Top 5 Pegs

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Being a sad pegless guy for the last 10 years hasn’t done much for my knowledge of grinding apparatus, and I know I’ll be hounded to the ends of the earth, not to mention strung up by my cock and balls by a rabble of peg-thugs for not doing a grind-related top 5; so I sorted it.  Don’t go saying I don’t treat you right.  For a change, this weeks panel consists of Ben Stringer, H.M.F.I.C. at BTN(Brighton) BMX Shop and Jonathan Rubbersmith, aliased industry insider with far too much to say for his own good… both seasoned grinders with a better idea about pegs than the pedal-grinding prick typing this. Continue reading

Top 5 Pedals

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Looks like you lot liked the whole fanzine-style ‘top 5 tyres’ thing I did last week so once again I teamed up with old school racer Chris Coutts and sad pegless guy Greg Pearson to briefly discuss our favourite pedal options available out there today.  As much as I try to keep things as balanced as possible there aren’t any aluminium pedals on the list, simply because cheap alloy pedals are rarer now and if you still ride them you probably know what you like already.  This isn’t a nostalgia-fest ‘top 5 pedals EVER’ kinda thing, it’s more of an ‘independent buyer’s guide’ so don’t go losing your shit over OG Cielinski’s not making the list like you did last week…  Just be thankful you’re not bolting on Crupi beartraps. Continue reading

Top 5 Tyres According To The Merged

I think it’s safe to say that your tyres are ultimately the parts that determine what terrain you’ll ride most, whether you ride park, street, trails, bowls, track or flat, your tyres will probably reflect that.  Then people have their own individual tastes, whether they prefer more tread, smoother profiles, tightly packed or more agressive patterns varies from user to user.  That said, I, with a little help from Chris Coutts and Greg Pearson, have compiled a small list of our current (subject to change) tyre favourites.  Shout out to Tal Mazar for the idea.  In no particular order….

 

Tioga Comp 3

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CC: As an all-time hero, in my eyes there’s the Comp III…

This early 80’s legend can still be found on the bikes of trail riders everywhere, it’s hard not to have a soft spot for the classics, right?  I mean, you wouldn’t jump off a roof with them but they still roll in the woods okay…

CC: I never understood why Tioga never updated it, imagine the hype from the woodland folks!

20 x 1.75″
Inflated Width: 1.79″ (45.5mm)
Inflated Diameter: 19.5″ (495mm)
Max Pressure: 40 psi
Weight: 16.4 oz
20 x 2.125″
Inflated Width: 2.03″ (52mm)
Inflated Diameter: 20.02″ (508.5mm)
Max Pressure 40 psi
Weight: 19.7 oz

Shadow Conspiracy Contender Welterweight

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GP: I use Contenders because they’re slick shaped so slide well in parks but grip well on rough wallrides etc, many others to consider but yeah… Rubens for example are amazing grip and balance but are too thin, wear fast and are expensive…

‘A bit odd’ is what I thought at my first look at the Contender tyre with it’s recessed tread pattern but I can concure with Greg, these tyres feel great.  They look and feel more like traditional tyres than your average ‘basketball’ street tyre.

20 x 2.20″
Inflated Width: 2.16″ (55mm)
Inflated Diameter: 20.5″ (520.7mm)
Max Pressure: 110 psi
Weight: 23.6 oz
20 x 2.35″
Inflated Width: 2.30″ (58.5mm)
Inflated Diameter: 20.79″ (528mm)
Max Pressure: 110 psi

Primo V-monster

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Tal mentioned the V-Monster when he messaged me with the idea of doing a tyre article, Chris included it within his own personal top three and I always liked it so it gets a spot.  Being the product in 1995 that made Primo into what it is today there’s certainly some history behind it and now in it’s 2.4″ version, it looks as inviting as ever.

20 x 2.40″
Inflated Width: 2.48″ (63mm)
Inflated Diameter: 21.1″ (536mm)
Max Pressure: 100 psi
Weight: 25.5 oz

Animal x T1

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You gotta hand it to Terrible One, they know exactly what they like and it shines forth in this baby.  I’m not going to say that this tyre is my particular bag but anyone can appreciate the details; the dual compound, the centre tread groove, the unusually ‘edged’ profile, all pointing toward the kind of imitation-surfing and pool/tranny style that has been popping forth recently.  With the flavour-of-the-month (street; at the moment anyway…) taking up the most in the way of designing parts, it’s good to see something break the mold.

20 x 2.20″
Inflated Width: 2.24″ (57mm)
Inflated Diameter: 20.62″ (524mm)
Max Pressure: 110 psi
Weight: 28.2 oz
20 x 2.40″
Inflated Width: 2.44″ (62mm)
Inflated Diameter: 20.98″ (533mm)
Max Pressure: 110 psi
Weight: 30.6 oz

Cult x Vans.

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Chris Coutts: Cult x Vans seemed to be well priced and well loved…

Greg Pearson: I’ve never tried Cult x Vans tires, you would know more about those…

My personal (current) go-to tyre; 2.35″ front and rear. The tightly packed tread keeps it feeling slick enough for lipslides but there’s still plenty of traction for long, drawn-out wallrides.  The clincher is the large rounded profile that makes for super stable, predictable manuals, especially while in a carving arc.

20 x 2.20″
Inflated Width: 2.42″ (61.5mm)
Inflated Diameter: 20.82″ (528.8mm)
Max Pressure: 110 psi
Weight: 20.2 oz
20 x 2.35″
Inflated Width: 2.48″ (63mm)
Inflated Diameter: 20.86″ (530mm)
Max Pressure: 110 psi
Weight: 24.6 oz

(All tyre measurements from Dans Comp‘s website)

BMX And Unplanned Obsolescence

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One thing that has always fascinated me about BMX or more specifically; the economy of BMX- is the current lack and decreasing amount of what is commonly known in ‘the real world’ as planned obsolescence.  Planned obsolescence, for anyone unfamiliar with the term, is the reason you buy a new phone every year, a new games console every 2 years, a new TV every 3 years, a new fridge every 4 years, etc; instead of every 10 years- for ALL of them.  It’s not that companies can’t produce a games console that wouldn’t overheat and melt the solder, or a phone that doesn’t bend in your pocket or smash when you drop it, it’s that it doesn’t make them anywhere near as much money if they make a product that lasts a decade rather than last two years- even if they charged double for it.  800 quid per person every ten years? Or 400 quid every two years? (equating to 2000 per person every decade) It’s a very easy business decision.  The downside is that we are polluting the very planet we are stuck on with our broken junk, merely in the quest for profit.  Thanks to everyone who participates in making BMX what it is, we truely have something we can be proud of; our own little world where planned obsolescence is kept to a bare minimum. Continue reading

Spotted: Eclat Seeker Pedals

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A quick look at this ‘bike check‘- hyphenated because it probably doesn’t belong to anybody yet as it’s a trade show piece- and we can see a number of parts from Wethepeople and Eclat that are yet to be released.  While most of them, like the Strangler 25.4mm OD Bars have already been announced, the Seeker pedal shown above has yet to see the light of day (unless you count the poorly lit photo above, which is the clearest shot available…)  While there is next to zero information about it, what we do know is that it’s a sealed bearing pedal with a large knurled nylon body and at least 12 pins each side. As to whether the pins are all molded or if some are metal, or even if the body is concaved or follows a flatter Surge type design is yet to be seen.  Head over to CSG‘s site for a few more photos where you can kinda make out the side of the pedal…. Just.

Headsets Revisited- A Decade On

 

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When S&M unveiled the first BMX frame to feature an integrated headset over 10 years ago, it was met with puzzled looks and optimism alike; would it be that much easier to install? Would it be expensive to convert from Aheadsets to integrated? Where did this revolutionary design come from?  Let’s have a quick recap… Continue reading

United KF22 22″ Complete Bike

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Can You Dig It posted an interesting interview with Kye Forte in which he gives some insight into the reasons for his recent conversion to 22″ wheels and unveils United Bike Co’s new KF22 complete bike which is due for release next month.  It’s good to finally see a 22 inch complete for those out there who want to try larger wheels but don’t want the hassle of building another custom from scratch or periodically switching parts over to a different frame/wheelset.  United haven’t scrimped on this bike at all, with a number of aftermarket parts as standard, you won’t need to be replacing stuff for a good while, no cheapy chromo pinch-bolt cranks here; you get plenty for your money.

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Frame: 100% 4130 Chromoly Tubing, Tapered Top Tube, Down Tube, Seat Tube & Chainstays, Removable Brake Mounts and Guides, Integrated Head Tube, Mid BB
Fork: 100% 4130 Chromoly with 1pc CNC Steerer Tube, Integrated Bearing Race, Tapered Legs with Angled Ends and CNC Dropout Holes
Handlebars: 100% 4130 Chromoly 8.7” x 29” with Large Dual Radius Bends, 11° Back Sweep, 3° Up Sweep,
Grips: United Jimmy grips w/ United Nylon Bar Ends
Headset: United Sealed Bearing Integrated
Stem: United 52mm Reach Supreme Stem with Embossed Logo and Machined Recess for Top Cap
Brake: Tektro 990
Brake Lever: Alloy
Seat: United Slim Tripod, Kevlar Material with Custom Sewn Patch
Seat Post: United Alloy Tripod
Seat Clamp: Alloy with Machined Detail
Cranks: United Supreme V3 175mm 3pc Cranks
Sprocket: United 25t Alloy
Chain: United Supreme X410
Bottom Bracket: Sealed Bearing Mid
Pedals: United Valentino Nylon
Front Tire: Innova 22″ x 2.125 High Pressure Tyre
Rear Tire: Innova 22″ x 2.125 High Pressure Tyre
Front Rim: Revenge Arc 22″ Welded Seam Double Wall 36h
Rear Rim: Revenge Arc 22″ Welded Seam Double Wall 36h
Front Hub: United Supreme 36h Sealed, Female Bolts
Rear Hub: 36h United Supreme Sealed Alloy Cassette, 14mm axle, Sealed 4 pawl 9t driver

GEOMETRY

Top Tube Length: 21.5″
Head Tube Angle: 73.75°
Seat Tube Angle: 71°
Chainstay Length: 14.1″ Slammed
Bottom Bracket Height: 12.25″
Standover: 9″
Weight: 26 lbs
Colors: Semi Gloss Black, Gloss Dark Army Green

Tall Order Product Line

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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 22″ Steadfast Frame

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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.

Colors; Clear
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
4130 Chromoly
Chain Stays Double Bend
3/4” O.D.x 0.049″ Wall tapered to 5/8″ OD
4130 Chromoly
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 Felix Prangenberg Sprocket

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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.