If you spend any time at all on the 22″ threads on the various forums and pages, the topic of Sunday/Odyssey joining the 22″ movement will come up.
More specifically, why Sunday/Odyssey hasn’t joined the movement.
Some have claimed that Sunday/Odyssey (let’s just say Odyssey for this post) hasn’t dived into the pool –even though a large number of their competitors have — is because they overinvested in the 24″ BMX scene and were left hanging when their investment wasn’t met with the demand they were expecting. Because of this, they are more than a little gun-shy about getting their feet wet with 22″ BMX. (I’m not saying this is true…it’s just what people are saying)
Another piece of evidence for this line of thinking were some comments from G-Sport in the Bike Guide forum discussing 22″ BMX. He more or less said there was no business case for it.
Granted, these comments were from a 2011 thread when the 22″ scene was far less populated by companies having a go at this new wheel size.
To be fair, there was a similar view expressed in 2010 over on our brother site, Cruiser Revolution, in a 22″ themed post. At the time, only one company Faction was doing anything 22″ related in a meaningful way. The post suggested that without more industry support it would likely be an extremely small niche without much traction.
Of course, once S&M tiptoed into the scene, before full-on embracing it, other companies now had the “air cover” to try it for themselves. (Which kind of proved the thesis of the post.)
Digression: Felt actually introduced a 22″ complete (pic here)after dropping their new school 24 from their lineup back in 2013. Kind of ahead of their time you might say, but alas Felt BMX is no more. I guess with that kind of forward thinking, you’re just flying too close to the sun…
Odyssey tends to be higher end, with more proprietary items —Hazard Lite, etc. –so it’s a bit harder to do a cookie cutter entry into the 22″ scene. They have standards (which is also why they are so popular/respected).
So what’s a company to do? On the one hand you have customers begging you to produce something…but you’re worried about misjudging demand and being left holding the bag/overstocked.
I think, my modest proposal is to embrace a tried and true BMX industry practice….copy what works for someone else.
Chris Moeller, of S&M Bikes saw the gap in availability/reliability of replacement 29″ forks for the “raise ’em up” wheelie crowd. Moeller pounced on the opportunity and “Pounding Beer” forks were born. (And, if I’m not mistaken, they sold out immediately).
S&M isn’t a “bike life” company –they don’t even make 29″ frames–but they found a way to make money in an area adjacent to their core business.
Odyssey could do the same.
Odyssey makes some of the best aftermarket forks in the industry.
The 22″ scene is sick with completes with easy to bend forks….see the similar business gap Odyssey?
With a slight tweak the R32 forks could become the R22 fork.
And, if they’re light enough (which the 20″ version are, I think)…you’ve got the small but still significant OS20 crowd who might grab ’em up too.
With just a little effort, they could become the 22″ aftermarket fork.
Heck, S&M already did a second run of the Pounding Beer forks because the first run went so fast.
Seems like a win-win to me.
And, that’s my modest proposal.
(Also, don’t forget to send a pair of the first batch this way…I can’t be doing all the market strategy here without a little something, something, dontcha know)