The bicycle market is very strange. After the financial crash it seemed that every distributor in Europe thought that the streets were paved with gold here in the UK and so their bikes arrived in their thousands. There were brands you may have heard of and many you hadn’t. The market had not grown so there were bargains to be had. In the short term great for the consumer not good for the long term prospects of those consumers or the shops.
This was the time that Whyte’s designs really were coming of age and the bicycle press reviews went from Good to Bike of the Year status that they have never really lost. They were growing which was unusual as the big players like Specialized, Trek, Giant, Scott and others were starting to get cautious with their ordering. We then had to get used to popular bike models running out often mid season (April/May). Move on a few years and Whyte are ordering 50% more per annum and still running out and the big boys are cutting back to counter the previous over supply and they are running out.
Finally, the boom supply years are over and only the popular brands remain. Meanwhile the market got more and more depressed. Austerity, no wage growth and finally Brexit began to take its toll. Bike shops were closing left right and centre, and still Whyte kept selling.
The final quarter of 2019 must have been one of the worse ever in the cycle market. The New Year began with, supposed political certainty, post election and Brexit a done deal but it rained and rained and rained. Indoor riding became the norm.
And then the corona virus, lock down and wall to wall sunshine. Bicycle shops were deemed as essential to the country (thank London and Boris for that). With most of the nation at home with nothing to do the country went bike mad. In the period of the first stage of the lock down the nation ran out of bikes. Try buying a low priced (below £1000, in fact try below £2000) mountain bike. They have all gone. Whyte may have run out of many popular models but they do still have their award winning full suspension trail bikes in the popular sizes notably the E-150 S & RS, the S-150, S-120 and the amazing T-130 series.