Some of the world’s largest bicycle manufacturers are discussing the shaking of supply chains due to a delay in the supply of parts, which has been described by several manufacturers as the last few decades.
The global bicycle shortage, which began last year, has been exacerbated by supply problems highlighted by a group, Japan’s Shimano, which controls the dependence of components that control about 65 percent of the brake gear market.
“It pushed us a little bit further out of our comfort zone to explore different suppliers,” said Eric Bjլինrling, Trek brand manager and one of the world’s largest bicycle manufacturers.
European-American manufacturers say delivery time to delivery is 400 days for high-quality Shimano components, highlighting the tensions in the industry, which is trying to meet the wave of demand for bicycles caused by the epidemic.
Some suppliers have reported even longer use of some parts, such as hydraulic brakes or wheels.
Suppression of the supply chain has also hit other leading bicycle manufacturers, such as Taiwan’s Giant and Merida.
Osaka-based Shimano, which manufactures fishing gear, boating equipment and bicycle parts, has struggled to meet demand due to an epidemic that has driven millions of countries to ride bicycles.
Deficits are expected to continue, even at Shimano plants operating at full capacity.
The problems are more acute for small bicycle manufacturers, while too long a period has added to the challenges of any new entrant in the market.
The start-up LeMond, founded by three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond, has been delayed by four months due to delivery delays, including Shimano cuts by 80% in the first half of the year.
“We were told that summer would be December, then January. In March, we have everything but these two components. “Unfortunately, if I do not have all of them, then I can not build a bike,” said CEO Dean Hendrickson. “It caused a cash flow problem.”
Antonio Duss, CEO of Cicli Pinarello, an Italian manufacturer specializing in high-quality bicycles, says the big question for companies like this is whether demand will continue in the long run.
Some component manufacturers are concerned that falling into orders immediately after running out of stock can cause problems.
Davide Campagnolo, whose company of the same name has increased production capacity in Europe to meet the outfits that Shimano has difficulty providing, warned: “This great demand cannot last forever.”
He predicts that it will stop in the summer of 2023, when indoor sports are fully returned, և the market absorbs a huge number of bicycles.
For Shimano, despite rising revenue from bicycle components, the tension is clear, says Morten Polsen, an analyst covering Japanese industry at CLSA in Tokyo.
The company postponed the sale of several products this year to celebrate its 100th anniversary. Paulsen said this was probably because engineers had to deviate from the challenge of capacity building.
Dic warned at Cicli Pinarello that Shimano needed to improve its game, although he believed that the company’s management in the supply chain was safe because of the high quality of its parts և access barriers.
“The key to the future is for Shimano to connect with brands more quickly and lean, to know in advance what trends are needed to plan adjustments in advance,” he said.