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An Interesting Discussion


Razors Edge
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...with the State Bicycle guy on The Gravel Lot podcast.  The discussion was around the COVID impacts to bike manufacturers.  The host had spoken with him just as COVID was breaking out in the spring of 2020, and then again late last month.  They discussed the issues he saw then vs now, and then had more discussions on the overall impact and likely future impacts.

What the State guy said, in a nutshell, is that there is likely going to be a large SURPLUS of bikes towards the end of next year especially from the big manufacturers.  It seems most of the big guns - Trek, Spec, Giant, etc. - will have likely used their power to to secure very large orders from the likes of Shimano, SRAM, tire makers, and other key component manufacturers.  That's to secure their ability to fill orders and avoid the nonsense from this past year they faced, BUT, that also means they are also confident that the same level of demand will exist into late 2022, and that is likely a huge miscalculation.  Faced with ordering "lean" (based on reality) or ordering "big" (to protect against getting caught out again), most big companies will go with the latter and that likely means big discounts for folks willing to wait for that next bike and to hold off on the FOMO.

As an aside, State is an interesting little company.

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If the large manufacturers have bought large amounts of stock and the bikes don't sell as quickly as they think, it will mean a brief stagnation in technology because the big manufactures won't want to introduce the latest and greatest and create the risk of obsoleting all the material they already have stored in their warehouses.

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I’m thinking the forthcoming infrastructure upgrades will include more rideable urban spaces, and younger people will continue their migration into urban centers of more easily accessible work, shopping, dining and entertainment. Demand for city bikes will be high. And if N+1 is a function of riding, that city bike will lead to a recreational road/gravel/fat tire/mountain bike as well. 

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48 minutes ago, Thaddeus Kosciuszko said:

If the large manufacturers have bought large amounts of stock and the bikes don't sell as quickly as they think, it will mean a brief stagnation in technology because the big manufactures won't want to introduce the latest and greatest and create the risk of obsoleting all the material they already have stored in their warehouses.

That was part of the discussion as well.  Larger firms like Shimano or Specialized will see that far later vs smaller groups, though, so next year might be early for noticing.

Also, he thinks it may cause a rethink of "model years" due to that -too much supply at one point, and too little R&D to differentiate model years.  Maybe lots of changing colorways interspersed with tech updates.

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16 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

She’s the more legit city cyclist of the two, so I’ll ask her:  How many times have you purchased a bike? Why did you need a different bike?  How long between purchases? 
As for me, I replaced a touring bike with a city bike with more upright seating, and gave my touring bike to my child to ride to school. I also bought a road bike for recreational distance riding with friends. I’m about to sell the road bike because I don’t like riding it as much as I like the city bike. Changed the tires recently to knobby 35s for mixed-terrain riding. 

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6 minutes ago, MoseySusan said:

She’s the more legit city cyclist of the two, so I’ll ask her:  How many times have you purchased a bike? Why did you need a different bike?  How long between purchases? 
As for me, I replaced a touring bike with a city bike with more upright seating, and gave my touring bike to my child to ride to school. I also bought a road bike for recreational distance riding with friends. I’m about to sell the road bike because I don’t like riding it as much as I like the city bike. Changed the tires recently to knobby 35s for mixed-terrain riding. 

An RG BURN!!! :D

You should look at those State bikes.  Do you have a garage or bike storage area? That makes a lot of difference in N+1 or not.  Or being single.  Maybe RG can get away with it?  Storing a bike in his shower or in the kitchen?

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2 hours ago, MoseySusan said:

She’s the more legit city cyclist of the two, so I’ll ask her:  How many times have you purchased a bike? Why did you need a different bike?  How long between purchases? 
As for me, I replaced a touring bike with a city bike with more upright seating, and gave my touring bike to my child to ride to school. I also bought a road bike for recreational distance riding with friends. I’m about to sell the road bike because I don’t like riding it as much as I like the city bike. Changed the tires recently to knobby 35s for mixed-terrain riding. 

You don't need to justify much.. :) 

Bike #1 I bought and commuted -rode around in Toronto, toured with dearie several trips several hundred km. each for 14 yrs. I had already bought a bike #2  10 yrs. leater.  So I left  bike #1,14 yr. old bike with sister so I would always have to bike to use when visiting family /friends in  Toronto. And they can use too.  So it's worked both ways. (secretly:  I will leave it there forever long after I pass. It's a steel bike. My niece has tooled around it. Sister doesn't really like it.)

I tolerated bike#2 and took it with me when moving to  VAncvouer. Rode-commuted and toured on it for 6 years. I never truly loved it.. It didn't seem to fit me perfectly and didn't ride as smoothly.  I once left it locked up in a construction trailer at worksite over a holiday weekend.  In desperation for a bike during the holiday, I bought bike #3... still use it, a hybrid, aluminum. I had rented this model in Quebec and loved it at that time.  I've been commuting, touring on it for past 15 yrs...lst in Vancovuer and now in Calgary.  I love this bike because it fits me best, rides better and suitable for tougher weather here. 

Dearie took bike #2 and converted it for him to ride around in the last 2 yrs.  He wanted a cheaper bike to lock up when shopping in VAncouver. He was preferring to ride abit more upright more often.

Bike #4, My folding bike was a gift from dearie...rode and toured on it in  last 10 yrs. whenever I was in vancouver.  I still have get it from Vancouver to Calgary. Long story here... of my possessions.

AND now I have bike #5, dearie's hybrid bike in Calgary which he always kept here to ride around when spending months with me.    It actually could be sized for  me..the model we did rent same size and model in Banff.  So I know I can ride it.  I haven't brought my heart to convert it with proper saddle, bar ends for me. Probably crank lengths have to be replaced with shorter ones.

Several psychological hurdles for me to cross....giving away his clothing, shoes...  I need time. :unsure:

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23 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

HAHAH!

We KNOW she is legit!  That was never a question.

What wasn't answered was how many bikes she has in her main home.  Seems the bikes are scattered all over CAnada!

3 bikes where I am now.

There's bike #6 which is a different folding bike of dearie's. He deliberately foisted it on me 2 yrs. ago from Vancouver to Calgary...because it has a crack in the frame. So now I have to give it away to a charity bike co-op or just trash it.

If someone in family loves a bike of yours and they also can fit the bike/ride it well...then my tip is:  after you have cycled the lovin' years of the bike, leave it with them in their location...forever with understanding you can borrow it when visiting. It will be a gift ..to them.

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2 minutes ago, MoseySusan said:

Back to the initial discussion:  infrastructure will change in both urban and suburban areas to benefit biking from place to place.  There will be no long-term glut of bikes. There might develop a shortage of mechanics and it could take longer to get parts and service. 

great.  just when it was getting interesting, you want to go back

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20 minutes ago, MoseySusan said:

Wait for it… coming soon to a populated area near you. 
 

E51292A1-1019-4382-A5B2-17F89A0DEEBA.jpeg

There are the odd bike parking lots..here and there in Toronto and Vancouver...both cities with noticeable increase of local cyclists in past decade.   But scarcely that jammed full..  That pic must have been taken in Europe?

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1 minute ago, shootingstar said:

There are the odd bike parking lots..here and there in Toronto and Vancouver. But scarcely that jammed full..  That pic must have been taken in Europe?

While still working in the office, I parked my commuter in the secure parking at our Metro station.  Cameras and card key access (with free unsecured nearby as well).  It has space for 100+ (maybe 200?), but it rarely had more than 20 to 30 bikes in there (free was usually packed but only ~50 spots).

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7 hours ago, Razors Edge said:

...with the State Bicycle guy on The Gravel Lot podcast.  The discussion was around the COVID impacts to bike manufacturers.  The host had spoken with him just as COVID was breaking out in the spring of 2020, and then again late last month.  They discussed the issues he saw then vs now, and then had more discussions on the overall impact and likely future impacts.

What the State guy said, in a nutshell, is that there is likely going to be a large SURPLUS of bikes towards the end of next year especially from the big manufacturers.  It seems most of the big guns - Trek, Spec, Giant, etc. - will have likely used their power to to secure very large orders from the likes of Shimano, SRAM, tire makers, and other key component manufacturers.  That's to secure their ability to fill orders and avoid the nonsense from this past year they faced, BUT, that also means they are also confident that the same level of demand will exist into late 2022, and that is likely a huge miscalculation.  Faced with ordering "lean" (based on reality) or ordering "big" (to protect against getting caught out again), most big companies will go with the latter and that likely means big discounts for folks willing to wait for that next bike and to hold off on the FOMO.

As an aside, State is an interesting little company.

Well if it will be a miscalculation which leads to future surplus of bikes, it is from North America's standpoint. Not Europe's or certain Asian countries.  I don't see it as a terrible thing if there are abit too many usused bikes 5 yrs. from now. They'll get used....somehow.

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1 hour ago, Razors Edge said:

While still working in the office, I parked my commuter in the secure parking at our Metro station.  Cameras and card key access (with free unsecured nearby as well).  It has space for 100+ (maybe 200?), but it rarely had more than 20 to 30 bikes in there (free was usually packed but only ~50 spots).

My headquarters building, has an outdoor bike cage for employees with their employee security access card (well, it's more like steel hammered into concrete- post fence) for 140 bikes.  In summer time for past 3 years (pre-covid), it was completely full. If you had to park and lock up bike in middle of day, it would be a problem.

Of course not right now at all...

I work for the municipality...so we gotta try to set the future trend somehow.

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1 minute ago, shootingstar said:

Well if it will be a miscalculation which leads to future surplus of bikes, it is from North America's standpoint. Not Europe's or certain Asian countries.  I don't see it as a terrible thing if there are abit too many usused bikes 5 yrs. from now. They'll get used....somehow.

The miscalculation - in my mind - WILL happen.  It is a matter of how large and how soon. 

Even this little corner of the world - made up of folks who have some interest in cycling/bikes - is unlikely to sustain the interest from the last 18 months.  Assuming larger companies order large quantities of components using growth over 2020 and 2021 levels as the starting point, there is little doubt the market will be over-saturated with bikes.  That's good for the consumer, but there will be fewer consumers looking for bikes when it happens :)

Want a bike, but have some time to wait? Aim for Q3/Q4 2022.

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