Top 4 Cruiser news stories of 2016

31 12 2016

Here we are…at the end of 2016.

A bunch of stuff happened this year in the cruiser world and while I was planning on doing a standard “Top Ten”…it seemed like four key items stood out to me the most out of all the possible ones that I could highlight.

So, without further ado, the top four cruiser news stories of 2016:

4.  The 22″/OS20 wheel size gained some serious momentum this year.

More complete bike, frame/fork, wheel and tire choices made this a more viable choice for many riders to try. Yes, 22s are more sized-up 20s than small cruisers…but there’s often quite a bit of crossover in riders that are interested in 22s and 24s.

With that being said, I’ve been posting about the 22″ phenomenon as far back as 2010 but given that Cruiser Revolution is a cruiser-focused site, I launched Big & Tall BMX in June to do a better job covering both the growing 22″ scene and 20s that are set up for tall riders. Expect to see more stuff there (on B&T) on this topic in 2017.

3. Collabs, Retros and 26″ Cruisers…this year these trends collided.

These trends were already starting to show legs…but this year, we saw two to three of these trends showing up on the same bike! This was clearly in evidence at this year’s Interbike, as well as throughout the year. The Shadow Subrosa collab was one, GT’s 26″ Pro Performer, the SE/Public Enemy Big Ripper…the list goes on.

2. The mellow head angle/disc brake-equipped 24.

Combining the mellow handling of a 26″ dirt jumper with the “flickability” (is that a word?) of a 24, we saw versions of this throughout 2016.  Graham Stanley’s custom Curtis was the first one we saw in 2016, followed by Roy Sutton’s custom Invictus. Later we found out that an industry icon, Harold “McGoo” McGruther, had bought into the concept via Commonground Bikes. Then we learned even S&M Bikes had developed a version…which they debuted at Interbike.

sm-mellow-24

1. Yess introduces a belt drive cruiser…and wins a cruiser title with it!

Yess debuted a belt drive cruiser in April and it definitely caught our attention. Belt drives had been attempted in the past…but were quickly discarded (due to middling success) for more conventional drive trains. This time, it seemed a more robust version had been developed. But like most “innovations”, the best way to judge it’s success is out in the field.

Well, Yess did it in the most convincing way possible. Yess-sponsored rider Drew Motley rode a belt drive-equipped cruiser all the way to the USA BMX #1 Cruiser title at The Grands! This was the first time a non-chain bike had taken the title. Hot damn.

 

 

Advertisements




Merry Christmas!

24 12 2016

Hope y’all have a great holiday…and maybe a few new bike parts under the tree!

See you in a couple days.

christmas-bmx

 

 





Mongoose makes a racing comeback

22 12 2016

After a long hiatus from the race scene, Mongoose is making a bit of a comeback.

According to the company, they saw a need for more affordable, race-ready complete bikes and developed the new Title series of bikes to fill that void.

In terms of affordability, they definitely hit the mark.

The Mongoose Title Pro 24 is a steal at $250 (US).

mongoose-title-24

Especially for a bike that features a 6061 Aluminum frame (with euro bb), full cro-mo 3-piece cranks, and Arisun tires.

So how does the bike cost so little?

When you peruse the spec sheet you can quickly see where the cost savings came in to play. The forks and bars are hi-ten steel.

Not ideal, but not out of line for an entry-level bike either.

I could see someone picking one of these up as an inexpensive starter bike…and if they watch the fence line at the local track for some lightly used forks and bars, they could get this bike upgraded for just a little more cash.

So what are the specs?

  • Head Angle: 73 degrees
  • Seat Angle: 71 degrees
  • Top tube length: 21.7
  • Chainstay:  15.6″
  • Bottom bracket: 11.8″

All and all, not too shabby for an entry-level race bike.

Available at mongoose.com and Amazon.





Last minute gift ideas

20 12 2016

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably starting your Christmas shopping right about now…and freaking out.

Unfortunately, it seems to happen to me every year.

Now, if you’re buying something for a fellow rider, want a few suggestions for your family…or maybe you’ve come in to some early holiday cash (yeah!), I’ve got a couple suggestions for you.

(Of course, because it’s so late in the game I suggest opting for the expedited shipping if you’re hoping to get them in time for Christmas.)

 

Ride of my life by Mat Hoffman with Mark Lewman.

A classic. Mat Hoffman, the Stuntman’s Stuntman needs no introduction. And Mark Lewman, one of the OG players from Freestylin’ magazine’s “Master Cluster”, makes sure the words flow. Can’t go wrong with this book…multiple eras of freestyle and non-stop radness and hijinks. Wish I could find my copy. Maybe I’ll buy another.

mat-hoffman-ride-of-my-life

 

Ray’s: The Inspirational Story of the World’s First Mountain Bike Park by Johnathon Allen and Ray Petro

Ray Petro’s story of turning his life of alcohol and drug abuse around to go on to build the world’s first indoor mountain bike park in Cleveland is inspiring, reads like a movie, and will make you even more stoked about one of my favorite places to ride. Definitely worth checking out.

rays-mtb-book

 

Rad Rides: The Best BMX Bikes of All Time by Gavin Lucas and Stuart Robinson.

Get all bike-nerdy over the holidays…This book covers multiple eras and includes details on both the bikes and the collectors. Fun to flip through and check out all the cool builds.

rad-rides

 

Edwin grips by Animal. Probably my favorite grip. Super comfortable. Get some.

edwin-grips

 

Cruiser Revolution shirt.

Upgrade your look already. New year, new threads.

 

t-shirt-model(This one will probably arrive after the holidays…but hey, it’ll give you something to look forward to, right?)





How Motley bested comp with a Belt Drive

12 12 2016

Paul Tolme of the Belted Blog caught up with USA BMX’s Cruiser Champ recently to talk to him about his “off the chain” win on his Gates Carbon Drive-equipped Yess cruiser.

Here’s a look at his winning main:

As the announcer says, Drew Motley had to win his main to take the title.

And he got it done…on a bike without a chain.

Switching teams, switching drivetrains

Joining the Yess team this season offered Motley the opportunity to ride bikes kitted out with the Gates Carbon Drive system.

And if his Grands performance is any indication, they’ve made a difference.

As Motley tells Tolme in the Belted Blog:

“I really, really liked it immediately…It’s faster. I can feel it. Pedal efficiency is a huge deal in BMX, and the belt just felt more efficient and easier to pedal and faster.”

drew-motley-usabmxAnd Motley is not the only cruiser rider to find success with a belt drive Yess Cruiser.

Jean-Marc Durviaux won the Belgian National Title in the Cruiser 40+ category on one earlier this year.

According to Durviaux (in the Belted Blog) the main advantage is out of the gate:

“I most sense the Carbon Drive as an advantage at the acceleration stage at the start…The first three pedal strokes provide a more instant response.”

With titles starting to stack up…are more riders going to start looking to a belt drive for an added edge on the competition?

I think more than a few might be tempted.

Now if Gates can get some more companies to buy into this this type of drivetrain…well, then I think things will get very interesting.

 

(Pic: USABMX)





BMX track bans clips, puts in flat last turn

10 12 2016

In a move befitting its name, Rebel BMX in West Monroe, LA, has decided to ban clips for all riders —including Pros–effective January 1, 2017.

And to add a little more “back in the day” vibe to the above announcement, the track has also added in a flat last turn.

A bold move indeed.

rebel-bmx

What’s even more interesting is that USA BMX pulled an already scheduled Gold Cup race and any State Championship Races from the track as result of the clip ban.

Rebel BMX is now only allowed to run single-point races.

But Rebel BMX is sticking to their guns…I mean, flat pedals.

According to Brad Hallin of USA BMX:

We could not, however, allow that for higher-level events, which might draw unsuspecting out-of-towners.

Seems a bit of a heavy-handed decision by USA BMX in my view.

It’s a known fact that many tracks require full-face helmets…even though USA BMX allows — according to the rule book — open-face helmets.

What happens to an out-of-towner that shows up with a Pro-Tec in tow in that case? That would be a much bigger inconvenience.

And I highly doubt riders are driving/travelling to the race in their SPD shoes.

Furthermore, an enterprising vendor would likely have a table full of inexpensive PC pedals for just this type of eventuality.

Heck, they should hype a flat pedal-only Gold Cup and see what happens!

You might actually draw back some people back to the race scene.