Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Alienated

It's easy to make unnecessary parts. Everyone does it, and not just in BMX. Making your entire COMPANY superfluous, well, that takes a little more work. Like what, you ask? Hm, let's see. Things like:

Re-labeled generic products.

Terrible names.

"Limited Edition" parts.

A laughable mission statement.

Anarchy symbols and other appallingly stupid and/or insensitive imagery (Insurgent? Now? Really?) aimed at the Hot Topic crowd.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Alienation, the most superfluous parts company of 2008. (I know it's only April, but I can't imagine anyone surpassing them.) In fact, they have a shot at being the most superfluous BMX parts company of all-time.

Founded by a former exec at Sun Rims (or perhaps his 13-year-old kid), Alienation specializes in selling slightly different (read: uglier) versions of parts that are already readily available from other, more reputable manufacturers. Luckily, they've managed to catch on as a parts supplier for completes from companies like Fit and Diamondback, or else they'd probably have gone under already. Still, Alienation is the Rockstar* of parts companies—if they continue in their current direction, I'll be absolutely amazed if they still exist six months from now.

According to the mission statement linked to above, "Alienation was started with one thing in mind; deliver technically superior products with obvious enhancements and inherent differences from the competition." Well, I looked through all the products, and I don't think I found a single one that qualified (their freecoaster, for example, is just an uglier KHE). Unless neonified and mutilated baseball team logos count as "obvious enhancements"—and I suppose they may in the New Era of twothousandhate.

(My favorite aspect of the whole site, however, is the way they list parts by "Street Value" instead of MSRP. So edgy! Either that, or someone watched too much Miami Vice growing up. That said, may I suggest a few product names? The "Sonny Sprockett" and the "Pablo Esco Bar." Kids love the drugs.)

On top of all that, BMX already did the anarchy thing (quite well, I may add) 20 years ago. And Nick Phillip wasn't outsourcing their t-shirts from China and Taiwan.


EDIT: I didn't realize this at first, but Alienation is actually the BMX division of WTB (Wilderness Trail Bikes), although they don't really push the connection on either site. So it's actually just another example of BMX being marginalized as kid stuff by a "real" bike company. Thanks but no thanks. Get out. We don't want or need you.


* "Hey, the Rockstar site doesn't work!" My point exactly.

22 comments:

lotek said...

This blog is the only daily read I look forward too... Thanks.

Leland said...

I was thinking about doing a site like this a few weeks ago. Although I would critique rider photo and video on top of my thoughts of BMX today. Be salty.

Stephen said...

Sonny Sprocket?

Pablo Esco "Bars"?

YES. I would be siked on this.

How about Tubbs Hubs?

Guys? Anyone?

Anonymous said...

"New Era of twothousandhate" That is why you make the big bucks

Noel said...

Ummm....Rico Rims? Pastel Pedals?

You know, I'm not about shit-talking and saltiness for no reason, but damned if the entire Alienation spiel wasn't dead on. What the hell are they doing with the "insurgent" theme? How badly timed is THAT one? I was the Army for 7 years, one of which was spent in Iraq. I don't think of myself as overly sensitive, but considering the 4000+ soldiers we've lost there, some of whom I knew, I'd say the theme is probably a bit inappropriate.

On a lighter note, the "bad names" you cited don't bother me. "Toilet seat?" They've got nothing on half the stuff ever to come out of S&M...long before Fit and Metal, there were other spawns from Moeller's shop - let's not forget Keith Treanor's "Menstural Cycles." Hilarious! 95% of the kids have no idea why S&M and Fit parts are labeled with a heat treating process they call "4-Q." I love it.

Aaron said...

Love this entry, although Alienation could have supplied months of material if you played it right....

Anonymous said...

Alienation identity sucks. Their graphics are as painfully out of touch as the CW's line in 1989 Bone(r) Daddy was back in 1989. Who did the marketing research for this company?

I don't really care about the rebranding of generic parts. Lots of companies do that. What's the worst about this company are bad graphics and a patronizing and out of date "anarchic" identity.

Btw, the guy running this company should have enough business savvy to know that pushing anarchy only works if you are a skinny English teenager (see Johnny Rottten or Nick Phillip). It won't work when you are an established former Sun Rims exec probably driving a convertible and paying a morgage like the rest of mainstream America.

Kids are too smart for that these days.

Great blog, I look forward to reading it almost every day.

-D

smoovebert said...

this post was so on point it's not even funny. i mean, i laughed, but... oh you know what i mean.

Anonymous said...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Not Eddie Roman:
It's not a fucking trend--it's modernization. Bitching about people buying light bikes is like bitching about cable TV, indoor plumbing or the fucking polio vaccine. Oooh, you still ride a heavy bike. You're not a rebel--you're an idiot.

Anonymous said...

I have the FSA (they were out of Campys when I got my Fit) and it's been terrific. I'll probably still get an internal Record someday, though. I'm such a label whore.

CMcMahon said...

You have to keep in mind that when NER posted that, it was 2005, and you didn't have kevlar tires that blow right off the rims and 4 pound frames with detachable headtubes.

Anonymous said...

Frames aren't 4lbs and it's pretty rare headtubes detach from them. I had Kevlar Comp III's (they were actually called Comp IV's in the early 90s). I don't have to remember anything but the fact he's a 35 year unemployed journalist whining about BMX bikes.

Russ said...

37, actually. And "employment challenged," thank you. I do work, just not enough of it.

nick said...

this shit is so funny. I can't believe that company exists.

Anonymous said...

LELAND DO THAT BLOG! MAKE FUN OF THE FOOT TALL LEDGERS!

Anonymous said...

Wonder which company that anonymous hater was from... socal most likely.

Anonymous said...

russ, you're complete dushebag!

zach from alienation said...

Russ

As your mission statement states silence implies consent. We’ll have no reason to be silent and I certainly don’t consent to some hack writing some BS pc. Frankly I wished I had found this earlier so I could have commented much sooner.

Superfluous, really? I bet you had to look this term up in your thesaurus.

As others have pointed out within your blog you’re hangin on someone’s balls from Odyssey hence the piece. I need not say more than that in terms of why it was done.

Granted, we have made mistakes & been ill advised in some areas, but we have done a lot correct as well. If you can do better then I challenge you to do so. Put your money where your mouth is & do it. Most likely this will never happen though.

It appears you’re journalist yet not a very good one seeing you couldn’t even get the ownership list correctly. I bet you thought that was a real clincher based on the placement at the end. That was the real ! point. If you need to fact check next time please call me in the office & I’ll be more than willing to give you the correct information.

I must comment on the Insurgent as well. Guesses are you never wore this countries uniform where as I have and I don’t see what gives you the right to even insinuate.

At least you spelled the comapny name correcly.

Stephen said...

I had no idea that they let 13 year olds into the military.

CamBam said...

this whole thing is fuckin stupid
it dont fucking matter. it just sounds to me like some guy decided to blog about a BMX company with wierd part names and shit.
who gives a fuck!?
just let the company do what it do.
so its run by a 13 year old. who cares! just quit bitchin about it and RIDE!

BIKESHOPRATNYC said...

yeah...as bad as the KHS "Bitch" hardtails. ALTHOUGH I recently had an idea for pedals inspired by Rat Traps and Bear Traps...Womens specific pedals called Pussy traps!! MAybe SUN will read this and I'll be rich beyond my wildest dreams...buying all the coolest parts from Alienation.

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!