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Thesis' Randall Jacobs: 'This opens up opportunity'

Published October 13, 2020
Part 4 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.

Randall Jacobs, CEO and Founder, Thesis 

Thesis is a high-end custom direct-to-consumer brand. We make bikes to order at our Taiwan hub and drop-ship them around the world.

There are two opposing forces at play for the industry. First, we’re still in a pandemic and that will have to play out over as much as two years. That drives a social dynamic where there’s no yoga, no gym and no more going to the office for many. This opens up opportunity since people have more time and fewer recreation options, which will continue to drive low-to-mid-priced bike sales.

We’ve been fortunate to see a significant increase in demand. We’ve done a lot of supply chain refinement and diversification that’s allowed us to front-load inventory to avoid supply chain disruption. 

We’re also looking at expanding our product offerings beyond our typical $3,000 retail carbon gravel bike. This is a direction we would have taken regardless of current trends. We’re developing lower-price products so we’re ready to serve whatever part of the market is doing well. Our ultimate dream is a sub-$1,000 bike that even an enthusiast would enjoy.

As far as how supply has affected us, it’s been pretty smooth. We’ve had some slow deliveries, SRAM increased their lead times a bit, one large frameset shipment was delayed for a month. Overall, mainland China and Taiwan have their shit together and are handling the pandemic responsibly. 


Randall Jacobs.
Topics associated with this article: Crystal Ball

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