Thursday, May 21, 2009

Well I Otter...

I think I've finally figured it out.

Not life or anything. Lord no. No clue what that's all about. The way I figure it, you probably do get total consciousness when you die (everyone, not just Carl Spackler), but, um, then you're dead. A lot of good it does you then. Thanks, Lama.

No, I'm talking about figuring out why normally sane companies like Odyssey insist on making their products in more and more ridiculous colors. (Although those pink rims will come in handy when I decide to turn my bike into a Woody Itson signature replica.)

It's all about turning your bike into a giant Otter Pop. What the hell, right? After all, it is summer. Almost.


As an old guy in BMX myself (well, around the corner from BMX, at least), I like to keep up with the other old guys when I can. You know, support the other Geritol chuggers. So here's two things that you probably already know about:

• Scott Towne is one of those "vintage BMX guys" who happens to also still shred. He might have an affinity for old bikes, but he's not one of those lunatics who thinks an '88 Haro Sport was the pinnacle of BMX technology. He's got a rather long interview on In The Gnar.

• Back in the day when kids were mack daddies, FREESTYLIN' mag was the only place to go to get your BMX fix. No, really, it was. There was no Props, no Vital BMX, hell, no internet. A couple years back, some of the bigger names from FREESTYLIN' got together with some people from Nike SB (sigh) to put out a commemorative book about those days. Right now most of them are either on eBay or buried in some sneaker boutique owner's closet. (Luckily, the entire thing is online here.) Well, one of the smaller names from those days, Steve "White Bear" Emig, didn't get invited to the party. So he started a blog to tell his own side of the FREESTYLIN' story, where he's already offended Andy Jenkins and written an entire entry about Windy Osborn's gigantic tits. If you were raised on FREESTYLIN' (as I was), this is a must-bookmark: FREESTYLIN' Mag Tales.


barack obama said...

those plegs are pretty bad looking. the current ones for sure have some problems. no offense or anything, G, but yea...these pegs didnt catch on like the next pivotal seats for a reason, because they wear away in about .2 and i have even witnessed a few shatter off like the old kink pegs with bad heat treating. that is just dangerous! if these newer versions fix that problem, why not make them in the color that will!? I have a few kids from my neck of the woods who tried plegs, and may even be interested in seeing if these new dirty bong colored ones do last longer. but i can promise you that i wouldnt sell one pair at my store unless it was black. black is the new black, and black is still the same old black. quit making so much damn colors!!

it just seems like G-sport george keeps trying to come up with solutions to problems that do not exist. ratchet hub is ok....but it did the same thing the hyped up plegs did...not sell at my bike shop. its kinda heavy and who really rides a 10t driver anymore? if you were a small company making parts for yourself and your friends then by all means make whatever crazy sizes you want. not sure about everywhere else in the country, but i only sell 9t drivers in my shop because thats what the kids ask for.

thank goodness that i live in the real world and not via comments on message boards (pretty hypcritacal to say that in a blog post i know...but take it!). dont believe everything you read on the internet kids...get out there and learn it the same way bmxers have been learning shit for ages. ride your bike. if it aint broke dont fix it.

Anonymous said...

@ barack obama

I wanted to say that!

gsport george said...

The coloured products are a real issue for everyone, we have to make sure that adding colour to things like plastic doesnt change the properties adversely, we also have to think about what ratios to order them in and carry the stock. It is sod's law that one colour will sell out super-fast and others will hang around like a bad smell. So we dont like them, distributors would rather carry just one option of everything and shops too... however, people get excited by the colours, and they will even buy inferior products to get the colour they want. NOT offering some colours is commercial suicide... And no one is immune, when we get samples in new colours they do look fresh and exciting and we get into the idea as much as anyone...
The fact is that coloured parts ARE popular, and you cant on the one hand demand 9tooth drivers and at the same time complain about colours... In your own words "...because thats what the kids ask for." and not just "kids"..

In the case of the Plegs the new sleeves are not JUST new colours. We DID have problems with a very small number of the black ones, an entire batch of white was scrapped without ever being sold and we had to do an enormous amount of testing as part of the QC process, and STILL a few bad ones slipped through because you simply CANT test every one.

The new clear versions use a different mix and they are much harder, tougher and longer lasting INHERANTLY, however there is another advantage to them being clear, you can SEE if there is a problem, so you CAN QC much more comprehensively.

The few black Plegs which broke prematurely ALL had problems with air bubbles, with the clear material you can SEE this and reject them as soon as they pop out of the machine.

The Ratchet hub is 20ounces, that is very much typical for a 14mm cassette hub and lighter than many. (19-21 ounces on the whole).

9 tooth drivers are on the way.

Also on the way are 3/8" bolted aluminium axles that put the weight on a par with even the very lightest cassettes and STILL carry a lifetime warranty against bending.

Jake said...

i run a 10t because i run a 30 and chain sizing is easy. not everyone runs a 9t anyway.

Russ said...

I still run a 10t, too.

dayday said...

I started reading that Freestylin mag tales a while ago, man...pure comedy. I remember that guy from back in the day too, I can see why he didnt fit in back then, but I do enjoy his stories, I hope he keeps it up.

digahole said...

I've got chainstay brakes and even with a tight chain, i get chain-slap using a 9t driver - so I just got meself a shiny new 10t ratchet - problem solved.

In regards to the new plegs: I don't know about over there, but in Australia it seems like clear shit is the new black.

Every second person at my local rides some strange translucent variant of the twisted PCs. And as soon as those clear Plegs dropped there were kids in front of computers in dark rooms plotting their next Pleg / PC colour combos.

I ran the first Plegs and they were pretty soft I got to say. But the most disappointing thing was the silent grinds. It just aint the same.

Those ali bolts for the ratchet - I assume there will be a "pegless riders only" tag attached?

TastyPenis said...

I just wanted to say that...

barack obama you're dildiot!

Anonymous said...

"dont believe everything you read on the internet kids..."

They can start disbelieving with YOUR post, since 3/4 of your statement is bullshit.

gsport george said...

Digahole; the bolts will not be aluminium, the 20mm centre axle will be. Just like the Marmoset and Monkey hubs system it is DEFINITELY good with pegs and will still carry a lifetime warranty against bending or snapping.

I hope that helps clarify.


Just a rider said...

Hey George,

Is it true Odyssey and G-Sport are stopping producion of 48 hole rims completely? I heard rumours in the Internet this is true.

Please tell me this isn't true, George. I love Odyssey and G-Sport but if they do that, I think I'm going to die.

bman said...

plegs. i dont know. you can do amazing things wigth plastics nowadays. fairly soon we'll all be enjoying FTTH internet and downloading gigs of porn in a matter of seconds if they get plastic fibres working.

but for pegs. half the reason i like grinding is its metal on metal. yeah, you can grind those shiny metal rails with plegs, which is cool. all the best rail location near me have shiny nonsliding rails. but then again youll never get sparks flying off a plastic peg grind.

As to the ratchet. that thing fuckin rules. when i get some monies, thats first thing on the list after a custom frame. barack obama is chattin shit.

9t just makes it better. can keep my 30-9 gearing. woot!

Stephen said...

The Freestylin' Mag tales are fucking awesome and should be required reading once you decided to start riding. I skated all through high school, but since I spent most of my time with riders, I read Freestylin' and then Go. I loved it and that fostered the BMX demon in me even more.

There is a little part of me that wants that Ratchet Hub. Much like Russ's penis when the Mets win, this part is growing.

Stephen said...

Name drop...

I called Bobby Fisher to tell him about Steve Emig's blog, particularly the part about Windy Osborn, and his reaction was priceless...

"Man, Windy was hot. Actually, I am not sure if she was really hot or not, but everyone seemed to think she was, so she was hot to me. I always imagined her shooting photos with a bikini and a hip pack on."

Anonymous said...

is bobby still riding? i loved my shaman.

freestylin mag tales rules. best blog.

Anonymous said...

I love all the people calling "barack obama" an idiot. He actually makes a living selling this shit, but you goons know more than him. In reality what sells is a very regional thing in every part of the world. So I would imagine that he has a better understanding of what sells in his shop than you kooks.

we will barack you! said...

anonymous has my back!

that comment wasnt a hate filled bash at g-sport or george himself. i actually admire his internet presence and it seems like he addresses issues quite quickly on multiple sites across the web, so kudos to that.

and as anonymous above pointed out..bmx is very regional. if you go to the midwest you see standard, if you go to the east coast you see kink/fbm, if you go to west coast you see s&m and fit. that is not exactly how it is everywhere i know, but seems to be pretty true from my travels.

it just seems to me that odyssey/sunday/gsport have a pretty big following of younger riders. younger kids are more impressionable, that is fact. so in turn i get a lot of younger kids who come into my shop that think everything odyssey/gsport/sunday makes is far superior to any other part on the market. not saying they dont make quality parts, but i will go as far as saying it is no more higher quality than any other of your run of the mill bmx company.

make all the clear/colored/invisable/good/bad/whatever parts you want. that is a statement to all companies. but a message from the bike shop world in our neck of the woods....trails are cool again, black is cool again, raw is cool again. nobody wants anything to do with any sort of bright or crazy colored part. we have 2 kids left like that here.

southern cali must be a whole other world of bmx....

SpaceBagels said...

Barack Obama you're talking shit, AGAIN.

Really go back to your shop and keep selling "stuff that sells" while being ignorant of how a well thought out, engineered, designed and tested part and most of all FUNCTIONAL part is supposed to be.

Again you missed the whole point of them being clear and it has been clearly explained by G. Being ignorant is one thing, and having clearly a lack of comprehension skill is another.

I'm not on their payroll, in fact I work for another bike company, shit, I really hope I get the chance to work with Odyssey one day. But one thing is certain, their parts ARE well designed and functional, there's no denying that.

Oh, another thing. You bitched about the importance of pegs being black, black is the new black or whateverfuck your inane reasoning was to justify running having black colored pegs more than anything.

If you haven't noticed, PEGS ARE FOR GRINDING, NOT FOR LOOKING. Obviously you clearly have no clue what BMX is REALLY about and only care about your sales more than anything else ignoring the fact that a well designed, thought out product with safety features is what makes riders keep buying them.

But NO. You keep bitching about how it would profit you MORE if plegs could be made in black, thus less durable and safe to the riders you are going to sell them.

Once again, I need to paraphrase,

Jammin Salmon said...

I thought that everyone had long since figured out the chain and bearing problems associated with 9T drivers. I saw the light when my 9T Odyssey wasn't working, called them, and was lucky enough to have Nuno to send me a 10T. Thanks, N. Problem solved - and judging from its popularity among the other Atlanta area riders, I really thought that 28/10 was the most common ratio these days.

Also, the FREESTYLIN' blog is awesome.

the mirror said...

Digahole; the bolts will be aluminium, the 20mm centre axle will not. Just like the Marmoset and Monkey hubs system it is NOT DEFINITELY good with pegs and will still NOT carry a lifetime warranty against bending or snapping.

I hope that doesn't help clarify.

the mirror

Chain Slap said...

"Again you missed the whole point of them being clear and it has been clearly explained by G. Being ignorant is one thing, and having clearly a lack of comprehension skill is another."

Am I the only one 'clearly' noticing the subtle pun in there?

BTW the utilitarian value of rear 9ts depends on the level of your chainstay related to the axle slot.

If it's welded a little above or below the axle level, yes, you'll get the odd 'chain slap'.

But in all fairness 9t feels like shit to me, most likely the chain isn't as engaged as if it was like on a 10t. 10t is definitely utilitarian.

Chain Slap said...

Also type of bearings. Ball bearings with 9t drivers are shit. Needles people... needles...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the stoke on my blog. I'll try to live up to the hype. Well,no I won't, I'll just keep writing the stuff that I think needs to be said. And for Stephen, I worked at Vision for a while BITD, the skate tales blog will come...
Steve Emig/The White Bear

Oh yeah, I'm listening to the "DIY or Die" video on You Tube right now, check it out.