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Meeting up and catching up

30 09 2016

Beyond all the fancy bikes, accessories and industry news at Interbike, one of the best parts of the whole shindig is who you run into over the course of the show.

This year had some noteworthy interactions for sure.

Upon entering the conference floor, I paused at the Park Tool booth and heard a distinctive voice that had been ingrained in my subconscious from repeated viewings of BMX Plus! magazine’s video, Rad TV. It was none other than BMX photographer extraordinaire, John Ker.

I turned around and spotted him immediately…and the 14-year old version of myself suddenly popped into my head and started going crazy…I had to go talk to him.

john-ker

I’m pretty sure I nerded out the whole conversation but he was extremely gracious and I was glad I got to meet the man behind so many iconic bmx images.

This boded well for the rest of the show.

Making my way through the show I came upon the SE booth.

And again, the 14-version of myself had returned to take over my brain. In the booth alongside SE’s Todd Lyons, were 80s mega-stars: Mike Buff and Stu Thomsen.

buff-lyons-stu-interbike

Holy Cow.

They were signing baseball card-style cards of themselves for anybody that would stop by.

I have to say I’m pretty stoked with this autographed card.

buff-trading-card-interbike

Then a little while later, with the Interbike floorplan map in my face, struggling to find out which way to go next, I ran into Joseph Gallacher.

joseph-gallacher

Joseph is the impresario behind Mill Town Cycle (and heavily involved with the Milton BMX track back home) so it was cool to run into him and get a few minutes to chat…especially since both of us were unaware that we would both be in town for the event.

The next person I ran into was Adam Hendershot.

Adam’s a good friend that has recently moved out west, got himself married and started to race cruiser (he’s been busy).

He mentioned that he would be in town but I wasn’t expecting to see him until the next day.

Turns out he got in early and hit the show right away. Of  course, we end up bumping into each other…again while I was trying to figure out the Interbike floorplan.

We had good chat and then he was off to the SE booth.

adam-and-se-boys

(That’s him in the middle…note the super-stylish Chicken & Waffles Vans shoes.)

If you’ve been following Todd Lyon’s social media feeds, you’re probably already familiar with Adam’s back.

adam-hendershots-back

He reps SE and BMX hard!

Then toward the end of the show, I was checking my phone when I someone that I was hoping to run into, walking up to me…Travis Engel of Commonground Bikes.

travis-engel

I had seen that he was at the Outdoor Demo, but I wasn’t sure if he would be at the show.

He was (obviously).

If you saw the Something new, something dusty post, you can see the type of bike that Travis was already promoting well before S&M created their prototype.

We had a good chat and I’m stoked that we got a chance to meet up.

All in all, a good show in term of random meetups and pleasant surprises.

Fist bumps & high fives to y’all.

 

*As you may have noticed, not all of these photos were taken at Interbike…I think I got too caught up in the conversations to remember to snap pictures of everyone.

 

 

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Collabs, Retros and 26″ Cruisers

29 09 2016

We’ve talked about collabs, Retros and 26″ Cruisers before…but at this year’s Interbike they really came to the fore.

In some cases, certain bikes had a more than one of these things going on at the same time.

Subrosa got on the “collab cab” earlier this year with their collaboration with Slayer.

slayer-subrosa-side-interbike

They had a range of sizes on display in their booth, including a 26″ cruiser. Cool color way, graphics…the whole bit.

slayer-top-tube-interbike

Apparently the Slayer-emblazoned seat is also going to be available as an aftermarket item too…kinda stoked on that.

slayer-seat-interbike

They also had their own 26″ Subrosa Malum on display.

subrosa-malum-interbike

Haro continued their push into the retro market with with a number of updated classics (all 20s) from the 80s “golden era” of freestyle. Unfortunately, no cruisers…with the exception of the 24″ Downtown we featured in yesterday’s post.

haro-sport-interbike

SE, of course, is no stranger to the retro or collaboration game.

The STR-29 brings back the old school era Stu Thomsen STR frame, re-imagined as comfortable riding 29er.

se-str-29-interbike

Likewise, SE ups the collaboration game with another 29er in the form of the Public Enemy Big Ripper.

se-public-enemy-interbike

And the 26″ We The People Avenger…it’s so retro it has a threaded headset!

wtp-avenger-interbike

GT is also dipping their toes into these trends.

GT, with the help of industry icon Ben Ward, brought back the classic Pro Performer…this time as a 26″.

gt-pro-performer-26-interbike

As we discussed in the previous post on the 26″ Pro Performer, this bad boy is tricked out with the iconic Power Series cranks, Mohawk hubs and other goodies.

gt-power-series-cranks-interbike

The rep that I talked to was — as he should be — pretty stoked on it.

In our conversation, he also dropped a line that seems to perfectly encapsulate what seems to be pushing this drive back to the classics:

We’re pulling on the heartstrings to open the purse strings

No doubt about it.

It looks like all these trends have staying power.

We’ve been talking about 26″ cruisers moment in the sun for years now.

More and more companies are also seeing the market respond to the retro-oriented bikes and accessories.

And the collaboration game…that’s just adding a whole other layer to things.

With all these trends starting to intersect at this year’s show, it will be interesting to see how things continue to evolve in the year ahead.





Checking in on the 24s

28 09 2016

The 24s may not get the same love as the 20s in the BMX section of Interbike but there was still plenty to check out this year.

Stolen featured the chrome version of their Saint XLT. The geometry has been tweaked/improved this year so an already great bike has gotten even better.

stolen-saint-xlt-2017-interbike

We The People showcased another favorite, the 24″ Atlas. The added “Wow” factor of the candy apple red paint job for 2017 was in full effect.  Looking good.

wtp-atlas-2017-interbike

Haro also got in the act with their entry-level Downtown 24. Those look-at-me green tires are hard to miss.

haro-downtown-24-2017-interbike

SE showcased the metallic red version of their lineup mainstay, the So Cal Flyer.

se-socal-flyer-2017-interbike

Free Agent featured two 24″ cruisers. The entry-level race cruiser, the Ambush 24.

free-agent-ambush-24-2017-interbike

And their more freestyle-y 24″ Ratio.

free-agent-ratio-24-2017-interbike

By the way, I would love to see the Ratio get a bit more of an update –beyond the cosmetic — in the future.  (Those bars are looking mighty short for one thing.)

Sadly Redline wasn’t at the show (I was hoping to check out the Asset 24 and the updated PL-26) and GT didn’t feature a 24.

But GT did have something else that was super cool to check out.

More on that later.





Cult joins the 26″ movement

27 09 2016

Here’s something I didn’t expect to see at Interbike.

A 26″ cruiser from Cult!

cult-devotion-26-side

As you know, Cult has dabbled in the cruiser scene before: first, with The Simpsons/Cult Duffman Cruiser and then with the Cult Limited Edition Cruiser.

Both bikes were 24s.

So a 26″ was a real surprise from these guys…not to mention it’s full cro-mo construction, a departure from its alloy predecessors.

cult-devotion-26-back

The Cult Devotion 26 also comes with another surprise…a 26″ version of their ever popular Vans collab tire!

And does it ever look cool.

vans-tire-cult-devotion

While I was checking the bike out I also learned that additional colorways for the Vans tires are already in the works (for the aftermarket)…and they will be available in the next couple months.

We’re talking a red stripe.

vans-tire-red

And some super cool whitewalls.

vans-tire-whitewall

I think these tires are going to be pretty popular.

No word yet on the specs of the cruiser but I expect they should be released any day now.

I believe both the cruiser and the tires should be available by November (the cruiser a little sooner).

Bonus info: Word on the street is that a version of these Vans tires might just end up on future SE model cruiser (but you didn’t hear that from me).





Something new, something dusty

26 09 2016

Well, here we are.

After a whirlwind trip to Vegas for Interbike, your intrepid reporter is back with highlights from the annual industry shindig.

You might think I had a list of things I wanted to check out ahead of the big show…and you would be right (I am somewhat professional)… this priority list got blown out of the water when I saw Chris Moeller post a picture of a new 24″ that S&M would be showcasing at the Bootleg Canyon outdoor demo and Interbike later in the week.

As I was in Austin during the outdoor demo, I was a little worried that I might not get to try out the new 24.

When I finally waded through the convention show floor and found the S&M/FitbikeCo booth, it was there…still covered in dust from Bootleg Canyon.

sm-slack-24-right

Strongly reminiscent of what Commonground Bikes is doing, this 24″ features a slack 69 degree headtube, lower-than-typical bottom bracket and a disc brake.

According to Moeller,

A buddy of mine asked us for a 24″ that would ride similar to a 26″ DJ hard tail. He wasn’t into the steep HA and tall BB all BMX 24’s have. So we built an extra for us (and you) to ride

sm-slack-24-left

Now, some companies are a little picky about you handling the displays at Interbike so I wasn’t sure if I should ask to try it out…but then I thought again…this is S&M…if anyone had a blatant disregard for the convention rules it would be them.

So asked.

And they said sure.

So I promptly pulled it out of the stand and took it for a spin at the back of the booth.

sm-slack-24-top-left

I didn’t think I would like it…I typically prefer the steeper head angle and higher bottom brackets of new school 24s…but I kinda dug it.

Returning it to the stand, the rep (his name escapes me) said that they went a little too low on the bottom bracket on this prototype and if they do decide to go into production with this particular frame/style they would probably go a smidge higher.

Pretty interesting.

With S&M jumping on the bandwagon of this style of frame (that Commonground is currently championing) we could be…as I mentioned in the writeup of Sutty’s custom Invictus frame (set up in a similar manner)

on the cusp of a bona fide trend in cruisers with slacker head angles for the dirt-jumping crowd

It might seem a little presumptuous to say that now but with a couple of companies experimenting with/selling this style and a handful of customs  adapting this style…it certainly seems like something is in the air.

 

More Interbike coverage, all this week.

Keep it to this Bat channel.

 

 

 

 





Viva Las Vegas

21 09 2016

Bright light city gonna set my soul / Gonna set my soul on fire / Got a whole lot of bike companies all in one place….

It’s that time again kids, Interbike.

Days filled with this:

interbike-overhead

And nights that (I hope) will be a bit like this:

sinatra-martin

Unfortunately for some, a bit like this.

dino-fall

It’s Vegas after all.

But as always, despite all the  shenanigans; people will be doing some business, having some fun and getting stoked on bicycles.

And that in the end is what it’s all about, isn’t it?

dino-and-jerry-lewis

Keep your eyes on the CR Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for highlights, teasers and other randomness.

The full recap goes down next week.





Deep in the heart of Texas

15 09 2016

If all goes to plan, this post should go live roughly at the same time I arrive in Austin, Texas.

As you may recall from my previous missives, Austin is one of my favorite places to visit.

I’m looking forward to breakfast tacos, BBQ and probably some bike-related fun too.

And if the stars align, maybe even a trip out to Walnut Creek.

Gonna be fun.

In the mean time, here’s a few random Austin images for you to peruse.

CMC‘s Liquid cruiser parked outside of Jackalope.

And Buddy busting out on the Beelzebike.

Given that everything’s bigger in Texas, this might also be a good opportunity to check out our new offshoot site, Big and Tall BMX.