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I think at some point in every BMX riders life, they dream of starting their own company. 99% of the time the idea never really goes beyond that. That wasn’t the case from Jon “Gremlin” Betchtold who almost accidently started The Daily Grind. What started out as a website for him to post photos and videos eventually lead to a hub guard. Shortly after that, bar ends, a hub and a pedal. It’s awesome seeing how ideas can grown and change and when those ideas are left to a guy who actually rides, seeing quality being the main concern is even better. The Daily Grind might be a new name to what is commonly referred to as a flooded market, they’re doing things different than the cookie cutter brands that have been coming and going pretty quick lately. I decided it was time to find out what this operation was all about and to give you guys a little background on what they’re all about. Let’s take a look!
Owner, Jon “Gremlin” Betchtold taking a break from putting his parts through hell and back.
The Daily Grind is one of the newer brands to join the BMX industry. When did you start tossing around the idea of doing something on your own? What were some of the reasons behind starting your own brand?
Last year I decided I wanted to do something in the BMX industry, at first the Daily Grind was just a web site that I posted web edits and photos on, then last fall I realized BMX was missing tough parts, so I decided I would fill the void with the DG Hub Guards. It just makes since to make hub guards as strong and smooth as the pegs that they work with. Now we are moving into our own brand.
Once you had all your ideas lined up, how long did it take for you to start getting some samples made of things like the hub guard? Seems like that’s always the biggest hurdle to get things rolling.
The hub guards were an idea that I had last summer and I sketched up a drawing and shopped around for a manufacturer. Luckily, I knew a few people to help steer me in the correct direction. So we got a few samples in and tried our best to destroy them. After a few months of beating on them, I made a production run. So it took about 8 months to get them ready to be distributed.
Are you handling everything on your own or do you have a few other people giving you some help with things? Care to talk about some of the different people involved with the brand?
Right now I do a ton on my own but luckily I have some awesome friends that are helping me out, product wise, my riders are a huge influence, especially Ryan Howard. He has lived and breathed BMX for the last 15 years or so; he has had tons of input on our next product the drive-side guards. Other friends that are helping a lot with the DG are Bud Dickman from Perspectives BMX RIP, he edited our full length DVD, and with some ad stuff. Troy Merkle and Tony Cherry are also pushing the brand by taking photos and filming for everything. Other close friends are helping with our website dailygrindbike.co and producing our newer logos. All these dudes are definitely making the DG possible.
The Daily Grind appears to be aiming for using higher quality materials versus producing something with a more cost effective material that’s more likely to break. Want to share why you are choosing to do things this way?
I believe in using higher quality materials for the most simple reason, it last. How many times have broken parts ruined a good session, I don’t want DG parts to be to blame. I want to keep people riding.
Care to share your current line up for products? It sounds like you guys will be making a few additions here shortly, right? What makes all of these things unique and special?
Our current line up for products are our DG 4140 chromoly hub guards, our 6061 aluminum bar ends, our DG front hubs with 4140 chromoly dual guards, and our polycarbonate pedals with metal pins. We are working on a few other products that will be available around spring, including a 19mm spline drive sprocket, Troy Merkle signature 4-piece Century bars, and Ryan Howard’s signature drive-side guards. I wouldn’t say our products are special, they are just street approved.
You guys recently released your first team video. How did you think it came out?
The Daily Grind DVD recently released and it consist of Tony Cherry, Ryan Howard, Alex Raban, Gremlin, and Troy Merkle along with a great friends part. It is an awesome watch with some very good moves.
I personally thought the video was damn good. Check out the trailer and some scrap clips from the video at the bottom of this!
You have had some real solid dudes to test your products out. Who is all on the team at the moment?
The current team consists of Troy Merkle, Tony Cherry, and Ryan Howard, I guess I consider myself part of the team also.
Do you plan on expanding the team anytime soon? Any words of advice of how to get on Gremlin’s good side and land a spot on the team?
I am thinking about adding to the team but it’s no easy task. If you were trying to get on my good side you have to have a passion to ride, and push your limits. Also it’s mostly a street oriented company but I do love when people can ride anything.
Do you have anything cooking with the team as far as trips go? Anywhere you would like to get to at some point with the guys?
We are all currently trying to plan some winter trips to escape the brutal Ohio winter, maybe southern California or Texas. As far as places I dream of going someday, obviously Barcelona is a street meca, but I would love to travel around the world to ride, just explore different countries.
So now that things are finally starting to get going, what do you have planned next? Do you have any new distributors around the world that will be carrying your stuff?
Next, I don’t know about next, I just plan on pushing the brand, growing the Daily Grind. We are currently distributed in the UK through Zeal BMX, Israel BMX in Israel, and our products are available at the paranoGarage in Germany. Hopefully we can spread to the whole world soon.
Let’s say a shop or distributor is really stoked on what you guys are doing and want to get some of your products in their stores and warehouses. How should they go about getting ahold of you?
The best way to get a hold of me is by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don’t get an immediate response, it’s because he’s probably doing something like this…
If a rider buys one of your products and for some reason there’s a manufactures defect, what kind of a warranty does The Daily Grind offer?
I think this is a no brainer, all companies should full warranty manufacture defects, just email me and send it in and we’ll make sure it’s our fault and we will replace it.
How can people keep up with you guys? Don’t you have a new website? Do you guys have Facebook, Twitter and all that social media stuff going too?
Our website is thedailygrindbmx.com, and you can link out from there.
As time goes on, where do you hope to take things with the brand? I’d imagine this has been a pretty crazy learning experience for you since you started the brand.
I hope to eventually have a full line of quality parts, a few parts that change the game, and just have fun. It’s definitely been a learning experience, I feel bad for some of the people I deal with. I run them through the ringer with dumb questions, but I don’t know so I have to ask.
All right, so that wraps things up. Do you have anything I missed that you would like to add or is there anything you would like to say?
I just want to thank anyone that has or is helping the Daily Grind. There are to many people to even start a list. You guys know who you are. Thank you!