Rad Power Bikes is fielding a 297% increase in demand as the pandemic changes consumer transportation and exercise habits. The Seattle e-bike startup disclosed the number Tuesday in a letter to customers apologizing for delays.
It’s a trend across the bicycle industry, according to Jay Townley of the mobility consultancy firm Human Powered Solutions. Demand for bikes is surging during the pandemic and causing supply chain shortages in China, which was hit first by the virus.
“We’ve got more people riding bicycles for both transportation and recreation and to simply get out and exercise,” Townley said.
While companies that sell bicycles are experiencing a windfall due to the pandemic, operators of bike and scooter-share companies face a far less certain future. The industry is laying off workers in droves and pulling out of less lucrative markets altogether as it attempts to weather the coronavirus storm. But those that do survive could face a more favorable landscape on the other side of the pandemic.