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Visiting the BMX section at Interbike was a bit like walking into my daughter’s room when she has friends over. Lots of loud music, piercings, and somber looks to go with the clothing. Of course, that describes me in my teenage BMX days as well – a bit rebellious, and fully aware of the importance of shock value. It worked pretty well when it came to keeping my parents and other adults from boring me with the talk about homework, jobs, and haircuts.
And therein lies the problem. I didn’t see too many mom and pop shop owners discussing product lines with any of the reps. I read on BikeForums quite often about kids complaining that their LBS doesn’t carry any of the smaller names. While you can find Haro, GT, or Redline just about everywhere, 2-Hip, Eastern, and S&M are not so readily available without going online. That’s not to say that they should be in every shop, since they’re not for everyone, but these are bikes and gear made by and for people that ride. And yet, their distribution is limited due to what may be deemed by some as their lack of accessibility.
There has to be a way for these guys to maintain their street cred while still growing their sales.