Where do you see the future of BMX heading?

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5/6/2017 3:23 AM

This came from an off topic subject that was in GrumpySteves Frame Geometry thread about where BMX is headed in the future, the discussion kind of got centered around the Harry Main/Mafia Bike controversy, Me personally saying i think its the way BMX will probably head in the future due to being in the internet age with more people shopping online for everything now i think more manufacturers will eventually move more to selling Direct from their own website and will slowly cut out the middle man (bike shops/distributors) once they realise they can sell at full retail price from their own site.
and while i agree with Steve that it probably wont be good for the community as a whole, it will evolve into whatever the next phase of BMX is going to be.

Discuss...

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5/6/2017 5:10 AM

The thing is, everyone will still support their local shop, or at least should. They're already struggling, especially the small shops with no online store. But the bigger stores will keep it going.
Using source as an example, they've thrived. Their own indoor park which is awesome. And it helps that the 2 biggest distributors in the country are a 5 minute drive away.
Other areas won't do quite so well. But a lot of shops have a local scene of riders that support them.
It's also very different on this little island as it is in other countries. The big online stores could corner the market in America. But again, some of the smaller shops have a good scene with loyal customers.

Certain companies simply wouldn't survive if everything went direct. But a lot of companies are offering certain things direct.
It seems there's a fairly happy compromise right now. But brands need distributors to buy stock. It's the smaller shops that end up with stock they can't shift. And ever here, with how weak the pound is, and the exchange rate, we're very close to seeing the small independents closing already

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5/6/2017 7:03 AM

no matter what, human contact will always be important. I think the LBS will have to figure out how they are going to service the industry/scene when they lose the need of being the distributor. Smart LBS's will make their presence known as great repair shops; event sponsors; "learn to ride" sponsors etc. LBS's could be come the place where people go in to look online: like I am seeing a shop where there are rows of computers, and people just come in and order themselves, and then have stuff shipped to the shop instead of their home. Bigger items though like completes. and possibly the "landing point" for orders, sort of as they are now in some places. A place where noobs can have their first bike put together, and then learn how to wrench from there.

I think LBS's could also make some money being "test ride centers". Where they have certain models, or more importantly bikes with different geo - on hand, and rent them out for test rides. Then people could order....

just throwing thoughts out. For me personally, I would much rather buy stuff from a store than online because I like to "talk shop" Unless it is hard to find or it is something big liek a complete, I buy it at the shop. I wait for them to get it in if they can. I am just hardwired that way...

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I've Got sXe!!!
Up The Antix/Up The Punx
1988 Mongoose Caifornian Pro
2015 Surly Krampus

"Running Is dumb" - Dave Lawrence

5/6/2017 7:43 AM

I think LBS will still stay relevant personally, but only if they try. Most locals around me carry nothing in terms of BMX.

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5/6/2017 8:05 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/6/2017 8:11 AM

There is only one dedicated BMX shop here in Glasgow, and while i haven't yet been into it i do know they run an online store, but the way you have to look at things is nowadays people buy simply by what they can afford, for the average family whose son wants a BMX the local shop in Glasgow they want £430 for a united BMX, the same bike after a 2 second google search can be found for £370, and over here where the £GBP has taken a tanking since Brexit every penny counts for the average family, its a £60 difference that can buy him protective gear, or go toward feeding the family that week.

They also only stock 3 different makes of bike, so if your not wanting a BSD, United or a Jet then your going to have to get them to order it in....so why wouldn't you order it online yourself cheaper? same goes for hubs, forks or any other parts, you have to remember that you guys live and breathe BMX, for the average punter they couldn't care about the "community" cos they aren't going to be the type of people that go to Jams unless their kid pesters the shit out of them to lol

The Human contact and community aspect that sxeBMXer talks of isn't as important to the younger generation that are now becoming adults and having families themselves as it is to people that are in their late 30's and older, people in general talk face to face less than they did 20 years ago, you sit in a coffee shop or bar and people watch and there is always a chunk of the population glued to their smart phone talking over facefook or twatter or some other app while sat with a group of friends.

One of the reasons i buy online is simply cos i can't afford it after paying mortgages, insurances, child support, running a car, bills, food etc etc, i would prefer to go round a shop and see and buy things in the shop but finances dictate otherwise, its one of the reasons my BMX cost me £40 2nd hand

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5/6/2017 8:12 AM

Super-Pawl wrote:

I think LBS will still stay relevant personally, but only if they try. Most locals around me carry nothing in terms of BMX.

same here, went to the closest bike shop near me to buy a inner tube and they had nothing, was all 24 or 26 inch road/MTB stuff they carried

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5/6/2017 8:24 AM

yeah. We have 2 BMX LBS's and both are randomly stocked. they are also both owned by guys my age, but who have a regular 9-5 - the shop is like a hobby - and you can tell that they are not super worried about keeping the stores "Stocked". Both are weird situations. The LBS where I get my MTB stuff is more "vibrant", but he does not really live in the BMX world. Granted, where I live, the MTB/Bike Path Cruiser demand is sky-high. Lots of 20-somethign young professionals just starting out families, so i can see that the BMX demand is low. Well, real BMX...there are tons of "bike like objects" from Wally World that I see these peoples kids on...


i also only live 3 hours from Dan's, so I would justify a road trip over there to shop as well, but that would be a once a year thing.

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I've Got sXe!!!
Up The Antix/Up The Punx
1988 Mongoose Caifornian Pro
2015 Surly Krampus

"Running Is dumb" - Dave Lawrence

5/6/2017 1:09 PM

A lot of people won't buy their kid a bike online purely because they don't want to build it themselves. If they do build it themselves they'll have to pay a shop to check it over, otherwise all warranty is void. Trust me, I've worked in bike shops for 15 years, that £60 saving then goes toward a £30 safety check, and the hassle of faffing about. Plus actually speaking to someone that can advise them what bike is the best value for money, or even just asking to make comparisons for them.
I'm a qualified bike mechanic, most parents would rather pay a little extra to have me build their bike knowing everything is done properly. They also know that if anything goes wrong, it's my fault not theirs (unless it's a manufacturing defect). If you buy a bike online, they don't offer a free follow up service, and contacting the seller regarding any issues can be a real ball ache.

I myself buy online, because there isn't a local shop. I usually buy from source because they're the most local to me. But I try to order from crucial in bristol as much as I can because I used to ride with the owner. Either way, they're still rider owned and run shops. Most riders I meet will always buy from rider owned and run shops. Even if Winstanleys are cheaper (which they often are), their customer service is pretty poor, and they're not a bmx shop.
I also kind of know a few other guys that run their own shops. I'd rather buy from them when I can, even if they're a little more expensive. But if you're loyal, they'll always hook you up. Unfortunately, they can't afford to stock everything, so source and crucial usually get the sale to me.

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5/6/2017 2:02 PM

the words warranty and BMX in the same sentence is laughable Steve, you know this due to the nature of the productwhistling

http://bmxunion.com/blog/what-does-a-warranty-cover/

you even mention in a post above this thread that the owner would have probably voided it dropping off a kerb or pulling a manual lol

Me personally I would still build it myself, I'm a qualified Car and Hgv Mechanic, and I've also built a few track Bikes(motorcycles) and cars so i'm pretty confident i can put what is essentially a pretty basic bike together, then i know its done right cos i'm the one that built it, i know that may not be the case for others though, but in my case i'll take the risk.wink

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5/6/2017 3:07 PM

weegaz22 wrote:

the words warranty and BMX in the same sentence is laughable Steve, you know this due to the nature of the productwhistling

...more

Exactly, in your case. But a lot of parents aren't mechanically minded. I deal with them on a daily basis

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5/6/2017 7:56 PM

I think a lot of companies are gonna go out of business and we are gonna go underground again. It honestly might not be a bad thing...

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5/7/2017 12:33 AM

I think these jibby , gimmicky teams / Instagram / clothing styles / lines will fade away and it'll start being more of an average BMX . People like Larry Edgar , the common crew , and Fiend are my kinda view of "BMX" so to speak , so I think it'll kind of go back to that instead of this peg chink and go drink beers and make it a part promo kinda thing .

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My Cult 2 Short

5/7/2017 4:37 AM

There is also the "politics" angle as well to consider, depending on where in the world shops operate out of their success or failure will also come down to things like if there are better tax breaks for small business owners or even cutting back on over-regulation in certain sectors, which means in turn they can re-invest that money back into the business instead of it lining the gov's pockets.

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5/7/2017 11:01 AM

I often wonder about this myself. Living (literally) in the middle of the Pacific Ocean means we don't have that major support for BMX down here. Sure, the CULT Crew and a few others have traveled down here, but the scene here is slowly dying off.

When I started riding in late 2012 - early 2013, I knew around 15 dudes all around my age that I met at my local park and we sessioned on a regular (I dare say daily, but we rode A LOT together) basis. Leading up to today, I've seen our group fall apart and disband. They either got interested in other things, moved to somewhere else in the U.S., or simply didn't want to ride anymore. I've been going to this local park of mine nearly every day since I stated riding, and now it's just me. Occasional riders will show up, but there are far less than the already small scene that there once was.

But, in the big picture, I think almost everywhere else in the world will be fine. I've got a sweet bike shop down here with people behind it who still ride, which I am stoked on since it's a somewhat BMX shop, but other places around the world have great LBS places and the support that BMX needs.

I just hope it'll stay alive here!

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Scooter kid trying to ride a bike.
@scootereyn

5/7/2017 12:37 PM

readybmxer wrote:

I often wonder about this myself. Living (literally) in the middle of the Pacific Ocean means we don't have that major support ...more

having gotten back into it, I have noticed a weird trend in my local scene: that of older riders - like 30 and up - being the regular participants. Most of the younger kids sort of participate in a very modern/ADD kind of way. The big thing at the parks from the younger kids is: "I started on scooter, then went to skateboard, then tried BMX, and then went back to skateboard"

there are A LOT of dads who rode tha tare now coming to the parks with ned BMX's while their kids ride boards. For me personally I like it b/c there is not a lot of stupid attitude at the parks and we are all sort of in the same boat skills-wise. I feel like our BMX scene has alwats been much smaller than it could be, but don't mind that either because it keeps it more organic I guess.

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I've Got sXe!!!
Up The Antix/Up The Punx
1988 Mongoose Caifornian Pro
2015 Surly Krampus

"Running Is dumb" - Dave Lawrence

5/7/2017 8:48 PM

sXeBMXer wrote:

having gotten back into it, I have noticed a weird trend in my local scene: that of older riders - like 30 and up - being the ...more

it really depends on the scene and community on what will get kids attached to a particular activity, whether it be BMX riding, skateboarding, or scootering. Its not the beginners, but rather the ones who have put a good ammount of time and effort into the activity and what motivates them to put in effort.

The more mature riders of their activity (whether it be BMX, Skate, or Scoot) are really the ones who are inadvertently responsible whether their activity is keeping kids in or out. I mean when they get into their mid teens they would already have their "skatepark ride" picked out.

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5/7/2017 10:34 PM

thairishguy wrote:

it really depends on the scene and community on what will get kids attached to a particular activity, whether it be BMX ...more

I definitely agree with this.

I began on scoot, went to bike, and now I enjoy both thoroughly. I've always rode the scoot way more than my bike, though. That being said, I've met and rode with more scooter riders as I assume a deck with handlebars are more appealing to a young one than a metal frame with tires. Also, they're cheaper, lighter, etc.

I hope that, through my time at the park, this at least will get more kids into other stuff, maybe even bikes. I know a few little dudes who began on Razors, began to ride with me more and more, then moved up to other models after asking me to talk to their parents about what parts to buy and what brands to look for. This not only goes for scooters, but for BMX as well. I've talked to a few kids and their parents about completes, brands, all the same intro-level stuff, and I hope I can at least contribute to our LBS, but, equally as important, BMX as a whole.

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Scooter kid trying to ride a bike.
@scootereyn

5/7/2017 11:37 PM

Jibs here in SoCal it's what a lot of our local riders do. Nothing wrong with that though cuz half the stuff people can do with their pegs is crazy lol

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5/7/2017 11:55 PM

readybmxer wrote:

I often wonder about this myself. Living (literally) in the middle of the Pacific Ocean means we don't have that major support ...more

sXeBMXer wrote:

having gotten back into it, I have noticed a weird trend in my local scene: that of older riders - like 30 and up - being the ...more

thairishguy wrote:

it really depends on the scene and community on what will get kids attached to a particular activity, whether it be BMX ...more

Maybe forums like this are the future.
I think we've got a nice little community here, and we're always helping the kids out.

Each scene would depend on having a couple of people that know what they're talking, that are willing to help kid kids out. The amount of riders I've met that think they can build wheels etc is ridiculous. I wouldn't want them handing their knowledge down! It's often the people that bodge everything think they know what they're doing and will end up giving kids poor advice about bike maintenance. Some people could also be bad role models for the kids. I know some pro's don't have the best image, but I wouldn't want my son to look up to most of the riders around here!

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5/8/2017 3:18 AM

As for mafia bikes, apart from Harry main promoting them every other minute in his channel, I really dont see them taking over BMX too much. I dont know or care too much about them, but any online discussion about Mafia or Rocker tends to not be that positive. They may do well with the hi-ten market and may affect some more well known brands in that area, but I really doubt that the aftermarket parts they have would do too well.

Once the kids get into BMX, they will start to like other riders and get into disussions at the skatepark. Theyre more likely to wanna go get something for a more core brands and such. But thats once they get into BMX. Mafia's main strength is in their promotion of their product for the initial beginning phase, but their weakness lies in actual rider reception to the brand. Once kids see that pretty much every ripper at the park is on something thats not a mafia, they may question "why?" And its usually then that they get the explaination about how the bike that Harry Main uses is probably totally different from whats sold to the public. After that is when they go and buy from proper reputable brands, local brands, or friends who put in good money to make a really good product for BMX. Word of mouth from actual human interaction is more effective than any kind of advertising.

Kids will get into BMX, skateboarding, and/or scootering regardless, but its the ones that stay are likely to keep their activity going. Helping a kid and helping teach them how to fix their bike goes a long way.

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5/8/2017 5:30 AM

weegaz22 wrote:

This came from an off topic subject that was in GrumpySteves Frame Geometry thread about where BMX is headed in the future, ...more

More media/internet exposure, same amount of local shops.

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5/8/2017 9:45 AM

grumpySteve wrote:

Maybe forums like this are the future.
I think we've got a nice little community here, and we're always helping the kids out.
...more

Sadly in my experience BBS's and forums like this are dying a death due to facebook across all areas, every forum i have ever been a member of has lost significant amounts of traffic and users to facebook pages, which is quite sad as a lot of the highly technical stuff i have learned over the years came from forums like this where valuable information was stickied and cataloged and you just don't get the same level of knowledge on facefook as it all gets lost to the ether or is impossible to find due to not having properly labelled sections.


As for the Mafia Bikes thing, well its a bit like marmite isnt it? its a love/hate thing, i don't really have much of an opinion on them but i do think the Industry as a whole has shunned and turned on them for the way they have entered the market, you see it even on the forums here, "a mafia will break after doing a bunny hop" etc, yet when i've done a google image search for "broken Mafia BMX" i find nothing other than a FIT bike co broken in 2, so i cant really agree or disagree with the general opinion of the actual quality of their bikes being much lower than any other bottom of the range bike from another manufacturer, if they were there would be LOADS of images of mafias snapped in 2 or broken they are all Hi-ten Low budget complete bikes, unless your going custom and buying full chromoly Hitmain or Justice frame that is built in the same factory as a lot of the other manufacturers.

Do i think they are going to take over BMX? no, far from it, but if you look at the amount of followers the have its more than a lot of established rider run brands that have been in the BMX game for a lot more years than they have.

Mafia ................ 121k followers,
Tree bicycles ........21k
BSD....................138k
Wethepeople......138k
FBM.....................56k
Stolenbikeco........48k
HyperBMX...........126k
Haro.....................96k
Eastern.................17k


And like it or not those numbers will translate to sales in some way, shape or form.

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5/8/2017 10:39 AM

thairishguy wrote:

it really depends on the scene and community on what will get kids attached to a particular activity, whether it be BMX ...more

grumpySteve wrote:

Maybe forums like this are the future.
I think we've got a nice little community here, and we're always helping the kids out.
...more

weegaz22 wrote:

Sadly in my experience BBS's and forums like this are dying a death due to facebook across all areas, every forum i have ever ...more

My opinion of mafia doesn't just come from the fact they sell direct. Or even Harry's attitude in most cases. It's the way he dropped all his sponsors, that pretty much got him where he is, over night. And didn't care about it. But, the main reason I dislike them is the actual build quality of the bikes. Especially after reading their own descriptions of them. They're marketed as being really good bikes for a lot less money. But I've built a few, and they're worse than a mongoose in the same price bracket.

The reason you don't see many broken ones is the same reason you don't see many broken low end bikes from other companies. They quickly become a money pit when the unsealed US bb, or unsealed headset, or unsealed hubs start to fail. The majority of parents buying a bike of that quality don't have the knowledge to fix them. So they take it to a bike shop, who quote them parts and labour, and you're quickly looking at close to the retail price of the bike. So, the kid either quits, or the parents buy a better bike.
Either that, or the kid gets into bmx, and starts upgrading parts, or saves for a decent complete or second hand custom.

The frames are probably no worse than any other complete of the same price. But the components are bad. The spec is a lot lower than they make it out to be.

With regards to the amount of followers each company has, I'd bet those figures are very skewed, depending where you got them.
There's a lot of kids just starting out, brands like mafia and hyper appeal to them. A lot of those kids/fanboys/fangirls don't ride, they just think it's cool. It's like comparing an underground musician to a pop star. More popular doesn't mean better. Those brands do things that appeal to kids, and that's how they sell. I've never heard anyone say a hyper complete is good build quality, or even the aftermarket parts.

Other brands have a very dedicated fan base. I bet s&m make more money from the older guys that have been following them since the early 90's, than mafia do from the school kids that have a short attention span and no income.

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5/8/2017 10:59 AM

I'm in no way saying that lots of followers = a good bike, but it gives you an idea of the companies focus to its marketing, pure and simple, and it will sell bikes, it may not sell bikes that get ridden much, but it will sell bikes, the stats were grabbed from instagram

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5/8/2017 11:15 AM

weegaz22 wrote:

I'm in no way saying that lots of followers = a good bike, but it gives you an idea of the companies focus to its marketing, ...more

To be fair, I bet the majority of their followers don't know anything about quality. They just see the name and the appealing colours. I bet if you were to look through their followers 50% or more probably don't even ride. They're probably all kids with fidget spinners.

I mean, it's good that they're getting kids into bmx. But it's kind of misleading to sell the image of a pro bmxer to a kid too. My son's ambition is to become a youtuber because that's cool at the moment. But it doesn't happen over night. It's the same with riding, the kids don't see the amount of hard work that goes into riding, but they see it as a career choice, not a fun activity. They want to be like Harry Main and do circus tricks, so it's just attracting even more styleless park rats than are in it in the hope to become rich and famous

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5/8/2017 3:24 PM

grumpySteve wrote:

To be fair, I bet the majority of their followers don't know anything about quality. They just see the name and the appealing ...more

But you could say the same of any industry with regards to quality, your "average car driver" probably wouldn't know quality if it walked up and bit them on the arse, cos they aren't really interested, and they aren't pulling the thing to bits to repair it,, its core function for them is for it to be there to get from A to B without costing a bomb to run/tax/insure or be unreliable, but your Petrolheads (enthusiasts that live and breathe cars) are going to have a better idea of build quality of different makes and models, they will spend more on a better, higher quality cars and their also likely to spend money customising/tuning stuff with different parts, I dare say there will be Brand loyalty for some as well, me for instance i never buy French cars cos their cheap Shitboxes IMO after years or working in a Renault Dealers, I will typically aim for German or Japanese stuff, i don't really have a single brand that i always go with, I have had plenty of Marques and models over the years....just none of them french lol

all the above applies in the same way to BMX between your enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts

When i was looking for BMX's i wouldn't say i "avoided" the mafias that were on Gumtree, its just i Knew i could get a much better specced bike for my money, and they were on average asking around £100 for Mafia's used, I got a WTP for less than half that, its cosmetically a bit tired, but mechanically fine and higher specced than any Mafia complete

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5/8/2017 5:33 PM

I can't speak for the whole of BMX, but in Australia the scene is rad!

Good spots, heaps of riders progressing and getting younger by the day. All rad.

Flip it though, and my stupid small ass town doesn't have a LBS in my town, or for three towns over. So my local scene is non-existent, but I don't care because I'll ride either way. But online shops get my business, though Strictly and Back Bone support the Aussie scene. It's full circle.

Small towns need mine could do with more bike shops, but that can be said about anywhere when you look at it.

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5/9/2017 2:59 AM

In regards on LBS's and BMX.

I think that besides the fact that BMX is still a smaller community compared to the 26" bikes (and 29" 27.5" etc.), it's also in the nature of BMX to not need a mechanic.

We can pretty much do all our maintenance, parts installing and all that by ourselves.


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5/9/2017 4:00 PM

am-shaegar wrote:

In regards on LBS's and BMX.

I think that besides the fact that BMX is still a smaller community compared to the 26" bikes ...more

Coming from a bike shop background, this is sadly accurate in the sense that a lot of riders THINK they can do everything themselves...and a lot of those riders are very, very wrong.

I have seen some train wrecks come through the doors from kids who think "It's a bmx, nothing to it!".

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"Hey anybody ever make that mistake like right when you wake up in the morning and you believe in yourself?" -Kyle Kinane

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5/9/2017 10:23 PM

The main reason your average shop won't carry bmx parts is because most of the time they don't know much about bmx, and trends change so often it's hard to predict what to stock.
But the main reason is because it's all aftermarket parts. For any other type of bike it's easy to stock the wearable components and know there's a good chance of it selling. If you sell 100 mountain bikes in a year, you'll know you'll need to replace the chain and cassette on them the following year. Plus all the parts are cross compatible (or there abouts), and parts are easy to order in.
The only independent that will stock bmx parts is one that's in an area with a thriving scene where the turn over is quick.
That's partly down to the shop themselves, but also down to the locals that should be buying from them and educating them what they need, but instead order things online.

We live in a fast food society where everyone wants everything now, not in a few days time. So we order online instead of ordering through a shop and being patient.

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