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Everything old is new again

2 06 2012

Got the latest issue of Pull magazine  from USA BMX today.

Pull magazine covers are typically yawners but this month they did something interesting.

Working with Team Redman, they piled the Redman team into the company car to recreate an iconic 1978 Bicycle Motocross Action magazine cover.

If you’re old school and/or a BMX nerd, seeing this cover probably brought back memories of this cover, shot by none other than icon-in-his-own-right Bob “Oz” Osborn.

Actually, the whole “flashback” feel seems to (unintentionally…I think) run throughout the rest of the magazine as well.

Flip to the center-spread and you’ll find a two-page ad for chromoly forks…. It’s like 1987 all over again!  With month after month of ads featuring the latest and greatest carbon-fiber wonder fork, seeing an ad — a two-page one at that — for a chromoly fork seems quite out of the ordinary (but in my mind, definitely a refreshing change).

Then check out the back cover.

A Crupi ad featuring cruiser speed demon David Archibald promoting their cruiser lineup.

Seems like it was just yesterday that BMX Plus! ran an article talking about “The Death of the 24”. Now here we are, just a couple of years later and a major race company is buying up prime ad space to promote “the largest selection of cruiser frames and parts anywhere.”  Seems like the rumors of the 24’s demise were greatly exaggerated…and the popularity of cruisers are just as strong as they ever were.

The longer I stay in this BMX game, the more I see things come and go…and then come back again. Anybody else have the same experience?

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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.