“We remember the last two years, of course, well, and we are also eagerly analyzing what is happening at this time. In one word, it could be said that the boom is over,” this spring's demand for bicycles was described by the representative of Veloprofs, Jānis Baltaisbrencis, saying that this spring has so far not had stable warm and sunny weather, and it is also reflected in the sales figures of bicycles.
“All hope for May. The previous months have started like last year. Expectations were higher, but weather has put a brake on them.”
Also, spokesman for the sports-goods store MySport, Gatis Svētiņš, said demand for bikes has returned to pre-pandemic levels. This is due to the fact that people no longer have limited recreational opportunities, leading to other priorities and opportunities for spending money.
“Restrictions have been removed. You can go on trips, go to the theater and do some other interesting things. Unfortunately, sport is on the sidelines right now. This is also reflected in the rapid fall of [the number of] competitions,” the MySport representative said.
The good news, however, is that this summer dealers no longer face logistical problems, which means buyers can buy what they want, not what they can get.
“The previous couple of years were like – you buy what we have. Now, finally, the situation is better and people can already choose what they want. The good news is that we, the whole family of the cycling business, have educated consumers and they now understand that if you ride around town, then you need a city bike. A few years ago it wasn't so, everyone needed mountain bikes, with fat tires, whether or not they could ride it,” Baltaisbrencis said.
“But on average the mountain bikes and cross-type bikes are still the most popular,” said Svētiņš.
Asked whether the logistical problems of the pandemic time were no longer felt, he said: “There are still certain price categories of bicycles and goods where there is a shortage, but overall the situation has stabilized significantly. But it hasn't yet returned to the pre-pandemic level.”
Another trend in recent years: competition among traders has grown.
“As our industry was on an upward trend in trade and indicators during the pandemic, it is logical that there are more traders, but we anticipate that this situation will change in the next two years,” the MySport representative said.
He said that, in general, there is much to be done in promoting the cycling culture and, in his view, active lifestyles should be promoted more actively in the country.
“You can run, you can ride a bike, create ever more cycling trails, reinstating coverings or labeling these roads. Then, in this synergy, everyone will benefit. Except doctors,” Svētiņš said.
He observed that, at least for the time being, most people move around on bicycles move on holiday instead of choosing as a daily means of movement, because people fear that it can be stolen. “This thing is not sorted out either, and is not specifically controlled,” said Svētiņš, adding that lack of control means stolen bikes can be sold quickly.