Addressing product availability

We've seen some stories about how hard it was to buy bikes last summer as everyone and her brother all of a sudden wanted to go riding (make no mistake - more people on bikes is a good thing), but I haven't seen any coverage of the shortages of higher end parts. It's been a big issue for a while now, and we talked about it last fall. In a lot of cases, things have gotten worse since then. Conti GP5000 tubeless tires haven't been available through US wholesale since the fall, finding Shimano stuff is still a bloodsport.. it's just a mess that's not getting better quickly. 

Hub availability is a mess. Chris King asks for 90 days lead time and even then that's not a hard promise. Industry Nine has just pushed their lead time up from 4 weeks to between 7 and 11 weeks. White Industries says 3 to 4 weeks, but generally delivers substantially more quickly than that except if a color or drilling is unavailable. DT's availability is all over the map - it could be to us in 3 days, it could take 6 months. Onyx is at about 3 weeks, and Aivee is at around twice that. 

Brands that have hubs made for them or relabel off the peg hubs are just as out of stock as anyone else, and the big wheel brands like Zipp, Enve, Bontrager, Campagnolo, Mavic, etc are quoting longer lead times for standard wheels. So it's a problem all around.

An idea that we have tossed around recently is essentially a version of the Nimbus Ti wheels we used to do. We're not relaunching Nimbus Ti hubs, but the idea would be to keep hubs and rims on hand to be able to do quick turnaround "standard builds." So we'd have carbon and alloy "road builds" which would be HED Belgium+ and Cafe Racer rims, and carbon and alloy "gravel builds" which would be HED Belgium G (née Eroica) in 700c and 650b and All Road 38 and GX24 rims, and only carbon mountain bike builds because finding alloy mountain bike rims right now - good luck with that. The big functional question is which hubs - we'd lean toward White Industries but Aivee could work nicely as well. And the question of is delivery speed enough of a draw to where people are good with a much more limited choice set.

Custom will continue to be the majority of what we do, it's just subject to a sticky market situation. The "ready to wear" builds wouldn't have any price advantage, because there's no cost advantage to us - the stock carrying costs would disadvantage our cost situation. Your advantage would just be delivery speed. And because we'd make the inventory as adaptable as possible, we wouldn't pre-build anything, so while turnaround would be quick, we wouldn't be able to put anything in a box that day except in some miraculous circumstance. 

 


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  • Kevin Light on

    Many thanks Dave. Was just browsing and my wallet is starting to ache but the frameset looks sweeet…

  • Dave on

    Kevin – The Dinamica is the closest, and it’s pretty close. Specs = geometry in this discussion, and we generally like the classic Cannondale road geometry.

  • Kevin on

    Sad about the Timoneria disc not happening but, I luv Sarto (it was the primary reason why I bought in to the original deal – the price was, in an acronym, UFB). So, pray tell, what are the similar spec frames offered up by Sarto? Even better, if the specs are on your web site somewhere I can do the shopping/research across a few other companies I saw at the hand built bike show in Sacramento 3 years ago (have you heard of FiftyOne? Some really nice frames)

  • Dave on

    Thanks, everyone.

    Mr T – I agree, that build is the one that we’d like to hang onto more than any others for rim brakes. Rim supply is getting shaky, but still there for the time being.

    AC – We still have a 32h green front hubshell in the drawer. Will probably never get to use it.

    Kevin – Disc Timoneria reboot would be slick, but I don’t see it happening. There are Sarto frames that are still very similar but now offer thru axles and wider tire clearance, and they could get the paint scheme wicked close. Really can’t see a Nimbus Ti reboot, as much as we loved that project/product it’s just not a choice people want to make without us slashing margins.

  • Mr. T. Guy on

    I’ve been needing/wanting new wheels for my rim brake bike for some time, and thinking this is the right time to buy for summer 2021. I’m aware that Im attempting to future proof a dinosaur, and my options are dwindling the longer I wait.
    My first choice of anything out there right now would be Belgium+, WI, black. 24/24. (In fact, I placed the order three days ago.) I must be one of many thousands of rim brake q/r riders who dont trust carbon rim braking, but want to keep their old bikes on the road with alloy rims. With all the new ideas going into disc brake design, this one build seems like it’s the apex predator among the rim brake dinosaurs. It should appeal to many others like me who are not ready to retire an aging bike.



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