Monday, September 12, 2011

whither pedro's?

Pedro's, the Massachussetts-based bicycle tool and lube company known for their commitment to environmentally-friendly products and a handful of excellent proprietary tool designs (in particular the best consumer tire lever in the world), appear to be going under.

Here's what we have so far:

1. No one answers the phone. In fact, in the dozens of times I've tried to call them as the shop buyer in the last six months I've gotten through to an actual human being in real time exactly once.
2. I ordered a Master Mechanic Case for myself, and placed the order through my wholesale distributor because they were compiling a large Pedro's order anyway and it would be easy to tack it on. Only after I contacted Pedro's directly on behalf of my wholesale distributor did they finally send it out -- 18 months after my original order was placed.
3. As far as I know, I have snapped up for our shop what could be the last dozen cases of Pedro's yellow tire levers in the known universe from the only distributor who had any in stock -- and they were listing them on a specials/closeouts flyer. Our shop is scouring the world for a replacement but so far every other make and model we've tried simply doesn't compare.
4. Pedro's is not showing at Interbike this week, either at the Outdoor Demo OR the show proper. This would be their first absence from the show in years. Rumor had it that there would be some kind of "announcement" at the show but if they're not there the silence resulting from their absence would be deafening in and of itself.
5. Over at their Facebook page, they advertised a "Cyclocross Season Kickoff Sale" Sept. 9-10. Originally to be held at their HQ, on the 6th they announced they were moving it to the warehouse. Cash/checks only, no plastic, no mail-order.
6. Using an old team access code, I checked their pro-deal offerings online. They are out of a lot of stuff. As in, most of it.
All these little red flags are making the tiny robot in my head flail its arms, flash its red eyes and bleat, "Danger, Will Robinson..."
It does not look good.

I would guess that either they're done; or they've been bought by a larger company.
If the former, I glad I managed to get my Pedro's tool situation mostly squared away (with a few extras on a handful of regularly-used/abused tools to see me out, plus an upgraded repair stand and the aforementioned tool case).
If the latter, I would guess the new owners will choose to dump the tools (most of which were manufactured in the Lifu factory anyway, including most of the proprietary designs) and re-emerge with a sharply narrowed focus on enviro-friendly lubes and solvents.

I'm bummed. Pedro's had a good thing going with their environmental focus and their excellent consumer accessibility at races and charity events across the country. I'd guess that's done now, and if it is I'll miss them.

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