The ‘David Coulthard of BMX’ (*cough*) a.k.a. Bas Keep recently launched his new English transition/ramp-riding brand, Tall Order, and we’re finally getting to see some samples emerge from Taiwan of what kind of products they’ll be pushing. So let’s start with the frames, of which there are two; the 215 and the 187 (the names derive from the respective standover heights in millimeters… in case you were wondering) the 187 is the smaller of the two with a shorter standover height, chainstays and top tube options and the 215 is the more ‘adult’ sized frame with slightly longer TT’s, standover and rear end. The custom slanted seat clamp is a great little brand signature for these clean looking frames, as is the return of the BB/stay junction gusset on the 215 (think along the lines of the old Wethepeople Omen frame) I can’t say I’m too enthusiastic about the lack of a top tube gusset on either frame as that’s where I always break my frames but maybe that’s just me. My favourite part in the Tall Order line isn’t even a part, but we’ll get to that at the end. Walk with me… Continue reading
FBM Bike Co have been at the forefront of USA made frames for well over 15 years in the 20 inch market but now they’ve branched into the relatively new-found 22 inch wheel market that has emerged recently with a scaled-up Steadfast. The 74.25 degree head angle and traditional 71 degree seat tube angle remain unchanged but the chainstays have been lengthened by 0.825″, the bottom bracket height has been lowered by 0.875″, the standover height is raised a smidge by 0.125″ and it comes in 21.75″ top tube (more than long enough for anyone big enough to ride one)
If you’ve never rode a 22″ before; do so, they’re incredible- forget any preconceived notions influenced by the poorly designed 24″ cruisers of the past- these things handle just like an ‘adult’s’ 20 incher but give you confidence to jump bigger stuff.
Top Tube Lengths; 21-3/4″
Head Tube Angle; 74.25 degrees
Bottom Bracket Height; 12-1/4″
Seat Tube Angle; 71 degrees
Standover Height; 9.375″
Rear End Length; 14.125″ (slammed)
Weight; 5 pounds
Head Tube Integrated – Externally machined 4130 Chromoly
Top Tube 1-1/4″ O.D. Double Butted 4130 Chromoly
Top Tube Gusset 3D laser cut 4130 Chromoly
Down Tube 1-3/8″ O.D. Double Butted 4130 Chromoly
Down Tube Gusset 3D laser cut 4130 Chromoly
Bottom Bracket Mid – Internally machined 4130 Chromoly
Seat Tube Internally Butted 4130 Chromoly
Seat Post Clamp A Seat Clamp is Required
Seat Stays 3/4” O.D.x 0.035″ Wall tapered to 5/8″ OD
Chain Stays Double Bend
3/4” O.D.x 0.049″ Wall tapered to 5/8″ OD
Seat Stay Bridge 5/8″ OD tube bridge 4130 Chromoly
Chain Stay Bridge 3/4″ OD tube bridge 4130 Chromoly
Capped Stays Yes
Dropouts Heat treated 3/16″ thick 4130 Chromoly for 14mm axles
Brake Position Chain Stay
Brake Type 990’s
Cable Stop Threaded and Slotted
Cable Guide Dual Slotted Tube
FBM are taking pre-orders of these and their 22″ CB4K fork now so hit them up if these are up your alley.
Wethepeople, always the ones to get you going ‘ooooh’, made me do as such when I opened my FaceyB to see this little number appear on my news feed; a Wethepeople Felix Prangenberg signature sprocket. While there is no info on these as of yet, but we can see the sprocket has a beefy 8+ millimeter thick body intricately machined to look like car alloys (I see a trend emerging here…) and offset teeth to the inside of the sprocket. With wider tyres now being the norm, chainstays have to be welded wider apart, which means you need wider BB shells, but this can push your sprocket out past the driver’s natural chainline so the offset teeth will help aide this- being that this sprocket is so goddamn thick.
The guys at 90East have been mighty busy of recent, coming in from the streets into the shops with these fine offerings of their H.N.I.C (use your imagination…) V2 4 piece bars and a set of the most popular skatestopper tools. The bars are post weld heat treated, multi butted 4130 chromoly and come in at 8.75″ rise, 28″ width, 10 degrees of backsweep and 4 degrees of upsweep; a modestly yet functionally sized bar for the streets.
The 90East Skatestopper tools come with a 3/8″ socket adapter for ease of use with your normal 3/8″ socket wrench.
Both of these can be found at any of 90East’s worldwide dealers now.
The Shadow Conspiracy‘s Instagram has been alive with these little gems in the last few days or so, Lahasaan Kobza’s signature Kobra sprocket and Joris Coulomb’s Maya grips. While there’s very little info on these bits there will more than likely be a 25 tooth and almost definitely a 28 tooth version of the Kobra sprocket (as that’s the size Lasahaan rides) It also has two sprocket bolt holes so you can have the cobra design the right way up whether you’re predominantly right or left foot forward. The Maya grips look particularly inviting with their smoothed honeycomb style grip and small flanges that taper slightly wider than the rest of the grip at the ends. Both of these will be out next month so keep an ear out on Shadow’s Instagram for when they drop.
Eclat really pulled out the stops with Croydon lad Alex Kennedy’s signature pedals and guard sprocket as we can see in Eclat’s latest Assembled feature. The AK Pedals boast a large ambidextrous nylon-fibreglass body allowing you to rotate if you grind one down more than the other (also saving on tooling and bike shop’s SKUs by not have left or right specific replacement bodies) 8 steel pins per side and a huge 4140 spindle running on bushings. Eclat even offer a lifetime warranty on the spindle which speaks volumes as it’s the first of it’s kind. At 613 grams (20 oz) a pair they’re not the lightest but you’re not likely to get a large platform with lots of pins and a virtually bombproof spindle that is light- and not being on the extremities of your bike you’re unlikely to even notice.
The AK Guard sprocket has a thick 8mm 6061-t6 construction with counter bores in the back to accommodate the bolts that hold the 10mm nylon-fibreglass guard and it’s 4 bolts in place. The thickness also allows some machining on the back of the sprocket that looks like it helps improve your chain-line and keep your q-factor (distance between pedals from side-to-side) low where machining on the outer face makes a seat for the guard to sit securely into and be rotated 180 degrees as it wears. The guard itself has reportedly been tested by Eclat’s best for over a year to great results and at 150g (5.9 oz) it’s pretty light for what it is. These merged with the Maverick alloy cranks- like Alex has on his ride- and you have one dialed drivetrain.
All the above are out now from all good bike shops via these distros.
The guys at Can You Dig It posted a rad overview of some of the trails orientated frames available for 2016 and their respective geometries for a comparison; handy if you’re in the market for a new dirt steed. While most frames in this list will typically have slacker, sub-75 degree head angles, longer top tubes and chain stays for stability, CYDI recognises that not everybody likes stable bikes so they threw in nippy-er bikes like the Fit Motomike and the Verde Oxbridge frames for good measure. If I had to pick a favourite though, It’d be hard not to go with a Standard Trailboss…
This one’s been doing the rounds on social media recently; Mutiny posted a preview of Dylan Lewis’ signature Deathgrip frame where we get a full look at the specs (bar the standover height which I’m willing to bet is around the high 9-10″ mark judging by how long the top tubes are…) and a photo showing a bunch of cool details including a traditional look chromoly seat clamp and the lowered chain stays to better accommodate brake usage with micro-drive gearing. Judging by his recent edit, I’m sure he had speed in mind when designing this.
Top Tubes: 21.3″, 21.6″ & 21.8″
Head Tube: 74.5°
Seat Tube: 71°
BB Height: 11.65″
Chain Stay: 13.7″ – 14.2″
Removable Brake Lugs (Not Included) on Chain stays
4130 Sanko Cromoly Tubing
Heat -treated Offset Thickness Head tube
125mm Taller Head tube
Triple Butted Top Tube with 1.4mm thickness at seat tube junction
Double Butted down tube
Top and bottom gussets with debossed “Badge ‘n’ Bones” logo
4130 Cromoly Seat Clamp with 6mm bolt and horizontal clamp slot on seat tube to give better clamping power with less torque
6mm Dropouts with integrated chain adjusters
Custom seat stay bridge
420 BAKED” Heat -treated Mid BB
Available in September ’16
From Mutiny Bikes’ website.
I’ve been holding off writing anything about Skapegoat’s Bob Scerbo bars for a little while, not least for their rich yet turbulent history that has already been well documented (let’s break it down briefly for anyone who’s not up to speed; GT made them originally, Bob had his Animal signature bars made in their image, Animal made them bigger for the masses, Bob didn’t like that, 7.8″ versions stopped being made, everyone missed them, a few imitations and variations got made, Bob didn’t like that either so he had some made by S&M under his Skapegoat brand) but because I knew a follow up to the original DIG Bob bar article would surely surface sooner or later. In said ‘Opinionated‘ article, Brian Tunney brings up some interesting points about bar sizes and angles and speculates as to why some people may or may not still be into these iconic street-specific bars. While there are things in his article I may disagree with to a small degree, the discussion about bar sizes and angles is a subject often avoided that I and many others take a great amount of interest in. Continue reading
‘Back to the drawing board’ is a phrase companies use with due caution, but when you almost completely redesign a cassette hub in your own glorious vision, it’s hard to avoid such idioms. WMT flagship brand Wethepeople have finally re-released their extremely popular Supreme Cassette hub after a long hiatus, this time with plenty of new tech of which we covered here on The Merged last time. The most notable of which is the first example of a German IGUS bushing being utilised in BMX. Here it is used to replace the pesky driver bearing which is notorious for failing under high loads, it should be interesting seeing how much longer they last in comparison to driver bearings.
The next high-tech item on the list is the 12mm female bolts with 14mm collars. The 17mm chromoly female axle has an extra 2mm of material compared to if it simply accommodated a 14mm female bolt with no collars thus giving it a load of extra strength. Wethepeople have also borrowed a feature used in downhill MTBing; the extra non-drive side bearing. The drive side of a hub generally gets a lot of support from the drive side bearing and the driver bearing (or bushing) but the non-drive side tends to be largely ignored by most companies despite having a lot of leverage/forces going through it. The extra bearing helps everything run smoother and faster for longer. The Supreme Cassette and Front hubs are both out now with matching aluminium hub guards available (nylon versions out around Summer time) Hit up your local bike shop and get some ordered in.