Supply shortages in the cycle industry

Wednesday 8 September 2021 Filed in: General

I'm sure many of you are aware that our industry is experiencing supply problems. These problems are caused by a worldwide over demand for bicycles and bicycle parts because of Covid.

The consequence of this over demand is the stocks of bicycles and bicycle components were depleted rapidly during 2020.

Because of the high demand right the way through the supply chain larger orders were placed than normal which meant the lead times quoted by the manufacturers started to lengthen, causing companies like ourselves, along with all the big players in our industry having to increase their order size still further. So now we have a problem caused by not only a continuing high demand but also by over ordering. Some of the items we usually buy we have had to increase the volumes, in some cases 4-fold because of the long lead times.

Nearly 50% of our suppliers are now operating on dispatch during 2023. So that means a 2 year wait for some key items, one of which is tandem rims. We managed to find an alternative manufacturer in Taiwan who is making us some rims which will arrive late spring 2022. But there are some items we have ordered for which there is no other manufacturer, Shimano being one of these companies.

Shimano products are made for tandem and bicycle builders to order, normally from ordering they would typically arrive in about 5 or 6 months. We placed a large order with Shimano nearly a year ago for which we do not even have a manufacturing date, we certainly will not see any of these items this year, and I don't have dates for 2022 either.

Here at JD Tandems, we retail tandems from several suppliers, including our own "in house" brand Orbit. Stock of our Orbit tandems has been pretty good, gut instinct told us that we would experience supply problems back when coronavirus was a far eastern problem only. So, we got our orders in early.

Our other suppliers though for the most part have had no stock. For example, I ordered 30 Gepida electric tandems last autumn, I have only had 4 arrive. Moustache, just arrived (November) but they are all pre-sold. New orders for Hase Pinos fitted with E6100 Shimano Steps motors are now June 2023, although I have ordered some for stock and these are due throughout 2022.

So, plan ahead, if you fancy a new tandem for 2022 or 2023, come along and test ride as soon as you can and get your order in the system with us.

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