Bike maintenance and supply shortage

Up until this past month I was able to buy drivetrain parts and tires from my local shop. This month they told me they stopped selling popular parts (Ultegra and 105 components mainly) due to extreme shortages. The only way you can get the parts is by letting the shop do the maintenance on the bike; this is a problem as it’s a 3 week wait for drivetrain maintenance and there’s no guarantee the parts will be in by then.

I figure this is going on everywhere right now, my friend even stopped group rides because he hasn’t been able to replace his chainring since the end of 2020; he’s afraid he’s going to drop his chain and cause a crash.

What’ve you all been doing for bike maintenance and part replacement?

I’ve been finding new stuff on eBay and Amazon. Not ideal as I want to support local shops but, needs must.

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seems a bit extreme

what parts are you not able to find?

I’ve found most of everything I need on Amazon or other popular websites, I have bikes on Ultegra 11 speed mechanical and 10 speed Sram Red mechanical and haven’t had any problems of late.

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I’ve always bought most of my bike goods from Europe because it’s always been much cheaper even with shipping. (Merlin, ProbikeKit, Wiggle, etc).

You also have all the US based mail order companies. I also check ebay and Google shopping.

I can understand your local shop needing to do what it needs to do but just go search farther afield. It’s hard to imagine that your friend can’t find some compatible chainring.

(Note: I have read reports of things like fake Shimano chains on Amazon so keep that in mind.)

My fingers are dextrous enough again and I’m back to doing most stuff myself but during my chemo and the 6-12months after when the drugs continue to destroy my nerves a friend of mine setup as a bike mechanic and I used him a fair bit and he is good at sourcing parts. So for some tasks even though I have the feeling back in my fingers I still go through him.

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This is a nonsense!! Sounds like they are milking it to the max!

If you really keep on top of things, a road bike drivechain can last a really long time!! I have been making sure I have some MTB sprares though, and buying certain things when I can get my hands on them - chains, cassettes, lube, tyre sealant etc. The hardest thing I’ve found to get hold of lately has been 12 speed cassettes!

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I don’t use Amazon.

I have not had much of a problem getting parts. Normally I can buy them on the shelf. Occasionally I order online. Though I feel like I am cheating since Jensons main warehouse is attached to my regular trails.

I like to help local businesses but they are making their own bed.
The quote above and the “we prioritise bikes sold by the shop” kicked me in the but to do something that I realy wanted do for long time.

I got my self some training in bike maintenance and I buy everything onli e. I helped a bike charity in the process https://londonbikehub.com/ that partner-up with Parktool Park Tool School Locator | Park Tool

As said above, I buy everything online and have had no problems. It’s worth mentioning that I keep a small stach of essentials and rarely have to do an emergency buy.

Rather than milking it, I’d expect that their motivation is to hold back stock be able to complete repairs.

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The only reason to operate this model is to ensure they get the labour charges. If a shop refused to sell me a rear mech insisting that they fit it, I wouldn’t be in there again!

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Im not sure why a shop with a 3 week wait time for mechanics would employ tactics like this, they are clearly full already. Seems to be more drivetrain consumables like chains/cassettes/ chainrings rather than something that has to break like a deraileur.
More likely they’re keeping stock (which they’ve said is short supply) for those who can’t do their own maintence and let those who can fit their own find it elsewhere. Which keeps everyone on their bikes riding!

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Always having at least 1 spare of every normal consumable, which in my mind is chains, rotors, and disc brake pads. And now selling new-in-box Shimano stuff because I finally got off my lazy a** and listed stuff. If it helps, pretty sure I still have a lightly used Shimano Ultegra 8000 53 chainring and a 39 inner that escaped my first sweep thru the garage cabinets. Last night I helped a local dude that rode Canada to Mexico (great stories!) with a new bike build - Ultegra 6800 derailleurs still going strong (he saving on some things to pay for Enve 3.4 AR wheelset!).

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Yup. I always have at least one spare chain for each drivetrain, and buy a new one when I use one. Same for tires.

I’m currently sitting on a complete, new r7000 group set and two (?!) gx Eagle drivetrains, reluctant to sell any of it.

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Forgot to add tires to my list! I always have a spare set! I sold my Shimano bike and bought a bike with SRAM, hence my new-in-box and gently used listings on Craigslist! Love the 3 quick replies to power meter ad that started with “I want to pick it up. are you the original owner and is it your final price? actually, I don’t reply from cl mail. so, let me know at PleaseLetMeStartTheSlowScamProcessByEmailingDirect@gmail.com” (insert 3 different email addresses) :rofl:

i dunno it sounds to me like they are trying to conserve stock so they can continue to provide services. If they sold all their consumables how would they then source product for maintenance for bikes that come in when there is a shortage of supply? Most of the shops around here aren’t selling consumables either.

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indeed, desperate times = desperate measures.

It sounds like prioritization of service customers of parts customers to me. Makes sense from a business side to make sure they can handle the work orders for service that will be a larger driver of income vs a solitary parts sale.

Sucks, but I can fully understand the choice. Not all shops are doing the same with the restrictions, and many have done hard work to build inventory to avoid choices like that. Just a sign of the times. Maybe the shop screwed up and didn’t handle ordering or stock on hand well? Impossible to know and not necessarily appropriate to assign bad motives as the driver IMO.

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yesterday I loaned a cassette to the LBS manager, so he could use a trainer to warm up for races. Its a time to make favors and use stock alerts. Between this and previous post, I received a ‘Back in Stock’ alert email and immediately pulled the trigger and got the last one in stock. Used the same tactic a couple weeks ago to pick up two chains (limit two per customer), now I have enough chains to make it worthwhile doing a hot wax :+1:

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For sure. Parts in particular from what I have seen. If a person is searching for anything of substance, finds it in stock… POUNCE right then and there. I helped a friend track down a cassette because he was having trouble finding one online. I nailed one and sent him the link, stressed he needs to get on the order NOW (which he should have already known anyway from his own searching issues), but he slacked an hour… gone once he got around to looking.

Lesson learned for him and reinforced my already well established take on the current state. Funny part was he offered me a “finders fee”, which I deserved, but never got since he dropped the ball :stuck_out_tongue:

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Parts shortages are like the pandemic toilet paper shortages of 2020!

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No, worse. There’s actually a shortage on manufacturing of these components. The “shortage” of toilet paper was just a lag in noromal supply due to panic-buying by idiots.