Office Space: FBM Bikes

Chances are, if you ride BMX, you know what FBM Bikes is. What you might not know is that FBM is a BMX brand unlike any other BMX company out there.

FBM started out around 1993, They printed their own t-shirts and sold the shirts at local races and contests. As time ticked along and the scene grew, so did their little company, making more and more shirts, along with now-legendary videos. FBM soon became a household name among BMXers. The next step forward happened around 1998, when FBM started manufacturing their own frames and parts. Now over ten years later, FBM is a respected brand in the BMX world, though the brand has endured more than a few obstacles along the way.

Fortunately, dealing with those hard times only made them more committed to keep pushing on and producing great products. Whether it was team changes, warehouse fires or buildings being condemned, FBM has shown no sign of slowing down. Recently, I took a trip up to good old Johnston City, NY and stopped by FBM to see some old friends. While there I talked to some of the guys to see what it's like being in this new building. This is FBM, circa

Mike Erb

What is your position?
I'm co-owner of FBM, in the broadest terms I manage the day to day operations at FBM; this includes working with John Lee and Chris Stevenson on sales and customer service, product design and sourcing of the products we have made overseas with John Paul Rogers, setting the production schedule with machine shop manager Dave Harrison, and consulting with Steve Crandall on FBM marketing. I personally handle the accounting, financing, purchasing, inventory management, website programming, CAD drawings and the myriad of things that occur daily when you run your own business.

What do you like better about the new warehouse compared to the old one?
There's the obvious, it's on the ground floor instead of the basement under East Coast Terminal (RIP), after that the layout is better and the lower ceilings make it easier to heat in the long, cold New York winters.

John Paul Rogers

What is your position?
Facilitator. We come up with dumb ideas and I attempt to bring them to life. Also help out John Lee a little bit with the stuff he does for Last Call. Travel to Taiwan a few times a year by myself to work on completes, parts and accessories and do weird stuff that no one will ever know about.

What do you like better about the new warehouse compared to the old one?
Heat. The other place was pretty much an inhumane working environment. Realistically, it's like comparing two piles of horse crap, the one we're standing in now is smaller.

Dave Harrison

What is your position?

Shop Foreman of the machine shop/ head welder, but to work at FBM you have to be a jack-of-all-trades. We are a small place so if the toilet needs cleaning, go clean it. If boxes need to get made for bikes, go make them. It keeps it interesting though because you never know what you might do when you show up for work and there are always bikes to be made. Thanks everyone.

What do you like better about the new warehouse compared to the old one?
Well, not in this order but heat, at ground level, windows for sunlight, alarm system and enough power to weld and machine anything we want. Nothing sucks more than having someone keep the breaker pushed open while I'm welding some veggie tanks.

John Lee

What is your position?

Sales/Warranty/Customer Service Dude

What do you like better about the new warehouse compared to the old one?
I like that the new warehouse is at ground level and has windows and heat. It's amazing how much sunlight and fresh air affects your mood. Its also nice not having to put a hot water bottle in my shirt to stay warm during the winter.

As you can see, FBM isn't the most glamorous company out there. But by being that way, it gives the brand a certain appeal that speaks to BMXers; that sense that it's a friend that you ride with at your local spot. I feel that this is what makes this company as successful as it is today. It's the personal relations it has with its customers. Not to mention great bikes.