Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas

Let's run through some Interbike photos, shall we? Thanks again to Jacob for sending them—his comments will appear first in quotes.

1. Kink Pivotal posts.

Here we have Kink's two varieties of seatpost—slammable, and absolutely have to be slammed. I'm sure that extra inch of aluminum is all that's keeping you from triple whips. (More importantly, note the seatpost clamps in the background. Keep hope alive!)

2. Kink ceramic headset.

Ceramic bearings are all the rage in road and mountain (and industrial applications, I'm sure). They're smoother, faster, and—of course—more expensive. This Kink version is supposed to retail for somewhere in the neighborhood of $100. Let's hope they remembered to make them correctly this time. Think this is a case of killing a fly with a grenade—does anyone's headset not spin smoothly enough? Will this help someone pull a sextuple whip or 37 barspins? Is it worth spending quadruple what a "regular" headset costs? Let me

3. KHE Centaur bar/stem combo.

Uh, the handlebar is actually a three-piece bar? Color me frightened.

“At first glance this you would think this would be a seat post clamp. but you would be wrong. It's the clamp inside the one piece bar and stem combo. Looks like a seat post clamp from 10 years ago.”

Yes it does. Words cannot express my disappointment.

4. KHE freecoaster.

"Coaster hub that you can adjust with only a allen key through the middle of the axle, allowing you to adjust on the fly for how much play you want without have take anything off the bike. Pretty sweet, but I dont ride a freecoaster hub.”

Neither do I, but having dealt with a Geisha Street for a while (two washers or three?), I can see where this would be a desireable development. Look for every other freecoaster maker out there to quickly license it if it works.

5. T-1 Cyclops stem.

Ain't gonna lie, I'm pretty happy to see an honest-to-God new T1 product. And I can appreciate stems with no bolts on the back, but a traditional four-bolt cap. Not really psyched on split caps, but oh well. At least it's not carved up all to hell and back.

6. Sunday Model D

I was going to call this Sunday's long-awaited trails frame, but I'm not sure whether people were really waiting for them. I know it has "normal" 5mm dropouts and a regular non-wave downtube. I do not know whether it has longer stays. The graphics are pretty rad, though. And you can't go wrong with olive and silver. Please make padsets.

7. Odyssey sidehack

I never understood sidehacks, even in the BMX Action days. Cool-looking bike, though. Are those...Cyclecraft bars?

8. Fly, grip?

Interesting. One grip that you can cut yourself to custom lengths. Or, if you ride a fixed with drops, buy two and cut the flanges off. I'm sure there are other uses for it, too, but this isn't that kind of website.

9. 2-Hip Groove...whatever.

“quite possibly the worst eye sore at interbike... I cant really say much more...”

And I already said enough.

10. Fit forks.

“kind of hard to see but the forks get crazy tapered down near the drop outs. dakota has been riding them and that have held up. hmmmm.”

They were displayed on the Dakota Roche frame, which I don't know anything about except that it has gussets on the top and bottom at the headtube. I'd like to see the Dakota, Eddie and DeHart frames side-by-side.

11. DK Random Wrench V2

“spoke wrench built into the top, sleeker one-peice design. with a little socket nub on the side. much nicer looking. not a bike part but something to make fixing it much easier.”

I've never had a Random Wrench—if I was carrying a camera bag anyway I didn't mind loading individual tools—but it makes sense, at least. Seems inevitable that I'll wind up with one.

12. Premium 3.3 pound frame

“sooo you make a 3.3 lbs frame and you build it up and bolt it to a stand, yet have no stand- alone frame to pick up... premium you are intelligent! so the tubes are double butted and drawn in a special way. then heat treated for 3.5 times longer than normal frames. haro guy said it would shatter before it bent... so you have that to look forward to!”

I'm not sure whether I need to add anything to that, other than the low standover is disgusting and the "Strawberry" toptube integrated seatclamp may be worse.

13. Stolen Pivotal post.

“more plastic! excuse me thermalite...”

I'm genuinely torn. On the one hand, if you're going to just slam your post anyway, there's no reason it shouldn't be made of plastic or wood or cardboard or whatever. On the other hand, is it really necessary? I vote HELL no. How heavy can one of those stubby little aluminum bits be? Now, if it was a plastique post, that would be a different story. I could get behind that.

14. Haro Freestyler

My friend Ian sent me this one. While the double top tube and graphics look spot-on, and the black mags are appropriate enough, I always hate the generic three-piece cranks and padded seats that appear on these throwback bikes. Not to mention the pseudo Gower Power sprocket and all-black tires. Bikes like this just end up looking like a mish-mash of styles from different eras and aren't particularly good for anything, except preying on the nostalgia-blinded. Why not do it right?



wade said...

According to the new Haro catalogue, that retro Haro is one-tube chromoly with steel forks and a steel seatpost. So retro and low-end.
Instead of retro bikes, couldn't we just run the old sticker packs on modern frames? Does it just come down to font? Skyway TA stickers on a modern white frame?
I like that coral pink Sunday colourway.

Anonymous said...

sunday model-d has a 14" backend I think i heard in one of the interbike videos.

Ilari Huovila said...

Ugh, most of the stuff looks disgusting. I like the Sunday frame and the T1 stem though.

Russ said...

Yeah, I haven't watched the Vital videos, and the Ride ones were more or less useless. Which is why I linked to them, of course.

You'd think they could make retro bikes accurate and high end. Isn't that the market? Can't imagine 13-year-old kids would want a Freestyler, but 40-year-old professionals would. Wouldn't they be willing to pay more for a cooler bike?

wds said...

I dunno Russ, even before more info on the Freestyler was released (steel, crap parts), half the Old Schoolers interested were still balking at the $500 price tag.
Most of them are still so stuck in the 80's they think a top bike should be $350 or so.

ben said...

I'll go ahead and say Byron Anderson but i can't remember the video. Was it Face Value or something ?

Thermalite is what the Israelis make M-16 magazines out of.

ben said...

also..its an Iron Cross cover.

Darren H said...

The same old schoolers who pay $3500 for a pair of cracked Hutch cranks or $600 for a pair of NOS GT Power Series shouldn't have any problems shelling out for the Haro. Too bad they couldn't do it correctly.

Smitty said...

Wade - WDS, the guy a few posts above, used to run Skyway TA stickers on a DBI Trail-R-Park. The irony was lost on most.

brien said...

glad someone mentioned iron cross. byron anderson in nowhere fast.

g. edward jones, jr. said...


The problem is that the Master was Haro's TOP OF THE LINE bike. Even if you ignore that the re-release is pretty much period incorrect the fact that they didn't even bother to give it a full chromo f/f is sure to turn off more than some of their intended market.

I mean, I'm not even a Haro guy (hoping that GT can reissue the original Performer without jacking it up) and this turns ME off.

nate said...

Ceramic bearings??!!?? I mean, really?! Lately I'm starting to think that bike parts really are made by dudes with an expense account and friends in the Taiwnese manufacturing sector, and NOT by guys with engineering degrees. While it is true that ceramic bearings are harder and therefore deform less than steel bearings allowing them to spin more smoothly, the same quality makes them completely inappropriate for BMX. Sure they have been used successfully on road and mountain bikes, but those bikes don't have the shock and stress placed on them that BMX bikes do.

Think about it, what if you tried to jump down a set of stairs or off a loading dock on a road bike? The frame would crumple and the wheels would explode, whereas the average BMX bike would shrug it off and keep going as if nothing happened. So if your frame is as fragile as a beer can, needs to be replaced after a crash, and can be observed to dramatically flex while pedaling out of the saddle it goes without saying that fragile beaings are probably the least of your concerns.

Simply put, ceramic bearings lack one thing: Toughness. They'll resist loads of compression, but will crack if you hit 'em with a hammer. Steel bearings on the other hand, couldn't be tougher.

OK, while I'm on my engineering soapbox, I have REAAALLLY mixed feelings about KHE's offerings this year. While their freecoaster hub is intriguing, the whole Centaur bar/stem combo has to be the brainchild of a retarded company exec with no riding experience and a beat-down welders union that just doesn't give a fuck anymore. If I was a welder or a machinist I'd be embarassed to churn out those bars, even if they ended up on bikes at Wal-Mart. The idea just rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning, but the sight of that nasty stem clamp got me frothing at the mouth with rage.
To wit:

And not only that, but I'm wondering what is holding the stem onto the oversized seat clamp thingie? Seriously, what gives? What was wrong with the idea of an immensely strong piece of aluminum clamped at either end to two steel tubes?? It was simple, strong, and customizable.

Whatever. . . I need to go calm down.

josh said...

The T-1 stem looks great. I've been following the stages of production on the Rat Machine Works website for a while and I'm psyched on a new top-load option that is made by someone who rides and is looking out for BMX.

The Sunday frames look great and I have a hard time not liking Sunday. The brand and their products are innovative and simple. They make great stuff based on solid ideas that actually work, instead of most companies that make crap products based on overdone ideas that they hope will sell well before everyone catches on.

josh said...

Oh, one more thing. I have never stayed up at night thinking about how much I hate the fact that my grips can't be exactly the length that I want them. 135mm, 140mm, 145mm, even 147mm, I still can't tell much of a difference. The comfort of my grips is much more important than a couple of millimeters either way. One thing is for sure: I am not willing to go down to my local bike shop and buy something that looks like a giant white rubber dong just so that I can feed my obsessive compulsive disorder and trim them to "the perfect" length.

Drew K said...

I want some pics from the Metal Bikes stand, if they even have one. Hopefully Metal will have some good simple stuff that will even out all the sad roadbike/mountian bike fancyness that seems to be everywhere in bmx. Oh and some pics of the new stuff Mutiny has going on would be cool...and if T1 has some new frames in the works.
I really like the new Sunday frame and T1 stem.

Matt Miller said...

i love how you talk shit on innovative products that havent been done before but you fucking run a website that hates superfolous bike parts. Make up your mind man. And why do u hate on light parts so much, If they hold up then whats the harm. Progression is important in anything. So if parts can become lighter without sacrificing strength then whats wrong.

Anonymous said...

Now that had to be a Shai Hulud reference I saw in there.

John said...

I want that T1 stem. The Sunday frame is nice, but I wouldn't ride it. I want a Wave with a 75 degree head tube and a 13.5" CS.

pawelb said...

too bad the sunday frame doesnt have the wave tubing! i know some trials you can get some mean dents!! i hope it isnt one of those "trails" frames,,,has anyone gone to the trails? trail riders case and take as much abuse as most street riders!

Mat said...

Matt Miller: How the hell can you read this blog and totally miss the point? Quoted from Russ's mission statement: "we welcome progress, provided that it actually IS progress."

Charles said...

The grips are from Suelo, for flatland. Some flatlanders run grips right down to the crossbar. It would make sense that they could now customize the length of their grips, just as they do their bars. Street and park bars have gotten wider recently (if you haven't noticed), and there is room for more grip. Instead of offering many sizes of grip, these allow you to choose your own.

Thanks for trying to be funny though, you touchy bastard.

wade said...

"Wade - WDS, the guy a few posts above, used to run Skyway TA stickers on a DBI Trail-R-Park. The irony was lost on most."

This is the second funniest thing I've heard this year. I wish I'd thought of that.
The first, btw, is Richard Cheese introducing his duet partner in his cover of "The Girl Is Mine".

Patrick said...


brian said...

innovation? there's nothing innovative about lowered top tubes, slam clones and rebadged parts.

Mexican John said...

the cyclops graphics for the T1 stem look good as well, can't wait for that. Like the DK tool as well.

Anonymous said...

Please comment on the Bulldog frame. square backend, next to nothing dropouts and horrible logo.

Guav said...

I was at that show.

pdxbmx said...

The Sunday Model D Frame...

Rear end: 14-14.50" 13.88" Slammed
Headtube Angle: 74°
BB Height: 11.85"

Anonymous said...

Guys . . . Don't be FOOLED, that Odyssey Sidehack isn't really an Odyssey, just the parts! The bike side is a SE Wildman frame and the hack was custom made by the boys at 3D bicycles. I have pics to prove it!!!

Lsg Industrial said...

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