Ordering woes (supply/demand/chain problems)

I’m sure plenty of us have been hit by the supply chain stuff. Bikes where affected by demand even before hit by the supply side it sounds. There was the recent podcast with SRAM, Shimano factories burned to the ground etc. Anyways it would be interesting to hear others who have been affected.

Personally, I ordered a P1 Trek in October, was originally quoted early March which was already long, been pushed back mid to late July.

It seems like with some of these delays, it’s not impossible these will push back a full product cycle at this point. I’m sure someone has a bike on order which by the time they get it a new version has already been released. Hopefully not with mine, that would be a major bummer!

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I wanted to buy a Santa Cruz Stigmata in Oct 2020. The LBS informed me that due to the fires, SC was so far behind that their best estimate was Feb 21. I searched out companies that showed inventory on line, picked a bike I wanted, called a shop 1,000 miles away and had them ship the bike to my LBS.

I tried to order a Force AXS cassette and was given an estimate of a few months. I found a Rival one and bought it instead.

The guitar industry is suffering the same shortages. I bought used.

I’ve decided beggars can’t be choosers and I’m taking available inventory rather than waiting for the perfect thing.

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Yep for sure, in this instance though I’m not really a beggar. I’ve got bikes, I wanted to buy the bike I wanted.

I was fortunate to find the guitar I wanted new on Reverb last year. It was a couple years old of a finish they no longer made/had never officially made for that model likely a one off weirdo but I love it.

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Not all retail establishments have the same buying capital as others. Larger retailers have the ability to scoop up more product at one time, and maintain inventory for a longer period and out last the inventory a smaller retailer was able to take on at one time much less reload from an open to buy perspective.

Certainly in many cases you can find the parts and product you’re looking for, the internet is a vast place and expansive resource). Generally speaking the cost of convenience is at the expense of your local bike shop.

Alternative solutions, compassion, and understanding to the timelines and availability speak volumes to showing up in support of what is likely a staple to your local cycling community and network. Stay the course, and be flexible to the outcome within the means of your needs and wants.

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Yeah to be clear, I’m not mad at my local shop over this. It’s just what it is.

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I’m all for supporting your LBS. In my case, the Santa Cruz LBS told me to try other shops. For the bike I bought that was 1000 miles away, I only did so after discussing with the LBS for that brand, who told me I was crazy if I didn’t buy it. I had it shipped directly to them and paid them for setup. Win/win.

Bike shops are thriving right now. When COVID started I thought, “what can I do to help keep the LBS alive?” Boy was I wrong. Since then, they have bought the shop next door, knocked down the walls, and doubled in size. Off the top of my head, I can also think of 3 new shops and 2 mobile mechanic services all within 20 miles of my house that have popped up since COVID started. They all have so much business they can’t keep anything in stock and can’t keep up with maintenance requests.

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Have a listen to the Nerd Alert podcast from last week….pretty refreshing and honest perspective from the SRAM CEO. Hits on a lot of them themes, issues and challenges I have been noting since the pandemic hit.

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It’s great to hear there are retail operations who are expanding, who are new, and who are thriving. This is not the case everywhere. From an inside perspective, having nothing on the floor is equally a blessing and a curse. Having nothing, means both everything has been sold, and there is nothing to sell. There is an element to planning here which is new for some operations and business models who previously relied on being able to order product on an at once basis. This is rarely a possibility (with exceptions of course).

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Totally. More a blanket patience goes a long way. I’m sure your lbs appreciates this in a big way. Not all are so flexible and understanding.

Interesting. Our shops have all turned to maintenance as their key financial driver. Cycling has increased tenfold here (in alignment with what the SRAM CEO said in the podcast). All these new riders are buying the cheapest thing they can get and need constant maintenance. Add that to the regulars from before the pandemic and bike shops here are absolutely flourishing. They are even fighting over mechanics and driving up salaries.

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Man I sure would have liked that back when I was a decent mechanic who couldn’t get anyone to pay me more than $10/hr, was always someone willing to get paid minimum wage to get in and get a discount.

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Yeah, we do still see some of that. The high school/college gig thing.

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Talking to a number of retailers a lot (but not all) are starting to realize that they actually don’t make enough money off their service departments to carry the business, they’re still too dependent on profits from bike sales. As you mentioned they’re also trying to find and keep employed year round quality mechanics which can be costly esp. in a very seasonal market like Canada.

It’s wild to me how different the experience has been from what I and the CEO of SRAM have experienced. I just assumed cycling was thriving everywhere.

Thriving definitely but that surge of repairs is fading and the supply chain hasn’t caught up to fill that revenue gap.

I really need to listen to that podcast, had a number of retailers say to me they thought he was out of touch on what was actually happening on the retail floor.

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I ordered my P1 build at the end of last January and it wound up getting dragged out to August for delivery… and that was with going through Dexter and picking each part based upon what had the shortest lead time.

Been trying to buy an Orbea Rise since last June and can’t find the size/color combination I want.

Things are tough all over, just gotta get by with what we can.

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I think there ares ime terms mixed up here……most shops have their highest margin from labor. So “make enough money” here doesn’t really fit. The question is whether they have enough repair business to keep their revenue high enough to benefit from the nigh margin associated with labor.

Similarly, it isn’t the “profit” necessarily from bikes, it is the revenue. Most shops don’t make much profit from bikes….but it brings in a lot of revenue which then allows other areas (labor, PA &R, etc) to provide the profit.

As noted, however, the repair market is definitely starting to slow……it was high enough for the last 18 months that it carried a lot of shops past the loss of revenue from bikes. But now that it is slowing, shops need to supplement it with higher revenue streams.

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Anyone have a theory as to why repair revenue is dropping now after such a large rise? Is it just winter? Or something else?

My guess would be that a ton of folks created a spike in repair revenue in trying to get bikes back on the road when new bikes weren’t readily available. Maintenance repair saw a small spike but there was an absolute ton of people coming in with “I haven’t touched this in five years, can you overhaul everything and get it ready for me to start riding again” when people were just going covid stir crazy.,

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A combo platter, I think….first, a lot of the repair boom was people dusting off old bikes and getting them up to snuff. So a lot of dry-rotted tubes/ tires, drivetrain overhauls, etc. Once that “wave” was over, those repairs were essentially out of the market for awhile. “one & dones”….those consumers aren’t regular maintenance consumers. They are “need driven”

Seasonality is also part of it….the huge backlog of labor carried previous off-seasons, but now that shops are catching up / have caught up, normal seasonality is coming back into play.

Finally, I thing it is safe to assume some of those customers have simply left the market again.

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