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Can't find a bike? Local stores not expecting restock until October

They say bikes are the new toilet paper during this pandemic.

First, it was toilet paper; now it's bicycles that are hard to find during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We're pretty much wiped out of bikes.The racks are empty," said Phil Foreman, co-owner of Champion Cycling in Arlington. "Never in 38 years have I seen this much business."

Foreman isn't the only bicycle shop owner that's seen an increase in business during the pandemic. Over in Avondale at Open Road Bicycles, franchise owner Holt Tucker says he's running low on inventory and that includes the popular beach cruisers in high demand now.

"We may not see beach cruisers until October," Tucker said.

Foreman is hearing the same thing from his vendors about every type of bike. When could more bikes come in?  

"We're looking at late September or early October," Foreman said.

So maybe you just dig out that old bike in the garage? Well, find your patience because three local bike shops we checked with say you'll need to wait in line for repairs. The waiting list is four-to-six weeks long.

Credit: Tucker

Foreman says he has some men's bikes still in stock. And, women, if they can deal with the center bar, could choose a man's bike because he's out of women's bikes. 

Both bike shop owners say when gyms first closed, people were anxious to get outside and get moving. They're happy to see the surge of interest in cycling.

Of course, they just wish they had a bigger inventory to sell now. Tucker says typically between March and May, he might sell 10 bikes. He's sold 75 this year and said he could sell more if he had the stock.

Both business owners are hometown guys, both born in Jacksonville. And both are grateful they're deemed an "essential business," one that's still open and making money. 

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