A LACK of bicycles in the world has hit local businesses hard, with overseas suppliers unable to keep up with the demand for many different types of the two-wheeled vehicles.
The Tamworth region was hit with a biking boom in April last year, and since then, local bike shops have struggled to have more shipped in for customers.
Tamworth Bicycles owner Tom McCluand said he'd been in the shop for about 50 years and had never seen a shortage this bad.
"In China they're manufacturing the frames okay, but they can't sell us enough parts to put the bikes together before they sell them off. They can't get all the bits and pieces to make the bikes," he said.
He ordered some new bikes for his Peel Street store in August and still hasn't even received them.
"Kids bikes they're catching up on now but there's still a big shortage on adult bikes," Mr McCluand said.
"The range of ladies bikes, there's normally 10-12 models, and I've got 2 bikes in the store. But you've got to like that colour and be the right size for it, or you won't buy it.
"With the men's bikes we've got a couple of the entry level ones, which are about $459, or they then go up to about $1500, there's nothing in between."
It's a similar story over at Bike, Scoot, Skate on Darling Street, but thankfully for owner Kris Faulkner, their range of BMX bikes hasn't diminished much.
"We're pretty good for BMX stuff, but road bikes and dirt bikes are hard to get," he said.
"We haven't had anything since about mid-November, and we only have three mountain bikes left."
Even next Christmas is going to be a shocker. We were down more than half our sales in the lead up to last Christmas because you just couldn't buy stock.Tamworth Bicycles owner Tom McCluand
He said it wasn't all bad that there was a shortage, though, as it showed that more and more people were enjoying the outdoors.
"About two years ago, no one wanted to ride a bike, they wanted to be inside on their Xbox, so it's good to see kids riding around. It's like when I was a kid," Mr Faulkner said.
Unfortunately, the shortage may not let up anytime soon.
Mr McClaund said it might take 12-18 months before things were back to normal.
"Even next Christmas is going to be a shocker. We were down more than half our sales in the lead up to last Christmas because you just couldn't buy stock," he told the Leader.