Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Friday, September 19, 2008

End Of (For Me) an Era

I checked the Fixed Gear Gallery, a couple of minutes ago and the GrinderBikes banner is gone. I had to tell Dennis, this year, that I just couldn't afford it, any more.

When I first started advertising on FGG, there were not many other companies with banners, and the banner cost $250 for a year. Now, there are quite a few of what I consider "larger", actual Industry Companies, advertising. And, the cost has gone up to $400 per year.

I don't think I've made $400, this year, selling Fixed Gears. So, obviously, the ad isn't paying for itself.

I know that the FGG site must eat up tons of bandwidth, and bandwidth costs money. And, I don't begrudge Dennis the chance to make a living off of his site. Yet, I can't help but feel a little sad to be, once again, priced out of something I was in on at the fairly early stages.

The advent of major brand fixies in the $500 range and bikes such as the $299 Schwinn fixedgears (along with all of the Motobecane/Windsor eBay specials) has cut into my fixie business in a big way. I get the occasional fan of vintage frames looking for a fixed bike built around the old steel, but I've built more commuters and cruisers than anything else, this year.

So, I'll wait and see if I notice any difference in business due to dropping the FGG ad. I don't suspect I'll see it, honestly. But, I do feel like a chapter has ended for me.



At 6:33 PM , Blogger Urban Jeff said...

I have to imagine the price increase isn't as much about making more money or covering overhead as it is about keeping the number of ads reasonable. There's so many ads on the site now that you only come to the top once every two months.

At 8:17 PM , Blogger Jon said...

Could be. Either way, the enthusiast/hobby-business guys are getting squeezed out. Just seems a shame, since we're the guys who made it all possible for the Langsters, 929s, et al to get stocked in stores in the first place.

Again, I can't compete with Specialized for the mass market, but I just dropped off the radar screen, to a great degree, even for the guys looking for what I do.

That's business, in the long run. People who build bikes just for the love of it are always going to get pushed aside.

And, I'd like to reiterate that I am not complaining about Dennis being successful. I just hate having to leave the party, y'know?

At 11:45 AM , Anonymous red light green light said...

with gas prices so crazy it seems that everybody is looking for a bike. If the fixed gear sector is slow, can you not make it up building killer commuters?
A cool Grinder bike is a cool Grinder bike....

At 6:54 PM , Blogger Jon said...

RLGL: That's pretty much what I've been doing. I'll always build bikes. All I'm saying is that I feel like the whole fixie scene has become a little too corporate/profit oriented and has left a lot of the enthusiasm behind.

Just sour grapes on my part, I suppose, and I apologize for venting about it on the blog. But, I occasionally do need to get this kind of thing off my chest.

At 3:56 PM , Anonymous Zak said...

I found you on FGG.

At 10:19 PM , Blogger Jon said...

Yeah, that's the bummer. Even though I wasn't selling a lot through that ad, lately, it was still a point of contact for people who just had a question, or needed advice.


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