When we interviewed Mike Collins over at Snafu he mentioned that the team has never been stronger, the product has never been better, the distributors have never been more into the product so things must be going well. Learn more about Mike Collins and his tasks over at Snafu.When did you start working for Snafu?
It’s about a good year and a half. I came here in July, went back to
Oklahoma City in October, married Michelle and we packed up the U-Haul and came down here and I’ve been here ever since.
What are your tasks at Snafu?
I’m the general manager. The operation as a whole is myself, McGoo, Bill Bryant who is in Iraq right now, and Sherry Shu. McGoo and I are running the show right now. It’s everything from team management to sales to working with the distributors so it’s a full plate.
How do you divide up a day?
Every day is different. I come in and take care of all our buyers first and then take care of the team to make sure they have the parts they need and after that I take care of the promotions side and check in with the magazines to see if they’re up to speed with our most current ads or rider interviews that they need.
Who’s on the team for 2005?
Morgan Wade, Ryan Barrett, Tom Haugen, Markus Wilke, Vinnie Salmon is no longer on the team but on good terms, he’s doing his thing with Animal, he grew up with those guys so there’s no hard feelings, kind of the same thing with Vic Ayala. If they call up and need some parts we’re still going to support them but they’re no longer on the team. Simon Tabron is going to do stuff for us through HotWheels in the UK. We’ve got Dave Freimuth of course who has been rocking our product for a long time. He’s full factory, the Godfather of the team. We’ve got something up our sleeve in Germany but I don’t want to say anything just yet but it should be finalized by the end of this week. That’s through Christophe Huber from Unity, our distributor in Germany. Call me next week and I’ll let you know.
What bicycle parts have you been working on lately?
Everything. When I came in at Snafu all the stuff was good but we needed to go over everything. McGoo and Bill had been busy with so much stuff that they needed to hire a real dude to go over the complete line from cranks to levers, colors, bars, bottom brackets. As a matter of fact we’re waiting for our new shipment to come in which will have new sprockets, new levers, new brake cables so we’re going through everything. I’m not doing it myself, I have 99% input from riders. They’re the best group of people to have and they have really good ideas. The team has never been stronger.
What are your feelings about bottom brackets, where does Snafu stand?
I’m really into what our guys are into whether it’s the European bottom bracket, the ISIS bottom bracket, the Spanish bottom bracket or the standard American version. Right now it’s the European bottom bracket. We’ve been testing two or three different samples that we’ve got in Taiwan but we’re not re-inventing the wheel as it’s the standard European bottom bracket we’re working with. The good thing is that we’re going to include it in our crank sets. If in a few years from now the Spanish bottom bracket turns out to be the best thing, then I’m not opposed to talk with the guys and do that but right now we’re testing something that is super light and super strong.
So you’re excited to be in the bicycle industry?
I love it. It’s my life. Growing up with Mat Hoffman and Steve Swope, they showed me the way. Steve was a mentor to me.
How is California treating you?
Good but it’s expensive coming from Oklahoma. Coming from Oklahoma we’ve now, in the last three years, got 2 skateparks in OKC. Over here there is a park every ten miles. They don’t all allow bikes but there is so much stuff to ride and there are so many riders here and the weather is always good so it’s fun right now.
Do you have any projects planned with the team?
Yeah, we’ve got a lot of stuff planned and it’s just going to be good. McGoo and I have really been talking about doing a video, it’s long overdue. I don’t want to say we’re actually doing it yet because I don’t want it to drag on like others have done in the past but I’ve been talking to Nate Wessel and Dave Freimuth and with the three of us we’ll come up with some good ideas. It needs to be a good riders video that we can knock out in a timely fashion.
We’re going to continue helping the guys get to the contests, McGoo and I are planning to come to the world’s this year again and when the riders want to do something I’ll do anything possible to help them out.
Is it difficult for you to stay within a budget?
Yeah because you have a million things you want to do and everything sounds great and all the guys on the team are rad. But yeah, we have a budget we need to stick to but I leave some space for spur of the moment type of stuff whether we send someone to a La Revolution or to a Backyard jam.
What part of the job do you like most?
Team management. I love working with the guys on product development, doing photo shoots or just hang out with the riders at the park. In a perfect work I’d love to do just that.
Have you been to Taiwan?
Not yet. This year.
Any special meaning behind bringing out the green, gold and red parts?
No, we just wanted to do something different because you open up any magazine and you look at the parts review and every piece looks the same. I’m not saying every piece is the same, but it looks the same. Disposable bike parts can offer something different. I know that colors aren’t for everyone but if it’s for half of them, great. We will still have the black stuff. We will never not do black stuff. We wanted to offer some colors for riders who want to rock it like that.
Tell us about the Mobeus rotor?
Dave Freimuth helped pretty much design that together with McGoo. I came into the picture when the ball was rolling on that. It’s Teflon bearing based, it’s all completely smooth and rounded, the cables sink into it so there’s nothing sticking out, it’s a really nice piece and it’s affordable. Hopefully the product managers from big bike companies will notice and start speccing them.
How is Snafu being distributed?
We’ve got international distributors carrying our line. We’re going everywhere. We want our product to be available for both dealers and riders. In the USA we have SBS, QBP and Giant taking care of that. That works for us. Too often you see a sprocket and stem company in a magazine and kids want it, but how can they get it? If we can bridge that gap by making it accessible through our distributors that would be ideal. That’s what we’re trying to do.
Rock and Roll!