Have you ever wondered how many different frames there are available? Is there an over saturated BMX frame market?
The new Wethepeople Revolver frame will soon be joining the options available.
This past weekend a post on Instagram by Dale Holmes pointed out that the Race BMX Frame market is heavily saturated with at least 86 different frame options available. We’re assuming that’s just frame options, not necessarily individual brands, but maybe we could be wrong. Either way, It got us thinking about all of the frame options that are currently available on the freestyle side of things and how many brands there are making frames…
The last count according to @mikecarruth for current race frames available globally is an over-saturated 86! While reading some old magazines I came across this one in BMX Action July 1988 with "An Extensive Evaluation Of Eleven Top Garage Companies". The article talks about how all Eleven companies support riders, teams and racing, all in demand and usually sell their frames as fast as they can make them. How times have changed!! #oldschoolbmx
We decided to try and remember or find every brand that currently make BMX frames. We scoured the internet for quite a while to figure out every brand and we’re pretty sure this list is fairly complete, give or take a few due to them either being dead, but still have a website or just us not thinking of them. We’ve even included a few custom frame “brands” that do custom frames. Let’s go over this list quick. We tried to get it in alphabetical order, which should help figure out if we missed any… Ready? Here we go…
BMX Frame Brands
Credence (Technically S&M, but we’ll still count it as its own thing since)
Eighties Bike Co.
Ene Ene Bikes
Fit Bike Co.
Hyper Bike Co.
Kis Bike Co. (Done?)
Proper Bike Co.
Social Bike Co.
The Take (Does FBM still fire these out?)
That’s 68 DIFFERENT BRANDS that offer at least one aftermarket BMX frame, and we’re sure people will immediately chime in with brands we forgot (Do it, please!). Many of those brands offer more than two different options, some have four… S&M Bikes have 13 between their different freestyle frames (20″, 22 and 24″). That doesn’t even count all the different frame sizes and color options or custom frames! We’ll just guess and say the average is 3 frames (excluding TT and colors). That’s VERY roughly around 204 different frames. We would imagine it is far more than that, but that would require a lot of time to go through each brand and figure out how many options each brand has.
How many BMX riders are there, even?
I’m sure somebody out there could provide a pretty decent guess at how many freestyle BMX riders there are in the world, but we honestly have no idea. We have featured thousands of riders on the site from the 30,000+ posts we have done over the last 10 years and we’ve had millions of unique visitors on the site in that time, but to be able to accurately guess how many freestyle BMX riders there are in the world and how many are buying an aftermarket frame? I’m pretty sure brands would be willing to pay for accurate information like that, haha.
When it comes to BMX frames, the geometry has been narrowed down and only a few degrees, millimeters or centimeters really separate the vast majority of frames when it comes to design. Don’t get us wrong, we know the importance of BMX Frame Geometry and how much each of those small changes can factor into the way a BMX bike rides, but there is only so much room that the majority of riders fall into.
One of the biggest differences in BMX frames are some of the features they offer. Whether it’s gussets, special tubing or tubing styles like tapering, integrated chain tensioners, custom stay bridges and wishbones, unique graphics and more. Those minor details are usually the easiest way to differentiate frames these days.
When it comes to manufacturing quality, it’s pretty amazing how far things have come, too. You don’t see BMX frames breaking like they used to when guys like Mat Hoffman were on the verge of saying screw it and starting their own brand so they didn’t have to worry about how many frames they will break in a single week. Many BMX frames last riders more than a year these days, and some much longer than that. Sure, there are some really gnarly guys out there that can destroy a frame in a short period of time, but it’s nowhere near as common as it used to be.
How many frames do brands sell? That’s another pretty impossible question to answer considering brands aren’t likely to disclose that information, especially to a guy like me, haha. We can assume a brand like Cult sells a lot more than let’s say… (Scrolls through list)… The Make. Obviously both brands have much different missions with their brands, so it’s not like these two can really be compared, but there is a big difference in the volume of BMX frames being produced and sold between each brand. We’re also pretty sure some brands we would assume sell a ton of frames, don’t sell nearly as many as we would imagine.
Are there too many BMX frames?
Is the BMX frame market oversaturated? Based off what we’ve heard from different brands over the past, well, decade, that answer would be yes. Is that a bad thing? It depends on how you look at it. From a brand standpoint it sucks because you could have an amazing product, but you’re competing with nearly 60 other brands. From a rider standpoint, it’s awesome. You have more options than you probably even realize, geometry options for every possible style of riding you want to do, more colors than a 152 pack of Crayola Crayons and sizes that fit 20″, 22″ and 24″ bikes. Another perk is it helps keep prices down because no brand wants to over price their product and miss out on sales, too. On the flipside, that sucks for brands because the margins are thin and in reality, they aren’t making that much on each frame.
Do we think there are too many options? I mean, that’s kind of a hard question to answer. It’s a free market and the barrier to entry is basically this… Do you have the money to get the frames made? Finding a place to have frames made isn’t exactly rocket science. No brand is going to tell you “this is where we have ours made, we’re sure you could get yours made there too!”, but then again you have plenty of options between the U.S and Taiwan to get a frame produced. It’s not exactly hard to figure out what features and geometry to go with, either.
Is there room for more?
I wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from pursuing their dream of starting their own brand, but it’s probably not the best time to throw your hat in the ring to start a brand, unless you have something unique that will help you standout. Whether it’s a unique product, a badass team or something that allows you to really reach a lot of riders like a massive Youtube channel (Adam LZ already has the signature frame from Stranger)… If it was as easy as just having the money, this list would likely be 10 times longer because what rider hasn’t considered starting their own BMX brand?
We have seen a lot of brands in BMX come and go in the past and we’ve seen many weather the ups and downs, continuing to produce quality products, supplying shops and riders around the world. Hell, we have seen brands that we thought would have been gone a long time ago and we have seen brands that we always thought would be around get shut down. We’ve seen some heavy budget cuts that left brands almost seem non-existent and we have seen some really talented people in the BMX industry move on to greener pastures. It’s not going to be as easy as slapping your sticker on a frame with the same geometry and features as 10 other frames out there.
Okay, let’s wrap this up. The whole point of this was to talk a little bit about something that most riders probably don’t think about and maybe get some discussion going. Yeah, you can flip through the Dan’s Comp catalog (Don’t act like you don’t get it in the mail) and say “Wow, they have a lot of frames”, but even they don’t have every options available. It’s even harder for a smaller, local shop that doesn’t have that option to carry a ton of different frames. Every rider out there has their own preference or style and reasons for riding a specific frame. Maybe it’s because it’s made in the U.S.A, or it’s their favorite Pro’s signature frame… Maybe the geometry or the features is what they like? Maybe it’s super light and ideal for flip and tailwhip combos, maybe it’s geared toward nose manuals and grinds, maybe it’s something you can hit the trails, a skatepark and street spots and it feels awesome on everything. If there’s something you want, it very likely already exists.
There’s plenty of reasons for so many options…
Do you think things are “oversaturated” or not so much?
How many riders do you think there are around the world?
What frame do you ride and why?
Did we miss any brands?
What’s something you wish a brand would do with a frame that doesn’t exist yet?
On the hunt for a new frame? Check out these BMX frames.
Let us know what you think in the comments below!