58), and like the rest of us, he’s also excited about seeing so many more people on bikes, whether e-bikes or traditional bikes.
With more bicycle infrastructure being built in cities across the country, especially protected bike lanes, plus reaching a critical mass of cyclists on the road, it is making it safer, better, and more fun than ever to get out
I have an article of how easy it is to calculate how long it will take you to amortize the cost of buying an e-bike by not driving your car to work and for errands. I’ll give you a hint: it’s not as long as you might think; you can actually save money by buying an e-bike.
More great news is our welcoming Nick Clair to the editorial fold of Electric Bike Action. Nick is a former motocross racer and longtime cyclist who hails from Minnesota. In addition to his outdoor proclivities, along with his brother Sam, Nick is a co-owner of Open Trails bike shop, a local e-bike-specific shop. On top of his newfound duties as an EBA test rider, Nick brings a unique insider perspective of the consumer world to the magazine which we feel will be a boon of helpful info for EBA readers.
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