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Bikes. Parts. Chaos.

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Hey! Fleck here. How’s it going? 

It’s been a while. You’re looking sharp! Is that a new hairdo? 

No ... just letting it grow? Couldn’t tell. 

Yah, y’know. Things are fine here in Surlyville. Thanks for asking. 

Well, mostly.  

Uh, aside from the obvious that is. Meaning this novel coronavirus pandemic and the effect it’s having on everything we once thought was “normal.”  

But, hey, some of us have it much better than many others do right nowIn times like these it’s imperative to count one’s proverbial blessings. Share what one can. Be kind. 

Perhaps you’ve heard. In spite ofor rather because of, this pandemic, bike companies have experienced an unprecedented demand for bicycles and the bits that go along with them. SURLY is no exception. In fact, most companies that make gear for traveling in and experiencing the outdoors are in a similar position.  

Seeing that “sales” is in my job title, it’s not lost on me just how unprecedented this situation is. I’ve also been reminding myself that every time I deployed the word “unprecedented” prior to 2020 I was exaggerating 

If you’ve been on the hunt for a SURLY bicycle you’re likely not having an easy go of it. We have a limited supply of bikes. Forecasts and orders were placed long ago. We can’t just turn up a dial and get more stuff quickly. Under normal circumstances getting additional bikes and frames takes time. That is compounded now by the pandemic’s longer-term effects on supply chains in general. In other words, there are a lot of companies trying to turn up that production dial all at once. 

Things haven’t been easy for you nor for the retailers who take care of you. On behalf of my cohorts at SURLY I’d like to offer our apologies. We’re sorry that wait times are long and that it’s tough to find our bikes right now. While we can’t fix it in the short-term, we’re working on it.  

It has also come to our attention that we haven’t explicitly shared some information that may help lend additional clarity around our current status. Here goes, in the form of some FAQs we’ve been fielding: 

I’ve been working my way down your website’s dealer list calling multiple shops looking for a bike. No one has it and many don’t know when they can get it. What’s up? 

I mentioned above the inordinate demand for bikes that has been created by the coronavirus pandemic. Once we realized demand was off the rails we decided to give first crack at inbound inventory to the dealers that support SURLY with stocking commitments. On our website those are the shops listed as “Intergalactic Destination Shops” and “Intergalactic Dealers.” SURLY is a brand that is normally open for most bike shops to order at will. However, during this time of bike-inventory scarcity we are providing inventory to the shops that have supported SURLY by stocking our stuff before it was in short supply. 

You all just launched a bike and I want one. It sucks that it’s not available from my dealer. Why would you launch a bike that I can’t get? 

First off, let’s acknowledge that in the best of times a lot of folks had to wait it out to get our new stuff. Again, our apologies it’s more complex now. Scarcity or not, we still need to let folks know about our new bikes. We’d like to ask for your patienceYou can focus your efforts for greater chances of success. Please reference the “Intergalactic Destination Shops” and “Intergalactic Dealers” from our website dealer finder when trying to track down not only new releases but bike inventory in general. 

It feels super weird to ask SURLY this but when will things get back to “normal?” 

That is a great question. And thanks for qualifying that we’re not “normally” in the habit of advising what’s “normal.” For the sake of this discussion let’s acknowledge that SURLY bike availability will be spotty throughout calendar year 2021. There has never been a better time to start a dialogue with your local Intergalactic SURLY Dealer if you’re serious about acquiring one of our 4130 steel steeds. Reach out to them. State your intentions. Be heard. Get a bike. 

My dealer is telling me they can’t get me a Pack Rat, Long Haul TruckerTroll, or a Pugsley. They’re not sure why. Uh, what’s going on over there in Surlyville? 

All right, all right. We have some models going away. They would not have gone away so quickly though had we not seen the accelerated bike sales brought about by this pandemic. Regardless, let it be known that we have sold through most sizes in bikes and frames of the following models: Pack Rat; Long Haul Trucker; Troll; and Pugsley. These aren’t planned for reorder, meaning they are discontinued. 

This is a lot of information. Thanks for reading. Some of it is disappointing not only for you but for us too. At SURLY we like to make our stuff easily accessible. It would appear that’s just not how it was meant to be this year.  

I’ll leave you with an anecdote which, franklymight sound trite. But I’m going to write it anyway. When shit seems too serious around Surlyville and folks are tense, invariably one of us will chuckle and remind the other(s): “Hey, it’s just bike parts!” As opposed to, say, life-saving medicines or nuclear launch codes. 

Granted these bikes and bike parts mean a lot to folks. They ultimately mean everything to us. Whether they constitute hobbies or livelihoods I’m not making light of that. Rather, it’s about resetting perspectives. 

More than a quarter-million Americans have died from a virus few had heard of a year ago. It is tragic. I said this earlier: Some of us have it much better than many others do right now. In times like these it’s imperative to count one’s proverbial blessings. Share what one can. Be kind. 

To that end, here’s wishing the best for you and yours. Not just now but until we have a brighter light shining at the end of this tunnel.  

Until then, please mask up, be safe, and take care of each other. 


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About Fleck

John Fleck a.k.a. Fleck

Meet John, Surly’s Global Sales Manager & Domestique. Long ago, John worked for Surly in a customer service and sales capacity, long before Surly had any sort of proactive sales plans or programs. Most recently however, he honed that experience by building relationships and selling bicycles and bicycle accessories to people outside the U.S. of A. He returns now with a wealth of knowledge about Surly, about the needs and habits of bike shops and about the clockwork orange that is global and domestic sales markets. John’s hobbies include woodworking, riding bicycles, positively focused skepticism, being a dad, Buddhism, making good food and eating good food.