Ordering woes (supply/demand/chain problems)

Even in Texas where you can ride all year, we would have empty slots in the winter and 2-3 week backlogs in the summer. Just the way it is.

Thinking about the business of a bike shop, from a semi inside semi outside view in the “I was a mechanic but never looked at the books” way. Labor is high margin, but customer acquisition cost matters. Selling bicycles is partially a customer acquisition strategy. You can cut a deal to get smaller margin offer a free first tune up, etc on a bike sale to create a loyal customer who comes back for repair work. No bike sales means fewer tune ups. No parts in stock means fewer rebuilds. Sales feeds the repair work.


Excellent point…I had meant to include that in my post above and spaced it. Thanks for bringing it up!

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Yeah, I reread my post and definitely didn’t word it very well. What I’m hearing more often is that the mechanic hours per repair order measurement is out so they either need to turn those repairs around quicker, which is hard to do as bikes become more complex, or raise the labour rates.

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The inability to access parts and supply inhibits a steady stream of revenue. There are moments of high yield, but the time between these high yield moments becomes further apart.

Smaller retailers, brands, and manufacturers are the first to feel it. It’s hard to have buying power without a consistent stream of revenue to wield with suppliers across all levels of industry. Creative solutions can get some by and bridge the gap to satisfy whatever step the customer holds (brand, retailer, end user, repair), but it’s a bandage at best if the solution found isn’t replicable in a reliable manner.