Thursday, May 17, 2012
I make sure to spend as much time as possible around the lilacs while they're blooming. Some years, lilac season seems to zip by before I know it.
A friend who came in during the afternoon reported that he'd read in Bicycle Retailer that within a few years all road bikes will have disk brakes too. Nothing stupidly over-technological has surprised me about the bike industry since the mid 1990s.
When bicycling fractured into distinct sub-groups as a result of the technofascist tsunami of the 1990s it paved the way for a new wave of small companies to replace the ones eradicated by the corporate juggernauts of the mountain bike boom. The 1990s were all about the big guys crushing the little guys, destroying some and assimilating others. But the surge of products thrown out as bait for a disinterested public did actually separate the riding public into categories that are now awkwardly small for a humongous bike company to serve effectively. I don't think the big players have noticed yet, but they don't have to. Just as the little mammals established themselves under the noses of the big reptiles, so do the small, agile companies start to find that the economics of the bike business may suit their scale better than the size and appetite of a big company that needs to move thousands of units to stay afloat. With biking broken into niches, how many of a particular category should Megabikecorp produce this year?
Time will tell. For now I just have to get Stinky's brakes to behave and mediate a lasting peace among warring cats.