We are approaching the end of 2021, which also marks the first anniversary of Grepp Cycling Stuff.
In short: The past year has been an absolute blast for us, and we are overwhelmed by all your positive feedback—thank you!
We are very grateful for all the riders out there setting up their bikes with our Gripper handlebar tape. It can be quite a big step breaking away from the world of ultra-cushy, single-use synthetic bar tapes and switching to our maximum grip, reusable, and long-lasting handlebar tape.
We also want to thank our exceptional friends from all the local bikes shops across the globe who trusted us and began stocking our tapes in their shops (Store Finder). After less than a year, we are available in 25 stores in 13 different countries, which is mind-blowing! Our mission always was to be an inherent member of the local bike shop culture rather than a distant online retailer. Community is king, and local bike shops play a vital role in forming them. We hope to continue this way in 2022 and further increase our global presence across local bike shops.
Furthermore, we want to thank all the riders tagging us in their pictures from small and big adventures.
Despite all the happy-happy-joy-joy, we also faced some challenges this year, which are worth mentioning in this post. After the release of our charcoal Gripper, we planned two more colors for March. Unfortunately, the new colors didn't make it in our shop and some local bike shops until April. A broken machine at our supplier's side caused the delay and forced us to break promises for the first time—it's something we today still feel uncomfortable doing. Another challenge is the ongoing raw material shortage for the Gripper. According to our original estimate, our supplier's limited raw material stock should have lasted until spring next year. But your excitement for our Gripper exceeded all expectations, so it turned out by September this year that we ran out of raw material. The textile industry works with minimum order quantities that are pretty high for a micro-business like ours. We were initially hesitant about committing to such high quantities for next year since it implies that we have to ramp up the scope of Grepp Cycling Stuff overall. But then we kept receiving requests from local bike stores and some larger retailers so that we decided to set aside our doubts and take the leap.
We always want to offer our products at an affordable price. It signals to the industry that keeping the price reasonable is possible even if you use sustainable materials and manufacture within Europe, with higher labor and manufacturing costs. However, a global increase in plastic material prices also impacted the cost of our bar-end plugs. Despite the cost increase, we can maintain the same sales price and wish to do so throughout the following year. But if our cost increases further, we might be forced to adjust the Gripper's price. In any case, you can trust that we do our best to be transparent and fair.
So what's in the pipeline for now?
We will try to release three more colors by the end of this year plus some more will follow in the beginning of next year and prepare to avoid supply shortages for next season. We hope we can provide the shortest lead times for all shops out there stocking us in 2022. Product-wise, we are brainstorming about the next steps. Stay tuned!
Thank you all for your support and feedback.
Stay awesome, be kind and ride your bike.
Jan & Thomas