Inventory Builds Up As Consumer Demand Cools:
You've already seen the ads on your feeds, most likely. The discounting of bicycles and cycling gear is full-on once again. This marks the final swing induced by the pandemic which will affect us all going into 2023.
Riders will enjoy more choices and bargains on those choices as time marches on toward the holidays. Inventory levels have reached critical mass in some categories with the result being that shipping costs are being forgiven at lower ordering levels for shops and from what I heard, some folks even lost their jobs due to ordering too much stuff at a certain distributor that shall remain nameless.
The inflationary climate has doused the fires of consumer demand as well, sending retailers skittering toward big sales and discounts as we head into the New Year. Some prognosticators of the cycling industry are claiming the fall-out from this may be that retail will suffer and seeing closures is not out of the question.
Interesting times, to be sure.
Ti Lorax Introduced:
|The Esker Lorax in titanium (Image courtesy of Esker)|
Last week Esker Cycles announced a couple of new titanium frame offerings- The Walden fat bike and the Lorax gravel bike.
The Lorax was a steel offering in Esker Cycles previous incarnation, Advocate Cycles. That was back in 2015, but now the Lorax is not Reynolds 531, but titanium.
It has several mounting options for accessories, as you would expect, tire clearance is a claimed 2" wide for a 700c wheel, and the geometry is pretty good. 75mm bottom bracket drop, 71.5° head tube angles, and a top tube that isn't sloped super crazy so it won't need a really long seat post. The adjustable "Portage" drop outs are cool in case you have to do the single speed bail-out mission. Price with a Wolf Tooth head set, seat collar, and rear through axle is set at $2300.00 USD.
Comments: Not bad, Esker, not bad at all. I always felt as though that the Lorax was a take on the Vaya from Salsa Cycles, and this titanium version does nothing to dispel that notion for me. That's a good thing, because the Vaya is a great, and very underrated, gravel bike choice. I would suspect that this bike would handle very much in the Vaya's vein, which I welcome.
The price is more than reasonable here, and with a double butted tube set, I would bet that this bike would ride like a dream.
Riding Gravel Radio Ranch Episode #105: The Gravel Amplifier:
Monday afternoon N.Y. Roll and I met at The Stone Castle Estates and recorded the Riding Gravel Radio Ranch Podcast #105. We're calling it "The Gravel Amplifier".
This goes along with the post I made Tuesday which also is about the same thing. But do make sure you click through to the podcast, because there I list a few more events than I did on Tuesday. (See those in the Show Notes)
So, going forward, this could become a series, but that is entirely up to you- the readers. If I get submissions and they pass the sniff test, boom! Amplification happens. If I get radio silence? Then I move on, and nothing gets amplified. I'm not doing the search and destroy for this anymore these days. Here's why......
You'll hear a bit about this if you listen to the podcast, but when I started the Gravel Grinder News calendar in 2009, there was no one else doing what I was doing. As gravel became more popular and more lucrative, players came in to capitalize on my work, and much of what I had dug up and compiled ended up becoming their "content" with no recognition or acknowledgement for where it came from.
I get it- It's all public knowledge, but it was a cheesy, classless way to obtain a calendar which I did not appreciate. So, I am not going to publish and maintain a calendar to benefit other sites. They can dig up their own stuff. But I will take submissions for certain events, amplify them, and spread the word as best as I can on my channels. So, no calendar of events, but I will help to push those events that otherwise would not get any publicity in cycling media.
If you are a fan of an event, or like what is happening at an event and want to see it succeed, let me know. Likewise for event promoters. I am here for ya.....Lay-offs Affect Cyclingtips:
Late on Tuesday afternoon word started to spread via social media that several cuts were made at Outside and especially at Cyclintips, which is a news/technical review site that employs some very well known cycling media personalities. There were several social media posts claiming that Outside had released up to 12% of the staff. (Now confirmed) One person that was confirmed as a lay-off was Senior Editor, Caley Fretz who had joined Cyclingtips in late 2017.
Lead technical writer for Cyclingtips, James Huang, who retained his position with the company, Tweeted the following on Tuesday evening, "To be clear, I’m still at CyclingTips. But given everyone who was let go, it still feels like I lost a close friend today."
Outside, who had acquired Cyclingtips, Pink Bike, and Trailforks in 2021, also made cuts to Cyclingtips and shut down the mountain bike title, Beta, completely earlier this year in May.
Comments: As I said, back in May, I don't trust corporations that own a bunch of media titles. But, on the other hand, what should they do? It would seem that most people consume their "news" on social media, podcasts, or on YouTube these days. It would seem that "real", physical magazines are now dinosaurs. It would also appear that trying to get people to give up money to get behind a paywall is not drawing the money/numbers that some thought it might. Advertisers are looking for max-clicks, and apparently, Cyclingtips wasn't drawing big enough numbers. (For a more in-depth look at the situation see this Cycling Industry News article or this from AdWeek)
Interestingly, Pink Bike, which is said to be Outside's biggest draw digitally speaking, is a massive success. It would seem that we are in an era of consolidation/ending of titles and singular, monolithic entities will now control recreational media and, perhaps someday, even your events. (See both Outside and Life Time for examples)
Lauf, Gravel Worlds, PCL Debut Collab On Seigla Gravel Bike:
Wednesday big news came from the gang at Gravel Worlds. They have partnered with long-time sponsor, Lauf Cycling, to bring a PCL themed Seigla to the masses.
The Seigla is the newest incarnation of a gravel bike from Lauf which features the unmistakable Lauf Grit fork, now in its third generation, and clearances for up to 57mm tires.
Comments: This is a cool collaboration. I like the bike but for its high bottom bracket, which is something I cannot compromise on, but that's maybe just me.
I love that Lauf and the folks at Gravel Worlds arrived on, what I consider to be, the classic PCL colors of army green and black. I recall that in 2011 at Trans Iowa v7, second place finisher Troy Krause had on the original PCL Army Green/Black jersey and that I just loved that combo. The PCL came out with a reissue of that design which I snagged right away. So, this scheme on the Seigla is a really great idea, to my mind.
Want one? Check out this link.
That's all for this week! get out and ride! (Layer up, y'all!) Thanks for reading Guitar Ted Productions!