Bicycle Prices Race Upward at Fastest Pace on Record as Inflation Surges

Young active happy traveler couple, handsome bearded man and pretty blond woman in glasses on tandem bike on bright sunny day on stony staircase and ancient building background.
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Getting around is getting pricier—even if you want to use pedal power instead of gasoline or a new electric vehicle.

A lot of attention has been paid to rising gas prices and the extreme price increases in used cars. The index for consumer prices of used cars and trucks rose 7.3 percent in May, following a 10 percent rise in April. Compared with a year ago, used car prices are up 29.7 percent.

But it is not just the big four-wheeled vehicles that are jumping in price. So is the category of sports vehicles that includes bicycles, as well as some off-road motorized vehicles. The index for these is up 10 percent compared with a year ago, the largest price gain in records going back to 1997.

Compared with April, prices are up 2.9 percent. That was the third highest ever monthly gain and follows right after a 1.3 percent rise in the prior month.  Compared with the pre-pandemic peak in January of 2020, prices are up around 6 percent.

Bicycle sales were up 78 percent in the first three months of 2021 compared with the first quarter of 2020, according to analysts at the NPD Group. They were up 38 percent in the period last year compared with 2019, so this isn’t part of the “base effect” of depressed pandemic sales making for weird annual comparisons. NPD estimates the average price for a bike purchased in the period rose 27 percent.




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