If you are looking for a new bike or gear from Specialized, Trek, Giant or Cannondale, you might be in luck: The four major manufacturers have announced special spring sales offerings, with price cuts as high as 25%.
Whether there is confusion over new wheel size standards or we’re just seeing a normal cycle, apparently buyers have been a little hesitant: Inventory at the end of 2015 was significantly higher than end of 2014, with Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (BRAIN) reporting an increase in inventory of 44% year-on-year. The inventory level was an early indicator that this spring might bring earlier and bigger seasonal sales promotions.
Specialized launched their three-week promotion “Spring Savings – Ride out of Winter” yesterday, and it includes steep discounts on select bikes, helmets, shoes, apparel, components and accessories. Buyers can save up to ~25% on a wide range of products. Dealers had already been informed in the beginning of February, so they could replenish their stock on the discounted items.
Apparently, Specialized was the first-mover, and Trek swiftly followed by mid of February with their own promotion – a reactive move for which they blamed Specialized, as Trek’s Paul Moran points out in his letter to dealers: “(…) Trek and Trek retailers can be in a healthy position for the season. We are in that position now, but we must recognize the reality that other companies are not.”
Giant, the third large manufacturer to start a spring promotion, in turn put the blame on Specialized and Trek, by stating that two major competitors would be “massively over-inventoried on bicycles and gear” and regarded the move as “extremely damaging to the industry.”
End of February, Cannondale followed with a promotion, discounting select mountain bikes by up to 20%. Instead of blaming the other manufacturers, Cannondale’s statement was more restrained in tone, pointing out that they are not interested “in joining on the finger pointing that has taken place between the other major suppliers.”
Recently, Shimano has cut prices, as well, with reductions ranging from 20% to 40%. With the imminent introduction of SRAM 1×12 and Shimano’s announcement of a 11-46 cassette, the components giants are in a fierce fight for market share. So consumers might see a pause in the ever-increasing price tags of bikes, or perhaps even a slight reduction in the next years. If the choice of words is an indicator of the intensity of the competition, the future might be a bit brighter for bike buyers.