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Getting a Grip: Ahead of Time is the New Just in Time

Getting A Grip Ahead of Time is the new Just In Time

I need new grips. The grips I love are allegedly not available for a year.

But the economy is dead, never to work again, in anyway shape or form? If you read the headlines it’s shocking we’ve made it this far. Don’t worry, they’ll tell you where the cliff is. Right, right, right past that next automated ad they’ve put in front of you (ironically, selling you something right?)

Pandemic changed things. True.

So did the blue trucks blocking the streets in every neighborhood. (I don’t have an account and I don’t use it but that’s something for another channel.

So did some family in middle America that was busy pricing out the little guys so cliché Americans could go use free scooters to navigate a megastore with a jumbo ultra super barrel of sugar. Oh, and you can get greeted by someone who has a lifetime of stories and probably did some important stuff but needs whatever micro amount of money is available to say hi to some snot nosed gamer walking straight past them. But, at least we learned you can copyright bizarre taglines about mountain sports in areas notably devoid of mountains.

Point is: the economy is dynamic, constantly changing and involves navigation. It is affecting us that’s for sure. But is it destroying a way of life? That’s a stretch. If the previously mentioned general pains in the ass to commerce didn’t break it not being able to access every whim JIT probably isn’t gonna break the economy.

So Get A Grip?

Ya. I want to get some grips. Mine are worn out. I thought I had another set in my toolbox somewhere, but guess not after search.

I’m particular and I really do love the WTB Padloc grips, I’ve pushed them a bunch over the years and I might be one of the few who do love em (people are intimidated of chamfering their bars or whatever).

Well guess what: not the most popular item? Read another way, not the most profitable item? Production got backburned it looks like. Can’t blame WTB – consolidate SKUs and get the most sought after product in front of your users. Makes total sense. Good on them frankly.

But I’m glancing at my distributors and I’m seeing April 2023. And I would guess that’s a pretty soft date and could be pushed back, if they’re made again.

Options and Choices

Well, I’m not going to be able to nurse these grips for a year. So, guess I’m looking at other solutions eh?

I could go deep on the web search and locate them somewhere else. And I might. If I do I’ll be shopping product name and manufacturer part number.

The part number probably isn’t super super critical with these grips as they didn’t have multiple compounds or whatever – but on something like a specific tire you’re looking for? MAN, I would be damn sure it hit all the boxes. Cause ya, I love the Minion DHF 2.5 front tire. But I want it in the specific sidewall and TPI that I want. And some strange mega-store’s spec of it with the cheap sidewall or whatever is beyond unusable and a huge waste of my time and expectation.

I’m also going to be judging the credibility of the resource that lists product as “available” for the same reasons. I don’t feel like dealing with the wrong product, or a week later being told it’s not available (sometimes things aren’t available, but credible sites can tell you really quick, before you’re waiting thinking its’ on the way to then being told nope, no dice)

So, picking your retailer is getting to be as important as picking your product. Well that’s good for quality retailers! We’re stoked to work with you.

Other Options instead of a Rabbit Hole?

What if I don’t want to play chase the part number around? Well looks like I’m comparing other grips right?

Personally I’m looking at the larger diameter Ergon grips as well as a couple other options our guys have brought into the shop.

Ahead of Time is the new JIT

So what extras do I keep around the toolbox? Here’s a current look, fresh from looking for my grips I thought I had!

Extra derailleur cable. I keep these around more to save the drive if I need one (I don’t work on-site every day so if I need a cable I’m going to a local cruiser shop or whatever)

Few feet of derailleur housing. See above

Derailleur Hanger.

Brake Pads. 2 sets, so front and back if needed.

Brake Fluid. Not sure if this counts as an “extra” so much as a quick maintenance thing from lever bleeds.

Front tire (Minion DHF 2.5). I keep 1 tire around just in case too. If I lose a rear tire I tend to put my existing front tire to the rear and the fresh tire in the front.

Chain. I’m leaning into the idea of putting together a full drivetrain but have found other places to spend money lately and haven’t done it just yet. Reading that I know I’m going to regret it if I don’t put a cassette and ring in my toolbox. Wednesday I’m picking those up hahaha…

Learning the new Economy

You know, I try really hard not to be a typical consumer about everything – I work hard not to get into the “need it today” mode unless I really do (or I want to go on an errand or whatever and whoa, I’m at my favorite haunt and just happen to end up with some toy for myself hahaha).

But some bits, like parts to keep my bike on trail, that’s super important to me and that’s where Ahead of Time is the new plan – and you’ll find them in my toolbox. I’m not hording tons of em – just the one I need.

So I guess I’m getting a grip on the new economy. In fact, I’ll be getting a new grip on the modern times – gonna go with the Ergons this time.

See you on the trails – Nate@BikeCo.com