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McGoo reaches for some Commonground

18 04 2016

Seemingly right on the heels of our last post on Commonground Bikes (Finding that Commonground), an industry icon has thrown his support behind the Commonground concept.

Who is this industry icon you ask?

(If the headline didn’t give it away…)

It’s none other than Harold “McGoo” McGruther.

In a pair of Instagram posts today (here and here), McGruther talks a bit about his personal history riding/racing cruisers and what impact a trails-oriented 24 like the Commonground could have on the big-wheeled BMX scene.

Here’s a couple of tidbits from his posts:

…Commonground [‘s] 24″ seeks to bridge the gap between a BMX bike’s diminutive scale and an MTB’s complexity and cost to give grown-ass men a bike they can ride like they may have ridden in their teens and 20s, before wives, kids and desk jobs set in

If Pro BMX racing hadn’t become a clipped-in gym rat’s game at the turn of last century, I’d like to believe guys like Chris Moeller, @brianfoster, @ecmtb1 and Travis @commongroundbikes would have pushed race machinery in a bigger, faster, more bulletproof direction.

I secretly pine for what might have been had guys like Mike Day, Robbie Miranda and Brian [Foster]* gotten aboard the big bike train.

IMHO there is another good argument for grown men riding bigger bikes: fewer feckless members of the peanut gallery would look down on our sport’s greatest athletes as merely “old men on kid’s bikes.” I personally despise that opinion and comparison, but sometimes perception IS reality.

…Fortunately, BMX dirt jumpers and MTB-mounted "freeriders" did accelerate the evolution of terrain, to the point where a 6-year-old expert has a difficult time just walking the course. Bike riding of this nature is a man's game, and it demands real equipment. Enter @commongroundbikes. Travis Engel is a mountain biker who probably cut his all-terrain teeth on a BMX bike in his younger days, but understands the limitations of 20-inch wheel size, coaster-brake derived 110mm dropout spacing, and uber-twitchy 74+ degree head angles at higher speeds. His Commonground 24" seeks to bridge the gap between a BMX bike's diminutive scale and an MTB's complexity and cost to give grown ass men a bike they can ride like they may have ridden in their teens and 20's, before wives, kids and desk jobs set in. Commonground uses established BMX fabricators @fbmbikecompany and @sandmbmx to produce their framesets and handlebars, then picks spec from an eclectic mix of MTB and BMX suppliers to build the whole. While I haven't ridden a Commonground 24 personally, I love Travis's passion and gumption enough to buy one, and will be picking it up when I meet its maker next Wednesday. If Pro BMX racing hadn't become a clipped-in gym rat's game at the turn of last century, I'd like to believe guys like Chris Moeller, @brianfoster, @ecmtb1 and Travis @commongroundbikes would have pushed race machinery in a bigger, faster, more bulletproof direction. I remember the Blue Falcon's podium ride at the 2001 X Games DHBMX like it was 15 years ago, and I still secretly pine for what might have been had guys like @mday365, @robbiemiranda and Brian gotten aboard the big bike train. @ryannyquist has finally jumped on a FSMTB, and I think doing so will add years if not a decade to his illustrious cycling career. IMHO there is another good argument for grown men riding bigger bikes: fewer feckless members of the peanut gallery would look down on our sport's greatest athletes as merely "old men on kid's bikes." I personally despise that opinion and comparison, but sometimes perception IS reality.

A post shared by Harold McGruther (@haroldmcgruther) on

This isn’t the first time that McGruther has commented on “progressive 24s.”

You might recall a post from some years back, An army of giants take over the trails, where McGruther (using a Mirraco 24 as a jumping off point) talked about the number of core companies jumping into the 24 market (this was back in ’09).

At the time, he summed the situation up quite aptly by saying,

All we know for sure is this: 24-inch BMX bikes are fun to ride, and that’s good enough for us.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Postscript:

This just in…Brian Foster has jumped aboard the “big bike train“…to a degree, at least…in a surprise announcement — via Instagram — BF dropped the bomb that he was experimenting with an 22″ S&M ATF…and FIT would be releasing a 22″ Brian Foster complete in the new year.

Yowza!

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Jim C says See Ya to Sunday

13 05 2014

Jim Cielencki announced today that he is stepping away from Sunday Bikes after 9 years.

One of the BMX world’s most creative and influential riders, his unique perspective on things carried over into his work as a member of the bicycle industry…whether that was in promotion, product design or his efforts with the Sunday team.

In his farewell post, Jim mentions that “my main goal with Sunday was to do interesting things with every aspect of the company.”

Jim’s championing of the ground-breaking Sunday Model-C and progressive 24″ riding are certainly two examples of that. Tweaking conventional cruiser geometry to create the Model-C was a bold move, and not without its detractors, but Jim’s vision of what a 24″ BMX could be ended up making a big impact on an area of BMX that was ready for a change.

And Jim didn’t stop there.

Jim actively promoted what was possible on a 24…whether that was in video edits, riding shots or clips of him riding a 24 in full-length videos (Up, Up and Away). While other companies introduced 24s into their lineups…they were often left to languish with little or no promotion and would later be dropped. The Model-C has been going strong since its inception.

The introduction of the Sunday Wave-C was another major step in the 24″ world that Jim also helped make happen. A super high-end frame with wave tubing and long list of features, it quickly became one of the most popular 24″ frames on the market.

Jim says he’s “off to new creative adventures.” If you look back on his riding career and his work at Sunday, I think you’ll agree he’s going to make a success of whatever he puts his mind to.

Cheers Jim!

Looking forward to hearing about what you get up to next.

 





Another convert to #TwoFourTuesday

25 02 2014

Bobby Parker’s promotion of the hashtag #TwoFourTuesday is starting to gain some momentum, at least among his colleagues over at Full Factory distribution.

Old Tall Mike puts out a nifty BMX blog called regressionprocess, when he’s not out riding or punching the clock over at Full Factory distribution. Recently, Mike wrote a post  about #TwoFourTuesday, his own personal ride and his “conversion” to the 24″ way of life.

Old Tall Mike wavecAccording to Old Tall Mike:

Two-four. Twenty-four. Deuce-quattro. I’m sold. It didn’t take much, really. A few laps around, a little flow and jib sesh as the kids (no-one) say. I have my Flat bike…I have my Street Bike…And I have my Bike.

This is really the one for me. Hands down, the bike that feels like I belong on it.

Amen to that.

He goes on to say:

…the feel is that of younger days…On a bike that fit like it was built for me, I can ride it all day every day and not feel beaten by it. I feel like learning tricks is fresh again.

His experience echoes what I have heard from a lot of people that have started to ride new school 24s…that you feel like a kid again, it’s feels fresh and you get stoked on riding all over again. For more on Old Tall Mike and his thoughts on rolling 24, check out his post on #TwoFourTuesday





Something sweet from Skyway

13 02 2014

Planet BMX has been on a bit of a roll lately, partnering with Haro on the introduction of the retro Haro cruisers most recently, and bringing back the legendary Skyway T/A (with modern touches) prior to that.

As further evidence that they won’t be slowing their roll any time soon, they have released pictures of the new candy-chrome Skyway T/As they will be stocking soon in both 20 and 24″ versions. (To get this look they put a translucent powdercoat finish over chrome plating.)

Candy Chrome Skyway Frame and ForkThe candy chrome name is fitting because these frames, forks and handlebars look sweet!

For now, the red and blue candy chrome version will be the only colors available. However, plans are already underway for other colors. They’re currently waiting on samples of gold, green, and purple. The outlook is to do 20 sets (each) in red and blue, and limited quantities (like five or so) of each of the other colors. You could have a very unique ride if you’re quick or lucky enough to nab one of these small run unique colors!

Digression: I can’t read the words “candy chrome” without thinking about this song.

Check the Planet BMX Facebook page for the latest on these new frames, forks and handlebars.  For now, have another look at that sweet red candy chrome.

Candy Chrome Skyway headtube





Hashtag #twofourtuesday

28 01 2014

I’m not sure if Bobby Parker started the hashtag #twofourtuesday but he has certainly been the most avid user of it.

Reppin’ the 24 like nobody’s business, Bobby has been spreading the word with #twofourtuesday and his own brand of big wheel ramping for some time now.

Today is no exception. Check out this shot of BP shredding the project loop ramp at Fun Fest 7. Radabonzical!

You do us proud Bobby. Respect.

Bobby Parker at Fun Fest 7





Liquid releases Feedback V2 frame

9 12 2013

After a bit of a hiatus, Liquid Bikes has returned to the 24″ BMX scene with an updated version of its super popular Feedback frame.

Dubbed the Feedback V2, this frame is now being made in the USA by Solid BMX. It maintains the same proven geometry, but is lighter, stiffer and perhaps even cooler than the previous incarnation, in that it now features custom laser-cut bridges between the stays.

According to Liquid, the Feedback V2,

features newly designed chain stays that improve tire/sprocket clearance and stiffen the rear end compared to the previous version – all while keeping one of the shortest chain stay lengths in the 24″ market.

That’s in addition to some of the longest top-tube size options available: take your pick of a 22″ or 22.3″ top tube. Perfect for the taller rider…which, let’s face it, makes up a lion share of the 24″ BMX demographic.

Liquid Feedback V2 frame

Color choices for the Feedback V2 are Root Beer (trans-brown), Raw with clear coat and Satin Black.

Specs:                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Top Tube: 22″ or 22.3″
Bottom Bracket height: 12.7″
Chain Stay: 14.25″
Head Angle: 74 degrees
Seat Angle: 72 degrees

Other notables:
30 tooth max sprocket clearance
2.3″ rear tire clearance
Double butted top and down tubes
Externally butted seat tube
Custom laser cut seat stay and chain stay bridges
Non-removable u-brake mounts
Weight: 5 lbs

Check out liquid-bikes.com, which has also undergone a bit of a refresh, for the rest of the particulars.

Liquid Bikes website

Stoked to see Liquid back on the scene with some fresh gear.





A nice backdrop makes all the difference

17 07 2013

Most dirt jumping pictures have similar backdrops…trees, mounds of dirt…in Henderson, Nevada the backdrop is a little different.

This local spot, the Monkey Face jump, kinda has an ugly name, but it sure makes up for it with its beautiful scenery.

Mike Leonard Monkey Face JumpTribute Bikes rider, Mike Leonard blasts one out at the Monkey Face for your viewing pleasure. Sal Alvarado, behind the lens, captures the moment for posterity.