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How To Buy A Bike In 2021

Our tips on how to face this year’s bike market

Welcome Bike Boomers

The bike industry is seeing a major spike, with many taking to two wheels for the first time or upgrading their rigs to enjoy the ride even more. So why the bike boom? There are more trails and bike paths than ever before. The latest bikes are outstandingly fun to ride. And riding can easily be a solitary or socially distanced activity.

Whether you’re a newcomer to cycling or hopping on the saddle more than ever, you’re part of an expanding bike generation that offers wins for everyone, from stronger trail conservation to better funding for bike lanes.

The Bike Shortage

The Year Of The Bike was a bit of a curveball for the industry. To find out what’s really happening in the supply chain, we sat down with our bike buyers Kyle and Kevin.
As it turns out, Backcountry and our sister brand Competitive Cyclist are shipping more bikes and components than ever. Our pre-boom expected timeline for getting bikes into our warehouse from the manufacturer was about four weeks—right now, we’re placing orders for some bikes nearly a year in advance. Our friends at Niner are seeing lead times of up to 14 months.

So… Make More Bikes?

We hear you, and while we wish it was that simple, there are a lot of problems facing manufacturers right now. Delays in raw materials lead to production shortfalls. Shortages in shipping boxes mean bikes and gear are left in warehouses. The delivery chain has challenges on every link right now, from lack of space to ship components across the Pacific to wild shifts in exchange rates. The industry is going to take a while—maybe even a couple years—to get back to normal.

So, Can I Even Buy A Bike?

Yes! We’re still getting bikes and components in stock. Our catalog is constantly updated, so if you see a bike or frame available on the website, we have it on-hand and can send it to you as soon as the shop can build it. If you see “backorder” as an option, you can get in the queue, and we’ll give you as accurate an ETA as possible, and update it as needed. If the number of bikes leaving our shop is any indication, Backcountry has become Bikecountry™️.

Tips For Navigating Bikecountry

Work out what you need from your bike in advance–find your size online, decide what your dreams and deal-breakers are, and be ready to push the button if you see a bike that will fit your needs, even if it’s not exactly what you’ve been dreaming of. Check in with our Gearheads on an ETA for your steed, and check back often as these wait times are in flux.

We know it can be painful to deviate from your dream machine, but in this market, it pays to stay flexible. Here are some ideas for getting into the saddle when you can’t find exactly the bike you want:

  • Find your dream bike in an alternative component build and trade out for your dream components as they become available
  • Ask a Gearhead to help you find an available frameset and build a custom bike
  • Find an available used bike and make some modifications
  • Upgrade last year’s rig (look out for our tips on this coming soon)

For help finding the right bike or components, connect with a Gearhead by calling 1-800-409-4502 or using the chat feature.