How is COVID affecting e-bike production?
The bicycle industry has been under immense pressure since the pandemic first hit. Global demand for bicycles increased by over 60% in 2020 and continues to rise in 2022. The pandemic has resulted in people wanting to get outside and be active, which has lead to a boom in the industry. However, the pandemic has also resulted in massive supply chain disruptions.
Covid lockdowns in China have been disrupting the supply of parts used for Shimano's production, causing delays on our e-bike deliveries. Many factories in China and Taiwan, where the majority of bicycles are made, were shut down at the start of the pandemic. This caused a backlog of orders and a shortage of bikes globally. The situation has been exacerbated by a surge in raw material prices, as well as shipping costs which have more than doubled in some cases.
The result is that many companies are struggling to meet the demand for bikes, and there are widespread delays in orders. We are seeing this here at OHM, where we have had to turn away customers due to lack of stock. Lead times for critical e-bike components have increased from 4 months to 18 months.
The good news is that factories are now starting to reopen, and we are seeing some relief in the supply chain. However, it will take some time for the situation to return to normal. In the meantime, we appreciate your patience and understanding as we overcome these supply chain challenges.