What if, what if, what if...

First, a note on blog posts. As we've said many times, we're trying to give you some distraction and feed your cycling itch during a period that sucks. We've managed to keep a reasonable stream of topics going, but we don't want you to feel like we're trampling your inbox. We've gotten some exceptionally nice feedback and generally there have been a lot of comments and no higher than the normal level of unsubscribes, which all point to these not annoying people. But we've posted every weekday since the St Patrick's Day that wasn't, so we understand if you're sick of us. To that end, we're going to ease off the gas a little both to give us all a break and to prep what should be some really interesting interviews with a few of our suppliers. So look for those in a few days and if anything worth talking about pokes up (and feel free to ask us anything) we'll put something up.

I often make the mistake of assuming Mike has, and knows how to use, a crystal ball. I ask him detailed questions about future stuff and fully expect that he'll have the answer on top. The big conversation we had this morning was about how we can best prepare for the world's lights turning back on. For the record, this isn't us saying that the lights are about to go back on, but we want to be prepared as well as possible for when they do.

This could be what the height of this year's season looks like

Two big issues are cost of inventory and scarceness of capacity. If we had all the inventory in the world, we could be spending some time per day building stuff for stock. Of course we realize that stock wheels are not our bread and butter, but it would be nice to have a few dozen sets of wheels ready for when people are allowed (and it's reasonable to - one might happen before the other but really they have to both be in effect) to go and do the things they want to do in life. Whatever this season is, it's going to be short and intense. 

Obviously our capacity is what it is, and simply because demand goes from dead as a doorknob to quite lively, we can't necessarily respond to that in anything like real time. 

But I really hope we get to do this when the trees look more like this

So we spent some breath (not commingled breath, mind you - we're socially distant) batting around what we can get in terms of components (some are still very much unavailable or long lead time), what we can afford in terms of building inventory without being too risky or excessively drawing down the cash we do have, and how what we're all going through is going to change what people want. 

Will the lack of racing and "promo" events lessen the pull of the prestige/sponsorship brands? How much tighter will budgets be? What will the most important things to people be on the other side of this?

We took some stabs at it, but our guess is as good as anyone else's. Anybody have a crystal ball that actually works? 

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  • dave on

    Thanks, Mark and Catherine!

  • Mark P. on

    I not only appreciate you all taking the time to do these blog posts but the extensive education about wheel building and your thought process. I have been thoroughly happy with my Easton R90SL wheels with WI hubs that are smooth as butter. Probably around 4,000 miles on them now and they have been rock solid even after hitting a big chunk of concrete from a pothole. Nailed it directly coming in with low light and double flatted both tires immediately. Wheels stayed true and round with one sustaining a small ding on one edge of the rim. Keep the blog posts coming as best you can, I and apparently many other subscribers enjoy them too, thanks.

  • Catherine on

    Also love the posts and your photography, something else to look forward to. Got in a nice ride with my sweet November where’s and the decent New England weather yesterday. Today, it’s pouring rain and cold again- it’s great to see these wonderful riding pictures and think about the season to come!

  • dave on

    Thanks, guys. Also, we lied. We had a bit of a brainstorming thing yesterday and came up with (what we think is) a great idea which we’ll announce tomorrow. And Mike has a good one to post as well, likely today (Wednesday)

  • Jamie B on

    Great posts. I’ve enjoyed them and appreciate the time you’ve taken to write them. I just found your site a few weeks ago and wish I had known about November before I purchased a few sets of gravel wheels earlier this year. Next time I need wheels I’ll be back and I’ll be sure to tell others about you.

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