Converting the 22″ Spade to a 24″ cruiser

23 08 2018

We’ve featured a number of Buddy Sardenga’s bikes and riding shots over the years…but this latest hybrid build is definitely one of the most interesting.

Buddy’s been riding a Stolen Spade 22 for a while and last week he had the brilliant/crazy idea one morning to see what would happen if he put some of the parts off his old 24″ S&M ATF onto the Spade frame.

Almost like doing the opposite of the conversion/mod from a couple years back when a rider converted a 24″ Sunday Wave-C to a 22″ rider.

The result? A 24″ that rides very similar to the classic 24″ Liquid Feedback.

As you can see, the rear axle is way out but still at about 14.6″.

The head tube is now more mellow, probably at 73-ish degrees and the bottom bracket at 13.25″.

According to Buddy, the new converted Spade is super roomy and “manuals crazy good”.

Pretty cool.

Buddy hadn’t been out to the trails yet on it (at least since the last time we chatted) but this looks like it would be hella fun there too.





Deep in the heart of Texas

15 09 2016

If all goes to plan, this post should go live roughly at the same time I arrive in Austin, Texas.

As you may recall from my previous missives, Austin is one of my favorite places to visit.

I’m looking forward to breakfast tacos, BBQ and probably some bike-related fun too.

And if the stars align, maybe even a trip out to Walnut Creek.

Gonna be fun.

In the mean time, here’s a few random Austin images for you to peruse.

CMC‘s Liquid cruiser parked outside of Jackalope.

And Buddy busting out on the Beelzebike.

Given that everything’s bigger in Texas, this might also be a good opportunity to check out our new offshoot site, Big and Tall BMX.





Walnut Creek Wednesday

30 03 2016

One of my absolute favorite places to hit when visiting Austin, Texas is the Walnut Creek Pumptrack.

I still remember my first time there…riding a bike I had borrowed from Buddy (who was kind enough to drive me out there) and just having a great time riding this great spot with Buddy and a bunch of cool ATX locals.

Buddy Walnut Creek

The pumptrack has something for everyone…whatever your skill level, you’re going to find something there you can ride.

But that’s only half of it.

The vibe out at Walnut Creek is just plain awesome.

Jokes, high fives, talking about bikes, people trying new things…beers…it all contributes to the good times.

It’s a place you really have to check out if you get the chance.

With that being said, I came across this video (from Hippie Josh) the other day that seems to really capture what Walnut Creek is all about.

It’s a few years old but no less relevant today.

Check it out.





Spying a nice Stout build

1 03 2016

Matt at STOUT Bikes has been producing great custom frames (as well as forks and handlebars) out of his Texas shop for some time now.

We’ve featured his work before…Buddy Sardenga‘s super-cool Beelzebike, The 20 666’er was the first time…and more recently…Joshua “Lurch” Gittere’s custom 26-inch.

In both cases I was blown away by the build quality and attention to detail. Both owners were both pretty stoked on their respective bikes too.

And who could blame them? They’re both great bikes (I’ve ridden both.)

So the other day, I was surfing the net — flitting between bike sites — as I’m wont to do.

And I found myself over at the STOUT Bikes website.

After spending way too much time checking out all the custom frames, forks and bars, I caught myself checking out a build simply called “Ron’s 24”.

The bike looked huge!

I don’t know the specs but that front end appears plenty roomy.

The back end looks tight though…so it definitely looks like it would be great to shred on.

Rons Stout 24According to the writeup:

Ron is like eight feet tall. He is one of the guys I met in Oregon that helps build a kickass local dirt park. I hope he’s liking this thing better than that tiny P24 that he broke.

I’m super curious about the specs/geo now! If the other STOUT Bikes I’ve ridden are anything to go on (and I think they are) this is probably a rad bike to ride.

I hope I have a chance to test ride this bike some day.

Here’s a pic of the fork and bars.

Rons 24inch forks & barsDang…as if I’m not feeling those bars too!

If these pictures have whet your appetite for some more custom bike porn…mosey on over to the STOUT bikes website, I know you won’t be disappointed.





Tejano Tabletop Tuesday

29 09 2015

After all of last week’s Interbike coverage, it’s about time we got back to some actual riding.

So, for your viewing pleasure…Buddy Sardenga with a sweet tabletop (aboard his custom Beelzebike 20 666’er) at the Tejano Trails near Austin, TX.

Buddy Tejano Table

(Pic by Octavio Arturo)





Tested: Odyssey Chase Hawk Tire 24″

30 07 2015

Since we learned about the introduction of the 24″ Chase Hawk tire from Odyssey, the anticipation surrounding them seemed to be sky high. We endured  teaser pictures on the OTX social media accounts, and waited patiently for them to arrive. Thankfully,the 24″ Chase Hawk tires are now out and available.

The question is…do the 24″ Chase Hawk tires live up to the hype?

Buddy Sardenga in Austin, Texas picked up a set to see.

chase hawk tires buddy test

What did he think?

Let’s find out.

Well, the first thing that I noticed about the tires are how quiet, fast, and grippy they are. I did like the Stolen Joint tires* but l could not run my front brake through the fork, they hit the cable.

*Buddy’s currently riding a chrome Stolen Saint XLT.

I ran [Tioga] Powerblocks for a bit since they came in 2.1 and were very cheap at 17 bucks…but they are very slow on concrete.

The Chase tires are a 2.2  [yet still] about the same size as the Powerblocks… but super fast and grip way better.

https://instagram.com/p/4sYZlGI_XZ/?taken-by=gremlinorange

So, how do they measure up riding street, park and dirt?

The tire is more of a slick for park and street and I was concerned about dirt riding with them.

I guess they did their research on that because I had no issues on the dirt.

Those little groves that come from the side provide very good traction even if things are not very well groomed.

Looks like the 24″ Chase Hawk tires do live up to the hype.  I think Buddy’s final thought on the tires sums it up best.

If you ride a 24, check them out for sure.

It appears Odyssey’s got a winner on their hands with the 24″ Chase Hawk tires.





Tested: Stolen Joint tires

17 12 2014

When I heard that Buddy Sardenga was getting a set of 26″ Stolen Joint tires for his Beelzebike 20 666, I knew it would be a good opportunity to hear more about the tires that are popping up on more and more cruiser builds.

Judging by this pic alone, they are definitely winning in the looks department.

Buddy tests Stolen Joint 26 tires

But how do they perform?

According to Buddy,

…they have amazing grip on the concrete and you can lay it down as low as you want on turns. Very fast and quiet, especially with a free coaster.

In the dirt?

What really blew me away was the way they handled dirt jumps and cornering at high speed in berms. Once again, very fast and they grip like they had knobs, great all around design.

Comparing the Joint tires to what he ran before, Buddy said:

I was running Halo Twin Rails before these tires and I would say the Stolen’s are right up there with those.

(Editors note: I took a lap  on Buddy’s bike at Walnut Creek last year when it had Halos on it…and whoa, were they super grippy…if these tires are in the same league…that’s saying a lot.)

It appears the Stolen Joint tires are the real deal…looks and performance in one package.

Check out Buddy shreddin’ Tejano’s trails in Pflugerville, Texas for more proof that these tires live up to the hype. (Pic by Octavio Artuno)

Buddy at Tejano's trails in Pflugerville





A new Liquid Feedback frame on the way?

14 06 2013

Liquid Bikes is dropping hints that an updated Liquid Feedback frame might be on the way.

The hints started trickling in early last week with a teaser shot of what they called “a next generation Liquid Feedback prototype frame.”

Proto-next gen Liquid Feedback frame

That was quickly followed a few days later with a pic of it all built up.

Liquid Feedback next gen build

Accompanying the photo was the following write-up:

Liquid Bikes is excited to announce that we’re teaming up with our California brothers – Solid BMX. Hand crafted in California… just like the trails. More info, details, and availability coming soon!

This is pretty exciting news, given that Liquid has been on a bit of a hiatus since selling out of the last of its frames a while back.

A favorite among big wheel bad-asses like Buddy Sardenga, CMC and owner/operator, Jeremy Combs, it was sad to see the availability of Liquid Feedback frames dry up some time ago.

Thankfully, it appears that dry spell is about to change and Liquid frames are going to start flowing back to the public very soon.

Looking forward to hearing more about this story as it develops.





Volume Hessian 26: coming this summer

29 05 2013

Ever since my Walnut Creek session aboard Buddy Sardenga’s old Volume Sledgehammer, I’ve been thinking about 26″ cruisers.

Following that session, I noticed Stephen Browning mentioned something about the new Volume Hessian 26 on the CR Facebook page, and my interest was piqued.

What does Volume have planned?

Word on the street is that Volume is retiring the much beloved Sledgehammer from its lineup and replacing it with the Hessian 26 (some time this summer).

Volume Hessian 26

No details yet on specs but it’s said to be similar in handling to the Sledgehammer but at a lower price point.  The Volume site does say that it has “a shorter and wider rear end, allowing room for the fat 2.3” street tires”, so that’s a good sign.

In terms of parts, Volume has indicated that aftermarket parts, such as the Volume Staple top load stem, Demolition Trooper Nylon pedals, and the Odyssey Springfield brake system are all standard but has been tight-lipped about the rest of the parts assortment.

With big-wheel aficionados, like Trent Brocker, Buddy Sardenga and the TwoFourFlat crew of Joe Cicman and Danny Sirkin, all riding a 26″ Volume  recently (and tearing things up in their own unique way on it) you know that this Volume will probably be a bike worth checking out.

I, for one, will be keeping my eyes peeled for its release.





Top ten of 2012

31 12 2012

Well, here we are.

Another year gone by.

Before we all head out to celebrate New Year’s Eve, let’s take a look at the top ten things that went down in 2012.

10. Skyway started off the year with news that they were releasing a 24″ version of their classic T/A frame and fork…but only in limited quantities.  The frame & fork sold out in record time. Although there was some delay in getting it into customers hands, most will agree it was worth the wait.

9.  The 22″ wheel movement took an interesting turn in February with the news that S&M was testing a prototype frame and tires.  When this prototype turned into a bona fide offering from S&M later in the year, the 22″ option really started to take on some serious momentum.

22

8. The Gunslinger  adjustable frame.  This smaller company caught our attention this year with an innovative frame design that featured 3-position adjustable rear dropouts.  Riders can tune the frame head angle and bottom bracket height to match their riding style.

7.  Chromoly made a comeback to the race scene. More race companies started offering chromoly forks that were stiffer and lighter than the more expensive carbon fiber forks on the market.  SSquared also put out a limited run of cro-mo frames.

6. Prophecy kept things interesting  with news that they would be bringing a 24″ carbon frame to the market. (Perhaps more surprising was that Redline didn’t leverage what they had learned from Project 79 to make a 24″ version.)

6. DK parts at Wal-Mart. On a roadtrip to Ray’s MTB , I stopped in at a Walmart along the way and I was shocked to stumble on an aisle endcap stocked with DK parts and accessories.  A little strange, but cool, that you can walk into a Walmart (in the U.S.) and pick up a DK Random Wrench.

5. After much anticipation, S&M unveiled its new Speedwagon race frame. Dropping the mono stay and putting the dropouts “on a diet.” They also got rid of the cable split cable stops and went with three guides. While sticking with the tried and true 38 Special geometry, they also introduced a 22″ top tube option, along with a sexy Trans Red finish.

4.  MTB companies blurred the lines between MTB and BMX cruisers with offerings like the Transition Klunker and the DMR wrath. Will there be more convergence between the two disciplines in the future? My guess is yes but we’ll have to wait and see if the future bears that out.

3. Jim Cielencki put in work this year promoting 24 inch riding. Whether it was a shot of him riding a tight setup on his Sunday Wave-C or talking about it in an interview, Jim was out there spreading the word.

Jim C House Park

2.  There was more choice than ever this year to find a bike to match your build and riding style. Whether you wanted to step up from a 20″ to a 22″, ride a dialed 24″ complete, build a custom 26″, or even bust out on a 29″ Big Ripper. There were options to help you make that happen.

1.  Video really brought to the forefront how cruiser riders are pushing the envelope these days. Whether it was Joe Cicman and Danny Sirkin tearing things up with a 26″ Sledgehammer or doing deathtrucks on a 24″ Wave-C, Jon Faure taking on the MegaRamp (technically 2011 but discussed in 2012), Buddy Sardenga dirt jumping, or Gundar Osis and Kaspars Garda putting out one of the best race edits..ever.. In 2012, there was a video made to capture the action, whatever the type of riding you’re into.

What will we see in 2013?

I dunno,  but I can’t wait to find out.

Happy New Year!