VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021

Demand for bicycles has soared in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, but conversely the global supply is at record low levels, with consumers having to wait months or over a year for their bike of choice.

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021
Photo: Stocksnap/Pixabay

Bikes are projected to outsell cars in Europe by two to one by 2030.   

But 2021 will not be an easy year to buy a bike in many European countries, especially if you have a particular model in mind. 

Firstly, there's been a huge surge in demand for bikes during the pandemic, as Europeans looked for ways to stay fit and move around more freely without having to worry about being exposed to Covid-19 on public transport.

On the flip side, bike production in China, which supplies almost the entire global market, has practically ground to a halt.

The same can be said for bicycle accessories and components, which are either not being produced in Chinese factories currently or held up for months in ports in Asia due to the reduction of capacity in shipping.


In this short report, video producer Alex Dunham explores the issue of Europe's bike shortage in 2021.


Member comments

  1. I feel like that not just Europe but the world should start having less dependency on made in China products as we have all seen during this pandemic that what happens when we put all of our eggs in one basket.

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La Vuelta: Britain’s Yates steps out of Sky shadows to reign in Spain

Simon Yates stepped out of the shadows of British cycling giants Sky on Sunday to secure his maiden Grand Tour triumph at the Tour of Spain for his Mitchelton team.

La Vuelta: Britain's Yates steps out of Sky shadows to reign in Spain
Simon Yates celebrating his win on the podium in Madrid. Photo: AFP

Yates, a former track racer whose road racing talents took him to the brink of victory in this year's Giro d'Italia, all but wrapped up overall victory on Saturday after yet another strong finish on the final mountain stage.

After a largely processional final stage to Madrid on Sunday claimed by Elia Viviani in a bunch sprint, the 26-year-old Englishman triumphed with a winning time of 82hr 5min 58sec, Enric Mas finishing second overall at 1:46 and Miguel Angel Lopez completing the podium.

“It's a really unbelievable experience. You know I was even nervous today coming into the circuit. Anything could happen, but now I finally pull it off, it's unbelievable,” said Yates. 

It was Yates' first victory in a three-week race and comes months after the stinging disappointment of losing the Giro d'Italia, having controlled the race for much of the opening two weeks last May.

On that occasion, Sky leader Chris Froome capitalised on Yates' collapse in the mountains to secure the race's pink jersey and seal his third consecutive Grand Tour after winning the Tour de France and Tour of Spain in 2017.    

“I was very disappointed after the Giro. It took a long time to really get over that but I came here with renewed motivation, and I finally pulled it off.”

Froome's Grand Tour-winning streak came to an end in July, when teammate Geraint Thomas, who also honed his skills on the track, upset the Kenyan-born Briton to triumph at the Tour de France.

Yates' win on Sunday meant British riders have dominated all three Grand Tours in 2018.

Photo: AFP

He also took Britain's impressive streak of consecutive Grand Tour victories to five; although it won't be lost on British cycling aficionados that it was the first British win outside of Team Sky.

Thanks to their multi-million pound budget and ability to attract the best cyclists for specific roles and races, Sky are considered the 'Real Madrid' of the professional peloton.

Sky, who formed on the back of the success enjoyed by Britain's all-conquering world and Olympic track squad, would be forgiven for ignoring Yates' obvious talents.

Potential fulfilled

Yates was only 17 years old when Sky formed in 2009 with the ambition to “win the Tour de France, clean, with a British rider within five years”.   

While Bradley Wiggins was on route to achieving that objective within three years, in 2012, Yates was a budding track rider whose efforts earned him a place on British Cycling's Olympic Programme.

Yates, Froome's teammate at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, won his first world title on the track three years later, in the points race.   

The same year, Yates offered a glimpse of his road racing instincts, too. Competing for the Great Britain national squad at the Tour de l'Avenir — considered a 'mini Tour de France' for riders aged under-25 — Simon Yates won stage five, ahead of his twin brother Adam, who also rides for Mitchelton.

Yates made sure it was no fluke by winning the next day's stage, on his way to a 10th-place finish overall. Those successes, ironically, signalled Yates' potential as a Grand Tour winner well ahead of Froome, and Thomas.   

At the Tour of Britain later that season, Yates took what was his biggest career win when he sprinted clear of a select group of strong climbers which included Wiggins and Colombian Nairo Quintana to claim victory on stage six.   

With spaces on Team Sky at a premium, Yates joined the Orica-GreenEdge outfit in 2014 — a move that has indirectly led to his most recent successes.   

Former Orica sporting director Matt White holds the position at Yates' current team Mitchelton, and has seen the slightly-built Englishman build an impressive portfolio of results in the seasons since.