MILWAUKEE — As the winter weather starts to fade and we are getting a taste of spring, customers like Carl Hutchinson are at Allis Bike and Fitness buying a brand new bike for his granddaughter Bentley.
“She has gotten a little big for the little pushbike and she has been wanting one and we told her we would get her one for spring," said Hutchinson.
Hutchinson said the family wants to take advantage of the warm weather this week.
“Every time we talk on the phone she says when you come we are going to buy a bike right? “ said Hutchinson.
This is the time of year when Steve Morateck, general manager of Allis Bike & Fitness said sales and repairs start to pick up. He said during their 71 years of business 2020 was their best sales year, selling out of every bike in the store. In 2021 supply chain issues and increased demand caused a disruption within the bike industry but now with a fully stocked store he anticipates this year to run smoothly.
“So far so good but things can change on a dime who knows where will we be a month or two from now,” said Morateck.
However, where they are starting to see a backup is in bike repairs. Right now a major repair will take about two weeks and that number is growing.
“This is the time of year when we start to get very busy and unfortunately, here in Wisconsin our riding season isn’t as long as we would like, so as soon as the weather starts getting nice people start thinking about bringing their bike in to get fixed,” said Steve.
Others shops in Milwaukee have a wait of about two months. At Bicycle Doctor in Dousman, bike tech Nicholas Doney said they do about 25 tune-ups and repairs a week.
“We are just starting to see parts come in that we ordered over one year ago so we are trying to be ready for it," said Doney.
Doney said the bikes in stock now are ones they ordered last year. With rising gas prices, Doney anticipates bicycle popularity to increase this year, especially for electric bikes. He said if you’re looking to purchase a bike this year it’s better to do it sooner rather than later.
“We have the best inventory we are going to have all year, right now so time is definitely of the essence,” said Doney.