For Handsome Followers Only
February 17, 2021
Handsome Cycles continues to grow and add value in the pandemic bicycle boom.
Dear Handsome Family,
A new bike season is about to begin. I am reaching out to you to explain what has happened over the last year and what is in store for Handsome for the rest of 2021. The last 12 months have been beyond challenging. We want to applaud all of you for your efforts to keep others safe. We also want to thank everyone who has supported us during these tough times. I can't express fiercely enough how much your kind words, understanding, and love for Handsome has meant to me and my family. We have the best customers in the industry and I think about all of you every time we make a decision here at Handsome.
Over the past 5 years, we have made many changes to how Handsome builds bikes. We do a lot of things differently than other bike companies. Some of it is in the interest of making better bikes, some of it is in the interest of giving our customers more choices, none of it is the easy way to go, but all of it makes for a better experience and a higher quality bike. We are extremely hands-on with our builds, more than any other production bike company.
Something that we have done for quite a while now, is to build the wheels for our stock bikes by hand. One of the premier wheel builders in Minneapolis, Eric Lyngaas, formerly of Northern Rose Bicycles, has developed our newest addition, Handsome Handbuilt Wheelhouse. We have a mountain of hand-picked rims, hubs, spokes, and nipples being delivered over the next couple of months and are expecting to build more than 1500 wheels from scratch this year. The value this service adds to our bikes is something very few bike companies, large and small, can offer their customers. Is this the easy way? Not by a long shot. However, we never make decisions based on what is the easiest way. Our choices are made by what gives you a better riding experience and makes a higher quality bike.
Fortunately and unfortunately, the bike industry is seeing a boom right now like we haven't seen since the early 1970's. Couple this huge demand with the effects of Covid on international manufacturing and shipping, and it is easy to understand that bikes and bike parts have been hard to come by over the last year. When placing orders for the parts to build our bikes, we are being told to expect 180-365 day lead times. Yes, you read that correctly. If we want a certain derailleur right now from Shimano, we will be waiting until January or February of 2022. Other companies like Sturmey Archer, who makes our 3 speed internal hub, isn't even taking orders, quoting an expected delivery date right now of June 2022. It is all very unusual, but has become the norm industry-wide.
All of the factors have also affected pricing. Manufacturers across the board are raising their prices anywhere from 5-15%. In addition, shipping costs have gone up more than 20% in some cases as demand for shipping containers has grown and logistics have become more expensive. We have maintained the same retail prices for the last 5 years, but we have now been forced to adjust to all of these external forces. Effective March 1, our bikes and frame sets will be between $50 and $100 higher across the board. I am writing to you to explain why, because transparency is one of Handsome's core values.
I want to award just those who follow us on a regular basis, so I am announcing just to you the pre-order discount we are putting in place on March 1. Because you are special, you can use it early before the price increase. The code to use at checkout is: PRE50 for $50 off any bike or frame set purchase. Or, you can click the below link to start shopping and have the discount already applied at checkout.
Luckily, we were able to get orders in early last fall, and we have frame sets and parts on the way. We are expecting over 300 Devils and Fredwards to arrive in May. We know that the demand for these bikes will be high, so we have now opened up pre-ordering on our site.
We very much value your questions and input, as you are part of the Handsome Family. I'm here for you anytime. As my daughter has us say before dinner every night, "We wish for love, peace, and happiness for all of the children around the world."
All my best!