Paceline Tandem: Mark Peterman

Our guest for this installment of The Paceline Tandem is Mark Peterman, the CEO and founder of AirFom, a new foam insert that replaces inner tubes (and air) in bicycle tires. Peterman is an industry veteran who has done it all: He was an elite level racer in Colorado where he raced against the best of the best in the 1980s. He was a race promoter, a bike shop manager, a regional sales rep. He joined GT during their monstrous growth under the guidance of Richard Long and would later go on to become GT’s general manager following Long’s tragic death. More recently, he was Cycling Sports Group’s (GT and Cannondale) top guy in Taiwan. Patrick spoke to him via Skype to get his take on the bike industry’s supply chain issues. 

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  1. jlaudolff says

    I appreciated the insight into the supply chain, confirming my suspicion that Shimano is one of the main blockers at the moment. I recently embarked on a rebuild of a 5 year old Ti gravel bike, hoping that the supply chain was starting to move again. Finding grx parts is nearly impossible and very few outlets have the rear mechanical brifter in their catalog. Those that do have this in their catalog don’t have any forecasted delivery date. It’s fascinating to watch and I will be hoarding consumables like chains and brake pads for awhile whenever I can find some to buy to make sure I can keep riding.

    1. Padraig says

      I’d hate to see someone conclude, based on my conversation with Mark, that Shimano is somehow deliberately responsible for the holdup on bikes. I can’t fault them for sticking to a business plan that has worked for them for decades and decades. Could they be more responsive? Almost certainly. But is it necessarily something they have a responsibility to the world to do? I can’t seem to say yes to that. If they were the major holdup under normal market conditions I’d be more critical.

  2. jlaudolff says

    I didn’t conclude that Shimano is deliberately responsible and completely understand the idea that they have a business plan of slow and steady production. My experience with Shimano dates back to the 90s when I remember hearing that they would switch production from one line to the next such that for a month or two you could get chains but not brakes, or cranks but not derailleurs. I don’t blame Shimano. As I said, it is fascinating to watch since I have perfectly rideable bikes and am not relying on them for my livelihood. I’m sure it’s a big bummer for shops who have a lot of demand but not much to sell. I approached a few shops about upgrading my bike and they all said “get your own parts and we’ll be happy to do the labor”.

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