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Mongoose serious about racing comeback

31 05 2017

Back in December, we got word that Mongoose was making a racing comeback.

They kicked things off with a line of affordable, race-ready complete bikes that were available at mongoose.com and Amazon.

Now, it appears that Mongoose is upping the ante and expanding their race line —from four to eight models–for the 2018 model year.

According to a writeup in the Wisconsin State Journal, one reason for the expansion of their BMX category, specifically the race category, is the increased exposure BMX racing has received since its Olympic debut.

Another reason, according to Brian Baldis, Director of Product Development for Mongoose, is:

“…parents like to put their kids in those kind of formatted sports, versus freestyle, which is still the bulk of the BMX marketplace.

“Racing is seeing some uptick because it has a time, location, adult supervision and feels very much like Little League in that way. It’s been great for youths getting back on bikes in that way.”

That’s great to hear, considering the gloom and doom on Internet Forums over the past few years when the topic of participation rates came up.

Will this translate into more Mongooses at the local track?

Time will tell.

But in any event, it’s great to have this iconic brand back in the BMX race scene again.

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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.





Hometown Heroes

12 09 2016

The big USA BMX/BMX Canada show came to town this weekend in the form of the Maple Leaf Nationals, hosted by my home track, Milton BMX.

Weather threatened to derail the show earlier in the day on Saturday (due to some heavy rain) but thanks to some good tarping the night before and a hard-working volunteer crew the weekend went off with only a tiny rain delay.

My good friend Steve Di Monte was also there photographing the proceedings. Steve’s no slouch on the cruiser either, so he’s got a good eye for BMX Action (peep this pic of him breathing down my neck in race a few years back).

A lot of Milton locals were in the mix in the big wheel classes which it made it extra fun for the crowd.

So for your viewing pleasure I thought I would share some of the cruiser action that Steve captured from the weekend.

First up 41-45 cruiser.

Hometown hero Mike Galivan leading into the first turn. Mike and Race Inc.’s Dan Hurley had some good races this weekend which made this a fun moto to watch.

41-45-cruiser-galivan

Next up,  46-50 cruiser.

Paul “T-Bone” Schiavone told me between motos he had slimmed down a bit and it had really helped his racing. The proof was in the pudding because Paul was near the front today (that’s him in second in the Stay Strong colors). Nice work T-Bone.

Andy Caswell, another local fast cat, is in the mix too and sporting an ever-so-stylish Haro mouthguard. Extra style points for Andy.

46-50-cruiser-caswell-t-boneIn 36-40 cruiser, Julio Rodriguez and Ryan Haydar were battling every moto.

This one in particular was one for the ages.

Julio barely escapes going over the berm and threads the needle to continue the battle down the second straight.

julio-cesar-rodriguez-ryan-haydar

To cap things off,  local boy Gary Quill got the nod for the official event sticker.

gary-quill-sticker

Granted, he’s not on a cruiser but it’s still a pretty cool honor for a swell guy I have the good fortune to ride with on a regular basis.

It also gave us plenty of ammunition to razz him with.

All in all, a good weekend of BMX.

Hats off to Milton BMX, BMX Canada and all the racers.





Six Six race bar: DK goes bigger

21 10 2015

To borrow (yet again) the phraseology of a rapper I hold in high regard, Sir Mix-A-Lot, I like big bars, I cannot lie.

And as a fan of bigger/taller bars, it warms my heart to see bike companies offering, more and more, taller options.

The sub-6″ bar was the standard on race cruisers for far too long (see Traditional cruiser bars: who needs ’em?)

And while some race purists will argue that lower bars are necessary, our  in-field testing with Matty Jo Shelley showed that bigger bars offered advantages to the race gang too.

All that is just prelude to me saying that I’m stoked to see DK is now offering a taller aftermarket race bar for the cruiser rider.

DK Six Six Cruiser Bars

The DK Six Six handlebar are a 6.6″ race bar with minimal sweep.

Available in chrome or black, they are 100% 4130 Multi-butted (11 count) Chromoly with a knurled clamp area. They also feature a hourglass-tapered crossbar.

The rest of the specs:

  • 29”wide
  • 2° upsweep and 7° backsweep
  • 762 g. weight

(And for those riding a new school/freestyle 24″, there is also a 8.6″ version available as well.)





First look: DK’s 2016 race cruisers

15 10 2015

DK Bikes unveiled their 2016 race cruisers recently, so it’s only fitting we take a look and see what’s up for the new year.

In terms of colorways, these 24s are looking on point.

Especially the Elite Cruiser.

The Elite sports a super cool nickel finish (It’s a silver over black base, so you get a dark silver look).

Copyright DK Bicycles 2015

In terms of components, DK has retained much of the winning elements of the 2015 version but made a couple of tweaks to dial it in for 2016.  Most notable of those tweaks is the new 20mm BOX rear hub (it was a DK hub last year).

The “wallet-friendly” Sprinter cruiser also gets an update to its colorway. It’s now available in a bright flo (neon) green.

Copyright DK Bicycles 2015

The components also got an updating…in two important areas.

The tires get an upgrade to the more modern Arisun XLR8 tires (24 x 1.75) and the rear hub is now cassette.

I’m liking the looks of these two.

Frame Geometry (Elite)

Head Angle 73°

Seat Tube 72°

Top tube: 22”

Chain stay 15.25″

Bottom Bracket: 5mm over axle line, stock it sits around 12.1”

Frame Geometry (Sprinter)

Head Angle: 73°

Seat Tube: 72°

Top tube: 21.75″

Chain stay: 15.25”

Bottom Bracket: 5mm over axle line, stock it sits around 11.8”

Full Specs

Elite

Sprinter





BMX goes back to the future

23 02 2015

It’s almost like they never went away.

Stu Thomsen, Greg Hill and Harry Leary all showed up at the USA BMX Nationals in Phoenix, Arizona (this past weekend) ready to race.

Stu Greg Harry

It’s not often that a single race would see all three of these BMX legends suit up, ready to snap gates and bang elbows.

Which made this weekend pretty special.

Stu Thomsen even took a first in cruiser!

Stu Thomsen on SE FlovalNow, if we can get just guys like Pete Loncarevich, Eric Rupe and Turnell Henry in the gate with them for an epic cruiser showdown…

Well, then I think we could have the battle of the BMX ages.

 

(Photo credits: @probmxer1, MJT & SE Bikes)





Pro tip: use an umbrella in staging

22 08 2014

BMX racers are always looking for that extra edge.

A couple years back, we learned that drinking a slurpee could make the difference on a hot race day.

Well, I think I have stumbled on to the next game changer in BMX, the umbrella.

If you look at other racing disciplines, it’s not uncommon to see a racer being shielded from the elements by an umbrella held by a helpful assistant.

Just look at motorcycle racing.

superbike umbrella w

Or auto racing

(Heck, the sun’s not even out here!)

auto umbrella

 

Not sure why BMX racing hasn’t latched onto this ground-breaking idea.

ODI even manufactures a pit umbrella, complete with a lock-on grip at the end! It’s practically crying out for BMX racers to use it in staging.

Odi golf umbrellaActually, maybe I’m being a little hasty.

I did spot a racer in staging this summer that was trying out this umbrella idea.

umbrella in staging

That’s me in the blue TLD jersey, hating life because I don’t have any shade…while over beside me, that kid is just chilling…waiting to take on his class; all cool, calm and collected.

Must be an early adopter.

I gotta jump on this bandwagon…I think I’m going to order an umbrella today.