Where's Kevin?

Been wondering where Kevin is? Or curious about why there are such long lead times in the cycling industry at the moment? Here’s our little summary of the supply and manufacturing issues that Curve and the cycling world is facing at the moment.

Where's Kevin?

Is there really a global shortage of bikes? 

Yes the rumours are true, or as you may already know, there is a global shortage of bicycles and bike parts. Taiwan, China and most cycling manufacturers are completely snowed under with hundreds of thousands, if not millions of orders from around the globe. 


How'd it all begin?

As you can imagine it all kicked off in January 2020, with the first wave of Covid hitting China, resulting in the shut down of production for 8 weeks. By March, as Covid started gaining momentum, the world held its breath driving a massive freeze on spending. All this happened while countries had to deal with lockdowns, travel bans, reduced workforces or outbreaks. The knock-on effect also had a massive impact on freight timings and costs. In short, cycling production had slowed, and the industry was already well behind the eight ball when it all went crazy.


Cycling becomes our saviour.

Little did we know that global lockdowns would trigger a huge increase in cycling (and other outdoor activities). Consumer demand increased rapidly cleaning out bike shops and local distributors of remaining stock. By June an industry order frenzy had started and lead times started to lag.


30 days to 300+ days.

Taiwan is the capital of the cycling production world, and before the "apocalypse”, typical lead times of Taiwan made goods was 30-45 days. We used to be able to put in a SRAM order, have it freshly made and delivered to us in under 60 days. Now we are getting constant updates from brands and suppliers from around the world with lead times of up to and over 500 days!


What happened to Kevin? 

While we had set a reasonable buffer on delivery, our Kevin of Steel project was a little dinghy caught up in the middle of this tidal wave of change. Over the past 6 months, we watched our time contingency get washed away in the storm. For example delays began from the get-go with frame tubing from Columbus arriving late.


So where is he?

Kevin of Steel complete bikes are sadly still a little while away, we are looking at dispatching the first completes in June 2021, but the good news is that the first Kevin framesets have started to dispatch as of early April. Please note that both options will take 2-3 months to deliver.


How about Titanium?

Our titanium production was also affected but to less extent. A combination of China's 8 week lockdown, plus our Ti fabrication team in China also relocating frame production to a modern purpose built facility. During this setup we've encountered a few production and QC issues that we’ve been ironing out. While this all slowed down the delivery of titanium bikes, we have managed to get most wait times down from 6 months, to under 2 months on our most popular titanium frames. 


Complete bikes are slower.

Unfortunately complete bikes are a different story. The extended lead times on groupsets, and other non Curve products mean that our allocations are spread out and often sold out before they are even delivered. Currently, we have a batch of complete bikes ready for July, then the next allocation is November, and then we are looking into March 2022.


Can’t I just buy a groupset from the internet?

YES! If you manage to source a suitable groupset online, by all means, secure it. Just make sure you use this BYO spec sheet to specify everything correctly. We then can sort you out with the frameset and wheelset of your desire. 


But I just want a complete bike from you?

No problems, contact us and we can give you an ETA for your dream build.


Thanks for the patience!

We are humbled by how patient our Curve customers have been! It's been a massive challenge for us, but making you wait is the hardest part. So a huge huge thanks for understanding. Hopefully, the information above gives you a bit of insight into what we’ve been going through.

 

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