I made mention in my previous post how the Bridgestone catalog is a good source for bike industry history during a certain period of time. The eighties and early nineties followed the bike boom of the 70’s hype for marketing to “the American Rider”. Searching online information for a 70’s Motobecane Grand Jubilee I also found a catalog that hyped the American rider. It is clearly the American white male rider that the bike industry was targeting. My experience during the eighties was to set foot in a bike shoponly if I needed a part. I had a decent road bike ie. steel frame and a low-end mountain bike for commuting. Both designs would hold up well for me as a rider. As time moved on in the bike industry I understood better the changes in design had nothing to do with motivating bike riding. So, I asked myself who were these designs meant for and why did they focus solely on white males? And when white males stopped buying what kind of designs would replace them?
It’s going on 2012 and the popularity of bike riding in America is at a standstill. The high-end bike for white males dominates. Go for the guys wallet is the credo of the bike industry. But, where do women and girls fit in with design? The bike chic movement is one area and that is all over the board. It’s sort of like listening to your boyfriends music or maybe your girlfriends music. People are not getting the bottom line about bike riding since the industry has not moved ahead with designs that fit people. Ask yourself what sort of bike does a small Hispanic man or woman have as a first best option? Probably a department store kids bike. Why, doesn’t the industry market to small people better? We can’t all afford Terry frame sets. Then what is the matter with getting bikes out to the heartland where small town people can benefit? What better place to ride than in a small town? These are just thoughts about the bike industry and how the formula has not changed. When racing bikes are saturated like mountain bikes are only then maybe will the bike industry move forward. Into the Wild go the disenchanted. Into the urban fray go the brave.