You are here

Cycle Force's Matt Nims: 'Dealers are willing to roll the dice with second- and third-tier brands'

Published October 23, 2020
Part 12 of BRAIN's Crystal Ball series.

Editor's note: For a feature in Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, Retail Editor Ray Keener spoke with 14 leaders on the supplier side of the industry. Ray spoke with leaders of major bike brands, component suppliers, e-bike startups, accessory makers and more. We will be running sections of that article online this month.

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — It’s been a hectic and unprecedented several months for our industry and many others. Fortunately for our companies and retailers, hectic has meant managing demand rather than fighting for survival.

Now that the season is waning, inventories are catching up (in some cases) and suppliers are catching their collective breaths, we reached out to a cross-section of suppliers and service providers to get their take on the future.

Matt Nims, Chief Marketing Officer, Cycle Force Group

We believe the current demand levels will certainly last through the end of 2020 and that 2021 will be a strong year. Whether "boom" will apply at the end of 2021, we cannot say, but the industry as a whole should be healthy if inventory levels can replenish quickly enough.

Lead times today are as bad as they have ever been. Raw materials suppliers slow down the parts makers, the parts makers slow down the assemblers. Shipping companies are at maximum capacity and freight rates have risen 15-20%.

In the short term, we are selling whatever we have. I think dealers are more willing to roll the dice with second- and third-tier brands, knowing what a challenge inventory will be for the next six to 12 months.

We're seeing growth at both ends of the price spectrum, but we don't know if this is because people are willing to spend more on a bike, or if they cannot get a more economical bike, so they have to go up-range.

At the same time, we have IBDs trying entry-level product as well. When a retailer like Walmart who sells around 8 million bikes a year is largely out of stock, that is a big opportunity for the IBD.

Additionally we are moving out inventory like warranty parts that have gathered dust, but still have value to the IBD. The 26-inch, 21-speed bike has made somewhat of a comeback if only because of lack of new inventory availability.

Matt Nims
Topics associated with this article: Crystal Ball

Join the Conversation