Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Come Clarity

First, there were clear grips.

Were the Edwins first? I believe so. The compound wasn't as hand-friendly as the basic black ones, but they were new and cool and you could put stickers on your bars that you could see through the grips. Awesome. I've actually got a pair on my fixed gear right now. They get the job done.

Then there were clear pedals.

Odyssey originally introduced the molded composite Twisted PC as a cheaper alternative to the regular aluminum Twisted pedal as well as a product for flatlanders, who have always preferred plastic. But something funny happened on the way to obsolesence. When "lightness" passed both "cleanliness" and "Godliness" in the "ness" pantheon, suddenly the lowly $12 plastic pedal became a favorite amongst slammed-seat street riders (as visions of pedal and Luc-E grinds danced in their heads) and miniramp shredders. Spindles were beefed up, basic black was joined by white, all rejoiced.

Then came clear. (Atomlab actually tried a clear Lexan pedal years ago, but they were a) expensive, and b) brittle.) At $15 a pair, the clear Odysseys became an instant staple—and helped offset the cost of things like Kevlar-beaded folding tires.

(Odyssey has continued to expand the PC line with a bunch of pastel colors and some tinted clear ones—based on the original iMac colors, which most of their would-be consumers probably don't even remember. PC? Mac? Oh, I get it. Can we just lose the red endcap next?)


Now we have clear seats.

Éclat, We The People's new parts line, is introducing the Webster seat, which doubles as a colander. A railed plastic seat full of holes—what a new concept! (Oh, that's right, they have a lot of colors now.)


Combine the clear version with a slammed post, clear pedals, clear grips, drilled-out bars and stem, a Grim Reaper frame and a tiny drivetrain, and you more or less have a bike fit for Wonder Woman.


I kind of thought the whole point of a seat was to HIDE the rails and the clamp and all that nonsense. Guess not. And I wonder what UV will do to it?

44 comments:

Mexican John said...

can only be a matter of time until Tuff 2's make a come back in trendy pastel shades!

Anonymous said...

I thought the idea of a seat was for fucking sitting down. And clear grips are nothing new, you should know this. You fucking douche bag.

Russ said...

People sit down on their seats? Really? News to me.

Forgot about the clear GT grips. No one seemed to care about them, though.

ryan said...

What about the lexan sprocket craze of 07?
http://a748.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/49/l_e63d77dc324aac9100c45c9477f351fb.jpg
http://a700.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/90/l_b7aa1358d534bf94b24870cf4f04478b.jpg

Here's the atomlab pedal- http://www.photobucket.com/albums/v651/akflatlander/pedal.jpg

Anonymous said...

Tons of companies had clear grips, some places still have primo ones.

Russ said...

That lavender bike (first Lexan sprocket link) is the worst thing I've ever seen in my life. It's a Dirt Bike or Holmes, right? Chris Moeller should put out a hit.

I must have missed the Lexan sprocket era entirely. Guards, yes, sprockets, no. The Seawright plastic ones, yes, but those weren't clear, were they?

Anonymous said...

My dad had clear grips on his Redline in 1979. I know you swing from Edwin's nuts hard, but come on. You're a good 25 years off.

Russ said...

I probably should have clarified and said first of the current era (post all flat-black). Although maybe the GTs qualified for that.

Who was making clear grips 25 years ago? I'm genuinely curious. It sure wasn't Oakley.

Anonymous said...

And you call yourself a journalist. Joke!

Russ said...

Wow, I guess I'm not gonna get that BMX Pulitzer. I'll be sure to write a good concession speech, though.

Anonymous said...

It's not a Redline, but it's sure as shit clear grips in the late 70s.

http://bmxmuseum.com/bikes/mongoose/3435

todd from albe's said...

the clear grips on the BMX Museum link were the Mongoose rip off version of the Oakley 1 grip. Mongoose also experimented with clear tires not too terribly long ago.

VxD said...

Todd is a wealth of all bmx knowledge (as well as a robot).

I remember my plastic dyno seat from 1997 with holes in it. If I ever see the tiny mtb/trials style seat (or more accurately, seat tube end cap) on a bmx, I'll shove it in the eye of the owner.

Russ said...

Yeah, my grip knowledge history was sorely lacking there, and I apologize. I obsessed over Oakley 3s in the early '80s, then Grab-Ons, then Mushrooms, then Jives. I must have missed the whole early clear grip era. While I never actually owned one, I should have known about the Mongoose grips.

But hey, as usual, everything old is new again. I know there were never clear Jives, but were there ever clear Longnecks or Pistols?

cory said...

There most certainly were clear Jive Tentacles...and in a variety of clear colors...92ish

Stephen said...

I was gonna say, I think there were clear Jives...because I think I had some. Fuck sake, what's next? Clear Pepsi?

Chris from Odyssey needs to get on the horn with Van Halen...

Anonymous said...

I remember ODI came out with some clear Longnecks back around '93 or so, and everytime I saw them they reminded me of condoms. Nothing was getting through those things....

Anonymous said...

Clear 'Pistols'? I can almost say I remember having a pair...Longnecks? FOR SURE. In fact they also came in a clear/purple and a clear/blue. As did Jives! All of which turned a yellowish orange color after about a month. Dirt and clear rubber turns ugly in about 2-4 weeks.

This New School shit is very entertaining to me. I still ride, don't get me wrong, but to see these new re-inventions of old ideas is just funny to me...and aging at the same time.

Russ, I truly enjoy this blog. good shit man. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

color is 2 hevy 4 street

Russ said...

Jive Tentacles, ew. It was Jive Handles (and them M-Jives) or nothing for me.

Anonymous said...

Clear GT Grips with american flag stickers on the bars.

Robinson SST circa '98.

SolidDuke69 said...

I know Mongoose had clear grips a hella long time before Animal did. There were tough as shit and lasted forever.

bobby p said...

i blame quincy illinois for some of the plastic pedal trend. about 5 years ago when people were still riding 30+ lbs. bikes (they were all on sta's coincidentally). the chubbiest one of the group tried to convince me that they were awesome. half the weight as a regular metal pedal and half the price. i still did not believe until about 2 years ago after the chubby one didn't break a pedal once in 3 years. my theory for light weight stuff is if chubby people dont break it- ill be fine. thanks andar.

chris from odyssey said...

The iMac color Twisted PC pedals have white end caps. You can see them in the linked photo if you look carefully.

Anonymous said...

Word on the street is odyessy threw its wieght around at wellgo and now wellgo wont make plastic hamiltons for animal

anyone else hear anything like this?

todd from albe's said...

i heard "delayed" but ultimately, not blocked

chris from odyssey said...

Nobody is "blocked" from making plastic pedals of any kind. We asked the manufacturers to respect the amount of work that we invested into the translucent materials (close to a year) by simply giving us a reasonable amount of time to release our clear PC pedals. This has led to a minor delay in some cases, but it's really not that long at all.

Anonymous said...

bullshit. Odyssey throws their weight around with plenty of companies, this being the case with Animal on the plastic Hamiltons.

chris from odyssey said...

Well, you're totally anonymous, and I'm the one dealing directly with our manufacturers.

I think it's only fair and logical to ask a manufacturer to respect the time and money that we've invested into something.

You don't?

Anonymous said...

WOW! I knew Russ was sucking someone’s dick from Odyssey given his shit opinion pieces on other companies in the industry.

This blog should be rebranded to We Blow Odyssey or WBO.

Chris - tell me what money you have fronted John Chen? It’s all Wellgo’s time and money. You just asked them to do it. Big deal! You would make us believe you figured out the process then handed it over. Give me a break.

ryan said...

I heard odyssey rapes babies.

Anonymous said...

Getting a call from Odyssey threatening legal action or demanding a cease and desist is a right of passage for companies these days. And, I don't think Russ is blowing Odyssey, there's no room for anyone other than themselves for the suck off circle.

Russ said...

You know who I am, apparently. Who are you?

Chris from Odyssey said...

Whether you want to believe it or not, some companies actually do their own R&D and design their own products.

We tested a variety of different transluscent materials on our own and developed the specific steps for assembly (that I will not mention here).

Our request has been honored only because we put the time into justify it. It's as simple as that.

Once again, you're conveniently anonymous. If you have a problem with the way we do business you're more than welcome to call or e-mail me directly.

By the way, we're talking about clear pedals only, for god's sake. There are a million other colors and plastics that can be used during the incredibly short time in between.

Chris from Odyssey said...

"Getting a call from Odyssey threatening legal action or demanding a cease and desist is a right of passage for companies these days."

I suppose we should just "give away" everything that we work on and that we are legally entitled to for free then?

Or perhaps you're suggesting that it's a right of passage to rip us off?

Russ said...

Part of the reason I like Odyssey so much is because of their (wait for it) transparency. Call them on something, be it right or wrong, and someone will generally address it in a reasonable manner.

There's a lot to be said for that, is there not?

Anonymous said...

Yeah right, they're popular, and popular isn't cool.chds

tommy boots said...

clear primo logo grips? clear blue and red logo grips?

g. edward jones, jr. said...

Chris,

Since I don't know how this works. Do you:

1. Do your R&D then turn over your processes to Wellgo so that they can produce your pedals but they are also, after some pre-determined time, able to use the same processes to produce pedals for other companies (I would assume that you get a royalty for this). I can only assume that in this scenario your processes are either not patentable or not worth patenting (which would lock them up for 15 years, if kids are complaining about a few months...)

If this is the case, then it seems thoroughly acceptable to do this. After all, you're trying to recoup the sunk cost of R&D before you have to compete with, uhm, people who don't have an R&D cost.

2. Do your R&D, turn over your processes to the manufacturer for the manufacture of ONLY Odyssey pedals and then lean on the manufacturer so that they won't make other, similar, competing pedals that they came up with through their own, separate R&D efforts?

If this is the case, then it's douchebaggery most heinous and I feel almost morally obligated to replace all of the Odyssey kit that's on my bike.

the baddest motherfucker on the net said...

FUCK ANIMAL ALWAYS STEALING SHIT.

HANG ON< AREN@T MOST OF ODYSSEYS 'DESIGNS' OF LATE RE-HASHES OF OLDER DESINS?

YEAH THOUGHT SO.

G said...

I worked real hard on those colours, give ME a break.

Chris from Odyssey said...

Hi g. edward jones,

I’ll do my best to try to explain our situation on this.

We wanted to make the Twisted PC in a clear material a long time ago.

There are a variety of materials to choose from in this case, and each material offers it's own challenges when it comes to doing proper manufacturing.

We spent close to a year trying different types of plastic, and working on ways to improve the assembly process to maximize the life of the materials.

It obviously costs us time and money to do these things, so we asked the manufacturer to respect our investment and to give us a reasonable amount of time to release the pedals.

Now, after this small time period that we asked for passes, the manufacturer and any other brand can use it to their heart’s content - forever.

What is frustrating for us (and I know that other companies have been in this position before also) is when we spend the time and money on long-term testing and development, only to have it immediately given away to every other company that decides to walk through the door.

I genuinely think that what we asked for is fair and reasonable. We're not asking for the absolute right to anything, and we're not trying to block anyone out by any means. At this stage there is hardly any time left on what we asked for in the first place.

Again, we’re only talking about clear injection molded plastic pedals, and we’re only talking about a short amount of time. The fact that it has caused this much of an uproar seems a little crazy when it really is just a material and color option, i.e. there is still an unlimited amount of other colors and plastics that can be used in the meantime.

To the guy saying we mostly "re-hash" old designs, we have more US and foreign patents granted and pending than anyone else that I know of in BMX right now, and patents are the essence of pointing out and legally defining a design as "original".

g. edward jones, jr said...

Chris,

So option 1. Which I think is fair and reasonable. Since it seems that you're testing out existing processes, not creating one out of whole cloth then patents aren't really an issue for you.

The weird thing to me is that, having worked in corporate America for my entire adult life, I'm pretty sure every company I've ever worked for would protect that manufacturing process to the grave. Oh, other companies might figure it out and use it, but they'd have to do it themselves.

charles said...

odi longnecks came in clear and with an american flag sticker on the bar underneath your robinson robinson was as hot as it got!