The BMX industry was going through a lot of changes in the 90s, a time when inventive rider-owned companies started challenging the big corporate brands that ruled the 80s. We interviewed one of the Standard Byke Company founders and BMX pioneer Rick Moliterno in the early wintery months of 1997 at his home base of Davenport, IA. At the time Standard had an ever-expanding and amazing team lineup, probably the most infamous of all time, consisting of Joe Rich, Chad DeGroot, Dave Freimuth, Taj Mihelich, Ron Kimler, Luc-E, Mark Murphy, and other top riders of the day.
Having started Standard with Minnesota’s Krt Schmidt in 1991, owning the shop Goodtimes, and having founded the infamous Rampage Skatepark, Rick was one of the first true rider entrepreneurs from the Midwest, proving you didn’t have to be headquartered in California to be influential or successful in the industry. Standard raised the bar of BMX manufacturing by drastically beefing up their frames and parts, and ushering in an era of excessively heavy bikes – where a 40 pound complete was not only normal, but desired because it was less likely to break.
The BMX print media, consisting of only magazines at the time, was also going through changes, and, according to Rick, were seemingly hesitant to give coverage to Standard due to industry politics of the day. Of course everything is different now, with rider-owned companies of every sort fully dominating the BMX industry on all levels, and the Internet continually disseminating the latest news – but it wasn’t always like this.
A Japanese Shoe-G mans the mic in this classic interview from Issue 17 of Props Video Magazine.