SRAM Eagle XX1 10-50T Cassette
SRAM Eagle XX1 10-50T Cassette

Building A Bike During The Pandemic (Part I)

The pandemic broke supply chains, slowed production, and threw global shipping into absolute chaos. Combine that with people discovering cycling because their gyms were closed since the start of the pandemic and you have a bike market that can’t fulfill the growing demand. Much has been reported about bikes quickly selling out, component shortages, and long lead times. People can’t get the bikes they would like or build them with the components they would love. Many custom builders can currently not build complete bikes. They happily build frames but have to tell their clients that they’re on their own to build them up.

While online shops have a lot of stuff out of stock, it’s certainly not impossible to build a bike. One has to be patient, shop globally, and sometimes just go for available components. While I have always been using 180 mm rotors on the front of my mountain bikes and 160 mm in the back, I'm going a size larger on the Stooge MK5. My favorite Centerlock rotor, TRP's TR-25 was easily sourced in 203 mm diameter. 180 mm though, was nowhere to be found in Europe. I had to order that size from Universal Cycles in the US. They had them at a reduced price, making the fairly high cost of shipping easier to swallow.

The Light Bicycle AM740 rims I ordered went into production right away. The Onyx Boost hubs had a lead time of 5-6 weeks and arrived as promised. Due to the supply shortages, one would expect prices to be up or at least not to be marked down, but I was able to get two pairs of tires at heavily reduced prices. All I'm missing now is a set of disc brakes. In keeping with standardizing the components across my bikes, the MK5 has to be equipped with the same brakes as my 44 Snakedriver - Formula Cura 4. They had been stocked in most online shops up to a couple of weeks ago. I wasn't expecting that to change, but it did.

The Stooge MK5 frameset has an ETA of August. I don't doubt that the Asian factory will have them made by then, but I wonder if Andy Stevenson will be able to have them shipped to Europe quickly due to the massive port delays out of China.