Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Proposed Tarifs Could Make A New Bike Spendy

Lots of average priced bikes may see price hikes in the near future.
There are some new PROPOSED tariffs which are being talked about with great concern in the cycling industry today. The tariffs are being considered against Chinese manufactured goods and bicycles are on the list of products being taken under consideration for these tariffs.

First off, Taiwanese products are NOT part of this. That excludes a big chunk of the higher end bicycle market. However; many mid to entry level bikes are made in China, and a proposed 25% tariff would really hike the prices of these bikes so much that sales would suffer in the near term, for sure. That's because at these price levels consumers are not really willing to spend a lot on a bicycle.

The industry's press/media is covering this issue as an "e-bike" scare, pretty much ignoring the fact that the largest segment of the cycling market, that being big box store bikes and entry level bikes, are also in the bullseye for these price hikes. I would wager that the industry will suffer more from any negative impacts at these price levels than it will by having e-bikes get slapped with a tariff. Sure, the dollar amounts per unit will be impressive on the e-bike side as far as impact, but there are way more Next bikes sold than e-bikes.

As a mechanic, while I see e-bikes being bandied about as "the next best thing" and while I see the alarmist reaction to this proposed tariff on the e-bike side, I wonder about the rest. The folks that I see that depend upon these lowly mart bikes as their sole means of transportation. They barely can afford to keep the bikes running they have now, and if this tariff goes into effect, it may price many of these folks right off getting new bicycles. Which, by the way, they do on a regular basis. People that cannot afford a tariff hike on an e-bike are, most likely, NOT relying on that bike as a sole means of transpo. They likely don't have the choice of "bike or walk".

Well, this bears watching, for sure, but I have to say that I am very disappointed in the cycling press and their blind eye to everything but e-bikes these days.

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