You see, there are lots of things I love, even in the gram-obsessed world of BMX. And in the interest of offsetting my obviously misguided all-consuming hate, I thought I'd lay out a list of six products (or product categories, I guess) that I really like. Some of them I don't even ride. So there.
• Animal Bob Bars: I'm kind of bummed Animal is producing a butted version. I'd heard a rumor that they weren't going to be released, and that made me happy. Bob Bars are what you think they are—no-nonsense four-piecers that aren't super wide or super tall or super light. They're not gonna make you the belle of the bike-check ball, but they're not gonna bend if you look at 'em funny, either. (They might, however, bend if you throw your bike in frustration after—well, that's not important right now.) They look good, feel right, and are suited (uncut) for anyone who doesn't have a night job as a power forward or light-bulb changer.
• Steel pegs: Brand doesn't matter. I guess it's cool that various companies are experimenting with various materials—plastic, lexan, 7075 aluminum, titanium, depleted uranium. Variety is, as they say, the spice of life. And if having a never-ending supply of plastic pegs allows you to fulfill your lifetime dream of grinding the entire Great Wall of China, well, good for you. But like Floyd Gondolli, I like simple pleasures. Call me a traditionalist. I like my hamburgers made from beef, my magazines printed on paper and my pegs made from hardened steel.
• Seatpost clamps: Brand immaterial, but a 6mm bolt would be nice. I've written enough on this subject for the time being.
• S&M Slam bars: Like the Bob bars, they were a copy (more or less) of an older product. GT bars, Hutch Woody bars, whatever. And at a time when everyone and their uncle was running four-piecers, S&M produced a two-piece tough enough for street or trails or anything else you wanted to throw at them, and big enough for Sasquatch. Pros who weren't on S&M or Standard ran either Slams or Strips anyway. Now there are 37,000 choices when it comes to 8x28" (or bigger) two-piece bars, but why settle for an imitation when you can still get the original? (Oh noes, they're not 13-butted. Sorry. Do a pushup.)
• The KMC Z-510hx: Half-link chains look cool, I guess. But I never really understood the need to run a chain made up of all half-links when all you really ever need is one. Am I wrong? It's like running a chain made up entirely of master links. And why are they so much more expensive than regular chains? The Z-510hx is plenty strong, and costs all of $13. Sure, it doesn't have those sexy drilled-out plates and pins, but it's also less likely to turn your disaster into a complete disaster. Sometimes simple is better, you know?
• Complete bikes for under a G: I saw somewhere recently that you can get a decent complete for $499 from a rider-owned company. That's crazy. It's reached the point now where you can actually buy a complete FBM in a mall* while you're on your way from Hot Topic ("vintage" Stones shirt) to Lidz (custom New Era). Probably 80 percent** of the riders in the world (including yours truly) could get away with riding a $500 complete, no problem. That number would jump even higher if you could buy more completes with 21" toptubes. Which begs the question of why the aftermarket market is so big, and whether it will STAY so big, but that's for another day.
* I know I saw a link about this on the FBM site, but today I couldn't find it. Must be the senile dementia.
** Generous underestimation. I originally had 95 percent, which is probably closer to the truth.