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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.

 

 

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La Casa rolls out 22 and 24″ wheel sets

17 02 2016

A few months back, Brink Distribution (a wholesale distributor in Canada), piqued our interest when they announced that they would be carrying both 22 and 24″ complete bikes from Encore in their product lineup.

When their Instagram feed lit up our phones in the last couple days with news that the 22″ Anthem and 24″ Coda were now in their warehouse, we got pretty excited.

Then today, we got the news that Brink would also be carrying La Casa wheels in both 22 and 24″ sizes!

La Casa 24inch wheelsThis is great news on a couple of fronts…first, it’s awesome to see another 24″ complete wheel option on the market and second, another 22″ option on the market is MAJOR!

With even fewer 22″ options on the market (vs. 24″) this development should see more people giving 22″ wheels a try…if only because they have the confidence that they can pick up aftermarket wheels if/when they need them.

In terms of specs, the wheel sets feature:

  • sealed bearings
  • double wall rims (front and back)
  •  14mm male rear axles
  •  3/8 front female axles (both front & back axles are solid chromoly).

They are sold in sets only.

Pretty stoked on this.





Holmes turns 22

21 08 2012

S&M just announced that the new Holmes Frame, 22″ Pitchfork and Revenge wheels are now available.

From the looks of the things a large group of people are ready to jump on these and roll twenty-two style.

Choosing a new bike just got a whole lot more interesting.





S&M joins the 22″ movement for 2012

7 03 2012

BMXUnion posted a great interview today with Chris Moeller of S&M Bikes talking about his company’s recent foray into the manufacturing of 22″ frames, forks, wheels and tires.

According to Chris, the motivation to create the new line was simply due to friends nagging him to do it:

If my friends hadn’t been so persistent about it, it would never have happened. Once I had one built up I thought it was cool and I had fun riding it

Earlier in the interview, he also said:

The idea of a slightly larger, more stable trail bike for older guys coming off an extended break from BMX or larger riders coming off MTB’s made a lot of sense to me.

In terms of geometry, while still being fine-tuned,  Chris said:

The geometry is about the same as a 20” but with a little more kicked back seat angle. The tires are 22” X 2.125” for now. It wasn’t too difficult scaling it to the larger wheels and we kicked the seat angle back for raising the seat up high to actually ride the bike. Since there are no preconceived TT lengths people are judging it by we didn’t have to worry about that. And if you go to the trails with the seat down it won’t make a difference anyway.

The release date for the 22″ Holmes (fitting name for it’s larger size, natch) is set for mid-summer along with a Revenge wheel-set and tire combo that will be sold separately.

Be sure to check out  BMXUnion  for more on S&M’s new 22″ gear and related musings from Chris Moeller.

Dan Closser airing out the S&M 22" prototype (Pic from BMXUnion)

For related discussion on the 22″ phenomenon, check out these earlier Cruiser Revolution posts:





Custom forks: now available from S&M

27 07 2011

After the success of their custom frame program, and more recently the introduction of custom handlebars, S&M has added another part to their custom lineup: forks.

Brake mounts, no brake mounts, different finishes, XLT and classic styles…you name it they’ve got you covered. (There’s even a 22″ version available…if you’re into that sort of thing.)

If the off-shelf options don’t work for you or if you have very specific needs or preferences…this is great news.

Check out the S&M Bikes site for more details.






22″ bike: could you lose a couple inches?

14 04 2010

Maybe Al Pacino’s character said it best On Any Sunday: “Life is a game of inches“.

This quote keeps coming to mind when I think about FACTION‘s 22 inch wheel bike.

It’s definitely an interesting concept. A sized up BMX bike, bigger than a standard 20 inch, smaller than a 24 inch cruiser.

Is it the future?

Hard to say…but my guess is probably not.

Is 22" the new black? Faction Zeitgeist bike

Some big-name riders have been quoted lending support to the concept. Guys like Eddie Fiola and Mat Hoffman have said they think it’s a cool, progressive concept. However, it’s interesting to note that Hoffman, despite owning a bike company, has never produced a 22 inch bike himself.

Does it make sense to come out with a new “standard” when there’s currently so much choice in 20 and 24 inch bikes? What happens if you break the forks or wreck a wheel? Seems like it would be a pain to get replacements.

What do you think?

Is a 22″ wheel  the answer for bigger guys?  Is it a good compromise between the 20 and 24 worlds? Can the BMX industry support a new wheel size?