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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:27 pm 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:33 pm
Posts: 8614
Location: new forest
hey Guys,

thought i'd give you a heads up about the current state of the bike trade, thought i'd put it here in G&OT as it's sort of an across the board thing.

but anyway, obvs i'm sure you've noticed that there has been a pandemic, so last March we all went in to lockdown, all of a sudden gyms, pubs and everything closed, but luckily for the bike trade we were allowed to remain open as we are deemed "essential", so every person who was furloughed or was home looking after kids etc suddenly wanted something to do, and it was uncharacteristically sunny pretty much from March to September, this meant as i'm sure you know bike sales went crazy! which created a shortage of bikes.

it also created a shortage of basic parts, chains/cassettes and chainsets, tyres/tubes especially anything entry level, base model rear mechs etc.

so here we are a month in to 2021 and it's still looking dodgy. right now it's not too bad and stock availability is ok-ish depending on what you need.

but for example, i ordered some Squish kids bikes in September, they were supposed to be here in late November, they are still not here. i ordered the 2021 Kona range in May 2020, the first lot sold out and i couldn't get any more, i ordered the 2022 Kona range in October of 2020, they will start arriving hopefully in early July. it's similar with Orange and Ridgeback as well.

basically it's a nightmare.

looking at stock i have had several reps tell me they will run out of stock in March, stock that would usually last through the summer, and they can't get any more, they can order it but it's just not getting made quick enough and obvs it's not just the UK asking for it. so i have ordered excess stock early in the year to try and cover what i may need come the summer so that hopefully i don't run out, Topeak pumps for example i usually sell about 35 of the joe blow model each year, i have ordered 24 now (due end of this month) bearing in mind i currently have 5 in stock. it's not that i can't order stuff, it just goes on back order and sits there, if i get half way through those pumps by April i'd order another 24 but it's likely that the next lot they will get will be in September which means i'd just have to wait or look for another brand option in the meantime, i did that last year but the alternatives were also sold out!

so what i am basically saying is i am stock piling, and i hate that, i'm not that guy that goes buying 5000 toilet rolls, but in this case i am sort of forced in to doing it with my popular lines.

not that i want to start a brexit conversation (so please don't) but this is also having an affect, you may have seen that Canyon currently are not not sending to the UK, well neither are Kona until the rules are better explained, it's currently looking like if they send a single bike like normal they would get a £75 charge on it, that said if they send 5 bikes together it will still be £75, i haven't really got to the bottom of what this charge is for but Kona are currently looking through the new rule book to see how they can deal with this, basically they are trying to get around it but in real terms it will mean a price rise coming, turns out both Specialized and Trek are also putting their prices up as a result.

so my advice at the moment, and i am telling my customers this as well, is go look at your bikes and see if it's likely you'll need parts etc in the next few months, or bring it in to the shop by the spring and try and get a head of the shortage that will be coming otherwise you may be without your bike because you can't get parts.

so there you go, go spend money on the bits you know you'll need now! (ideally in an independent shop :wink: )


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:40 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:05 pm
Posts: 10264
Location: Scotland
Jeez, nothing wrong with bulk ordering now to try and cover your sales later in the year, I guess it's the uncertainty of supply at the moment and looking ahead the next 12 months at least. The last thing you want is a bike shop with no bikes to sell, yet customers coming in asking to buy bikes!
Fortunately the 2nd hand bike/bits market is alive and well, availability is good, but even here the prices are going up & up.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:49 pm 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:33 pm
Posts: 8614
Location: new forest
yeah i realise there's nothing wrong with ordering an excess amount, it's a bit frustrating financially to have to do it though.

it was more of a heads up to those that hadn't realised how dodgy some of the availability is.

with bikes i am trying to sell what i know is coming in, so i've done general orders then if someone is interested in a bike that i have ordered i try and put their name to that bike, then reorder another one the same to get another one on the way.

for me it's just a common sense way of keeping the shop stocked but you can only plan so much and you never know what is gonna be the hot must have item!

i need a crystal ball! :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 2:09 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:21 pm
Posts: 875
Location: County Antrim
I called in to my lbs just before xmas and the shop was almost empty of bikes. The owner simply couldn't get any at the time of year when the place would usually be rammed.

And it might not be getting better anytime soon - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55740063


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:32 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:01 pm
Posts: 5777
Sadly imports from the EU just got a whole load more expensive, seems like its as costly as bringing in stuff from the US now :shock:


I hope the UK bike trade gets enough stock soon and coins it. Its about time. Seen too many scraping a living for years.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:53 pm 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:33 pm
Posts: 8614
Location: new forest
M-Power wrote:


I hope the UK bike trade gets enough stock soon and coins it. Its about time. Seen too many scraping a living for years.


to be fair any (good) bike shop this last year has taken good money, my turnover has gone up, but the hours i have done this last year have been horrendous, pretty much 7 day weeks at 12 to 14 hour days, so we have earned the money we've taken!

that said i do know of a couple of shops that have said they are closing down for a different reason that normal, which is that they have done so well this last year that the owners if close to retirement (or just sick of the bike trade) are taking the opportunity to close with no debt, and with money in the bank, i know that i have benefited from this a couple of times where reps have phoned me and said some bikes have just become available because someone is closing down and their previous orders have become available.

it's a shame i haven't had time to ride much this last year though, it's a bit soul destroying to constantly fix bikes and not ride them yourself :(


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:45 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:25 pm
Posts: 2766
Location: It's not easy being a dolphin.
Interesting post. Here in France it was reported that bike sales last year had the highest growth of all sales up by 117%,
however most not so much for recreation but as a public transport alternative.

While I do not want to swing this good thread to Brexit either, I have been surprised no one posted information until now
about the change of import / export from a simple movement of goods. A lot will be sorted out in time, but
we can be fairly certain that international supply chains based on "just in time" will need to be re-engineered with buffer stocks.

It will not be cost effective for every shop to incur inventory carrying costs and paying for bigger storage areas; I could
foresee that distributors for local markets will need to up their game with bulk purchases (to keep customs paper work
to a minimum since the quantity is in general consignment based), cheaper modes of transport (slow boat from China), more
competent staff for import and export (for faulty items, returns etc.) control and bigger storage capacity to fulfill the local shop
needs quickly. All this investment will inevitably increase prices to be up and running, but should eventually stabilize to
something reasonable.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:55 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 6:39 pm
Posts: 1928
Location: South Devon
Interesting info, thanks. Will try to make sure I've got enough tyres and chains to keep me going!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:44 pm 
rBoTM Winner
rBoTM Winner

Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:54 am
Posts: 1766
Location: Derby
I think the lack of passenger based air traffic is having a big impact across many areas of the uk supply chain . The amount of freight normally moved in these aircraft is simply not happening .
There is also a global storage of containers for shipments by sea .
https://theloadstar.com/container-short ... pty-boxes/


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:57 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 10504
Location: New Forest, UK
Container shipping costs from Asia to Europe are up 3x since last year.


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