Adding options

Adding options

We've been a bit doomy and gloomy with product availability, and for sure that's merited when one of your best selling hub brands (I9) looks at another's (Chris King) 120 day lead times and says "hold my beer," but today's news is actually good. 

We've spent a huge part of the day adding build options in QuickShip™ that can go out more quickly than we'd normally ship wheels. We've got Bitex hubs in the ultra cool new oil slick finish to put with Kinlin XR31Ts, HED Belgium+, and even a very limited supply of AForce Al33 disc rims (wut??). We've finally gotten a trickle of the big White Industries orders we placed like mad all spring so now we have Cafe Racers you can get with CLDs, or put the CLDs together with the Al33s

So yes, we're not quite back to "whatever you want is basically just around the corner" but if you need some great wheels and time is of the essence, things are starting to tilt a bit in your favor here. 

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Pete – Unfortunately no. As inventory got down to low levels, we’ve found some things in dark corners that had fallen by the wayside. These AForce rims were put away a while ago for some long-since-forgotten projects that never happened. No comeback in sight for AForce.

Matt – After pretty extensive talks with two of our major hub suppliers in the last couple of days, it’s everything you mention and then some. As demand ramped during COVID, production capacity declined due to safety measures. Work got backlogged. Then international shipping got screwed up and supply chains got whacked. Even the most domestically produced things like Chris King, White Industries, and Industry Nine hubs have inputs that come from foreign sources, and even if they don’t then you have ripple effects from a globally connected economy and marketplace. Scarce resources, jacked up shipping capacities, etc. Tried to book a container lately? Things that you never really thought of are so sideways right now it’s impacting in lots of ways.

As I write this, Shimano’s production in Malaysia is closed until 6/28 at least, due to a COVID outbreak. Close your eyes and think about the global repercussions of that for a hot second. The amount of partially completed bikes that won’t be able to ship will bend your mind, and the amount of almost-operative bikes that can’t get serviced or ridden waiting for parts will bend it the rest of the way. Then think of every one of those bikes and service needs searching and competing like mad, as we and everyone else is doing, for remaining inventory or available substitutes. It’s just madness.


Dave, this may be a little off topic, but when I hear about the long lead times for bike products, I wonder how much of this is due to your suppliers not being able to get the raw materials and labor they need to keep up with their normal level of demand, and how much of this is because the demand for their products has increased and they are having trouble scaling up production to meet increased demand.


Is AForce going to make a comeback in the height of all the component shortages?


Now Jim, you know what they say about “assume,” don’t you?


I assume there is no rim brake and Campy builds?


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