We had it coming, I guess. But I'm not gonna get into all the politics here, because a) that's not the point of this blog, and b) I'd just be doing a lot of re-hashing of things that were written by the media elite. And by golly, the elite have no place telling normal people like you and me what we can and cannot do! Why can't we have a normal person in the White House who does normal things—like carrying out personal vendettas while serving in a public office, marrying off their pregnant teenagers while fighting comprehensive sex ed, and shooting moose from helicopters? Drill baby, drill!
(Wait, did Sarah Palin design the Rob Wise frame?)
Anyway, the real question is, for me—or, rather, us—is how will this financial crunch affect BMX? Well, a lot of us are gonna have less money to play with. And the costs of everything, from raw materials to shipping, are rising. Ouch. It's hard to justify spending $400-plus on a frame when you're spending $60 a week to fill your gas tank. I found it very interesting (and cool) that Ryan Sher said at Interbike that Subrosa will be offering an aftermarket frame for right around $200 that just skips all the neat (but expensive) little details. Assuming there's any profit to be made at that price point at all, every company would be smart to offer a bare-bones frame. If I had a frame company, mine would be called "The Bailout".
But there's another side to this sordid story, and that's on the other side of the Atlantic. With the Euro kicking the dollar's ass from sea to shining sea, it's a lot cheaper for our Old World brethren to order parts from the US of A, even with international shipping factored in. Gone are the days when a French guy would have to pay $800 or whatever for a Terrible One frame. Crossing the ocean the other way, it's sort of surprising that Eurocompanies like Federal, United, Simple, Mankind, We The People, KHE, etc., even bother selling their products in America. I suppose volume (not Volume) makes up for the lousy dollar and the overcrowded market. For now. So we get things like $410 United frames, while the exchange rate renders other products too expensive for American mailorders to carry. Thank God G-Sport stuff isn't actually made in the UK anymore or a Marmoset/Ribcage front wheel would cost $27,000.
What next? Who knows? Maybe the focus switches back from weight to strength. Imagine that. With money tight, would you rather have a 35-ounce pair of bars that'll last you six years, or a 25-ounce pair that'll last you six months? Maybe 48-spoke wheels will make a comeback. And titanium might disappear from BMX entirely. (Which reminds me, what the hell is KHE thinking making titanium cranks NOW? Oh that's right, the Euro is still worth something.) It's gonna be interesting—and frightening—to watch.