Someone left a post recently on B.S. about bicycle industry standards. The original poster was beefing about having a million different seat post sizes. BB sizes, head tube lengths, etc.
Riders purchase a new frame, with each builder having their own idea what should be standardized and what that standard should be. Parts from one bike should fit another; we should be able to scrounge parts from a buddy's spare bike when something goes wrong at the last second. Right? I feel the pinch too. Seat tube reamers are custom ground for me at a couple of hunnies each.
Perhaps we should take a page from the book titled “The golden age of
motorcycles”, before land of the rising sun cast a huge shadow over a confused,
disorganized motorcycle industry we may be able to learn something from our gas
Some bikes had junk engines but handled great. Some had great forks but the frames broke. You get the picture. There were thousands of motorcycles shops that each sold many brands (like today’s bicycle shops). Loyalty shifted frequently as all the small companies struggled to be able to build "most" of what was needed to get a bike out the door. Then came Honda, with an efficient, well funded (with US dollars) production operations and unique "brand specific" dealerships they followed no standards. The bikes were reliable, performed well and wouldn't need forks from a Maico. In the years that followed the real Japanese invasion all contenders were crushed. At the time US motorcycle sales were 50,000 per year. In just a couple of years 90% of the motorcycles that were being ridden in this country were imported from Japan and that total sales figure was now 500,000. You want to know now what this has to do with us. Me too.
Perhaps instead of pondering over if I should equip my bikes with the new chain guide standard I should make it match perfectly to what a particular production brand is doing? Should I go for the customers of another brand who bought a bike with a crap frame and a great component spec? Swing arms for this bike, rockers for that brand. Become a "hot rod" shop. Let someone else decide. Perhaps make a frame and sell it with a X type BB, my own proprietary headset (you buy spares from me) and may be a set of crowns to fit the fork and wheels you choose.
Why all this concern? Honda has been racing DH for a couple or years now. If those bikes end up in Honda motorcycle dealerships we may be looking at the dawn of another new set of industry standards. Who will see it coming?