Should BMX reduce its carbon footprint?

30 11 2011

If you caught the footage from the ABA Grandnationals this past weekend, you no doubt caught AA Pro Denzel Stein‘s scary crash caused by his carbon forks snapping.

Truth be told, I’ve never really been a fan of carbon forks and things like this are not making me any more comfortable.

Die-hard carbon fork fans claim that carbon is stronger than chromoly but you never seem to see this level of catastrophic failure with a steel fork.

And the lightness argument? The gap between a good-quality chromoly race fork and a carbon fork is so small these days it hardly seems worth it from a safety and price perspective (carbon forks are generally the more expensive than other types of forks).

Word on the street is that some how an insert/sleeve to strengthen the steer tube was  not installed. That’s all well and good but if this kind of thing gets overlooked on a top pro’s bike…how many average joes are riding similar setups (without the insert/sleeve)? Seriously, it’s not worth the risk.

Ironically up until this year, Denzel was often seen running chromoly S&M forks on his factory Redline whip.

Did he make the switch due to pressure from his sponsor? Or maybe to cash in on co-sponsorship money? I wonder if he’s rethinking his decision and whether it was worth it.

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Movember: bringing back the BMX ‘stache

24 11 2011

BMX has lost a lot of things over the years.

Knobby tires.

Padsets.

The Jofa mouth guard.

But you know what else BMX has lost?  The BMX moustache.

That’s right. There was a time when race bikes were chromoly and BMX racers rocked ‘staches.

Back in the day, the legend Perry “PK Ripper” Kramer, intimidated his competition and broke the hearts the hearts of trophy girls everywhere with his moustachioed swagger.

Later, Hollywood Mike Miranda would bring his All-American moustache to the silver screen with memorable scenes in the movie Rad (“Hollywood Mike Miranda makes his second dramatic exit of the day”)

Thankfully, the Movember fundraiser is in full swing and guys everywhere are growing  moustaches to raise awareness and funds for men’s health.  I’ve joined the cause and I’m donating my upper lip to the cause for the 30 days.

My moustache has already caused a few sideways glances at work, and some outright laughter when I’ve gone riding at the trails but it’s all for a good cause, to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer. Which as many of you know, affected one of the icons of our sport, Stu Thomsen, in recent years.

If you’d like to support me in raising funds for this great cause (and bring a little moustachioed swagger back to BMX) you can donate to my campaign via this link:  http://mobro.co/EdVandermolen.

Any support would be greatly appreciated.  (Be sure to check out the Ron Burgundy and Tom Selleck tomfoolery on my Movember page as well.)





3 years and counting…still going strong

22 11 2011

Can you believe it?

Cruiser Revolution hit the three-year mark this month.

Three great years of talking 24″ BMX.

Whether it’s sharing stories of guys getting back into BMX on a 24inch bike, checking out the latest bikes and parts, finding out what other riders are doing or just the random goofiness that pops up here from time to time…it’s great to be on this ride with you.

They say that time flies when you’re having fun and I guess it’s true in this case.

Thanks to everyone for their support.

I really appreciate all the great comments, discussion and general awesomeness from all the great people I’ve gotten to know through this blog.

Cheers to you.

Can’t wait to see what’s in store for the year ahead.





New InDust Cuatro 24 looks interesting

21 11 2011

Just spotted this in a Ridemonkey thread tonight….CMC‘s new InDust Cuatro 24 prototype build.

Made by Stout Bikes in Texas, and billed as “a 24 inch BMX frame with aggressive geometry built for the aggressive rider”, this looks like one serious shredding machine.

Frame specs (according to the Ridemonkey thread, may not be final):

  • 22 3/8″ top tube
  • 14 3/8″ chain stay (slammed)
  • 13″ (approx.) bottom bracket
  • 74-74.5 degree head angle (not confirmed)
  • 4130 chromoly

Not sure what the plans are for a production run of these but I’m definitely interested in hearing more about this frame.

If you want to find out more about the InDust Cuarto, check out the InDust site or the related Ridemonkey thread.





Ray’s MTB rocks!

17 11 2011

I feel like I’m a little late to the party but I finally made it out to Cleveland, Ohio last weekend to ride the world-famous Ray’s MTB bike park.

I have to tell you it lived up to the hype.

The park truly has something for everyone: jumps, skatepark-style stuff, cross-country…you name it.

Scott Steinbrick, a Ray’s local, was cool enough to meet up with me on Saturday for a session at the park. After a quick tour of what the park all had to offer, it was time for some riding.

Hitting the Red Bull turn...one of the first things you see when you enter Ray's

I think I ended up riding for close to 4 hours and there’s still plenty of stuff I wish I could have spent more time on. There is so much to see and ride.  On top of that, the staff was awesome…very helpful and while seemingly always busy, never reluctant to answer a question or provide assistance.

Exiting the Red Bull turn at warp speed

I want to give a shout out to Scott for showing me around and locals Joe, Brad and Jeff* for being so cool to chat and ride with (and being so spot on with suggestions for places to check out on Saturday night!)

A wall in one of the lounge areas is covered with magazine spreads featuring Ray's

Ray’s MTB is  a bike park you definitely want to check out. (I’m already trying to figure out a time when I can go back!) And while I didn’t have the foresight to pack a video camera, the good folks at Vital MTB  recently posted a video of the Ray’s season opener that provides a real good feel for what’s like to ride at Ray’s. Check it out.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

*I hope I got everyone’s names right…





Tested: Immortis Bucket Bars

8 11 2011

I received a pair of Immortis Bike Company’s 4-piece Bucket Bars a while back and for a variety of reasons wasn’t able to ride them right away.

When I finally got them on my bike to give them a test drive, I was pretty stoked. These are some cool looking handlebars!  From the distinctive 4-piece design to the heavy metal looking font on the cross-bar sticker, they have a look all their own.

Immortis Bucket Bars have a distinctive 4-piece design

In fact, right after installing them I asked my girlfriend, “How do they look?”  She glanced over and simply said, “Metal”. (She may have even flashed the horns at that point…).  They do kind of remind me a Flying V guitar for some reason so maybe she’s on to something.

I took them out for a spin and immediately noticed the flatter sweep to the bars in comparison to other bars I’ve ridden lately.  It took a few minutes to get used to but after a few minutes I didn’t notice it all.

Out on the trails

A couple days later, I took them out for a session at the Don Valley trails. The bars come stock at a cut-to-fit width of 32″. I typically run 28″ wide bars so I cut them down to that width to better compare them with other bars I’ve tried.

The bars felt great.  They had a solid feel and were easy to get used to. It didn’t take long before I was carving turns at high speed and hitting all my favorite lines in the jumps and rollers.

Slicing through a high-speed turn was a cinch with the Bucket Bars

If you’re looking for high-quality, cool looking bars that are made in the USA…these are definitely handlebars that you should check out.

Technical specs:

  • Rise: 6″
  • Backsweep 10 degrees
  • Upsweep: 2.5 degrees
  • Material:  Cro-mo

(4″ and 8″ rise versions are also available.)

For more on information on Immortis and their line of handlebars, check out their website at www.immortisbmx.com.

Special thanks to Michael Moran for shooting the photos.





A brake cable for weight weenies

2 11 2011

Just when you thought there’s nothing left on your bike that can be made lighter, Odyssey has gone out and developed a lighter brake cable.

That’s right, kids.

Wait.

Kids don’t ride brakes these days.

Anyway, back to what I was saying.

Odyssey has come out with a brake cable, called the Race Linear Slic Kable,  that’s 37% lighter than other brake cables.

How you ask? They’ve taken their popular Linear Slic Kable housing and replaced the steel linear wire with an aluminum one.

I’m extremely curious to see how durable these cables are.

Will they stand up? It’s hard to say right now…they’re still pretty new. But I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough, especially when weight-conscious racers get wind of these.

I do like the added trick factor of the color-coated inner wires and ball ends though (something not available on the regular Linear Kables).

For more on the Race Race Linear Slic Kable, check out the Odyssey Daily Word on it.