Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Matinee

Maybe I should make this a regular feature too, now that CBGB has been turned into a john varvatos boutique. I mean, I actually like john varvatos stuff, and I know they kept some of the CBGB character, but come on. It's like turning St. Patrick's Cathedral into a Walmart. OK, not quite like that, but you get my point.


Gorilla Biscuits's first show at CBs. August 31, 1986...

And their last, nearly 20 years to the day later. September 3, 2006.

Rest in peace, Hilly.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Laptop Check

• 2003 (?) Apple iBook G4
• Airport Extreme card
• Iomega 250 gig (I think) external drive
• HP Deskjet D4160 color printer
• MODS: Stickers all over top, 2/3 of the letters worn off the keyboard (which is in desperate need of a cleaning). Haven't drilled any holes in it yet, but never say never. It also needs more memory badly. And a new battery.

Say hi if you see me typing in a Starbucks.

I suppose I should really have a SPRFLS sticker on there. Here. One of these days.


CONFESSION: I was at Dah Shop today, and was really tempted to pick up a pair of those translucent Animal pedals. Either purple or charcoal. Maybe even green. Talk me out of it, please. (I've also been contemplating trying a pair of 28"x8" bars just to see what it would feel like. Gonna wind up on Intervention sooner or later.) Then again I also want a set of Animal OG pegs and a 30-tooth sprocket.


Went to a bar last night. OK, two bars. Fine, it was three.

At the last stop of the night, the bartender turned off the jukebox in the middle of Motörhead's "(We Are) The Road Crew" in order to play some horrible '80s pop from (presumably) her iPod. Unforgivable. What made it worse was I actually had three more songs lined up in the juke after that (Metallica's "Disposable Heroes," Ozzy's "Suicide Solution" and something else). I briefly considered taking action, but fuck it, it was 3 a.m. Instead I just finished my PBR and rode 30 blocks home in the pouring rain. My seat should be dry by Christmas.

Anyway, at the second bar (Iggy's on Ludlow), I heard this for the first time in a while, so I had to find it on YouTube. Damn song still gives me chills:

(They actually played the OG Kim Wilde version last night, but I have to come BMX correct.)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Quiz

I've never been happier to post a quiz, mainly because it gets that Odyssey slideshow thing off of my mission statement. The nerve! I suppose if I were more web-savvy, I could have found a way to run it smaller. Then again, if I were truly more web savvy, I wouldn't be using a stock Blogspot template to begin with. OK, that's enough use of the word 'savvy' for one day, I think. On with the show.

1. Yarr mateys, this be the new KHE Astern freecoaster:

Kudos for the nautical-themed name (I need to run one on me Black Pearl), but boo for coming up with a name that can be easily confused with the name of another bike company. What were the other names KHE considered?

a) Unday

b) It

c) Acneil

d) Utiny

e) BM

2. Standard's prototype topload stem has the top bearing cover for the headset built right in. With an internal headset and a fork with a built-in race, all you need is bearings.

What sort of problems does this present?

a) You can't run that cool carbon topcap.

b) You can't run your stem inverted.

c) You can't run 17 spacers with your Sky Highs.

d) All of the above.

3. This is the Primo 330 Pivotal seatpost.

Why would you ever want such a long post?

a) To use as a weapon when cornered.

b) You can keep your weed in it.

c) As a reinforcement for Grim Reapered seattubes.

d) To raise the seat on your Killorado to the height of a regular slammed seat.

e) Haha, there's no way that's a real product.

4. What is this?

a) One of those things they bolt into your bones if you break one really badly.

b) A septum piercing.

c) The newest Skull Candy headphones.

d) Blue.

e) I have no idea.

5. Remember when the Fit Edwin was the only frame you could buy stock with no 990 mounts? Now seemingly every company offers a brakeless complete (with CPSC-mandated caliper brake)—even MirraTrek is joining in for '09 with one of their own.
Who makes the above bit of instant street cred?

a) Verde

b) Kink

c) FBM

d) Fit

e) We The People

BONUS QUESTION: Who's better at t-shirt design?

a) Me.

b) Primo

How the hell is it the end of summer already?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pivotal Discussion

OdysseyBMX.comDaily WordDirect Link (Larger)

"Hey, didn't Odyssey say they'd never make a Pivotal seat?"
"I don't know whether they said never. Seemed pretty unlikely, though."
"Man, that's so weak."
"But wait, it's a totally new base. And they offer a pre-stripped version. Kids'll be psyched on that."
"Yeah, whatever. Sellouts!"
"Still, the plastic ones look better than any Macneil or Animal with the padding ripped off."
"Yeah, whatever. Why are you rationalizing so much? You're a sellout, too."
"Look, I just can't hate on any seat with a lightning bolt on it."
"SEEEEELLLLLLOOOUUUUT. How much are they paying you to say this?"
"Man, it's just a Pivotal version of one of their existing designs. At least it's not another fashionably re-covered Velo. And at least they're not offering yet another re-branded stump post."
"Yeah, I'd assume they'll do a post eventually. Wouldn't want the team riders to be running another company's product."
"Why do you do that all the time?"
"Assume. You're wrong half the time, ya fuckin' moron."
"I don't know. Old habits die hard, I guess."
"You're still a moron. Well, let's see you defend the Odyssey Pivotal post. What are they gonna do to make it different from the 25 of them already out there?"
"No idea. Maybe they'll put a pump in it or something."
"Right. Like Odyssey would ever do something like that."
"Oh well. Guess we'll just have to wait and see."


Just in case you're wondering whether the concept for the new Fit Hawk x Empire was a new one in BMX, the answer is an emphatic no:

Hutch did it 20-odd years ago.

Still pretty cool, though.


When I saw the photo of Joe Simon's new Cosmotron, it reminded me of something. Maybe it's just me?


I've always loved this song.


EDIT: Thanks to Jim Bauer for coming through with the Aerator image.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Worst Idea Ever

I want to like 2Hip, I really do. Ron Wilkerson obviously means well—he's been riding forever, and every year he continues to put his money where his heart is. But then he comes out with stuff like this, and I literally reel in amazement:

The "Groovetech" steering system hasn't been written up on the 2Hip site yet—no surprise, since said site seems to be updated semi-annually at best—but it did earn an article on RIDE (a glowingly positive one, no less). Sigh. Basically what we have here is a four-piece bar with an oversized, splined clamping area, a stem that is complementarily (!) splined, and a steerer tube with three notches that match up to splines on the stem. Greater engineering minds than I could probably write 50,000 words on why this is a terrible idea, but allow me to just present three or four reasons I thought of all on my own.

1. It's too obvious.

If this were truly a good idea, it would be on the market already. I have no doubt that other companies have prototyped (or at least sketched up) similar products and rejected them. No doubt whatsoever. Virtually anyone who runs three-piece cranks has wondered "hey, why don't they make splined steerer tubes?" Then someone explains why it's a bad idea, and they move on to wondering why that hot girl from Thursday never responded to their text message and whether her Myspace would be easy to find even though all they know is that her name is Heather and she lives in Brooklyn. Or was it Manhattan?

2. Some slippage is good.

Back in 1985, when Ron was airing five feet out of six-foot quarters on bikes built for 12-year-olds, slippage was bad. You had tinfoil bars held by beercan stems, and death (or at least unconsciousness) was always waiting right around the corner.

Things work better now. And even if your bars do slip, it's generally not catastrophic. You go to your bag (or someone else's) pull out the multi-tool, re-adjust, and keep trying those tailwhip flyouts. With the 2Hip setup, your bars and stem won't slip, but they WILL bend. Or crack. Or shear off. Which means instead of a simple re-adjustment, you get to go home and order new bars. Or a new stem. Or a new fork. Which brings is to the next point...

3. Compatibility.

Unless this system catches on (which it won't), you're buying a whole 2Hip front end. Good luck with that. And once this is patented, other companies would have to license the "technology" before making their own gargantuan stems and hideously ugly four-piece bars. (Can you even make two-piece bars to fit that stem? And if so what would they look like? Maybe éclat will make a converter for "regular" bars.)

4. They're ugly as sin.

Not sure whether anyone's noticed, but BMX is all about aesthetics these days. Damn kids painting their bikes to match their outfits and whatnot.

Hold on, I'm shaking my cane.

OK. Regardless, if you're gonna come out with some sort of revolutionary new product, it had better look as good as it performs. Otherwise it's just not going to catch on. And this setup, while it may have looked cool back in like '95, just isn't gonna cut it today. Like my man Jules Winnfield once said, "sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherfucker." It's the same thing. Trust me.

I kind of hope this whole setup is just a hoax like the Lumberjack Slams. But I don't think it is.


This feels strangely appropriate:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I wanted to talk about the new éclat website today—although I meant to do it a hell of a lot earlier—so I'm going to. Worse comes to worse I'll just fudge the timestamp so it SAYS it posted on Tuesday even if writing this stretches into Wednesday. Deal with it. There were a couple things I saw on my initial runthrough that I thought deserved attention, so I'll just bulletpoint through them. Cool?

• Sean Burns is on éclat?

Seriously, Sean Burns is on éclat? This is nothing against Sean Burns—I thought his section in Dead Bang was one of the greatest video parts ever, and dude is everything that BMX should be. Still, something doesn't sit right, even if he is running a 33t sprocket these days (28t by 2012!). Burns being on éclat feels like Deicide signing with Tooth and Nail or McDonald's being an official sponsor of the Olympics.

Oh wait, that's true.

Still, Burns being on éclat just feels wrong. If he's gonna be sponsored by a company with an accent mark, it should damn well be an umlaut. Who's he gonna pick up as his next sponsor, PETA? And the little bio on the site doesn't help, either. I quote: "In an age where tech is the flavor of the month and XXL t-shirts are a standard proponent of the BMX uniform, Sean Burns pedals fast whenever possible and squeezes into used leather jackets." Um, not sure what decade that was written in, but XXL t-shirts are only a "standard proponent" of the BMX uniform for guys who weigh 300-plus pounds, and even those guys are probably trying to squeeze into mediums these days. Might wanna edit that.

• Two-piece cranks.

Everyone seems to be making two-piece cranks today. They're the new three-piece. And éclat's, cringingly named "Tibias," seem to be a cross between Flys and Demolitions. They even have that second drilling so you can run an 18t sprocket if you're into that sort of thing.

Both arms come drilled so you can run them either LHD or RHD. And given that, I can safely assume two things—you don't have to order them specifically for either side drive, and they're not a "2.5" piece crank like Flys. I can't tell from the photo which arm is the one that comes off, but either rightys or leftys will have to take their cranks entirely apart to change sprockets, which is is one of the major downsides of two-piece cranks. And since they use a Profile-style spline interface, that seems like a lousy tradeoff just to lose one bolt. (They're 22mm, which is an advantage over Profile "race" cranks, but if I'm going to stay with the splined setup, I'd prefer to be able to replace either arm independently of the spindle.)

(Two asides—one, why hasn't Profile made a 22mm version of their cranks yet, and two, if I'm wrong about half of this stuff, I promise to explain further. Or let someone from éclat explain.)

• Front hub.

Yeesh. MEDIC!

Once again, this seems to be all the rage these days—internally-laced hubs. They look all fancy and lightweight and stuff. And the design would seem to protect the spoke better than their conventionally flanged brethren. That said, when a spoke does break (and it will), enjoy taking your entire hub apart to replace it. Do that enough times, and you'll be ready to go back to something simpler.

• Plastic pedals.

Dude. Everyone has plastic pedals. What's wrong with you? And why not get the grippiest nylon pedal on the market? I'm sure it's been independently verified. Makes you wonder why they bother making aluminum pedals at all. Other than the fact that Burns would probably rather run clipless than plastic.

• Window sticker.

Can I really find fault in a window sticker (scroll to the bottom)? Of course I can! It's just a little thing, though—when your company has been around for 47 minutes, none of your logos are "iconic." Just saying.

Oh, and when you click on the bottom bracket, the main photo that comes up is of the pedals. Might wanna fix that.

But hey, hope it all works out.


After reading all that—or scrolling past it—you're gonna need this:

Monday, August 25, 2008

Public Service Message

If you think BMX is stupid now, please consider where we came from:

"Zee-riffic"? Seriously?

Thank you.

Something more substantial tomorrow, I promise.


Always loved this one.

Friday, August 22, 2008

(Late) Friday Quiz

Um, it's still Friday, isn't it? Maybe this is just a shameless way to increase my weekend readership. Either that or I'm just slow. One of the two.

Anyway, on with the Friday quiz.

1. This new Demolition shirt is a nod to my main man Mr. Spock. It is, to the best of my knowledge, the first BMX shirt to reference Star Trek.

Other TV shows they considered as inspiration were:

a) Mork & Mindy

b) BJ and the Bear

c) My Two Dads

d) Perfect Strangers

e) Battlestar Galactica

2. Streetwear company Animal designed this exclusive New Era hat specifically for the Australian market. There are only 300 of them. You can only buy one if:

a) You know what Vegemite is.

b) You have a bigger knife than anyone on your block.

c) Your bed is on fire.

d) You have two front wheels and no chain.

3. The Mutiny Cosmotron has removable brake mounts and a non-removable seatpost:

This is like:

a) A car with welded-on gas cap and removable steering wheel.

b) A house with permanent screen windows and detachable living room.

c) A 7-11 with locks on the door.

d) Rain on your wedding day.

4. These new stems are made by:

a) Fit

b) Premium

c) Hoffman

d) Coalition

e) There's a difference?

5. What is this?

a) The walls of a roller rink circa 1984.

b) A visual representation of the newest Gatorade flavors.

c) The new Odyssey grips.

d) A close-up from the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing.

6. These are Nathan Williams's signature bars from United. They're 29" wide stock, but he cuts his down to 27".
This is sort of like:

a) Getting a signature drop stem and running it upside down with eight spacers.

b) Riding brakeless and getting a signature frame with gyro tabs.

c) Riding brakeless and getting a signature brake lever.

d) Coming up with your own nickname and then getting mad when people refer to you by it.


Totally forgot the video. My bad.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

You Down With SPC?

Before I get going here, an apology to the people whose stuff I was (and still am) going to review. Got both, enjoyed both. Just want to make sure I do both your efforts justice. Cool? I promise they won't fall by the wayside. Um, like the FAQ, which I still have every intention of doing. Someday.


Dear Stolen,

Interesting approach with your non-wedge wedge Pivotal. While Animal chose to go the traditional stem-wedge route, you chose to emulate Cinelli. Cool. Perhaps the fact that the entire base expands will put less pressure on butted seattubes. And kudos for actually making the post in two different lengths and acknowledging that not everyone wants their seat to double (make that triple) as a fender and toptube pad. Some of us still like sitting down on occasion.

Still, we can't help but think that that huge aluminum insert is heavier than a simple seatpost clamp. (Damn thing looks like a Russian nesting doll.) And the fact that you'll be offering a frame with no clamping area whatsoever, well, that's just plain wrong.

"Clampless frames are the future, the future is now"? For shame. Although we are curious about the other "unique Pivotal post" you'll be unveiling at Interbike. Just not curious enough to actually go. Hopefully it's honeycomb tubing sleeved with carbon fiber.


P.S. Wanna buy a shirt?


We The People cordially invite you to reconsider the simple fork:

What we have here, I believe, are hollow, closed dropouts. Which means you can kiss your faithful Vandero hub goodbye.

There is this: most new front hubs are being designed with three-piece axles, which means they would be compatible with this style of dropout. In fact, We The People is proposing a two-piece axle (more or less a nut and long bolt) that would simplify things even further. And such a design would prevent this from happening, which is good.


(You knew there'd be a however, right?)


There's something about being able to take your bike apart easily that appeals to me. It's the reason I don't run an Elementary stem, and the reason my Wombolts occasionally drive me crazy (they work great, but I'm not eager to take my cranks entirely apart just to change sprockets). And with these forks, you'll obviously need to take both bolts out (and, in the case of us four-peggers) both pegs off just to take your wheel off. A small price to pay for increased strength and decreased weight? Perhaps. But there's something to be said for convenience. And I don't even travel with my bike all that much. Or, um, at all. It'll be interesting to see whether these catch on.


Two more shirt designs I spent at LEAST five minutes combined on. Apologies to the real designers who read this blog:

I'm pretty psyched on the squirrel thing. Whatever it is. Meant to stretch the fur up to the shoulders, but that would have taken more time. And, you know, effort and stuff. It should also probably read "SQRLFLS?" on the hem. Dammit.


I'd have been tempted to post this video even if the song wasn't used in a BMX video. Which it was.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Won't Get Fooled Again

OK, I probably will.

The S&M Bars were/are fake. Good. Did I believe they could possibly be real? Yes. Does that make me gullible? Sure. Kudos, Mr. Moeller. Now buy my Mad Dog.


Saw that two more companies (Fremont and S&M) knocked off Fit's "Stay Fit" t-shirt. The font is a common one—Edwardian Script ITC—so I think everyone with Photoshop should do their own variation on it. All you need is a blank t-shirt template, which I'll even provide:

I already did mine.

I've been playing with a lot of t-shirt ideas lately. Not sure how many, if any, will ever actually get made. But I welcome your input. Here's eight for starters:









Feel free to name your favorite—not that it'll necessarily do any good one way or the other. I'd pretty much guarantee the "SAY SHIT" one will never happen. And it's not like anyone buys BMX t-shirts anyway.


Another easy one that Derek Adams should enjoy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Honeycomb's Big; Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Well, either the Lumberjack Slams are real, or S&M is perpetrating their best hoax ever. I e-mailed Moeller to ask for more details (sample question: "Dude, WTF?") and this is what he sent back:

For production parts, all the honeycomb tubes on frames/forks and bars will be sleeved with carbon fiber. The diamond pattern of the material will be filled with epoxy so the tubes will actually be smooth and look totally normal. As of now the only paints we can use on the epoxy is almost neon so that should be interesting! The thin outer sleeve of 4Q Baked Supertherm really just gives us something to miter and weld to. This process is sometimes referred to as Bilateral Structure and we are also working on a (3 lb) frame utilizing it as well.

Neon paint only? Carbon fiber sleeves? Epoxy filling? Three-pound frames? Bilateral freaking Structure? You got me. Just for the fun of it, I looked up 'bilateral structure'. Most of the results had to do with either fibers or finance. There was also this definition:

Bilateral structure is an organization system that relies on reflection and / or duplication to achieve closure and equilibrium within a field. All bilateral fields can be divided into two identical or relatively similar halves on a single axis. The lateral axis within a field of absolute symmetry will delineate the two identical halves, while the lateral axis within an asymmetrical field will delineate two similar, but not identical, halves. The relative amount of absolute symmetry determines the orientation and position of this lateral axis within the field.

Yeah, I don't get it either. Well, I sort of do, but not how it fits this particular design.

Whether this whole thing is real or not (Chris never mentioned price, which I also asked about and I'd imagine would be rather prohibitive), I fully expect companies to start using materials like carbon fiber soon. Because how much lighter can you make a frame/fork/bar out of heat-treated chromoly? Seattubes and chainstays can only be so short, butted tubing so thin. And if lightness is going to remain the be-all and end-all, carbon is a cheaper alternative than titanium. I also fully expect to see an aluminum park/trails frame sooner rather than later. The Pulled Pork?

So whatever. Either we're all being taken on a ride (me especially), or things are about to get real interesting. Ever since S&M showed that one-piece clear plastic sprocket/guard combo, I've been at a total loss about what's serious and what isn't. I knew I should have booked a flight for Interbike.


The video this song is from really needs to be released on DVD.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Scam Bars?

Apologies for the later-than-all-hell post—I'm just awakening from the coma the new S&M bars sent me into:

(For more, check the S&M website, specifically the news section.)

Much like last time, I'm not sure whether these are supposed to be a real product or not. A year or so ago I would have called fake based on the 9" x 32"dimensions alone, but what with Solid already producing a 9" x 32" bar, it's entirely possible that S&M felt the need to join the even-bigger-bar party. Hopefully if it were a joke, Moeller would have went with something ridiculous like 10" x 35"—bars that size probably won't be produced for real until say, next year. Then there's the matter of the name, Lumberjack Slams, which recalls both Denny's (two pancakes, a slice of grilled honey ham, two bacon strips, two sausage links and two eggs, plus hash browns or grits and choice of bread) and Odyssey. Be curious to see whether that name makes it to the production stage. If there is one.

Then, of course, there is the matter of that crossbar. I can't decide whether it looks more like a pair of Chinese fingercuffs (word to Rick Derris and Cohee Lundin), some sort of woodworking tool or the decorative trim on—well, something. Whatever the case, it sure is different. And by different I mean totally awful. Imagine getting a handful of that on a barspin gone wrong? Or knocking your chin on it on a big gap? Or if it takes a direct impact from...anything? I understand it for a show bike or as an example of what you can do with steel, but as an everyday set of bars? Hell no. (And going from what was said in the news section, it appears that they might try a frame with the same tubing? Yikes.) Oh well, at least they're bringing the Challenger stem back.

I'll be e-mailing Moeller this week to try and find out more. That is, if I ever recover sufficiently from the initial shock.


Take a walk.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Just from checking BMXfeed compulsively on an hourly basis (more often than it gets updated, I think), I've noticed there have been quite a few polls in BMX lately. Profile asked what limited color you all want to see next—personally, I couldn't decide between "waiting room beige" and "vulva pink"—and Orchid posted a bingo-card like offering of former models and (gulp) colorways for potential re-issue in recognition of their fifth anniversary:

My reaction to that one was swift: Orchid has been around for five years?

Polls have been part of BMX forever, of course—from reader polls to NORA Cup voting. I think I may have even voted for Greg Hill and Mike Dominguez once. And if I didn't, I definitely meant to. This recent rash of polling made me think: why don't more companies look for direct input? Instead of telling us what we want, why don't they ask us? I've come up with poll suggestions for a variety of companies. Some are too late, but others could still do some good.

EASTERN: What part of our frames should we cut full of holes next?
a) Downtube
b) Toptube
c) Seatstays
d) Whatever Kyle Busch thinks is best

S&M: Should we destroy the 21" Stricker by lowering the toptube and eliminating the anchor brace?
a) Yes
b) No
Additional question: What country's flag should we wrap around our stems next?
a) Canada
b) France
c) China
d) Angola
Odyssey/G-Sport: What part should George French entirely re-imagine?
a) Headset
b) Handlebars
c) Grips
d) Bolt-on framestanding platforms
Fly: Should we keep re-inventing the bottom bracket?
a) Yes
b) No
c) Dude
Terrible One: Should we manufacture the Barcode overseas?
a) Yes
b) No
c) You still make the Barcode?
Primo: Which rider should we kick off the team next?
a) Tony Neyer
b) Josh Stricker
c) E-Man
d) Someone who isn't even on the team yet
Additional question: Do you think Josh Stricker would ever run plastic pedals?
a) Hahaha
b) No, seriously, hahaha
Giant: 我們為什麼要作出為BMX自行車?
a) 為愛
b) 為錢
c) 為犬

Great song whether you know where it's from or not.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


First things first: a correction.

(Not sure about you, but I hate that newspapers and magazines hide their corrections way at the bottom of a page. I'm gonna buck the trend—and this one wasn't even my fault!)

Turns out the new Simple frame I talked about on Monday won't have a shaved headtube after all. I got an e-mail from Jimmy Röstlund at Simple/Eject that cleared things up:

I saw a short little note on about Simple going into production with the "shaved" headtube thing. I know that Sidewall posted that on their news page, but it's a miscommunication and I have taken the appropriate action to get that corrected.

We did do prototypes with that style headtube, but we decided to go with a normal style headtube after testing. If you look at the photos that were posted of the frame you can clearly see that it's the same headtube as we've previously released. I've attached a photo that shows the headtube more.

Thanks, Jimmy. I'll be curious to see whether Sunday goes forward with it.


Heat-treated. Colorways. "Super Bake." What could I possibly be talking about? Frames? Bars? Nope—try stem bolts. Hollow, powdercoated stem bolts. They're the 21st century equivalent of dice valve caps.


If you're like, a downhill/freeride/urban MTB type or a fixed-gear freestyler, now there's a stem to go with all your pink Chris King stuff. Pretty and strong indeed. It's Hollywood Mike Miranda!


I meant to link to this earlier—Brian Tunney recently posted an interview he did with Joe Rich about the future of Terrible One. Seems like some production will be shifting to Taiwan. Makes sense to me. Knowing the little that I do know about frame production and profit margins, it's hard to believe any company can survive selling US-made frames that aren't produced in-house. BMX frame retail prices haven't increased appreciably in the past decade, while the costs of everything—from raw materials to transportation—have increased a great deal. Factor in that the framebuilders and company owners (not to mention sponsored riders and other employees) probably like eating a couple times a week and living under roofs with luxuries like electricity and hot water, and either prices need to go up or costs need to go down. Probably both.

(I wanted to sprinkle some quotes in here, but assblasters isn't loading for me right now. Shame.)


Went and saw The Dark Knight in Imax last night. Not bad, although they could have easily cut 10 (or maybe even 20) minutes without doing any damage to the main storyline. And while Heath Ledger was really good, I feel like his portrayal of the Joker wouldn't be getting this much attention if he was still alive.

Anyway, did this remind anyone else of something like this? Flat black and fat tires, woo hoo.


Easy one?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rim Jobs

I am not an engineer of any sort. The only college science course I took was earth science—rocks for jocks—and while I did allegedly pass calculus, I can't remember a single thing I allegedly learned. As for physics, I didn't even take that in high school. Combine that with the fact that I've only built one wheel in my life—using the time-tested hold-the-new-rim-next-to-the-old-wheel-and-transfer-the-spokes-over method, and it should be abundantly clear that I am entirely unqualified to criticize a new rim design. Like this one, from éclat:

They look cool, I guess. Nice colors. And as everyone seems to be trying their hands at rim design lately—Animal, Fly, Stolen, Shadow—I suppose that each company needs their own unique design to help them stand out from the ever-growing crowd. Will they be stronger than time-tested designs from Odyssey, Primo and Sun? Damned if I know. Then combine all the new rim designs with new hub designs from (among others) Tree and Simple, and it's enough to drive a simple wheelbuilder crazy. (I'd like to see someone 5-cross crosslace a Tree front hub to a Fly rim without breaking something.) No wonder Pierre Pierros III has been on vacation for months.

It would be interesting to see some sort of independent testing as to which rims are stronger, and which spoke patterns (close to the edges or all in the middle?) and lacing patterns work best. Anyone?