Sneak Peak: Division Brand Complete Bikes

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Division Brand has been putting in work lately. With a new frame on the horizon, it looks like they’re also getting into the complete bike game, and you should be glad that they are. All their bikes will be coming brakeless, and with four pegs, with the amount of hub guards included increasing on the higher-end models. For someone who only rides street, it’s great to see bikes made to ride right out of the box, set-up similar to my own and taste. Hopefully we get some more info on these soon because I’m dying to see what they look like. You can get more info on the Division Brand site as to when they’ll be available, and pricing. Also peep the ‘read more’ button for some more shots. Continue reading

Federal Stance XL Rim

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I’m a big guy; 6’4″ to be exact. I’m gotten used to having to use bigger bars, longer frames, smaller cranks (to not catch my feet) and now I find myself trying to find a reason to need wider rims because I’m really, really into these Federal Stance XL rims. Although not the first to make an extra-wide rim, the guys at Federal definitely nailed making a clean and simple product for those out there willing to try new things. The idea is that a wider rim will keep the profile of these +2.3″ tires, while creating a stiffer and stronger rim. Not only that, but they claim to help reduce the amount of flats you may get in session due to a thicker wall where the spokes are located, minimizing the chance of your spokes popping through on a high drop. I think these look great, and they come in black or silver to keep a classic look on your ride. For more info, peep the Federal site and click through to see a few more images of these rims.

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Cult Glow In the Dark Grips

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Winter is always around the corner and those long nights for months on end can ruin your barspin game if you can’t see your grips properly, it’s a hard life, I know…  Cult have got your back though, they’ve just released their Dak, Faith and my personal favourite, Cult X Vans in this glow-in-the-dark flavour so you’ll be slinging your bars all year round.  They’re also available in the clear colourway you see in the above picture and manufactured in the US by ODI Grips so you know they’re top quality.

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Don’t Reinvent The Wheel

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I’ve seen some wild set-ups in my time, for years people have been bolting wooden blocks to their BB’s, rigging two levers up to a single brake, blowing their tyres up with helium, using a shoelace as a straddle cable, grinding teeth off an old sprocket to make a bash guard… the list is endless and I’m missing plenty.  Modifications have always been part of BMX and solving the problems associated with the kind of abuse bikes like ours have to endure.

…And then someone has to go and take it too far.  Often you’ll get an over enthusiastic designer (some even go as far to call themselves ‘inventors’ like it’s the 19th century…) who’s looking to solve problems that can’t be solved efficiently, if at all.  Some even look to solve problems that don’t even exist.  Today we’re going to look at some of those bad designs that get churned out and discuss why they’re not the kind of thing you should/would put on your bike.

It is probably worth noting that although I have a broad experience of the BMX and general cycle trade I do not have a back ground in engineering, nor am I a product designer so this article is purely opinion, essentially I’m just an extremely picky BMX rider of 15 years. In other words; I’m broke, don’t sue me.

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This one tickles me every time, the Curbrider pedals are a ‘pedal’ that bolt directly onto your 19mm spindle in place of your cranks. This way you can get rid of that oppressive drivetrain that was holding you back for all those years and join your scooter comrades on your new balance bike and feel more connected to the earth… because you kick-push now. Jesus..

 

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Admittedly we appeared enthusiastic about Affix gyro when we posted the exclusive but I think this one will be tucked away, along with the UFO and the ‘beancan’ gyros, to the constraints of history.  While aesthetically the Affix gyro is a ton tidier and a load lighter than the traditional Brian Scura design, it just didn’t cut it with the public, probably because of the fact you need a ruddy great hole in the side of your headtube to accommodate it.  The way the entire load was put on a single cable rather than two thus decreasing its longevity probably didn’t help either.

Nope.  Roller pegs are nothing new but pegs with bearings is a recipe for some expensive grinds.  Even IF the bearings lasted long enough to do a feeble/ loop out on an icepick, the moment you drop your bike on your side the bearings are gonna start dying, quick. That’s only if the dropouts on Ed Miliband’s aluminium GT Power Series don’t kick the bucket first though.

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At what point during the late 90’s/ early 00’s did people start thinking; ‘What I really need is a hunchback’ ?  Like the S&M Elevenz bars are to big handlebars, the Snafu Sushi bars were to small bars; at 6″ tall and 23″ wide these were the smallest available.  It wasn’t uncommon to see fully grown Quasimodo men running these bars with a brake lever clamped under the crossbar.

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The above photo popped up on my Facebook feed under ‘suggested post’ a few days ago and later Kurt posted it to The Union, it’s a bolt on ‘frame guard’ that bolts through the chainstay bridge (like a kick-stand) and clamps onto the downtube in the same style as GT and Kore did back in the day.  While it might initially give the impression that it will protect your frame or provide a great grinding surface, the clamp will more than likely put high amounts of stress on a part of your frame that simply is not designed to take that type of clamping load.  Even more so if you have thinner gauge or butted tubing typical of today’s frames.

While we’re here, does anyone else find the company’s URL etched into the side a little fishy and non-bmx-y? A brief dig around reveals the company’s ‘C.E.O’ is a real estate broker and the bash guard itself was developed by a registered defence contractor.  Do with that information what you will.

Federal DLX Dan Lacey 10-Year Anniversary Frame

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For 2015 Federal Bikes have redesigned Dan Lacey’s signature frame to mark his 10-years on Federal and to say it’s the best looking one so far would be an understatement.  Dubbed the Federal DLX, they’ve plied it with a load of tidy additions like an investment cast seat clamp and super clean 6.5mm investment cast dropouts with built-in adjusters to stop your axles slipping inward during icepicks.  The standover height has increased to a whole 9 inches as opposed to 8.8″ from the year before and it’s topped off with more style than you can shake a doobie stick at in this regal translucent-gold colour.

Top Tube 20.5″, 20.75″, or 21″
Head Tube 75.5°
Seat Tube 71°
Chain Stays 13.75″ Slammed
Stand Over 9″
BB Height 11.8″
Weight 5.3lbs
Colours Matt Black or Clear Gold

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Pop over to Federal Bikes’ site for more close-ups of this great addition to their frame line up.

BSD Zingbars

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Well, I’ve got some catching up… The dudes at BSD dropped this sweet little promo for Liam ‘Leezy’ Zingberg’s (what a name!) signature Zingbars that are hitting shops very soon.  Liam wanted something a tad loftier than the popular 9″ Giraffic bars so BSD hooked him up with a 9.25″ rise for his signature bars;

Multi-butted
Post-weld heat treated 4130 chromoly
9.25″ rise
29″ wide
2° upsweep
11° backsweep
1.75 lbs
Available in black, clear coat raw or chrome finish.

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Head over to BSD for a closer look and get onto your local bike shop about ordering a pair up.

Exclusive: Saltplus Mini Foldable Pump

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Last week in our Tooling Up article we briefly touched upon the subject of how very little there is in the way of BMX specific/marketed pumps, then Dave at WeMakeThings hit us up to prove us wrong and show off Saltplus‘ new addition to their expanding tool line, the Mini foldable track pump;

“Flats suck. What sucks even more is having a flat and not having a pump with you to fix it. Well now you wont have an excuse not to have a pump with you next time you head out riding. The Saltplus Mini Pump is a micro sized version of a traditional track pump, but folds up to almost 1/4 of the size and will fit in your backpack with ease. Despite its small size, the Mini Pump packs a punch and will inflate your tires up to 110psi much quicker than you would think. With durable internals and designed to work with both Shrader and Presta Valves, this little guy will save your bacon next time you’re in a tight spot. Available October at Saltplus dealers worldwide.”

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Material: high strength nylon and alloy internals
Color: black
Features: super small foldable design, can work with Shrader or Presta valves
Inflates up to 110 psi

Go follow Saltplus on Instagram, there’s a good lad.

Tooling Up- A BMX Survival Guide

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Its been said before and I’ll say it again, bikes are getting easier and easier to maintain, repair, dis-and re-assemble at a moments notice.  Most bikes can be chucked into a golf flight bag in ten minutes with little more than a six millimetre allen key and a 17 mm socket if pegs are your bag.  Bikes are nigh on perfect now but what about the tools you use to work on them? Are you still riding around with several pounds of ring spanners, a rubber mallet and your granddad’s old cross wrench in a military grade canvas rucksack or are you carrying something a little more subtle in your back pocket?

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In my mind there are two types or riding; sessioning and cruising.  With sessioning you find something good to ride (whatever that is in your mind, in mine it’s a wall ride…) put down your bag and jacket and you tend to stay in one area.  With cruising you’re just rolling down the street, hopping curbs and generally not stopping too much; a bag isn’t really something you want here. Both of these situations influence your decision on what tools you carry on your person but unfortunately your bike usually has other plans…
Being caught short can rue the day and there’s nothing worse than slipping your bars and having to ride home with your chin on your stem.  Or walking.  Especially if all you need is a spoke key.

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So what is the least you can get away with carrying? While I personally carry a yellow spokey, a six millimetre allen key and a puncture kit and pray I can find a shop or petrol station with a pump if the worst happens, this is probably not the most sensible option.
Lets start with the obvious; the ‘multitool-with-everything-you-could-ever-want-on-it’, namely the Shadow Conspiracy multitool, DK Random Wrench, Animal Kotulak, Eclat E-Tools and Salt Plus Tool Tube. While they vary from the all-bells-and-whistles of the Animal and Shadow tools with built-in chain splitters, and imperial allen keys to simpler offerings like from Eclat which could definitely tuck away in a winter coat.  The main drawback is that you need something to carry it in as you generally wont fit it into your jeans pocket without looking like the bassist from This Is Spinal Tap.

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The next kind of tool to consider is a pocket tool, Alfaro or Stolen’s Piece tool is a good start if you’re pegless, with a five (or 1/4″ in Alfaro’s case) and a six millimetre, tyre lever and a spoke key it’s got the bare bones of what you need to get going again and you never notice it in our pocket.  Salt Plus’s Flip tool is another good example, with a chain splitter and multiple allen keys you could strip a pegless bike to the bare bones.  If you ride pegs, Merritt’s Trifecta tool is a handy little telescopic 17mm socket with a 6 and an 8mm allen key attachment, it folds away to a mere 5 inches and even comes with hook and loop straps to carry it on your frame.  The cons of such tools is that there’s always a chance you wont have the particular tool you need on you at the time.

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That’s most people catered for but there are still some people out there who just can’t deal with a pocket full of stuff ruining the cut of their jeans or wearing the same backpack they used at school to carry tools you MIGHT need to fix your bike later.  I know, it’s hard.  Thankfully BMX has your back, companies like Kis and Wethepeople are turning the very same seatposts we sit above into 17mm sockets, so all you need to carry is a six to get that sucker out…. And you don’t even need to carry THAT if you have a Wethepeople Smuggler seat, well, if you can fit an allen key in beside all the weed you probably keep in there.  If aesthetics are your thing then you should watch out that your post doesn’t get too scratched up by reinserting the post into the frame.

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Other than the subject of pumps (of which this offering from Vocal was the only thing I could find worth half-mentioning) that’s about the long and short of it, there are plenty of BMX tool solutions out there to suit everyone so get tooled up, get out there and ride untill the wheels fall off.  Then screw them back on again.

Spotted: Eclat Dune Stem Prototype

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On the subject of Eclat stems… Spotted over on Wethepeople‘s site, this Jordan Godwin bike check reveals a prototype Eclat riser stem he’s running dubbed the ‘Dune’.  There’s no other information as of yet but you can tell from the profile photo this is going to be a lofty one.  Be sure to check back for updates on this smart little piece as they come.

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Eclat Mercury Stem Promo Video

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In this video Kilian Roth and the guys over at Eclat demonstrate to us the ins and outs of the new cold-forged 6061-T6 aluminium Mercury stem.  Cold forging is a great way to make strong, unique looking parts without using expensive and wasteful CNC machines, much like investment casting.

Reach: 50mm
Rise: 33mm
stack: 33mm
Colors: black, high polished, dark blue
Weight: 313g (11.5oz)

The Mercury stem is out now and available from your local Eclat dealer or webstore.