Spoon Customs suspends carbon bike production to manage backlog, cites ‘perfect storm’ in 2022

The board of Spoon Customs brand owner, Spoon Group Ltd, has announced that it will pause production of its custom carbon road racing frame, Vars Disc.

The company, led by Andy Carr, has cited “a perfect storm” of parts and supply chain issues experienced last year and the resultant delays customers are still experiencing.

Spoon’s handmade carbon bike launched last year and received positive reviews in the press which led many people to put money down to buy one, but unforeseen supply side issues affecting critical front end components delayed production of some critical frame parts for most of 2022 whilst alternatives were sought.

This has created a backlog, and long wait times for bikes ordered in 2022 are now negatively affecting the customer experience, with a very small number of customers waiting upwards of a year for their new bike.

The company planned to deliver the carbon product in four to six months from the point order, and had hoped to have delivered the backlog by May but in a handful of cases the company has not been able to achieve that target.

The problems which led to the delays were solved in Autumn 2022, but the resultant backlog has prompted the decision to proactively offer a full refund to all affected customers.

Some who are not delayed will also be offered alternatives, and refunds in a strategy that will allow some restructuring.

An action the company hopes will reduce any further impact on their customer’s short summer riding season and allow the small team to focus on service, and efficient production of new bike orders over the Summer.

A spokesperson for the brand said: “Vars Disc is our flag-ship model. It’s an incredible bike and we’ve just built out an amazing space in which to share it so it feels extremely disappointing to be taking this action at this time but selling more of the bikes now without addressing customers who have had to wait too long is not more important than doing the right thing in looking after our existing customers affected by the delays.”

For those customers who are not in a rush there will be an option to continue to wait, or more immediate alternatives to a Vars Disc will also be offered from existing stock, or partner brands.

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Commenting on the impact of the measures announced, Carr said: “2022 was hard for lots of businesses, and despite strong demand for our products since we reopened in our new premises in March it’s obvious we’re not immune to the impacts we felt in the previous year.

“The measures we’ve announced today are tough on us, but right for customers and will allow us to restructure the process. The exercise is costed, funded and deliverable but doing the right thing now will have an impact on our business going forward, so some restructuring will likely be inevitable and the business that emerges may not look the same as it does today.

“Having posted the best quarterly results for 18 months, and in March having broken all sales records in our new purpose built space, we are optimistic that working with our customers in this way means we will have the best chance to continue to build awesome bikes together, into 2023 and beyond.”

All customers awaiting bikes have been contacted directly by the Spoon Customs team.

Any customers who have not yet been contacted but have purchased a Vars Disc, are asked to get in touch with their Spoon Customs contact.

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