Citizens distressed as bicycle prices surge

With the increase in cost of everyday commodities amid the rise in petroleum prices, bicycle prices have witnessed a massive surge of up to 50 percent in the markets of Lahore.

The surge in bicycle prices has left thousands of people, who had decided to shift to bicycles from motorcycles, distressed.

Announcing the increase of Rs30 per liter on all the petroleum products on Thursday, the federal government increased prices by Rs60 per liter within a week. The recent surge had made people express their anger on social media while people were seen encouraging each other to shift to bicycles. Moreover, every year thousands of students, mostly boys, want to receive a bicycle as a gift when promoted to next classes.

However, the rising trend of inflation and price hike encouraged the bicycle sellers to increase the prices of their products.

Traders at Lahore’s famous bicycle market Neela Gumbad say the increase in electricity cost, petrol and gas prices forced them to increase the prices of their products.

“The prices of all commodities have surged up to 40 percent while sales tax and import duty have also surged,” said Ahmad Butt, a bicycle dealer in the market. He added that the hours-long loadshedding also affected their businesses.

“Amid the current scenario, we have no other option but to increase the prices of our products for the sake of survival,” he said.

Currently, there are dozens of different types of bicycles available in the market. They have different prices varying with their brand and quality.

The superfine cycle, a common bicycle in the country, has witnessed an increase of up to Rs3,000. Last month, the same bicycle was available between Rs13,000 to 15,000, but now it’s available from Rs15,000 to Rs18,000 in the retail market.

The minimum price of mountain bikes, common bicycles among youngsters, have reached up to Rs20,000. A similar bicycle with slightly better quality is available at a minimum price of Rs25,000.

A retailer in the market said that if inflation continued like this, the prices of bicycles might go higher in the coming days.

Samiullah Randhawa is a correspondent covering environment, climate change, food, water and ecology. He is an International Center For Journalists alumnus and a fellow at Kettering Foundation Ohio, USA. He has won two Agahi Awards for reporting on climate change and water crisis. He tweets @sami_randhawa and can be reached at