Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Unphthalatable

I think my favorite Obama-related headline last week came courtesy of The Onion: "Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job." Like pretty much anything else that runs on there, it's funny because it's true. But hell, check the New York Times—the headlines on there are even better. Or worse. "A Town Drowns in Debt as Home Values Plunge." "G.M., Once a Powerhouse, Pleads for Bailout." "Buying Binge Slams to Halt." Maybe The Onion is America's finest news source after all.

The bike industry is not immune, of course. Costs rise, profits fall, and things aren't the way they used to be. Starting a new company in 2009 won't be as easy as it was in 2005. The bubble has burst, and no one appears to be blowing another one anytime soon. Pretty much the only thing America and Americans have a lot of these days is debt.

On the heels of all that, Brian Tunney brings news of new sanctions for the bike industry that take effect tomorrow. Er, today. Bummer. I'm not sure what "phthalates" even are—sounds like something Bill the Cat would say—but anything that adds cost now is a bad thing. (It also makes one wonder, how much lead exactly has been in bike paint up to now? Don't eat paint chips off your Taiwanese-made frame!) Will Taiwanese frames wind up being more expensive than their American-made counterparts? Will we see a $500 BMX frame in 2009? It's a funny time for Terrible One to start manufacturing frames overseas.

Then again I guess it's a funny time to do much of anything. Good luck, President-to-be Obama. You'll need it.

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25 comments:

Matthew Smith said...

I really am glad i just bought a new frame so i dont have to buy one for a couple of years. maybe till this whole thing blows over

Fed9 said...

I'd love to see the situation reversed and have the majority of frames made in the USA. If they are already here, they don't have to be tested to pass customs.

This might be a great thing for American manufacturers.

Bailey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Too bad American BMX manufacturing isn't as up to the task as Taiwan.

:<

AARON "BUFF ENOUGH?" HUFF said...

too bad i'll never need another frame as I rid a Solid Duke and DON'T GIVE A FUCK!!

gob said...

I don't think it's a matter of "American BMX manufacturing [not being] up to the task as Taiwan." What do you even mean by that? That people in America can't weld as well as people in Taiwan? Or that American welders understandably expect to be paid an American wage to do so? If it's the former, you're absolutely high. See here, here, here, and finally, here. If it's the latter, well, I've said it before and I'll say it again, BMX frames have been priced artificially low for far too long. This day has been coming for a long time. When the price of oil goes back up, and it will, shipping from Asia will add to these costs, and force more local/national manufacturing, because 600 dollar Chinese frames doesn't seem like a good idea to anyone.

Anonymous said...

this is fun:
http://www.wholetruthcoalition.org/2008/11/06/the-men-behind-obama/

Anonymous said...

damn formatting...
http://www.wholetruthcoalition.org (remove linebreak)
/2008/11/06/the-men-behind-obama/

Josh said...

Asian markets have also forced artificially low prices for sometime as well. There has been such a boom over the last three decades that new manufacturing plants and factories have been constructed on a monthyl basis over the last 12 years creating a tremendous supply with an average demand. As with everywhere else, Asian markets are finally beginning to see a slump and with demand worldwide falling even lower, these plants that have survived on the fence are now falling one by one. Much like what has happened in America, small plants will close and larger ones will consolidate. This will put these plants in a position to better dictate the prices that they want for their goods. Long story short, costs for Asian made products will go up bringing them more in line with American made products. Shipping costs actually may casue them to rise above that of their American made counterparts.
And while obviously American workers will command a higher wage, it's not like we're talking about Certified Union Welders here; most are riders that started off sweeping a shop floor and worked their way up, picking up knowledge along the way.

snotty said...

operation false hope this guy ist anyne new he is just a new face that is black that you havent seen yet so you think its some one new your all fools the only pres who tried to do what he sad he was going to ended up dead and the people who shot him aswell think with both sides of your brain just beg your gov for a bailout of your own


and maybe you little kid bike riders should just open up your own lab to test these things then you can mke 2x the mount of money ever think of that prob not too busy standing in the slave line waiting for "YOUR CHANGE"

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't we just ship them raw? When I bought my solid, I just had them ship it to me unpainted. If it's less expensive and most kids will have rattle canned the bastard within two months in anyway, why not just offer them unpainted and give them a bunch of stickers to compensate?

Anonymous said...

because the testing also includes the substrate materials of the frame...ie. the metal.

Anonymous said...

Sanctions on goddamned bike parts because they might, maybe, possibly have something that could, on an off chance, be harmful to the consumer.

All the while glorifying MORE chemicals being put in your drinking water, where you have no choice but to ingest them.
http://www.naturalnews.com/statin_drugs.html

Don't worry everyone, obama will save us...

Anonymous said...

What the fuck is this? Is everyone really expecting Obama to fix every little thing you find wrong in your lives? Fuck that noise.
And I thought we realized years ago it doesn't matter where the fuck your frame gets welded. American's are so fucking blind and stupid.

Anonymous said...

At least some of them have the ability to decode a sarcastic remark.

Anonymous said...

rollins ruined flag

as soon as t1 drop that stupid dago bb i'm buying one - wherever the fuck it's been made*


*unless wherever the fuck is spain

Anonymous said...

"rollins ruined flag"

at first i thought you were trolling, then i saw you deriding spanish bbs. thats when i knew you were just an idiot.

brien said...

thats not even rollins singing.

Rob D said...

I liked this post. I think you've found a good balance. Take it for what its worth I guess.

skidmark said...

Dago is an ethnic slur for Italians. Do T1's have Italian BBs?

I love the borderline racist comments about Obama too.

I think it's good news when overseas manufacturing costs more. If it brings manufacturing back to America then that is a good thing. Maybe the bike companies could just buy their tooling from the companies that were making their products in Taiwan after they go under.

ali said...

Good on you for pulling him up on the slur, needs to be more of it.

Moving on, so I get the lead paint and tubing thing, many forms of lead have been banned in loads of countries for awhile because it can contribute to lead poisoning (which isn’t as bad as it sounds and can be fixed with a tablet. Mind you, I gotta ask the question, are American kids scraping the paint of their bikes and eating it? That might explain a few of the posts here…)

But yeah, I get the lead paint testing but what has the government got against stamp collectors?

BSLA said...

My favorite by far so far:

Kobe Bryant Scores 25 In Holy Shit We Elected A Black President

Josh said...

Wow "snotty," you're really angry...and misguided...and uninformed...and racist. Have fun with that. Oh, and since you seem to be so wise and have been good enough to grace us all with your tremendous insight, maybe you can go back to second grade and learn proper spelling and punctuation(sorry, I know that's a really long word, just sound it out and then go borrow a dictionary from one of your literate family members). Or maybe you're just too "alternative" for things like periods or commas.

Anonymous said...

snotty = douche

ells said...

you should check out colony's $75 brake lever its pretty rad.