Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Rock Solid

After yesterday's swiss-cheesed abominations, there must be balance. Something a bit more...Solid?

Spent part of yesterday traipsing through the backwaters of the BMX internets, guided by the invaluable BMXfeed.com. And after watching Alistair Whitton backflip a motorcycle and spending a few valiant minutes attempting to find the photos of Aaron Ross's new frame on Sunday (they're right here), I realized I hadn't checked the Solid site in a while. And in fact, I hadn't heard much about them at all lately except for the re-release of the OG stem.

I was not disappointed. The new news was somewhat limited—there's a 4.65 pound AAv.2 frame in the works (with 'classic Solid geometry,' whatever that is), and a new set of cranks that apparently will be called "Bitch Cranks" (wonder what Dan's will call them?), but probably won't come with a 1" spindle. Shame.

No, in this case it's the old stuff that I was excited about. There's nothing better than a company's sale page of outdated frames and parts—if you don't mind running a regular headset and American BB, the 6.1-pound Killing Machine (still available in all sizes!) is a pretty good deal for $100. And where else can you find four different versions of a three-pound fork? Those and the Iron Cross Bars will probably still be a tough sell, though, whatever the price.

(It does appear that, after long last, Dan's sold off their last remaining Solid Duke. They had one listed on their "Scratch and Dent" page forever at an utterly ridiculous $240 or so. On second thought, they probably just gave up and turned it into a bootleg Barcode.)

P.S. In the recent four-piece roundup, I forgot the ones that Standard was making for Drew York (although they're not in production...yet), as well as the updated WTP Everlites. Can't hate on the Everlites, although they were cooler when they had a v-crossbar.

P.P.S. Apparently Kink's Chris Doyle has also joined the chrome bike revolution.

P.P.P.S. I was gonna make fun of this today—something along the lines of less riding, more reading—but decided against it. Or did I? By the way, there's only room for one Mad Dog in BMX. OK, maybe two.


ben said...

Someone should re-live that old SOB ad pump some birdshot into some new frames, then see how they hold up.

brien said...

metal has joined S&M in annoying music-addled websites. wonderful.

Smitty said...

D+ is about right. Welcome to the life of a Sponsored BMX rider in the internet age, Maddog. We're going to watch and critique your every move, right down to your penmanship.

Stephen said...

Shhh...you can hear BMX getting gayer.

Who then, will be our Magic Johnson/Larry Bird? Who will save us?

ben said...

Sher tried the Larry Bird thing.. it didn't work.

todd from albe's said...

Sher tried the Freebird thing, Kink decided to paint them green and call them Larry Birds...but there was nothing Magic about them...or their Johnsons.

Albert said...

Good post.
Solid is still kicking strong, and still sponsoring a bunch of great 'ese's.

As for the kid: He is on Big Daddy's list.

Anonymous said...

The solid stem has been 're-released' for over a year now.

Russ said...

at least the music on the Metal website is better than the music on the S&M website.

As for the OG Solid stems, I did say that I hadn't heard anything lately. Not to mention I don't believe it was common knowledge until more recently. At least here on the East Coast.

I actually have one of those monster Solid forks here—it didn't make it onto Project: Tank. Be fun to put it on a Grim Reaper and see how long it took to tear the headtube off.

Also "Maddog" had fine penmanship, it's his spelling that was abysmal.

Anonymous said...

fags talkin shit

Albert said...

Who you? Maddog?
Because you haven't earned the right to that name yet kiddo.

Noel said...

Russ, you were too kind with the red pen. How about mixing upper/lower case? Calling a wheel a "rim?" Not capitalizing acronyms? F Minus, Maddog. Don't worry, though - education is so over rated. Your pro BMX career will no doubt last long enough for you to live in luxury forever...

Russ said...

I gave him the benefit of the doubt with upper/lower case. They should add a spelling test as a qualifying event for the Dew Tour.

Anonymous said...

i wood toadally win that shit

Alan said...

Sort of a fay looking little elf child, ain't he?

Anonymous said...

hey NER, my friend says your blog is named "superfluous", but I always thought it was a cry to the industry to "Stop Producing Really Fucking Lame Shit", S.P.R.F.L.S. Which one of us is correct?

Russ said...

"Superfluous" was what the name initially meant, but that's pretty damn good.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

There's also a Big Daddy already. What's next, a second Canadian Beast?

Si said...

What's getting really tiresome is people (usually "anonymous") commenting on lame parts/attitudes/whatever by saying something like
"Fuckin fag shit lite parts, only some pussy homo would ride em"
Now I understand the popularity of homophobia (guys don't want to be thought of as gay so they talk about other people being gay all the time, err ok...), but if you're reading a blog called SPRFLS (look it up) and want to post a comment, lets not just go with the fluere.
Here's a thought; women on the whole are lighter than men, they are easier on the eye and (some) are prone to follow fashion
And typically men are big, strong, aggressive, protectors that have no sense of style (without female help)
So isn't the most manly, hard thing to do is to buy a heavy bike and have sex with a man?
Just throwing that thought out there.......

Anonymous said...

lol @ bootleg Barcode

Russ said...

si: You put way much thought into that—and I still don't think it makes any sense.

Anonymous said...

"And if I did ever want a job in the "industry", I'm thinking I could still find one. But appreciate the concern."

"(It does appear that, after long last, Dan's sold off their last remaining Solid Duke. They had one listed on their "Scratch and Dent" page forever at an utterly ridiculous $240 or so. On second thought, they probably just gave up and turned it into a bootleg Barcode.)"

This statement pretty much has eliminated you from ever holding any postion at a BMX company. And you put industry in quotes, like it's a joke, why would someone hire you if you think what they do is a joke?

Anonymous said...

who the fuck cares about maddog's spelling? super dope kid, nice as can be, and rips on a bike. this is about the only thing i've disagreed about on this blog. 0 reason to rip on the kid. he's young, he'll learn.

todd from albe's said...

Russ, if you ever move to Detroit i'll hire you...even though you don't have a link to our web site in your list.

Russ said...

anonymous is a hater.

Russ said...

(And I added you guys, haha. First on the list, even. Although, alphabetically, I'm not sure who would ever get ahead of you. ACE?)

And, my dear anonymous, I only think the CONCEPT of some sort of global BMX "industry" is a joke. On the other hand, I think there are plenty of good companies and people out there involved in all aspects. I even talk to some of them on a fairly regular basis (and no, they don't all work for Odyssey). You'd be surprised.

Si said...

Hi Russ,
I was just tired of people going "gay this fag that etc" and threw that comment up with anger in my heart and an images search.
Guess what I'm going for is this:
Whatever is fag/homo/etc (slang directed at gay males) in relation to BMX is debatable. Ultra lite tailwhip machines, I thought had more in common with women than beefy 40+sprocket no nonsense man rides.
So, why would a male rider be accused of homosexuality when he rides a bike that is closer to the female?
The point is it's all ridiculous, and a shame that male homosexuality is still targeted.
People (hopefully) wouldn't say "That is such a nigger/spic/cracker ride" and soon (hopefully) they'll come up with something better than gay jibes.
I'll probably be told to chill out or something but at least I'm more concerned about learning tricks rather than where men put their dicks.

Russ said...

I always took the "FLATLAND IS GAY!!!" thing as more of a joke. So did flatlanders, I think. Hence the Baco videos and the rainbow stickers and Chad and Hilson on "Springer".

And I'm definitely not trying to be homophobic. Consenting adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want.

Never considered the whole rider/bike sexual relationship aspect. Kind of creepy no matter how you slice it.

Si said...

Hey Russ,

I didn't think you were being homophobic, but some anons on here seem to be real down on gay people.

But shit, you can still make a joke and yes flatland is pretty gay, they don't help themselves with trick names like fudgepacker, pinky squeaks, miami hopper (just makes me think of beefcakes in pink spandex, maybe that's just me tho!)

I'll have to invent a flat move where your foot goes thru the gap below the toptube while you pull your shirt over your head so it can't be ridden on this http://www.cyclestore.co.uk/images%5Cproducts%5CXtra%5C13675.jpg
And I'll call it the cunt-fucker, that should straighten out them lady-boys.

I'm not sure if this is really gay or really straight
mmmmm, masculine....

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure this "si" character sucks dick and/or takes it up the A on a regular basis.

You act like homosexuality is a non-issue, but then dwell on it for the next five paragraphs.

Just shut up.

Si said...


no I will not shut up.

I can't believe you've thought about me sucking dick anonymous, you dirty bitch!

Anonymous said...

"And, my dear anonymous, I only think the CONCEPT of some sort of global BMX "industry" is a joke."

Really? I went to the Taipei show for the first time this year to work on the FBM completes, and ran into BMX industry types from all over the world, ranging from Mexico to Russia and everything in between. Including the Wildman himself, Todd Lyons, I'm pretty sure he's not even from planet Earth.

I'm booking a ticket for Eurobike so I can meet with our foreign distros. More than 50% of our sales on completes is overseas. 4Down does a great job marketing FBM with a team and advertising independently from our US team and marketing efforts. La Finca just picked up Mirraco, which expands their dealer base to 600 Euro Trek dealers who potentially will begin buying FBM's. Trek dealers over here sure as shit aren't buying FBM's.

I think you are pretty much dead wrong. Your blog is witty and well written, but your "knowledge" is mostly useless, trivial information that you read in a magazine, saw in a video or heard second hand. You're a 38(?) year old man with zero work experience in the bicycle industry, no different than 100’s of thousands of other people that could kick ass in a game of trivia.

Basically, you are unnecessarily fueling the negative tide of sentiment against BMX companies. BMX wasn't invented by a singular company or during a board meeting, and to this day the industry is an exact reflection of all the people combined that ride BMX. If it sucks so bad, maybe you should look in the mirror?

Stephen said...

I didn't realize there was a negative tide of sentiment against BMX companies. Most BMX'ers I know support BMX by buying BMX products. It's like a 20" circle of life. That is unless they are digging iron ore out of the earth and forging frames themselves. Which I doubt happens much these days.

This blog feels on target most of the time...but BMX is serious business, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Russ openly wants the industry to collapse. Riding BMX isn't serious, and a lot of the work is fun, but I take how I earn my lively hood somewhat serious.

Russ said...

I openly want the industry to collapse? Uh, I don't think I'd go quite that far. After all, I ride a BMX bike, too. And without the industry, there's no BMX. I'm not quite that stupid. I do think there are an awful lot of straws in what is a fairly small (in the grand scheme of things) drink, though. Do you think every company in BMX will just continue to blissfully expand for all eternity? Do you think every company in BMX is a) providing some essential product, b) helping grow BMX, c) completely uncriticizable?

(I'm 37, by the way, and the fact that I've never worked in the industry doesn't make a difference, IMO. I haven't tried to hide it, that's for sure.)

You're right, I misspoke in an attempt to be witty (thanks for that, I suppose): there is a BMX industry. And I, as a consumer of said industry for over a quarter-century, am somewhat disturbed by the turn said industry has taken (lighter and lighter-weight everything based on streetwear-style marketing). But I guess I should just shut up.

john said...

FBM does great things, keep it that way.

It seems a lot of "industry" types need to take a look in the mirror since I am sure a lot of his posts are hitting close to home.

Si said...

Apparently God (not sure which one though, possibly Jah) is totally fine with BMX


si said...

Doh, wrong comments thread - too many windows open.
I was going to say that the obsession for lightness in BMX at the moment, I think, is pretty similar to the motorsport world.
Up to the 1990s in rally and F1 the obsession was to make cars more and more powerful, of course the drivers just wanted to go faster and safety would come second.
This was until too many people started dying and safety became the paramount issue. Note how the deaths are less frequent after the 80s.
There's no holes in this guy's frame, maybe we can learn something from that?

Smitty said...

JPR - your history in the industry lends you respect, with me and others who've been around long enough to know you've been around. But how can you not understand what this blog is all about? In the innernets age, everyone's got a platform and a voice. Companies need to use this to their advantage, and combat the urge to be threatened by this new populist media. By making a childish comment that "Russ openly wants the industry to collapse" you lose credibility. No one with half a brain and a half-open mind would make this conclusion. However, I applaud your willingness to not hide behind "anonymous" and also to admit that your "lively hood" is a concern to you, with regard to this blog. Few other industry insiders would shoot so straight.

Anonymous said...

I'm positive Russ has made the collapse statement on BMXboard. You'd be surprised that the internet really isn't that good of a lithmus test for what's selling in BMX. Shadow by my estimation is the #1 softgoods brand in BMX, if you went by their reputation among cooler than anyone kids and most people over the age of 17, you'd think they were tanking.

How often does Russ wonder "Who still buys BMX shirts?" Obviously not 37 year old men, it's more than likely the exact same people that buy all the new products he hates so much, teenagers. There are over 250 shirts in the new Dan's catalog, and I folded hundreds of shirts a week or so ago.

We refer to them as our largest customer base. They are BMX, plain and simple. There is no realistic adult BMX market, that's why no one caters to weird, grumpy old men who still ride kids bikes. I haven't purchased a BMX part in almost 20 years.

Sunday,Sunday, Sunday! Kids on the internet love their frames, yet they have been on sale at Dan's almost since they were released, it makes no sense to me how that's possible with their internet popularity.

None of it makes any sense. The industry "sucks" so bad because it's moronic. High cost product, made in small volume at low margins = fail. It goes back to who supports 90% (I'm making that up, but it's probably somewhat accurate) of BMX financially, teenagers. They can't afford to pay for a realistically priced product. End of story. I could earn more money making sandwiches at a deli, that's the reality, but there's no sense in whining about it.

sunday! said...

Sunday,Sunday, Sunday! Kids on the internet love their frames, yet they have been on sale at Dan's almost since they were released, it makes no sense to me how that's possible with their internet popularity.

Well we're still sort of new to this, so maybe this will explain it.

The '06 frames were ready in May of '06. By December '06 the Wave frame was ready (and this was way ahead of schedule). Once that happened, what was left of the '06's were put on sale.

When the Wave frame was built we did a big order that would last us all year because we wanted to get the best price when buying the material. However, when we did this we ended up building way too many of the least popular sizes (20" and 20.125"). So when it came to the Wave frame, nearly all of what you saw on sale at the end of '07 were these "odd" sizes.

The Second Wave was released in May of this year, and we've got the ordering right this time, and we're happy with how the frames turned out.

All of orders to distributors have sold out to date, so I think we're finally on the right track when it comes to doing the paperwork!

Believe it or not, we're reasonably popular in the "real world" and on the information super highway...it just took us a couple years to figure the ordering out.

Anonymous said...

You're preaching to the choir Jim. Production scheduling, inventory...Oh my! None of it's easy. Not to take away from what you guys have accomplished, imagine having to buy almost all the materials from separate vendors several times a year, plus boxes from here, stickers from there, two different powder coaters etc etc. Then myself and John Lee have to box and sticker them, not fun.

sunday! said...

It's a challenge for sure.

Things get hectic quick. For example, I meant to say 21.25" originally but instead I wrote 20.125"(?!?) in the last post.

Just imagine the potential for chaos.

jeff-t said...

taking your 'lively hood' pretty serious is important, but if you haven't swung a leg over a bmx seriously in 20 years then in my opinion you can FUCK OFF.
maybe you should have taken that half assed shoe company more seriously?

Anonymous said...

to the flat land is gay thing, miami hopper- paul hopper from miami. pinky squeaks- flatland ex nick name pinky, his version squeaker. fudge packer- backbacker up the butt. flat is bmx dumb asses. notice every yahoo hanging fives at sk8 parks? foot jams? tail whips are a flat trick first in 84. manuals are flat. flat is what flavors bmx tricks. gay is older odyssey stuff b4 riders headed it up.