Flybikes 2016 Fuego Frame And Bars


Devon Smillie’s signature Flybikes Fuego frame underwent a few significant tweaks for 2016, the most notable being the addition of external head tube gussets as well as the existing internal ones that Fly utilises and the shift from Fly’s proprietary Spanish BB to a larger Mid;

For 2016, Devon wanted to make a few changes to his Fuego frame. The first thing you will notice is that we’ve added external gussets. These gussets are an addition to the internal integrated gussets we already utilize on the frame, making for an extremely strong front end. Next, we’ve raised the seat tube height a half inch to 9.25″ and shortened the back end to 13.35″ making for a strong frame that’s built to take on the streets.  We have also added an additional top tube length for those of you who are looking for a smaller frame. This year, the Fuego will be available in 21″ and 20.5″ top tube lengths. We have also switched to a Mid bottom bracket to accommodate our new 24mm Dolmen cranks, the spindle size was too large for Spainish bearings, and our traditional Dylan removable brake mounts for a clean looking frame for brakeless riders.

FUEGO_insta_1 (1)

Top tube: 20.5” / 21”
Head tube angle: 75.5º
Seat tube angle: 71º
BB height: 11.75”
Stand over: 9.25”
Chain stay length: 13.35”
Weight: 2.531 kg. / 5.57lb. (21″)
Colours: semi-translucent brown, flat grey, trans black.


The Fuego bars are also now available in a higher 9.5 inch rise for those of you on the tall side.  The Fuego bars and frame are out now in some countries with others following close behind, get your local shop to grab a set if they are your bag.

Rise: 9”  or 9.5”
Width: 29”
Back-sweep: 10º
Up-sweep: 3º
Weight: 796g / 1.75 lbs. (9″)
Colours: semi-translucent brown or trans black

Profile Blackjack Sprocket 2016 Re-issue

Blackjack Spread

Profile Racing have re-released what is arguably the most recognisable (even to people who don’t ride in my own personal experience) and iconic mid-school sprockets; the Blackjack, for it’s 18th anniversary in 25, 28 and 30 tooth sizes.  The Blackjack sprocket (as pictured below) was first made in the late ninties, boasted 44 teeth, a 10mm thickness and was compatible with a sprocket-hole mounted grindplate.  I still see originals floating around today so needless to say, they could take a beating.  If it’s your thing get your local bike shop to order you one in or head to Profile’s e-store where they even have a few old 44T versions left…

Black Jack and Guard copy

Stranger XXLT Rims


The Come Up dropped a rare product feature on behalf of Stranger who have come up (ha!) with a new version of their XXL rim; the XXLT rim.  Inventive name, I know, but boasting a humongous 42mm wide profile, flash-welded join and weighing a fairly reasonable 595 grams as opposed to the XXL at 630 grams; I think they can just about be forgiven. While the wholly… holey nature of the extra machining is a bit of a dirt trap for my particular part of the world, the wide profile will undoubtedly help prevent pinch flats at lower tyre pressures compared to some others on the market.

Ecalt 25.4mm 4-Piece Strangler Bars


It wasn’t too long ago when uncut Slam bars were considered the biggest bars available at 8″ tall.  With bars getting an inch or two taller over the last 5 years, back pains are becoming less frequent due to not being hunched over a set of tiny 7.5″x 24″ bars (probably mounted to a bloody ‘dropped’ front-loader stem too…)  In short, we’re all riding for longer and we have our bars to thank for it.  The only real issue with tall bars is the leverage forces involved, the extra strain can be way too much for some stems and can cause a lot of extra slippage- or even snapping in the bars if your stem is too powerful not to slip.  Not so great for your teeth…


The guys at WMT have been trialling their solution of changing the clamp-area diameter from the traditional 22.2mm (7/8″) to 25.4mm (1″) for about a year now on two piece bars with Wethepeople.  This is to increase the clamping tube’s surface area to prevent slippage and adding extra material where bars break.  Éclat being the innovators they are, announced the first four piece version yesterday; the Éclat Strangler bars.


Being WMT’s premium quality brand, Éclat have been designed these bars from the ground up with function and longevity in mind.  The 25.4mm clamping tube is welded to a 25.4mm griptube for an increased welding area at the junction where four piece bars typically break.  The grip tube actually tapers back to 22.2mm where the grips are installed to maintain the traditional feel but gives it a slick new-age look that’s sure to turn heads.  There’s no info on angles/geometry yet but they will be available in 9.1″ or 9.6″ sizes by summer 2016 with compatible stems being released at the same time.

S&M Dagger Frame


Back in September, Kurt at the Union gave us this brief look at the new S&M park-specific frame, dubbed The Dagger, that they had on display at the Interbike trade show.  While information on it is limited right now, what we do know is that it has double headtube gussets, removable seat stay brake lugs, an integrated seat clamp and is going to be made in small batches; sold with a pair of the responsive 26mm offset Widemouth forks.


As well as the forks being very manoeuvrable, the frame itself is something of a nipper with it’s tight headtube angle, short rear end and low bottom bracket, all making this frame as responsive as possible.  No word on available top tube lengths as of yet but with only two weeks until it’s released, we won’t be waiting long.

75.75 degree head tube angle
71 degree seat tube angle
11.6″ bottom bracket height
7.25″ seat tube height
12.8″ to 13.2″ chain stay length

If it looks like your cup of tea, hit up your local bike shop and get them to pre-order one for you ahead of it’s release date.

Slacking Off- A Brief Study In Freecoaster Slack

Occasionally with a ‘job’ like this, I’ll be lucky enough to be sent parts to test by companies going through research and development stages of making new BMX components, my main qualification to do so is being able to throw a bike around while still being able to analyse a broken one better than simply saying ‘I fell and it broked!’
Then one day someone will pull a cruel joke and send you not one, but two types of freecoaster to test knowing full well how you feel about that kind of heresy and witchcraft… but with me being ever curious about new technologies emerging and not wanting to be left behind, I gladly accepted the task.
Trying out both clutch and pawl type freecoasters, I figured out that while the pawl type was the easiest to use, the clutch type was best for adjustability and thus, reliability (in the respect it won’t engage and throw you on your arse as easily when rolling backwards) due to being able to remove/ add slack spacers at will. This is something that can’t be done with a pawl type coaster without using a different clutch-disk or slack cam ring- depending on which brand you ride.  This is not to say that you are completely out of options when it comes to slack adjustability though; the following factors can also play a part in the time it takes your hub to engage;



A higher gear ratio where a larger sprocket, or a smaller driver, is used so higher top speeds can be reached does so because a larger sprocket like a 27T-9T ratio for example, pulls more chain links over the driver with each pedal stroke than a smaller 25T sprocket pulls over a 9T driver; it works the same way that a single point on the outer edge of a vinyl record will move faster than a point in the middle despite it having the same number of revolutions per minute- except there’s a chain wrapped around it.  What this also does is reduce the time it takes for your rear hub to engage as chain gets pulled over your driver at a faster rate when your gear ratio is higher.  In the days of cassette hubs and freewheels (if you’ve been riding as long as some) this wasn’t so much of an issue but with freecoasters and fakie tricks coming back into popularity, it’s something that is of much greater importance.  If you’ve got steady legs and a desire to bomb it around at mach 10 then you could probably get away with something like 27 or 26T-9t but if you like a bit of room for error when moving your feet around while coasting backwards then maybe stick to a lower 25T-9T, no one likes a bruised arse.

Crank Arm Length.


While 175mm tends to be the standard go-to length for BMX cranks they can usually range from around 165mm to 180mm depending on your height, riding style or personal preference so for arguments sake we’re just going to talk about the two extremes of long (eg. 180mm) and short (165mm).  If you imagine the crank in it’s engaged and disengaged position as well as the distance between the pedal spindles as a kind of triangle (as illustrated in the shoddy MSpaint diagram above) you can see that the red lines represent the set freecoaster slack angle but you can see that the slack effectively widens as the cranks get longer.  It’s worth noting that the difference is negligible but noticeable if you go between 165mm and 180mm cranks although virtually non-existent if you were running 175mm cranks to begin with, but you know, every little counts sometimes…

Chain Tension.

It’s pretty much common knowledge that freecoaster driver bearings really do not like tight chains but a loose chain can also artificially increase your freecoaster slack angle as well as help your bearings last longer.  Before your hub even starts to engage your legs have to make the chain tension enough to pull the chain over the driver to begin with so the slacker the chain; the slacker the angle, obvious enough.  But that also increases the likelihood of your bike sounding like a rusty bag of nails inside a biscuit tin so exercise restraint with that one kids.

While I’m sure all of the above is quite obvious to some older riders including the Bikeguide police, and I’m sure it’ll get picked apart in some way or another but the main point I want to make is that it’s not something that gets talked about a whole lot, especially to younger riders, despite being a big issue in BMX today. That said, if there are any points I’ve missed feel free to hit me up at

Wethepeople 2016 Envy Complete Bike


It seems like a yearly tradition that a little time after summer I’ll check to see how the next year’s Wethepeople Envy complete bike is fairing up; and it’s fair to say it never disappoints.  The Envy has always been the WMT gold standard bike since it was released in 2009, often used in recent years to sneak out a few unreleased hi-spec products a little early and generally show off just how good a complete bike can get.


The most notable of new parts showcased in the 2016 edition of the Envy is the 25.4mm (as opposed to the 22.2mm we’ve all been using since day zero) clamping area bar and stem which has been and continues to be tested by riders all over the world with great results.  The increased surface area of the clamp helps to keep taller bars with higher leverage firmly in one place while the taper adds extra material where bars often snap, I’ve personally been riding a set for nearly 6 months now and it’s never slipped on me.
The other new part to drool over is the new Cortex freecoaster that we touched on during the Interbike period. This traditional clutch-type coaster has it’s own way of creating resistance on the clutch without using the typical ‘two sprung bearings’ which wears away at the clutch eventually and can weaken the axle.  We’ve posted the specs bellow but if you want more photos and frame geometry, head over to Wethepeople to peep it.


Frame: WETHEPEOPLE “Envy” frame, 4130 full sanko, tapered CS and SS, removable pivots & guides , intg. chain tensioner

Fork: WETHEPEOPLE “Envy” fork, full 4130 sanko with post liquid heat-treated, 1pc cnc steerer, 28mm offset

Bars: WETHEPEOPLE “Envy” bars full 4130 sanko, post liquid heat-treated, 25.4mm clamping

Grips:  ÉCLAT “Filter” Vex compound grips

Stem: WETHEPEOPLE “Hydra” cnc alloy top loading stem, 25.4mm clamp, 27mm rise, 50mm reach

Headset: SALTPLUS “Echo” int. headset, sealed bearing

Gyro: none included/ holes for removable gyro tabs

Lever: ÉCLAT “Sniper” hinged alloy brake lever, two finger version

Brakes: ÉCLAT “Unit” u-brake and bridge cable rear

Cranks: ÉCLAT “Spire” 2.5 pc crank, crmo, 170mm, 48T spline, 22mm spindle

BB:  ÉCLAT “CNC” mid size, press fit, sealed bearing

Pedals:  ÉCLAT “CONTRA” nylon/fiberglass pedals, removable pins

Chain: SALTPLUS “WARLOCK” halflink chain

Sprocket  ÉCLAT “Vent” 6016-T6 alloy, cnc, 26t sprocket

Driver: 9t, 1pc free-coaster driver, RSD

Front Hub:  ÉCLAT “Pulse” hub, 3/8s” female bolts, 36h

Rear Hub:  ÉCLAT “Cortex” freecoaster hub, sb, 9T, 14mm hollow axle, 36h

Front Rim:  ECLAT “Bondi V2” straight double wall rim, 36h, flash welded

Rear Rim:  ECLAT “Bondi V2” straight double wall rim, 36h, flash welded

Seat: ÉCLAT “Oz V2” thick padded pivotal seat

Seat Post: WETHEPEOPLE 3D forged alloy pivotal seat post 200mm

Seat Clamp: integratedseat clamp

Tires: WETHEPEOPLE “Stickin” 2.4″ front/  2.3″ rear

Weight: 11.6kg (25.5lbs) w/o pegs & brakes

FitBikeCo Benny L V2 Frame


The guys over at Dig have a great first look at the new V2 FitBikeCo Benny L frame and an exclusive interview with UK street hero Ben Lewis on how it differs from the first incarnation, the shift from US to Taiwanese manufacturing and it’s general snappy and responsive nature;

Sizes: 20.5″, 20.75″, 21″, 21.25″
Rear end length: 12.8″-13.1″
Head tube angle: 75.5°
Seat tube angle: 69°
BB Height: 11.7″
Standover: 8.25″
Dropouts: 14mm 4Q Baked
Seatpost size: 25.4mm
Weight: (S) 20” – 5.08 lb (2.3 kg) , (M) 20.5” – 5.1 lb (2.31 kg) , (L) 20.75” – 5.13 lb (2.33 kg) , (XL) 21” – 5.15 lb (2.34 kg)

It’s a good read so head over to Dig to read the whole thing, then get onto your local shop to order you a V2 Benny L as it is out now.

FBM Bike Co Prototype Street Frame


FBM are currently testing out a new unnamed street frame they have in the works and in our opinion, it looks built to take it.  Details like double headtube gussets and a traditional slotted seat post as well as the OG frame decals are great additions to this nippy little beast.  Boasting a steep 75.25 headtube angle, 9.125 stand over, 13.625 rear end, low 11.625 BB height and steeper a 72 degree seat tube, this frame is built to move.


Head over to FBM’s website for more photos.


Lairdframe Promo Video

It’s no secret that lately Mike Laird has been killing it just as much in his frame fabrication as he ever did during his pro riding career but the promotional video above gives us a good insight into just why his frames are so special.  We’ll let Mike do the talking but it’s great to see such attention to welds, as the saying goes; a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link.