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Thread: How to run a bike shop without bikes WJS article

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    Default How to run a bike shop without bikes WJS article

    I had to really hunt to find a 26”x1.95”-2.35” tube this week for a friend’s bike...good story that I can relate to as the LBS was rationing tubes.

    Pandemic’s Cruel Joke on a Small Business: A Busy Bike Shop With No Bikes to Sell - WSJ
    rw saunders
    everything is connected

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    Default Re: How to run a bike shop without bikes WJS article

    Quote Originally Posted by rwsaunders View Post
    I had to really hunt to find a 26”x1.95”-2.35” tube this week for a friend’s bike...good story that I can relate to as the LBS was rationing tubes.
    I work for one of the national distributors here, we shipped what was (in a normal year) to have been about 8 months inventory of tubes in June,
    by early July there were not a lot of tubes around, QBP was certainly out of 26" in the USA when i looked about a month ago.

    It's funny how the 26" and basic level 700x35-38 business for tires and tubes went off the charts as soon as spring weather
    and pandemic combined. I've been scrambling for months to get every tire i can find in the supply chain to get as much product
    to shops as possible. Many skus are selling at unprecedented levels.

    The timing of Covid hurt product availability in North America significantly. The first wave in China delayed some of our orders,
    as it was closing down production over Chinese New Year, and delayed the return to factories by employees. Then is created
    delays in shipping. Many companies paused everything in late March to take the moment to check what could be the possible
    outcomes of being shut. Then most areas designated bikes essential services, and allowed them to do business, and the flood
    of customers began by May when many shipments from Asia had not fully arrived yet. Reorders placed with the factories in
    May were met with longer lead times, so product we could have normally had delivered by July, we were told that our orders
    would take 120 days to produce instead of the normal 60, plus shipping time from Asia.

    The demand matches perfectly with my own observations in my area, all i see are MTB hardtails and steel hybrids from the 90's,
    I suppose just waiting for this moment in time to be pulled from deep storage, from a forgotten time.

    Every basic item that a non-cyclist wouldn't be prepared for is pretty much unobtainium; waterbottle cage, gel seat, floorpump,
    wirebead tires and tubes. Pricepoint helmets are flying too.

    -g
    EPOst hoc ergo propter hoc

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    Default Re: How to run a bike shop without bikes WJS article

    I can't read the full article, but a similar thing is happening in UK: most of the big bands have run out of inventory and now you have to reserve a £500 specialized hybrid bike.
    Brompton are working at 60% capacity while their sales have gone exponential in the last 4 months, any Brommie is now worth gold.

    The government is issuing a £50 voucher for people to spend in bike repairs, which I think is a really good idea to avoid the import of more goods for a short-term use. As Grant M said above, lots of bikes are now being pulled out from the sheds and that is what we all want: repair what's already in hand, don't buy cheap crap for the temporary use.
    But the downside, is that the supply chain may not cope with this.
    Andrea "Gattonero" Cattolico, head mechanic @Condor Cycles London


    "Caron, non ti crucciare:
    vuolsi così colà dove si puote
    ciò che si vuole, e più non dimandare"

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    Default Re: How to run a bike shop without bikes WJS article

    I see from the photo in the WSJ photo that the bike shop employees are doing an excellent job wearing PPE.

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    Default Re: How to run a bike shop without bikes WJS article

    Quote Originally Posted by GrantM View Post
    I work for one of the national distributors here, we shipped what was (in a normal year) to have been about 8 months inventory of tubes in June,
    by early July there were not a lot of tubes around, QBP was certainly out of 26" in the USA when i looked about a month ago.

    It's funny how the 26" and basic level 700x35-38 business for tires and tubes went off the charts as soon as spring weather
    and pandemic combined. I've been scrambling for months to get every tire i can find in the supply chain to get as much product
    to shops as possible. Many skus are selling at unprecedented levels.

    The timing of Covid hurt product availability in North America significantly. The first wave in China delayed some of our orders,
    as it was closing down production over Chinese New Year, and delayed the return to factories by employees. Then is created
    delays in shipping. Many companies paused everything in late March to take the moment to check what could be the possible
    outcomes of being shut. Then most areas designated bikes essential services, and allowed them to do business, and the flood
    of customers began by May when many shipments from Asia had not fully arrived yet. Reorders placed with the factories in
    May were met with longer lead times, so product we could have normally had delivered by July, we were told that our orders
    would take 120 days to produce instead of the normal 60, plus shipping time from Asia.

    The demand matches perfectly with my own observations in my area, all i see are MTB hardtails and steel hybrids from the 90's,
    I suppose just waiting for this moment in time to be pulled from deep storage, from a forgotten time.

    Every basic item that a non-cyclist wouldn't be prepared for is pretty much unobtainium; waterbottle cage, gel seat, floorpump,
    wirebead tires and tubes. Pricepoint helmets are flying too.

    -g
    it's insane. GWB is pre-rationing their next tube shipment, and the only bottlecages that have been available for reorder are the new silca carbon and ti variants (nice but $$)

    My world is pretty insular (van island has largely avoided covid), but myself and others in the industry here have been busier than ever. Bikes ordered now are expected in November, but it is such a commonplace that the customer is fine with it

    strange times
     

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    Default Re: How to run a bike shop without bikes WJS article

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew flowers View Post
    it's insane. GWB is pre-rationing their next tube shipment, and the only bottlecages that have been available for reorder are the new silca carbon and ti variants (nice but $$)

    My world is pretty insular (van island has largely avoided covid), but myself and others in the industry here have been busier than ever. Bikes ordered now are expected in November, but it is such a commonplace that the customer is fine with it

    strange times
    i'm hoping we can catch up with key categories of stock over the winter. The lead times for orders placed now are about nov/dec,
    so pretty soon we have to have some large orders in place if we are going to be able to reset for 2021. In some cases, it's difficult
    to forecast what kind of demand there is going to be that far out. We normally order frequently, and adjust on the fly. But all season
    this year we have been chasing availability, every shipment that has arrived for the last 4 months has gone straight out the door,
    the warehouse remains more of a shipping station that a warehouse!

    -g
    EPOst hoc ergo propter hoc

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    Default Re: How to run a bike shop without bikes WJS article

    We are visiting some friends this week and they keep a slew of bikes around for guests and the bikes see beach and sandy trail duty, so the environment can quickly take its toll if you’re not watchful. My bud isn’t watchful and he is mechanically challenged, but fortunately for him, he does well with money and I’m always looking for things to do. Does anyone remember the Monty Python skit...Bicycle Repairman? I’ve been greasing, oiling, adjusting and patching, as I always travel here with a bag of gear and tools and without the tube patch kits that I brought along, we’d be SOL as there aren’t any 26” tubes on the island, with the exception of the one that I transported with me.
    rw saunders
    everything is connected

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    Default Re: How to run a bike shop without bikes WJS article

    I am too cheap to subscribe to the newspapers online. But with that said Our local shops sales floors are dangerously low but the repair/tune up side is slaying it. I am guessing that with the restrictions and more stay home time all the old 26er bikes needed new tubes and perhaps tires to roll again. One of our fleet of Schwinn Breezers needed a new tire and tube. Luckily found a tire in stock, but had to use the old tape wrap around the stem trick to convert a presta valve in a schrader hole. I have seen more city bikers and river inner tubers out this year than ever. before. Not a bad thing, but a change noted.
    I also have "fixed up" three friends and neighbors old bikes for them. Between the three week wait at the shop and bike shop labor costing more than the bike is worth it was sort of fun. It did confirm my old philosophy to not try and "over fix" old bikes. Anytime you open up old bearings , problems jump out like cats from a bag. I may cram a little grease in there, but never ever try and clean 50 year old clunker bike greased parts. Good enough is good enough on those old classics.
     

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    Default Re: How to run a bike shop without bikes WJS article

    OTOH, a local repair-only shop (no inventory except for some consumables) had to pause operations

    Oakland Service Course on Instagram: “⏸️✌️🚵”
     

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    Default Re: How to run a bike shop without bikes WJS article



    Source of my lonely tube...so many bikes on the repair stands inside, they were wrenching outdoors last Friday.
    rw saunders
    everything is connected

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