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Ted Emmer resurfaces, ready to ride

12 10 2019

Ted Emmer’s been called a freestyle pioneer (by me and this blog at least) ever since he made his imprint on the world of freestyle and skatepark riding with his iconic picture in the first issue of Freestylin’ back in the day.

For me, that picture really stood out…for many reasons.

Ted Emmer

First off, he’s competing in a skatepark competition on a 24″ cruiser…and we’re not talking a new school 24…he’s essentially on a converted race cruiser.

Second, those wheels! Custom 71(!) spoke Z-rims….48-spoke wheels hadn’t even become a thing yet at this point and ol’ Ted Emmer is jumping all the way up to 71 spokes (the 72nd spoke wouldn’t work because of the valve stem being in the way, if memory serves).

But what happened to Ted Emmer since that iconic photo?

Sure, we gave him some love with the occasional ThursdayThrowback or FridayFlashback ….but I always wondered what became of this trailblazer.

Imagine my surprise, when I got a message from Mr. Emmer himself earlier this week that simply said,

“I restored a bike you might be interested in”

(In my head) <Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?>

(Me)”The bike….from bitd?”

“Indeed”

Then the pictures came.

Sure enough, there was the iconic 24, along with the OG riding gear.

 

Pretty awesome….but I had to ask…what happened to the custom Z-rims?

Turns out they got stolen out of a storage locker….which is heartbreaking from a historical/BMX Nerd perspective. (However, Ted says he’ll whip up another set if he can get a hold of another set of 24″ Z-rims.). So the mags are on there now.

So what’s Ted been up to?

Ted’s is a drummer and rocked out in Hollywood during the hair metal years.

Fast forward to  the (almost) present and a series of events led him to getting the bike back together and riding.

He lost his wife a few years ago which got him thinking about reconnecting with biking. Then, a designer he was working with learning about his BMX roots and together they started digging through storage and decided to bring some of his stuff back to life. (The Wall to Wall Freestyle book was a nudge too). Then the restoration began and you can see the final results.

 

Ted’s now 54 and says “he’s starting from scratch again” with his riding. He’s been riding a small skatepark near his place to get his feet wet.

He’s already got some war wounds to show for his efforts. (see above)

Next on the agenda, a new helmet and a bigger park.

And after that?

Ted’s says his goal is “A sick photo with me, a bike, and sky.”

I like where this is going.

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The kids are alright in Boston

21 07 2019

A recent Boston Globe article’s headline says it all,

Since I got my bike, I’ve stopped playing Fortnite“.

Kids are rediscovering how fun bikes can be, cruising with their friends and popping wheelies…and they’re doing it all on cruisers.

As the Boston Globe article sees it,

It is their vehicle, their tool for youthful freedom, the glittery thing that for whatever reason kids have latched onto. If they don’t have one, they pine for it, falling asleep at night dreaming of the glorious day they, too, will be able to go cruising.

Not only that, the allure of a youthful freedom machine has them putting away the Fortnite and motivating them to get out and hustle to get their rides. The article describes the effort two brothers went to to get their riders:

….hustling for more than a year to get the bikes. They saved the money they got for birthdays and communions. They spent four days painting a porch. Nathan [one of the brothers] got straight A’s on his report card.

It almost brings a tear to your eye….kids getting stoked on bikes and getting them motivated to work for what they want.

If that’s not impressive enough on its own (which it is, really)…the article also mentions that kids are hanging out at the bike shop shopping for new grips and tires because “no one wants to run stock”.

Could this new wave of kids getting stoked on bikes bring back BMX parts back to the local bike shop? If so, they’ve upped the ante on their “alrightness” to another level….

 

Pic: Boston Globe





Sunday Bikes gets high

4 06 2019

Just when you think you’ve seen it all…you see this….a 29″ Cruiser from Sunday Bikes.

Dubbed the “High C”, which I assume is nod to their iconic Model-C cruiser and/or a discontinued orange-flavored drink at McDonald’s, this kinda took me by surprise when I first spotted it on the weekend.

For a “core brand” who, despite frequent pleas from the 22″ BMX community, has refused to even entertain offering even a 22″ frame, fork or wheels…to suddenly offer a 29er seems to be a curious move.

I mean, Sunday’s sister (brother?) brand, Fairdale offers bikes that seem more in this category…wouldn’t it make more sense to make this the “Tall Taj“?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great looking bike….and the full cro-mo frame, fork and handlebars are much appreciated…it’s just seems like the marketing/branding (badging?) of it seems a bit off.

For those of you sweating this new 29er, here’s the frame specs:

  • TOP TUBE LENGTH: 23.5″ TT
  • HEAD TUBE ANGLE: 71°
  • SEAT TUBE ANGLE: 71°
  • CHAIN STAY LENGTH: 17.6-17.85”
  • BOTTOM BRACKET DROP: 2.5″
  • SEAT TUBE LENGTH: 17”

In other news, Sunday also dropped sneak peeks of the 2020 colorways of their 24″ Model-C Completes.

Let me tell you, I really dig this Toothpaste colorway.

In addition, to the Toothpaste colorway, they are also offering a classic chrome option:

Both super nice in the looks department….however…..they are still not full cro-mo!!

This is particularly striking when you have these two adjacent to the High C (above) that is 100% Cro-mo (where it counts).

Chances are a Model C is going to see more hard riding then the High C so I’m at a bit of a loss to why Sunday would opt for full cro-mo in the 29er and not the 24.

Maybe I’ll find the answer in High Times.

 





Jim C hits send during pumptrack session

17 05 2019

A new pumptrack went up in the outer harbor of Buffalo, NY and by the looks of things it seems to have Jim Cielencki’s seal of approval.

Peep Jim’s smile as he carves through the berm/bowl portion.

And how about this pic?

Jim is just sending it.

Looks like a road trip to Buffalo might be in order.

 

All pics by Nate Peracciny via Jim’s Insta





24″ S&M Steel Panther set to roar

15 05 2019

The long anticipated 24″ S&M Panther is getting ready to roar.

Word on the street has these being set to go some time this month

Gloss Black, Yellow, and Trans Red are the color options. Size-wise, you’re looking at 21.5 or 22″ top tube version.

Here’s the full run down on the geometry:

  • TOP TUBE: 21.5″,22″
  • REAR STAY: 15.25″-16.25″
  • HEAD TUBE ANGLE: 73°
  • SEAT TUBE ANGLE: 70.5°
  • BOTTOM BRACKET HEIGHT: 12″
  • STANDOVER HEIGHT 9″

Additional Specs:

  • HEAD TUBE: Integrated (45°/45°, 41.8mm)
  • SEAT POST SIZE: 27.2mm
  • BOTTOM BRACKET STYLE: 68mm Euro
  • BRAKE MOUNTS: V Brake
  • DROPOUTS: 3/8″ Slot, Built In Tensioner
  • TUBE SET: Butted Thermal-X

Hit up your local dealer if you’re ready to step up to the Steel Panther. Folks like Cheap Goods are already taking pre-orders.

*Frame not exactly as shown in picture





Is chrome done?

15 03 2019

S&M Bikes owner Chris Moeller may have just sounded the death knell for chrome bmx bikes.

A staple of the bmx scene for decades, a chrome frame was de rigueur for BMX riders in the 80s and remained popular for many right up until the present day.

But with more stringent environmental regulations hitting many chrome shops it’s getting harder and harder to make the business case with continuing to offer chrome bike parts.

This is especially true in California where S&M Bikes is located.

Moeller dropped the bomb on his Instagram last night:

More bad news from the chrome shop. As of April 1 pricing is going up again, and it’s way up this time…50% increase on chrome frames. Get your American made chrome @sandmbmx and @fitbikeco parts ASAP because we’ll probably phase chrome out after March.

Granted, some companies that source from overseas may be able to make the numbers work for a little longer….but word on the street is that regulations are tightening up all over these days.

What does that mean then in the end?

Chrome parts are going to get rarer, what will be available will get more expensive….and if you have plans to get some chrome parts, you better jump on it like right now!





When 29 inches is just not enough

5 03 2019

With so many companies jumping on the 29er bandwagon, it’s easy to see that the big wheel cruiser trend is showing no signs of slowing down.

But if you thought 29″ wheels were the top end of the cruiser world you may be in for a surprise.

Take a gander at the new Sixxer Cycles 36″ wheel bicycle.

That’s some big bicycle!

And check out this clip (from ORP BMX) showing a model wheeling out a Sixxer bicycle.

The model is in platform shows and the handlebars are near her chin!

This is some next level (next level height?) stuff.

Here’s another shot.

With all that being said, there’s not much more detail on these in terms of specs and geometry.

But….if you find a even a 29″ cruiser too cramped — if you’re that big and tall — this may be the bike for you.

Hit up ORP BMX for more details.