I've always considered myself as someone with reasonable goals, means and demands in everything that I do. For example, I'm into computers, yet I've NEVER had a flagship PCB product (graphics card or whatever) anywhere near my machine, because it's just too god damned expensive. Same thing with photography: I consider myself an enthousiast, but I am very contempt with my entry level DSLR and the old hand-em-down all-manual 35mm SLR that used to belong to my dad.
When I bought my BMX bike, I did so in a perfectly reasonable and rational manner. I checkout out how much money I was making at the time, how much money I wanted to put into the sport, what kind of parts I wanted, and then set out to find the best possible bang for my buck, while respecting what I wanted out of my to-be kreigsmaschine.
Up to now, I've been pretty good at keeping my original plan as the only plan, and not changing parts for the sake of it. In fact, ever since I called it final, the only slip-up was a set of bars, but that was out of necessity really considering the ridiculous pair of recycled, inadequate grabbers I was using. But now that I have some income again (I had stopped working for a month before starting in the Canadian Forces), I am feeling the urge to spend more and more.
Today I stumbled upon something that REALLY didn't help my case: ti-upgrade manufacturer BlueSix.
The concept behind the company is simple: it provides the mods that all riders want, but that none of the manufacturers want to give. Now, you don't have to search these obscure motorcycle modification sites looking for a SINGLE 8x1.25mm Ti bolt that's the right length for your stem: BlueSix stocks pretty much anything you need bolt-wise. They've even got more advanced mods, like female axle conversion kits for some KHE freecoasters and replacment axles that'll fit just about any popular/standard crank out there. For the color kids: they even stock their products in many colors!
I also like the philosophy that the company has torwards standardization: according to this interview up on BMX Tec, Bluesix also wants to help instore the concept of using 6mm hex keys everywhere (hence it's name), and converting all BMX hardware to the metric system. It's about goddamned time that somebody outside of the Commonwealth comes to this brilliant conclusion.
I was pumped on getting a Ti Ratchet axle and some assorted axle bolts, but then reality hit hard. I think this picture is pretty self explanatory:
For those of you who didn't get it, that's a 40$ set of Ti bolts mounted on an 80$ stem, which is in turned mounted to a fork steerer held in place by a 140$ headset. This reflects what kind of clientel these products are aimed at: the BMX elite, and weight weenies with lots of money. 40$ might not sound like alot for a cool set of blue bolts, but you know, the stock bolts came free with your stem.
And it gets worst: axles and axle bolts for my Ratchet would cost me a hefty 125$USD, not counting shipping or taxes. I'm really having a hard time convincing myself that this is a useful purchase; do I really want to replace the axle on an indestructible hub that already set me back by 300 loonies? How much sense does a 500$CAD BMX rear hub make? None.
I'm not saying don't go Ti. Heck, if I were a millionaire, I'd sure as hell be the the first one to build an all Odyssey/G-Sport equipped whip with full Ti conversion and a sick color scheme, just for the kicks and the beauty of the thing. But for me, grams and anodization just aren't worth the hard earned money that I could be spending on sex, drugs and rock'n'roll.
So anyways, for all you Ti fans out there, let it be known, there is a new sheriff in town, and he's there to rape your wallet and lighten your bike.