Get ready for the price of bikes to increase – and, on the other hand, watch the value of your used bike firm up. A couple of months ago I was in South Africa, where the rand was performing even worse than sterling is now. The newspapers and TV commercial breaks were full of adverts touting 2016 model vehicles because the depreciating rand meant the new 2017 models were going to be 15% pricier.
We’re going to see the same thing happen here. After the EU referendum, the pound went from 155 yen to 130. They will be pushing calculator buttons in Japan. Big companies always hedge their currencies, to protect against sudden shocks like this, but it will be a long time before sterling recovers to where it was. The importers will do what they can by cutting margins and maybe specifications, but you’re probably looking at 10% price increases on new bikes across the board in 2017.
When new bikes suddenly become expensive, used values are dragged up too. If I were a betting man (and I am, on bikes), I’d be buying used bikes this autumn, when prices are low anyway, and stashing them away for next year.
Remember I said about the Dutch couple who bought cheap bikes on the Continent and brought them over to sell at Kempton Park autojumble? Well, when sterling last weakened against the euro, they did exactly the reverse. They bought used machinery here and sold it on over there. I reckon they’ll be doing it again soon.