Everything You Need To Know About Pandemic-Related Bike Delays
Since the early part of 2020, the world has been changing at a more rapid pace than ever before. The COVID-19 global pandemic has caused unprecedented struggles for various industries, companies, and customers around the globe. One silver lining, however, has been a surge in the demand for new bikes as countless individuals discover the joy of cycling for the first time or rekindle the wonder of pedaling a bike that they first experienced as kids. Having more people riding bikes is a wonderful thing.
However, with the demand for bikes at historic highs, the bicycle industry is facing challenges. In the interest of transparency, we want you to know exactly what’s going on with our industry and with us, in particular, as well as what we’re doing to meet those challenges.
WHERE WE'RE AT
The record demand for bikes has kept our current inventory levels low. We are receiving bikes, but the supply isn't keeping up with all who want to get a new bike. Typically, as we enter the end of the year, we'd start shipping our latest collections of bikes to retail partners around the world. But, due to the supply chain issues affecting everyone, we anticipate availability delays and an undersupply of bikes into 2022. Here’s why.
HISTORICAL DEMAND ON COMPONENT MANUFACTURERS
Due to the demand for new bikes, component manufacturers—our business partners who produce items like wheels, brakes, shifters, and more—have simply not been able to keep up. Many are valiantly adjusting their business models to expand and/or adapt in order to meet this demand, but we anticipate delays in receiving new components well into 2022 as these partners face similar availability issues with the small parts and raw materials they themselves need. Without all of the necessary components, we aren’t able to fully assemble new complete bikes in a typical fashion.
FACTORY CLOSURES AND/OR REDUCED CAPACITIES
We rely on a complex and comprehensive network of manufacturing partners around the world. Various regions across the globe, however, are operating at varying levels of safety, containment, and capability in terms of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that in some countries where our bikes’ components are manufactured, factories are temporarily closed or production capacities are greatly reduced due to local regulations. These measures are causing further delays in receiving new bikes into our network.
LIMITED OCEAN FREIGHT AVAILABILITY
The majority of our bikes are produced in Southeast Asia and are then shipped via ocean containers to regions across the globe. Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic—including historically high demand for all sorts of goods beyond just bicycles—ocean container shipping is in high demand, as well. This has put a strain on the global shipping industry, which adds massive costs and further delays to the low-inventory situation that the bicycle industry is facing.
WHAT WE’RE DOING
We want nothing more than to get new bikes to all cyclists and triathletes, but the reality of expected delays extends far beyond us and the bicycle industry, at large. As such, unfortunately, many factors remain beyond our control—which is especially frustrating for a company like us that takes immense pride in sweating over the details to deliver a superlative experience and bike range for our customers.
All that said, we’re maintaining daily contact with our business partners and shipping associates in order to have as clear a perspective on when new Felt bikes will get to our retailers. We’ll be keeping our retailers posted on any new developments so that they have the knowledge to keep their local riding communities and customers informed. Be sure to contact your local Felt retailer for the most up-to-date information on getting new bikes in your area. We’ll also be sharing information directly with you as it becomes available, so be sure to keep an eye on our website and social media—and especially our email newsletter.
We can’t thank you enough for your patience and understanding during this challenging time, and we’re looking for some incredible rides together in the near future.
The entire team at Felt Bicycles