Road bike availability issues?

About four years ago I was knocked off my bike my a car that didn't see me as I went round a roundabout, as I commuted. Scary. But I want to return to cycling - leisure, fitness, perhaps commuting if that returns.

However, it seems that many places are simply sold out - at least for common sizes (I have 34 inch inside leg) in the £650-800 bracket!

As I have a small shed, not a nice, large garage I want a do-it-all road bike - so with mounts above the rear hub that can take a rack, but also a fun ride at weekends. I was thinking of Decathlon's Triban RC520, which comes with Shimano 105 for £750.

Sold out.

Went To Evans, thinking of getting a Specialized - good value, never bad bikes, and their own-brand kit is very good in my experience.

Sold out (unless you want extra-small).

Tried the Trek website.

Sold out.

Halfords (not where I'd usually look).

Sold out except one model that doesn't really appeal.

Should I just wait... I'd like to get a bike, but don't really want one I don't actually like. I could buy second-hand.. though a bit wary of potential issues with carbon or aluminium frames/who the owner was.

Anyone else had this problem? I tried searching the forum and sure this must have come up before - but I couldn't find a relevant thread.


  • arlowood
    arlowood Posts: 2,561
    The prospects don't look good from my experience. Went to a local bike shop with a friend who was looking to buy in the price range you mention.

    Fortuitously they had a Trek Domane AL2 Disc in the showroom in his size and they said that they could hold it for a day if he was undecided. He enquired about likely new stock of that model if he held off. Between April and June 2021 was the response after the sales person checked their online availability.

    He eventually bit the bullet and bought it.

    The long lead time for new stock could have been a ploy but I reckon it's probably not far off the mark
  • joe_totale-2
    joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,333
    It'd be worth following up with Decathlon about the Triban as it'd be perfect for your needs.

    Otherwise it looks like second hand is the only way to go but even second hand prices are inflated compared to last year, plus the usual potential pitfalls of buying second hand.

    LFGSS is a good place to look for reliable sellers, especially if you're London based.
  • guidod
    guidod Posts: 7

    Thanks for the above. At first I wondered if I was being daft, of missing a trick. Then I started to think that if Decathlon had sold out (and it's been like that for a month) the increase in demand would quickly deplete other stocks elsewhere, and so it seems. I actually expected someone to say "well, you should use your local bike shop anyway". But seems they're sold out, too...

    In fact, if most places are sold out... You can probably assume the others will be, too - and so it seems. It's astonishing.

    Just a year or two ago, I felt the market seemed flooded. When I was mad about mountain biking, about 20 years ago, there weren't many choices - whereas recently there seemed to be so many choices, so many good bikes, and such remarkable value. Back then, my rigid Specialized Stympjumper Comp (a notch up from the basic one) with kevlar beaded tyres and Onza bar ends was c.£800... today a bike of the same standard would be the same, despite inflation. So in real terms, much cheaper.

    Now, suddenly, the situation seems very different. Maybe the days of a £750 alloy frame with Shimano 105 have gone. Dunno. It must be driving bike shops crazy.
  • laurentian
    laurentian Posts: 2,386
    How about this? Looks a bargain.

    Nearly new, ticks your boxes re: mounts (I think!) - if it were my size I'd snap it up . . . not sure on size for you though . . .
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • orraloon
    orraloon Posts: 12,681
    There was a post on the Boardman fbook group couple days ago from a Halfords insider saying there would be some new availability coming in November. I don't have info on models etc, plus couldn't find said posting on a quick check back.

    I'd say keep checking regularly on the websites for those models you are interested in. I did that and was lucky to see one come up in my size one evening, booked it pronto, next day zero availability again. Bonne chance.
  • kewbie
    kewbie Posts: 1
    The Decathlon website is showing the RC120 disc in stock in size XL. It's a perfectly good bike and if the stock levels are so low it may be better to bite the bullet rather than wait and see. I have size XL, I'm 34 inside leg and 6ft2 ish
  • Cargobike
    Cargobike Posts: 748
    This is what globalisation gets you. Thanks Maggie.

    With the vast majority of bikes and components now manufactured from a few select factories in the Far-East, lead times increase accordingly, so that there is very little slack in the system to make more bikes if forecasted sales are met. There isn't a huge mark-up in bike sales so manufacturers build only what they forecast they will sell and those forecasts are based upon historical figures in normal times, not when a pandemic is ravaging vast tracts of the world.

    The one possible silver lining is that post Brexit, if no deal is reached with the EU, bikes imported from China will face no tarriffs whatsoever for a minimum of 12 months, so cheap wheels may be available again sooner than expected.
  • guidod
    guidod Posts: 7
    Alas, I live in London (not Stafford), and have long legs relative to my body - I'm just over 5 ft 10 inches. I know - should have been a supermodel instead of a middle-aged dad without a bike.

    I'll have to check what size my crash-damaged, rusting Spesh in the shed is, and be ready to pounce.

    This is so how it's not supposed to be... It's painful. My idea of buying a bike involves numerous evenings weighing up one model with an own-brand crankset against another that has worse tyres... Not taking whatever thing I can find.

    BTW, I know it's unintentional - but I laughed at Oxoman's signature above, in this context! Seriously, though, all advice much appreciated.