New York City bicycle shops continue to face a strong demand for bikes and repairs as pandemic supply chain issues persist and the number of cyclists remains high in the Five Boroughs.
“Every bike we get goes,” said Michael Gonzalez, a manager at Astoria Bike Stop in Queens. “And we can’t get new bikes until February 2022.”
Gonzalez has seen locals continue to bring in two-wheelers they got bought or fixed up during the pandemic bike boom, when New Yorkers avoided public transportation for fear of catching COVID-19 and opted for bicycles en masse instead.
Services like tuneups have had wait times of up to three weeks this spring, the Queens mechanic said.
“We’re totally backed up I’ve had so many people coming in,” he said.
At Toga Bikes on the Upper West Side, manager Hobie Estrella said the recent demand for bikes and fixes has been “overwhelming.”
“A lot of people bringing their bikes out of the woodwork,” said Estrella. “A month ago we couldn’t take any work orders for repairs, there was a two-week wait — with four mechanics.”
The large amount of repair services have kept some shops in business, according to one longtime Brooklyn cycle fixer, as they had to pull the brakes on bike sales due to the shortages, especially from East Asian supplier countries like China.
“I had a horrible May if it wasn’t for repairs,” said Tony Scarselli, the owner of Atlantic Bicycles in Boerum Hill.
The store got less than 20 bikes this year, compared to around 200 in prior years, but repairs alone don’t bring in the kind of cash that sales do, according to Scarselli.