Is it time to show some skin again?

27 11 2008

Whatever happened to the skinwall tire? There was a time when every high-end…scratch that…every tire, high or low-end…had a skinwall sidewall. It was just a given. You took it for granted. Then, without anybody noticing, it seemed every company slowly moved towards the all-black tire. No one seemed to care…actually most probably welcomed it…this all happened during the era when everybody started to run black front wheels and spraypainting everything on their bikes flat black…a nice-looking bike wasn’t important…being hard-core or looking hard-core was all that mattered. But I’ve been looking at some old photos recently and I have gotten a little wistful for the old school skinwall. They really did add that little something to a pair of wheels.

You don’t think so? Just compare this:


It looks okay, right? What am I complaining about?

Now check out this bike..with classic Comp III skinwalls…


Looks a little better doesn’t it? And I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s not because of the number plate!

People, we have to rise up and demand to see some skin again! Bring back the skinwall!

From the cheap seats:

It looks like Colored Tuffs has managed to source some skinwalls for the discerning tire buyer (uhm…that’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever typed). Not a lot of detail but worth a look I guess…

Odyssey seems to have something in the works too with the tanwall tire …No word if a 24″ size will be released.


sunday bloody sunday

19 11 2008


The interweb has been ablaze lately with the  unveiling of the Sunday Model-C prototype.   Jim Cielincki seems to want to pull the BMX cruiser into the modern age…and it looks like he is on the way to doing it…with better frame geometry and the cool colorways Sunday is famous for. If the pictures he’s been posting lately are any indication I think we are in for a treat when these go in to production….I mean just check out the toothhanger above…this isn’t just a converted race cruiser…this thing is ready for some serious street riding.

Jim is solicting feedback on the design of the bike…and judging from the flurry of comments on the Sunday blog — people are not shy about voicing their opinions. Thankfully the tall folks (which full-disclosure — I’m over 6 foot) are weighing in and voting for longish TT lengths…I think people are pretty stoked to finally have the chance to get a cruiser that fits them properly….without having to go the custom built route …and have it stand up to modern riding. Check out the Sunday blog and see what all the fuss is about.

Greg Hill has still got it…

16 11 2008


Back in the day, Greg Hill was the man in Pro BMX Racing. #1 plates, magazine covers, sports cars he lived the BMX dream. Outspoken, fast as the lightening on his lightening zap pads, he was the guy me and thousands of other BMX kids looked up to. He seemed larger than life at the time. Through the years, he left racing and got more involved in the industry side of things. In 1993, Greg and Harry Leary (another old school Pro) had a controversial interview in Ride magazine that basically called out the industry, and Chris Moeller (of S&M bikes) in particular, which made them look out-of-touch and a bit like crotchety old men. Despite this, Greg Hill has (and continues to) do a lot for the sport. He’s still an icon. That’s why I was kinda of stoked to stumble across this little gem on youtube…Greg Hill doing it for GHP and just smoking the 41-45 cruiser class.

And for all you young whippersnappers without any roots, maybe you should read this.

Picture this…

12 11 2008

…sessioning the T-1 ramp on a cruiser. Joe Rich is badass.


The bike that started it all….

10 11 2008

It was the bike that always taunted me.

Back in the day when all the kids in my neighbourhood raced, Hutch Pro Racers were the bike of choice. Chrome-plated 4130 pieces of 1980s state-of-the art BMX technology. If you didn’t have a Hutch bike you were either saving your pennies or trying to convince your parents why buying you a Hutch was the most important thing ever. In those days we didn’t have the internet, the X-games or BMX showing up in commercials…despite this I was a BMX media junkie, camping out at the convenience store waiting for the next issue of BMX Action, BMX Plus!…even buying (ugh!) Super BMX  to get my fix. But reading those magazines was just a sideline to my other addictions…racing and riding my bike. I was on my bike, it seemed like, every waking moment I wasn’t sleeping or at school. When I finally got my Hutch Pro Racer frame, I was stoked beyond belief. My brother and I put it together after I got home from school and I raced it that night. I can’t remember how I placed but I do remember loving that bike…to me it was the best thing ever.  I would go riding after a night of racing…I just liked being on my bike.

After a while I noticed that some people at the races were getting more riding time than I was…the people with cruisers. One kid in my neighborhood had both a 20″ and 24″ Hutch. Too say I was envious, was an understatement. Not only was he racing his age class and open…he got to race the cruiser class. Since I was only racing my age class he was racing 3 times as much as me! I felt robbed!  That Hutch Cruiser was my nemesis…a chrome 4130 cro-mo beacon to the fun I was not having. Cruisers were another chance to race, to have even more time on my bike. I think at that point the seed was planted that I would one day get a cruiser.  Through the years I got into freestyle and jumping and kind of pushed the idea of riding a cruiser out of mind….cruisers weren’t made for serious riding, I thought/rationalized to myself.

As fate would have it though I would soon get hit hard by the cruiser bug again. Finding myself in Chatham (Ontario) one thanksgiving weekend for a family thanksgiving dinner I convinced my girlfriend to check out the local track. I had thought there would be race but it turned out that just a few people were practicing. The track director offered me a loaner bike (20″ Redline) to ride and I took her up on her offer. It was a bit small for me but good enough to get the job done. I was chatting to a local between laps and he offered to let me try his Haro Nyquist 24. I took him up on his offer and took it for a spin. It was so comfortable…and fast. I could not believe how good it felt. I was hooked. From now on, I was going to go big wheeled, or go home!

Riders ready, watch the lights

7 11 2008

Moto 1, Lane 1