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A $4,749 Bike Hints at Inflation Peril Looming for U.S. Economy

The hobby is enjoying a new wave of pandemic popularity — but customers heading to the stores are finding that stocks are depleted and prices have surged.

Customers outside the Trek Bicycle Shop in San Diego, May 15, 2020.

Customers outside the Trek Bicycle Shop in San Diego, May 15, 2020.

Photographer: Sandy Huffaker/Bloomerg News

Customers crowding into U.S. bike shops are often walking out empty-handed — or if they're lucky, with a bike whose price has repeatedly gone up since last year.  

Looking for a Santa Cruz Hightower C R, a full-suspension carbon mountain bike? It’ll cost $4,749, up 10% from earlier this year. But with stocks depleted, buyers probably will be told to wait for the next model, due out this summer, at a higher price.