- Bike Checks
Harry Main surprised everyone at the start of the year with major splits from many of his primary sponsors - Hyper, Snafu, Coyote Sports, and Custom Riders Shop. That left an abounding amount of people speculating as to what was going on. News broke soon after that he would be joining UK-based Mafia Bikes. Here are 13 questions with the man himself that should give you plenty of insight and answers as to why his sponsor revisions were made, his plans with his brand-new bike sponsor, his own ideas for BMX, and more.
Where are you currently at now?
What did you do today?
Got up and walked my dogs, rode for eight hours, took my hot as fuck chick to dinner, and then edited a video for my YouTube channel.
Let’s jump right in. You started off 2016 in a surprising way by announcing you left many of your sponsors - Hyper, Snafu, Coyote Sports, and Custom Riders Shop. What spurred the change?
Seeing how dormant and dead BMX sales are currently was my main motivator behind the change. Let’s look at the majority of core reactions over the past week from various pros, bike brands, and shops - they’re hurting and complaining that what I’m doing is “bad for BMX.” I’ve been dealing with this constant battle of keeping a lid on BMX to make sure it stays how it should be. The way you’ve seen people react publicly on my photos this week is a current reflection on the state of BMX as an industry. BMX is filled with jealousy and that’s why it’s struggling - enough that it scared the shit out of half of the industry when I decided to take a path of my own with Mafia, who I have a lot of respect for.
I weighed things out for months. I had this offer on the table for a long time. And, when I say a long time, I mean years. At this point in my career, I felt like it was the right time to go into business with Mafia Bikes. I want to change BMX - even though I know the core riders that everyone’s used to will never change. Those riders never had respect and they never will. I, at least, want to change my BMX world. I want kids to know that a bike costs probably a third of the price of what they think it costs, that they can buy it from me for that price, and that it will still be from the same factory where at least 90% of other brands products come from. I want a kid to know that in my BMX world, it’s cool as fuck to want to be sponsored and be the best. That’s fucking cool in my eyes.
If BMX is so perfect at this current moment, then how would me joining Mafia Bikes ruin the industry? What would the future look like for our sport if that was the case? You can fight change or stay the same but whatever you choose, change is happening. That was my motivation behind my move to Mafia.
Has this put a strain on any of your relationships with former teammates and others within those brands?
Honestly, no. I don’t really have strong relationships with anyone on teams. I’ve never really been a team guy. I have the most respect for Clay (Goldsmid) who owns Hyper BMX out of everyone I’ve ever worked with previously.
Vans is another sponsorship that had ended recently, correct? That seemed to go unnoticed by a lot of people. What happened there?
To be honest, I got used by Vans. They were the lowest paying sponsor that I’ve had since I was 19-years-old, but I did it because I was actually really into their products. Straight up, Vans picked me up knowing what I do and how I roll. That was more than obvious to me. I was never a team guy in BMX and they knew this. I’m more of a brand. I make Harrymainia, not go on road trips. I also ride alone a lot and have my own skatepark, which should have made my intentions obvious. To be as successful as possible is what drives me and makes me happy, along with riding. Vans told me they were not going to renew my contract due to “not feeling like I was a part of their family.” At that point, I felt “the family” was picked and I wasn’t a part of it. In my opinion - without being disrespectful - there are a lot of people in certain roles within large brands looking after their own interests in BMX. They are funding their own lifestyles instead of focusing on what they actually can do to give a big brand the most exposure and push BMX to the masses. Vans and I finally agreed that they wanted to do cool-core shit and that they basically didn’t give a fuck about how much exposure or sales an individual athlete brings to the table. “They don’t buy teams. They build them.” That is fair enough, but they should have never picked me up in the first place if that was the case. In my opinion, I feel I was used for my exposure for the short period of time I was with them. I will never wear Vans ever again as they left me feeling used. That’s also the main reason why I never mentioned parting ways with Vans. Some people will agree with me and some people who love Vans as a brand will hate me for speaking up. No one is right or wrong in the situation, but what I will say is I felt used. The conversation on the matter ends there for me.
These changes obviously left many wondering what was going on and where you would end up. When news broke about your new home with Mafia Bikes, it sparked even more questions. Why Mafia Bikes?
Direct sales. On one end, I have my clothing brand - The Wandering - and Rocker mini-bikes selling faster than I could restock them. Then, at the other end, I’ve got bike brands and shops telling me BMX is fucked, nothing is selling, and skateparks are closing down because there are no new riders. Like most other aspects in life, things have changed and you can now buy cheaper and easier. At Mafia, they sell direct - just like Rocker and The Wandering. Mafia is great for BMX. In fact, they are the number one seller on Amazon and eBay right now. That means Mafia put so many bikes on the streets and brought more kids into riding due to their bikes being more affordable because of direct-to-consumer sales. Since I’m getting older now - I’m 25-years-old and can think for myself - I personally think this is better for BMX than anything else right now. That’s why I chose Mafia. More bikes, more kids. End of story.
Could you tell us more about Mafia as a brand? What’s their story in general? Where are they based out of, who’s behind it, and anything else you might want to shed light on?
Mafia Bikes is based out of the UK. It’s great and owned by really driven guys who are willing to be disrespected by the elders and the core riders of BMX to do what they truly believe in. They put thousands of kids on bikes monthly and I think anyone who can do that deserves a handshake. I respect them massively and feel very confident going into business with them.
I’d be willing to bet you have a few signature parts in the works with them. What products can we expect and do you have any idea on a potential release date?
I can’t say everything just yet. I can say that I’ll have the normal frame, forks, bars, and complete bikes. All of these products will be made in the same factory as the majority of bike brands and be of the same quality, but released at a fraction of the price. They are able to do so because no distribution centers or shops are putting their profit margins on top of the price of the products. You go online and you order, and you get it cheaper for doing so.
Is there a Mafia team?
To be honest, the team is currently only Tom Justice and I. Tom is fucking amazing! Haha. He makes riding bikes look better than most.
What are you most excited about regarding your new deal with Mafia Bikes?
My new frame! We have a special feature that I can't talk about just yet that no other bike brand has ever made before on a frame. I’ve wanted to make this for too long!
Have you been doing much with your The Wandering?
Not for January. Pretty chilled.
It’s evident that you’ve put a lot of energy into your YouTube channel lately. Can people expect that to continue? Any special plans with it?
I just want to make content that inspires kids to keep coming to the skatepark. I want to help keep skateparks alive, keep kids stoked on extreme sports, and keep BMX in the public eye. This is my contribution of giving back for what BMX has done for me. I used to watch Road Fools and go ride and, well, now there’s no Road Fools. So, I hope my content makes kids want to ride.
BMX is a bike. Go ride it. Good luck in your future, everyone. Love, Harry.