After parting ways with previous sponsor Subrosa, Rich Hirsch didn't jump right in with another BMX company. Instead, the creative force behind Lotek Footwear and Fremont Clothing decided to go his own way, starting Stranger BMX, a new company offering frames and bars manufactured by S&M Bikes, along with a range of soft goods. Stranger is Rich and the crew's own thing. They make the parts they want to ride and they promote the riding they're doing every day. Of course it helps when the team is awesome and the parts have no gimmicks attached. But I'll let Rich tell it from his perspective.
Name: Rich Hirsch
Location: Long Beach, Calif.
Web site: http://www.strangerbmx.com
You've ridden for a few different bike companies over the years. What made you want to start your own brand instead of riding for another company?
I wanted to make bikes the way I'd like them and this seemed like the best way to make that happen. The frames and bars are a bit bigger then most of what's available and a bit thicker as well.
What is Stranger doing different from other BMX frame companies out there?
Everything I suppose, depending how you look at it.
Who's on the team?
Caleb Quanbeck, Shawn Mcintosh, Wolfman, Craig Passero, Nick Owens, Jesse Whaley and David Grant.
What products are you manufacturing?
Currently frames, bars, and soft goods with a few others coming shortly.
Is Stranger only going to focus on US-made frames and bars, or do you plan to expand into other products?
I have some samples being made overseas on the way. If they are good, they will come out sooner or later.
Why go the US-made route with your frames and bars? And do you think that US-made BMX products are making a comeback?
I live here in the US, it seems kind of silly to order stuff from the other side of the world first if I have the option of ordering it from an established bike manufacturer down the street. Building my first products with S&M before sampling them overseas also gives me something to judge those ones against to make sure they stand up.
I wanted to make bikes the way I'd like them and this seemed like the best way to make that happen.
Can you explain the relationship between Stranger and Them?
Them is an online store that sells Stranger and other stuff as well as a blog. It seemed like a better idea than doing a Stranger online store so we could more actively promote other shops as well through the Stranger site.
How has the reception to Stranger been so far?
It seems good to me although I only talk to a few people.
What's the most important part of running Stranger?
Not taking it serious.
What's something you never expected you'd learn from running Stranger?
How do you juggle Stranger, Lotek and Fremont?
The same as anyone I think, I just don't play video games or have cable TV.
Anything we didn't touch upon?
Seems good to me, thanks.
Stranger's first run of frames is due to drop soon. Check the Stranger site for more info on ordering.