Pénurie

I used to think that the tired old cycling cliché of “N+1” was sort of silly and elitist, but I am coming around to the unintended wisdom of owning a couple of bikes, or more importantly, a few sets of parts. If you’ve been to the bike shop and tried to buy much these days you’ll know what I’m talking about – there is a worldwide shortage of all sorts of important things. Take this example:

A few months ago I was spending time in my LBS and overheard a guy asking about buying a SRAM cassette. The owner told him that he’d have to wait at least 9 weeks. I immediately started feeling like I did when the toilet paper ran out in 2020 and wanted to know if I could get my hands on a Campy cassette. No, all they could get was the gravel one – no use to me.

Since this time I’ve heard all kinds of stories of shortages of you-name-it: wheels, groupsets, whole bikes (especially e-bikes, it seems). I know this isn’t news and cars will be next, I guess, with the lack of semiconductors everywhere right now.

I’m just glad I’ve got two bikes, 3 or 4 extra cassettes, and enough toilet paper to get me through retirement.

Have you run up against this, dear reader?

9 thoughts on “Pénurie

  1. We found a new roll of toillet paper in our hotel parking lot and picked it up just in case. We leave tomorrow and it is still unused… That said I have a huge amount of bike spare parts in my garage, but it’s more because I’m hoarding than because of shortage risks…

  2. New cars here in the US are harder to come by than they have been in the past, and the used car market has been depleted quite a bit. Bikes, of course, are very hard to get as well. Even buying a new helmet was difficult, when I did so recently. I had to scour the entire internet (felt like it, anyway) to find the model and size I wanted in a color I could live with.

    On a positive note, toilet paper and paper towels seem to be plentiful again. Still, I’m taking no chances as we surf the latest covid wave and am maintaining a decent back stock.

  3. I walked into a bike shop earlier this year and it was like an empty warehouse. There were only a handful of bikes on the floor. I actually asked the shop guy if they were closing down! He basically told me that they couldn’t get any new bikes and were running low on parts also. They could take orders on new bikes, but delivery dates were basically “whenever it happens to get made and shipped.” 😒

  4. It’s brutal here, Gerry. Our local shop took to storing their repair bikes on the floor to make it look like there’s something in the shop.

    I’ve got enough spare parts, chains and cassettes to comfortably get me to 2024. I may need a couple more sets of tires, come to think of it…

    • That’s hilarious and sad at the same time, Jim. And I’m glad to know that you’ve got yourself covered…tires seem to be still easy to get, at least over here.

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