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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

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Chromoly: don’t call it a comeback

28 03 2012

Is the race community’s love affair with the carbon fiber fork coming to an end?

It’s beginning to look that way.

Heck, when you have a big name like Olympic contender Mike Day saying things like, “always good to have a chromoly fork…and not have a road bike fork on your 20 inch” (when he’s being interviewed about GT’s 2012 lineup) then you know things are starting to shift.

On the Bodogs Race Report, in a post called Chromoly is the new carbon fiber, the writer talks about his own experiences with the different types of forks that are currently available:

Speaking only from experience I have personally witnessed no less than half a dozen cases where carbon fiber has failed, two cases where aluminum has failed (Both at the welds) and no cases where chromoly has failed.

He also sees a move back to chromoly in response to what he’s observed out at the track:

The new trend has returned to the beginning. Parts companies are building affordable chromoly forks that are stiffer and lighter than the most expensive carbon fiber forks on the market.

These same companies are also starting to play up the benefits of chromoly in their marketing. In a recent ad in Pull Magazine, CLIQ/Haro compared the chromoly Cliq fork to the Sinz carbon fiber fork.  At half the price, no rider weight limit and (as an added blow) a lighter weight overall it’s hard to argue that carbon fiber is a better choice. The ad finishes with the tagline,“Does any of this make sense to you, cause we’re still confused.”

Clever.  With more and more people getting the sense that they’ve been sold a bill of goods with carbon fiber forks, I think we’ll continue to see people voting with their wallets and going with the tried and true benefits of lightweight chromoly forks.

4130…It’s good to see you back at the race track, my old friend.





It’s time to bring cro-mo back to racing

27 05 2010

Steel is real. It’s a refrain you’ll hear time and time again in the forums from die-hard cro-mo fans. And while there are cro-mo race options out there…like S&M, Supercross, Standard and CycleCraft, by and large, they are available in frame and fork only.

Why doesn’t anyone offer a cro-mo race complete?

Back in the day, a complete cro-mo race cruiser was easy to find. Not so anymore. Pure race machines are pretty much all aluminum these days.

Is it time to bring the complete cro-mo 24 race cruiser back?

I think so.

And there are a number of reasons why.

Versatility: Sure an aluminum bike might be fine for the track, pump track and light trails….but would you trust it anywhere else? Bigger trails? An impromptu session at the skatepark? Probably not. A cro-mo bike would let you ride in any of these situations with confidence. Sure, some people have a second bike for this very reason but many people do not have this luxury.

Better value: A good cro-mo bike can easily outlast an aluminum bike. With the way the economy is these days a bike that lasts just makes good sense. And if you’re a Dad just swinging a leg over a 24 for the first time (or after a long layoff from the sport) a little bit of the “give” that 4130 has will be welcome.  If your kid decides to quit racing and just ride trails and park? No problem, the cro-mo bike will take you to the park or trails in style.

Pent up demand: With such a vocal group on the internet forums, a good cro-mo race complete would probably sell like hotcakes.

While I don’t expect S&M to suddenly jump into the complete market, certainly the Fit CR24, with a couple of tweaks to the geometry (and maybe the components) could be offered as a race version (just as an example…not to pick on S&M/Fit). I think there’s a market out there and whoever decides to take the plunge will be pleasantly surprised.

It’s time for race bike manufacturers to get back to their roots…it’s time once again, to sell the metal.

David Frid knows steel is real. He rocks one of the nicest 38 Specials out there in the O-Cup race series.






Dirt: take with plenty of Liquid

21 01 2010

I teased you a while back with a great video from Jeremy Combs riding a prototype of his new Liquid frame.

Well, now it’s time to take a closer look.

I have to say I’m  pretty excited about this new frame…1) because it was obviously designed by someone that knows his way around a bike and 2) because it offers a long top tube and short chain stays (a combo that seemed a long time in coming).

Check out these specs from the liquid-dirt site:

TT: 22″ and 22.25″
BB: 12.7″
CS: 14.25″
HA: 74
SA: 72
ST: 9.15″ center to center
Weight: 5 lbs 3 oz

They’re also 4130 Sanko Chromoly and feature removable brake mounts and routing.

Colors available are:  flat black, pearl plum grey, and limited edition flat bubblegum blue.

And if you’re a fan of 24″ dirt jumping (and really, aren’t we all?) you should really check out liquid-dirt for great dirt jumping photos like the one below: