State of the Industry
The past year has been a challenge—in the bicycle industry, and in the entire world. You may have heard about supply chain shortages in many industries. If not, what we are seeing is that COVID-19 has created a cascading situation of supply chain shortages as various suppliers of finished goods and raw materials were forced to reduce staff or close for periods of time. Coupled with the side effect that people are wanting to get out on bikes more than ever, fueling a surge in demand, bikes are now in short supply. As a result, it can be difficult to give specific answers on availability and lead time. We kindly ask for your help and understanding as we navigate the current situation and the ripple effect that it will likely have on our products for the foreseeable future.
Our motivation in starting Esker is to get outside and ride bikes, and to get others outside on bikes as well. Above all else, we want to help get you out onto the trail as quickly as possible. When we say we need your understanding, what we mean is that we want to get you on a new bike just as bad as you want your new bike, and to trust that we are truly doing our best to get it to you as fast as possible.
We predict that this issue is going to continue for seasons to come because bikes are not just a single finished good, they are comprised of 40+ separate parts, sometimes from up to 15 different suppliers. An issue with raw material, parts production, shipping, or import with any one of those parts can hold up an entire bike, and the problem is not a simple one to fix—it's sorta like whack-a-mole. Supplier A can’t get raw aluminum. Supplier B can’t get workers to finish the product. Supplier C can’t get containers to ship the product. It’s hard to predict, and it changes often. It will get better, but slowly, as each supplier catches up.
This season we have instituted a pre-order process to help us keep a “queue” of who wants what, which can help us prioritize production and shipping of certain frames and kits. Our estimated delivery dates are built on a combination of frame availability dates, parts availability dates, and capacity in our Montana assembly facility. Each bike needs all three things to become a finished bike, and we are doing our best to juggle all of those variables.
Our estimated dates on pre-orders are our best work with the information that we have at the current moment, but can also be fluid based on outside factors we can’t control or are not yet aware of. If you want a bike this year, please get a pre-order in, it helps us tremendously in production planning. We won’t bill you for the total amount of the bike until we have everything, and we promise to keep you updated as we get closer to estimated dates if there are any situations that may cause a problem. As well, we also promise to not just move dates on you if there is a problem, we will reach out to our pre-order holders to discuss the actual problem rather than just push the date. And finally, we know you are excited for your new Esker, but don’t go selling your current bike until you get your new bike! We would hate for any production issues to keep you off the trail.
We appreciate your interest in Esker and your understanding as we navigate this evolving situation. We look forward to getting your bike out to you as soon as possible so that we can all get back to doing what we love to do—riding bikes outside. We'll see you out there.
- The Esker Team