Friday, October 10, 2008

All-Time Low

We're getting closer and closer to the FBM Uranus Plug becoming a reality.

Macneil posted this on their blog yesterday—the aptly named Nub Post. The Pivotal wedge post taken to the extreme, it's a 50-gram trinket that allows you to only run your seat slammed and only after you cut off the top of your seattube.




Aw, isn't it cute? Sort of the little brother to the Stolen SIC post (will royalties have to flow both ways?) the Nub Post is roughly 30 grams—an ounce—lighter than the shortest available Pivotal post and a slim seatpost clamp. But that's not all! "Once you factor in the weight of steel mast and seat post clamp you have just removed….it actually does weigh….nothing." It weighs nothing! Sweet! And all you have to do is...wait, what?



Yes! Just decapitate your seattube! Don't mind the fact that it'll most likely void your warranty, or that you could easily cut into the weld. Let's ignore the fact that a lot of people don't even run brakes because it's too much of a hassle to install and adjust them or that most kids can't even cut the flanges off their grips properly. Just cut off the top of your frame! And hey, if you decide later that you want to run your seat higher, or that the wedge design doesn't hold well enough, well, just buy a new one. What's another $400?

Tell you what, Macneil: How about have people send their frames in, YOU cut off the tops of their seattubes, and if something cracks due to overtightening or compromised welds, YOU replace their frames, no matter who made them. How does that sound?

Look, I understand that it looks a hell of a lot better than zip-tying or hose-clamping a seat to the toptube. And if you're willing to cut the top off your seattube just to be able to run your seat a tiny bit lower and save a whole two ounces, I'm not gonna try and stop you. But it begs the question: What is light enough? We'd already gone from this to this to this. What's next? Are we not men?

Also, it seems to me that seat tubes are designed to take pressure one way (an external clamp tightened down around a solid seatpost) and now you're asking them to accept it another way (an internal wedge pressing outwards) right where a bunch of welds meet. Throw in thin-gauge tubing and kids with hacksaws, and you've got a recipe for disaster. And I can't wait for the rash of cracked and split seat tubes when people inevitably run this thing without cutting anything at all.

Oh yes, and from what I heard (and read in the comments), there was initially a shot at this blog in the writeup. What did it say?

•••••••••••••••••••••••

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

that's a pretty good point re expansion - is it all yours?

also that's the first decent video you've ever posted, congrats

Dave said...

I am pretty sure some dude over on bike guide split his seat tube already from a wedge mod he did himself.

Too lazy to search for it though.

ben said...

First Animal video. Can't remember who's part bob maybe ?

Also why the fuck would you need your seat the tiny bit lower? Cause you can't fucking get your leg over the TT on a whip ?

Jerry from Poland said...

A few things... What if someone runs a really low integrated seatpost clamp (think s3,5 Aitken)? Or a really low slung frame (tierra or whatnot). Because people who are going to cut of stuff of their frame to save a ounce probably are running those. Crank arms hitting one's seat will be embarrasing... not to mention losing your anal virginity with your tire... This is equally briliant as the 2-hip groove-something system. Seatclamp FTW.

Anonymous said...

I thought the low seats were to "tuck' easier..But now I see seats that are lower than the back tire,so that makes no sense..

Mark Westlake said...

"I am pretty sure some dude over on bike guide split his seat tube already from a wedge mod he did himself."
Incorrect, it was cracked already.

DBZ said...

Yog Sothoth! R'lyeh! Cthulhu!

Fuck Macneil. Pivotal seats are fucking weak and Alistair Whitton is a fucking kook.

Boo hoo hoo.

your father figure said...

this blog used to be kinda cool. when it wasn't hating on pivitol seats and seat posts every fucking day. jesus christ man. we get it. you dont like small seat posts and the fact that there are 213586021.54 pivitol seats on the market. i guess im not mad at you for bitching about it every day. im just disapointed.

Russ said...

I don't think I bitch about Pivotals and the like EVERY day. Heck, I don't think I do it every week. Besides, was I supposed to let this little salt shaker or whatever the fuck it's supposed to be just pass by without comment?

Sorry, Dad.

Darren H. said...

Funny thing about bikes is, if you wait around long enough, EVERYTHING comes back around. In 1996, you were a kook if you ran your bars wider than about 23"-24" Flatlanders and trails guys routinely cut them down even shorter than that. Nothing said "I don't know what's up." in 1997 like 28" wide bars. Suddenly in about 2006 everyone decided that wasn't a good idea, it it seemed within six months you had everyone on the planet running 28"+ wide bars AGAIN. Just like in the 80's, when people made bar EXTENSIONS

In the 80's bike weight was critical for racers and at least something of an issue for freestylers. Along comes Standard and Hoffman making frames that wouldn't snap like a twig, and suddenly bikes weigh 38 pounds. About ten years after that a bunch of guys realize how much easier riding a bike that's a bit lighter is, and the trend swings the other way AGAIN......

In 1986, guys with names like The Chairman and Raccoon Lips ran gigantic layback posts to fit on tiny frames with 18.5" top tubes. Fast forward to 1992, and Chad D. ran a slammed seat for riding flat and lots of people followed suit. These days you'd be hard pressed to find a flat guy without a flagpole seatpost.

....see a pattern here?

The slammed seat thing has gone as far as it can. I predict that within five years, a new influential guy will appear on the scene running a bit taller post, saying "it's soo much easier to barspin" or something like that.
And then everyone will start the race all over again.....

todd from albe's said...

Sunday needs to offer the Ian Schwartz frame in regular or "nubbed"

Anonymous said...

A low-slung frame makes sense for a lot of riders. There's a strength cost, but it's worth it to be less likely to snag a shoe on your top tube and land on your teeth, if you do a lot of flatland-style stuff. I ride a Tierra...with a fist and a half of post out.

Because the seat-hiding fad is completely stupid. If you're not trying a triple-whip (that you can't do) on a tranny the size of a beer can, your seat is not in your way. Ever.

Flagpoles high, kids. Save your balls. You'll need 'em someday.

Stephen said...

Specialization leads to inaccessibility which leads to irrelevance.

wade said...

"The bolt in your Pivotal seat will pull the wedge up and tighten everything up eliminating the a seat clamp, seat mast and any shred of dignity you once had."
From the introduction on the MacNeil site.
So, they know this is silly. But they are expanding their market to serve the silly riders. It seems to me what they are saying is "OK, this trend is dumb, but if you are determined to be dumb here is a smart way to do it."
The companies are slaves to the stupidity. Giant handlebars? Integrated seatclamps? Remember, this activity that we are so fond of ultimately serves fifteen year olds. And the fifteen year olds that are attracted to BMX are not even the brightest of the children. These are the kids in shop class.

Anonymous said...

Well said wade. NAIL ON THE HEAD.

Russ said...

But is it really a smart way to do it? Do companies have to serve as enablers? What's wrong with a stubby little Pivotal post (like the Federal) with a super-slim seatpost clamp or an integrated one?

Letting said 15-year-olds dictate your product line is fucking insane. Isn't it? Sure you have to make what people want to an extent, but isn't there a point where you have to say "fuck this, this is as far as we go"? It's not like kids were going to stop buying seatposts entirely if no one released a two-inch long nub.

I also still can't get over the "oh yeah, and you have to hacksaw off the top of your seat tube part." Cutting your $400 frame to accomodate your $25 seatpost...yeah, I don't get it.

Russ said...

Also, I can't wait for someone to make a Pivotal seat with a big cutout in the back so you can run this post on your Killorado or Tierra or whatever the fuck that absurd 3.5 pound Premium frame is.

brian said...

didn't macneil once say they'll never make a frame that weighed less than 5 pounds (or 6 pounds? I can't remember)?

bobby p said...

i guess what i cant get over is the fact that they are selling a pivitol post that is that short, and the only way to run it is to cut your frame.

here is an idea....how about buy a long seat post, and cut it to whatever length you want!!!

if you fuck up cutting the post, buy another one for $30. if you fuck up cutting your frame buy another one for $400. im not good at math so i dont know what is actually better.

robbiemoralesmoustache said...

bmx is getting closer and closer to trials. it's sad.

wade said...

"Letting said 15-year-olds dictate your product line is fucking insane. Isn't it?"
Yes.
But you have to shift your thinking a bit: BMX is dumb. Really dumb. Literally retarded.
And what does that say about 37 year olds like us caring about this stuff?
Kids ask me why I run narrow, tall bars instead of tall wide ones. Because, after 29 years of actually trying bars out, this makes sense for me. Fifteen year olds do not yet have the experience and don't think for themselves.
I've been riding MKS or KHE graphites for 20 years and had to listen to fifteen year old kids question this for years until the Odyssey PC revolution (which have been available since 1996?).
At fifteen, peer pressure is large. Conformity is the thing. And new things must be the best things. D'Arcy gave me a 1" stump post to play with earlier in the year, and I used to show the kids this just to watch them freak out and want.

And D'Arcy and the boys both know better than to do this and know better than not to do this. You can call D'Arcy out on a bunch of things, as I have to his face several times (Euro BBs come to mind), but focusing on moments of seeming hypocriticality misses the point: he is a genius. Not every time, but more times than everybody else. If someone doesn't think so, then its that person that doesn't see it.
And I'm calling mags as the next thing. Graphite Tuff Wheels with a 9t cassette hub. The fifteen year olds in Toronto think mine must be light because they are sorta like their pedals.

t.f.a. said...

if all the companies banded together and decided to make what people NEED instead of what they WANT that would leave the door open for someone to launch a new product and/or company...just like what happened back in the early-mid 1990s when almost all we could get was GT and Haro products designed by non-riders that told us what to use. as dumb as a lot of these new products are at least the manufacturers are listening and reacting to the customers, unlike before.

beej said...

I don't think it's that dumb of an idea... 85% of the kids in BMX run their shit slammed. They also buy a new frame every 4 months. It's only putting money into the dying industry. You're not going to run in, I'm not going to run it.

Russ said...

Oh, the bikes and parts are 45,974,084,068,551 times better than they were in the late '80s or early '90s. I just think it's possible to take things too far. This being one of those times.

Blah, I should just delete the whole blog. One of these days I probably will do just that. Cause I sure ain't no genius.

Anonymous said...

more bashing of non-american companies. third time this week actually. quit your nationalistic bmx bashing while your ahead

Russ said...

I'm not entirely convinced that people want THIS, though. I don't know. Sigh. Sometimes I feel very, very, VERY old.

wade said...

Russ, you do indeed have your genius moments.
The importance of this blog is that the companies now consider what you are going to say before they release something.
That means you have respect and power.

nate said...

Ok, this sounds kid of stupid, but I'ma put it out there anyway. If kids are THIS worried about snagging their shit on their seats. . . um . . . then WHY ARE THEY EVEN RUNNING SEATS?!?! Just get rid of the damn thing and be done with it. I know that they're not really sitting on them when they pedal, and unless you're 4' tall, you can't really sit and coast with your feet on the pedals when your seat is slammed like that. . . So why hasn't anyone made a seatless frame to market to these kids??

Just a thought.
-nate

wade said...

Project Drag Racer!

http://www.23mag.com/mags/bpl/bpl92.htm

Feb 92 cover of BMX Plus!

Josh said...

It makes perfect sense that the industry caters to what 15 year olds want. Wade made some excellent points in that peer pressure (not riding experience or testing of various parts) dictates the demand. Many kids riding today have never had anything but a slammed post. Many have never had anything but wide bars. Most kids get their opinions off of the consensus on an internet forum, and companies know this.

Old guys like me don't buy the newest (soon to be forgotten part) when it drops. I have been running the same cranks, hubs, stem, forks, and yes, seat post, for years. I have no reason to change, thus why would a company that is in business to make money, want to cater to me. That doesn't mean that I don't welcome change or that I am not looking for the next "great idea" that I can jump on. I'm just not as easily swayed and don't subscribe to the "I need a new frame because a 'better' one came out" philosophy.

I hear a lot of people questioning why kids would want to buy a post like this, stating sarcastically that they think it will make their riding better. I don't think it has anything to do with riding. I think that they want to show up to the park with the newest shit, no matter how stupid it is. They hope that they can be the first to have it so that when it catches on, they can talk shit on everyone else who is "hopping on the bandwagon." It's called immaturity and we've all been there (wanna see my pictures wearing Vision Street Wear pants, a flannel shirt with only the top button buttoned, and that oh so cool Tony Hawk "flop" haircut?). Eventually they'll grow up.

Greg said...

In this country, you gotta make the BMX blog first. Then when you get the BMX blog, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.

MattF said...

"Russ, you do indeed have your genius moments.
The importance of this blog is that the companies now consider what you are going to say before they release something.
That means you have respect and power."

I don't see it as hating on products. The BMX companies NEED people like Russ. It's pointing out flaws in things that the R&D guys have either ignored or not considered. Companies are seemingly openly scared at what you might say about their latest bits and pieces and this could even be a GOOD thing for the industry as pointless crap will hopefully slowly disappear as products have more time on the drawing board before anybody thinks about actually making them.

Sure, sometimes you take it too far, and even though pretty much every disparaging comment is funny, sometimes I think it's a little bit much, but hey, nobody's perfect.

Keep on criticising!

Seth said...

Seriously DO NOT give up this blog. Who gives a shit if companies are getting their panties in a bunch because someone who isn't a 15 year-old consumer has something to say about their products other than "Oh awesome I can't wait to have my parents buy that for me!"
People writing about this blog (good or bad) means that it is making some sort of difference.
Get some shirts made already.
SPRFLS ARMY (see that in KISS font please).

Anonymous said...

ya russ, we need you?

Anonymous said...

"The BMX companies NEED people like Russ." Not really, companies need a steady stream of customers.

Anonymous said...

This blog is great first thing I check when I go online

Ryan said...

This is probably one of my favorite websites ever. What you blog about is well-written, informative, and positively criticizing. Anyone can write about how "gay" this seat post is or other parts are, but you come up with real reasons and explanations why certain new products are ridiculous. Go, Russ!

wade said...

You know, and this just occurred to me, you would be able to run this Nub without cutting your frame if you run a seatclamp...

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who realizes how retarded a frame looks without a seatpost clamp (integrated or regular), but still has that slot cut in the back of it? If I'm going to run any sort of wedge post (perish the thought), I'm NOT going to want that slot. Not only does it look bad, it's weak.

--Antoine

Daniel said...

I want to know what Macneil said about SPRFLS too. =(

Maxime Rousseau said...

The guess about how trends make the industry is about right IMO, but I don't think it's generalized throughout the industry.

Here in Trois-Rivieres I ride around with a bunch of dudes, both on BMX and MTBs, many have both. One kid, age 17, is getting pretty darn good, and from what I see, he's kind of the trend setter. He rides a DK (lots of race bikes here, we have a track in our neighborhood) with street components from MacNeil and Odyssey. When I first met him a while back, he was riding with brakes, and uncut, normal sized bars. Then, as he started trying out more wicked stuff, by the beginning of last summer, he cuts his bars down to something like 23" , and removed his brakes.

Today, everybody from the casual MTBer with a street-ish bike to the little 'un rolling a beat up old 300$ Free Agent complete rides with no brakes, and most have their bars cut ridiculously short, shortest I've seen was like 22".

I still ride a brake and like 7.25"-24" bars, and always get asked why I ride brakes. Just today, this 12 year old came and asked; when I told him I just liked brakes, he told me how much of a fag I was, then resumed his shredding... trying to hop a sidewalk, on a bike with no brakes.

Teens (and/or pre-teens), do indeed have very little to no backbone, and it is affecting the industry, but as long as I can still get myself a pair of bars under 30 inches wide, I'm a happy man. There will always be a demand for more traditional parts, this is why you still see meter long seat posts on MacNeil's website or frames with more conservative geo from Sunday.

I say let the R&D people try to please the kids, in the end BMX can only progress from these weird new products.

Russ, your blog rocks. You need to get yourself some shirts, stickers or other swag, to spread the word.

Sorry for the long post.

Anonymous said...

that ain't bob's part, that's from George D.'s part in first animal vid

Anonymous said...

Get some shirts made already.
SPRFLS ARMY (see that in KISS font please)

how about in late 90's militaristic STANDARD BYKE CO font?

SPRFLS 500

Josh said...

Where is my "Have you Seen Me?" SPC shirt?

t.f.a. said...

Maxime Rousseau,
love the irony of you apologizing for the "long post". well done whether intentional or not.

Anonymous said...

maxine - tl;dr

ruthlessrobbie said...

the fact that those heinous looking bmx 'products' have anything to do with fbm's awesome video is a shame. russ, don't quit, you speak for a lot of our hates'.

Lewis said...

If this blog were to go, i would be sad :(

Hman said...

^^^Russ, what Ryan said above at 9:44pm is GOLD!

Stick with it brother....also, get some t-shirts and stickers going!!

Jeremy said...

i like what you're doing russ. i'm 15, and just got into bmx about a year ago. i'm the only rider/digger in my town, so i'm not surrounded by trendsetters and stuff. i ride a credence, which is a 5.5lb frame, don't have a slammed super duper slim seat, and i run a large fbm race sprocket. i'm actually pretty glad i'm not surrounded by 13 year old trend whores who at a scant 5' tall are running uncut skyhighs or whatever happens to be the largest bars they can buy. keep it real man.

youaintno said...

When you hate on 30+ year old BMXers, you're hating on the likes of MAT HOFFMAN.

You can get kicked out of BMX for that...

mat said...

good post
spc shirt plz!

Lee said...

"In a world where every new BMX "innovation" is met at best with praise and at worst with a shrug (silence implies consent), there ***needs*** to be a voice of dissent. SPRFLS (figure it out) is that voice."

Russ this blog is awesome. The 1st time I saw it I read every post you had made. It's THAT good.

Anonymous said...

bmx is about freedom.. and people should have the freedom to attach there freakin seat any way they freakin want. Hey Russ,Instead of hating on seat posts, why don't you ride your bike. Make a video and show us how well you ride with your giant seatpost..

Skidmark said...

That "nub" barely looks long enough to conceal those slots in it, and those slots look like they were cut badly with a drill and a Dremel. I like the Uni-style seat in the post below better.

Anonymous said...

what time does the circle jerk start?

bobby p said...

haha! i didnt think this argument would come back again! just because you do not ride a bicycle well (and russ could shred face as far as i know), has nothing to do with how your opinions on how stuff works, or in this case how stuff sucks. so to the random ass dumb fucking kid who is calling out russ on posting a riding video, you are lame. you are the reason why bmx is on a downward slope right now. fuck that makes me almost mad that you would say that. i bet you can do fly out tailwhips all fuckin day right! fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you, you fuck! but seriously though, fuck you.

bobby p said...

ps, i think i just got heated because i share love for the high seat post. fist and a half baby!

and still fuck you lee. i hope your whole family gets aids and then they get cured and on the way home from the hospital they are in a firey car crash and they burn to death.

Anonymous said...

this is a joke

skidmark said...

Nothing wrong with pointing out bad design. Nothing wrong with having strong opinions either. And there's nothing wrong with pointing out a trend being mindlessly copied by trend-hoppers.

On the other hand, what's wrong with cashing in on these trend-hoppers who can't weild a hacksaw, but have disposable income?

Anonymous said...

Stay Gold Russ, Stay Gold..

Shagga said...

People seem to be saying that it’s the fault of trendy teens who set the agenda for part design, and that companies are merely serving their market. But in the end I think companies are exploiting the vulnerabilities of riders. I remember Taj writing or being interviewed about how his attitudes to commerce in BMX were formed by an experience as a young racer. He had lusted after a product that the pros had used, goggles I think, believing these were something he must have. Of course, he saved hard over the summer, bought them, and immediately realised he had been conned. Most of us have had a similar experience.

Another example of corporate exploitation on the part of both the company and the pro, which is crystal-clear in hindsight: Pro Forx suspension. With the majority of pro racers running these things for a couple of years in the nineties, how could they be wrong. Of course, the forks were all set up ridged, and the riders were well paid to haul their extra weight around a track. Word of mouth (about suspension sucking balls for BMX) was just slow enough for a two year window where the company could make a killing.

Skidmark’s assertion that there’s nothing wrong with cashing in on those with disposable income misses the point that often the income is not so disposable; some kids really go out of their way, financially, to buy this trendy junk

Taj said...

This is my most favorite BMX website. I think all these things and love that you are writing them! I just read months worth of blogs... gold!

Josh said...

Where is my SPRFLS? No post yesterday? I'm going into withdrawal!

Anonymous said...

i can't wait till some genius decides a ti frame is a good idea

Russ said...

Eastern tried that already. And so did T1 actually, although I think they only made one.

Anonymous said...

i know

Russ said...

I knew you knew.

Juan Francisco said...

This is fucking ridiculous, I mean, one of the reasons that attracted me to BMX is the freedom you get while doing it, no pressure no need to demonstrate anything.
I cant do tons of tricks and I cant hop a bike, I cant even do half a tailwhip but I really love to ride.
I know there are some unuseful products but everyone has the right to do or " ride" they're own shit.
I think we as BMXers need to be more united and support each other, after all, we all love the same thing, right??

Ps. I really love this blog, I think kids don't really know what BMX is about.

You are not the wide of your handlebars...haha