Why Switzerland is running out of bicycles

Why Switzerland is running out of bicycles
Photo: Harold Cunningham / AFP
A ‘higher than ever’ demand for bicycles due to the pandemic has led to bottlenecks and waiting times. Retailers are warning that the country is set to run out.

Concerned about the risk of catching coronavirus on public transport, Swiss have made the shift to two wheels. 

As a result, Switzerland is suffering an “unprecedented” bicycle shortage – with some retailers warning that the country will run out of bikes by the spring and prices are set to skyrocket. 

Bike demand has surged since the spring of 2020 – and manufacturers have been unable to keep up. 

READ MORE: Seven reasons why Switzerland is paradise for cyclists 

Swiss online retailer Digitec Galaxus told 20 Minutes the “selection of bikes is set to be sparse by summer”, but that a shortage can be expected as early as March. 

Retailers are struggling to get enough bikes and bike parts from manufacturers, with demand strong across Europe due to the pandemic. 

Swiss bike spokesperson Martin Platter warned “the manufacturers of bicycles and components are faced with an unprecedented level of demand.”

But it is not only higher demand which will see an increase in prices. The impact of the pandemic on international logistics is also pushing up prices on bikes in Switzerland. 

“The prices for container transport between Asia and Europe have risen from $1,600 (CHF1425) to as much as $11,000 (CHF9797),” Platter said. 

Online bike dealer Marc Honegger, who runs Markenbikeoutlet, told 20 Minutes that anyone wanting to cycle in spring or summer should take advantage of the current cold weather and make an order now. 

“I would recommend looking now” Honegger said. 


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