Increase in bike sales as gas prices remain high

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The combination of rising fuel prices and springtime temperatures means more people are hitting the road on two wheels instead of four. Now, local bike shops are reaping the benefits.

"This rides really nice and if I need a little help up the hill, I just hit the throttle a little bit, I don't even have to pedal," says Ken Miller.

Opting to spare the air or getting a good workout are no longer the only reasons bike sales are booming.

Miller says he now rides his bike four to five times a week. His six-mile roundtrip work commute, plus errands and extra curriculars are adding up when it comes to fuel prices.

"Now, about $40-$50 a month, which is about $600 a year now," he said.

That's why Bill Amis is also looking at buying an e-bike.

"You start thinking about things you have to eliminate just to buy gas," he said. "I've been fortunate so far, but I don't think it's going to get better anytime soon."

Kevin's Bikes in Merced has a steady stream of new customers and loyal customers looking to switch gears to electric bikes.

"They cruise along pretty quickly, so you can get to work in a reasonable amount of time without worrying about getting tired," says owner Kevin McCarthy.

But the boost in sales isn't just coming from brand new bikes. It's coming from tune-ups, just like that one that may need a little more T.L.C from its owner.

"There's been a steady influx of repairs for the same reason," McCarthy said. "It seems like it's on everyone's mind. Everyone says, 'Oh, gas prices. We're going to get the bikes rolling.'"

Similar to an auto tune-up, bike tune-ups check brakes, gears and make sure everything is functioning properly for a safe ride.

McCarthy says there is still a shortage on higher-end bike parts, as manufacturing has slowed, but he's welcoming a more predictable workflow after overcoming supply chain issues.

"Some of the parts to keep the bikes running, I was literally trying to find them anywhere just to keep customers coming in," he said.

With the rise in popularity of bikes, if you are shopping for bikes or parts, it's important to get your bike from a reputable source.

Experts say if you're on a third party website that has a price tag that's too good to be true, chances are it is.
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