Backorder Blues

Back around Father’s Day, my wife asked me what I wanted. I didn’t have to stop and think.

“I need a new rear wheel,” I declared.

My bike mechanic had been after me to get a replacement rear wheel for awhile. Lately, his warnings have become more urgent.

“This wheel is shot,” he said.

He suggested I pop for a wheelset that was not all that pricey, but was a lot more than I wanted to spend. We kicked around some ideas for a wheel that would be more in line with my needs and my budget. When I mentioned the Mavic Aksium, he agreed it would be a good choice, and would still be an upgrade over the wheel it would replace.

It just so happened that Performance had Aksiums at a good price. My wonderful wife gave me a Performance gift card for Father’s Day loaded with enough money to cover the cost of the wheel. I headed down to our local Performance store that weekend.

Darn! They’d just sold their last one. The sales guy pointed me to their “red” phone, where I could phone in an order and bypass the oversized shipping charges. In addition, I had been emailed a coupon for 20 percent off. So I would be getting a new wheel for $151.

Except for one thing. It was backordered.

“When will it be in?” I asked the salesman on the phone.

“Don’t know yet,” he said. “We’ll email you when we get it.”

A couple of weeks later, I called again. The local Performance guys told me I’d get more up-to-date information on the order if I called their 800 number. They were right. That is, it didn’t take as long for the guy on the phone to tell me it would be in around mid-July.

In the meantime, my bike rides have been punctuated by a clicking sound from the rear hub. The wheel seems to be holding its trueness, but when I had the bike in to my mechanic on another matter, he  warned that the wheel was in dire need of replacement.

On the 17th of July, I called the 800 number again.

“Well, that’s supposed to be here in mid-July,” the lady said.

“And here we are,” I replied.

“I don’t know what to tell you,” she answered.

I’ve continued to ride on the clickety wheel. My recent rides have been shorter — nothing over 25 miles — but I’m getting antsy.

I called the 800 number again Thursday.

“Yeah, that won’t be in now until mid-August,” the guy said.

I could understand if it was a rare wheel in low demand. But an Aksium strikes me as something pretty common.

I think Performance gets another in-person visit from me this weekend. And if I can’t resolve the situation to my satisfaction, other bike shops will see me in their places, too.

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7 thoughts on “Backorder Blues

  1. Yeah, not a local bike shop and so not as interested in really helping you.

    The Aksium is an ok wheel for the price point but be prepared for further frustration if you ever need to replace a spoke. Straight pull spokes are hard to get and just a little spendy.

  2. I’ve had the Mavic Krysiriums for several years and have never needed to get them trued. Not sure how the Aksiums are but if they’re anything similar they’re a great wheel.

    As far as stock, Performance is not a place that regularly keeps all inventory. Rather they get leftovers from other places and makes deals, which is generally how prices are so low. If you have a Marshall’s or TJ Maxx out there, it’s the same idea.

    A few years ago I actually bought a set of Performance’s Forte Titan wheels, and I love them. They should be even cheaper than the Mavic’s and they generally have those in stock. Check out Nashbar.com as well. I haven’t found the shipping costs to be that much more over other items.

    • Because the Titans are Performance’s low end, I thought I’d steer clear of them, although I’m open to persuasion. My concern would be my weight, since I’m bulkier than you, Ashley.

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