Word just came from White Industries that their lead time for new orders is up to 12 weeks. Previously, they'd been 3 weeks on black and silver hubs and 10 weeks on colored hubs, then the black and silver numbers crept up to 5 weeks, and now we're at 12 for everything.
Industry Nine is at 11 weeks, and Chris King is at about 120 days. And none of these is a binding promise, they're all guidelines.
As you can imagine, this puts us in a bit of a spot. We have a bunch of hubs coming from White, a lot of which was ordered getting on toward two months ago. When exactly that starts to arrive, we can't say. The majority of this stuff was meant to populate our QuickShip™ program, which we thought was a really effective way to cope with the situation as was presented then. Obviously this new lead time cycle puts our ability to deliver QuickShip™ wheels in some question going forward.
There's no good inventory news in cycling right now. Mike was just telling me of bike shopping with a friend and not less than a 6 month lead time and mostly a heck of a lot more than that. The implications of this for us are a bit frightening. As an old boss used to say, it's tough to sell from an empty cart. Our old-normal 3 week lead time made a lot of people antsy to get wheels. What this means for demand is anyone's guess, but anyone who guesses "it will make it go up!" is probably guessing wrong.
If and as this affects current orders, we will let you know on a case by case basis. We'll have to have a good think about how to try and respond in the near term, and get a better picture of what it means for the long term.