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Something new, something dusty

26 09 2016

Well, here we are.

After a whirlwind trip to Vegas for Interbike, your intrepid reporter is back with highlights from the annual industry shindig.

You might think I had a list of things I wanted to check out ahead of the big show…and you would be right (I am somewhat professional)… this priority list got blown out of the water when I saw Chris Moeller post a picture of a new 24″ that S&M would be showcasing at the Bootleg Canyon outdoor demo and Interbike later in the week.

As I was in Austin during the outdoor demo, I was a little worried that I might not get to try out the new 24.

When I finally waded through the convention show floor and found the S&M/FitbikeCo booth, it was there…still covered in dust from Bootleg Canyon.

sm-slack-24-right

Strongly reminiscent of what Commonground Bikes is doing, this 24″ features a slack 69 degree headtube, lower-than-typical bottom bracket and a disc brake.

According to Moeller,

A buddy of mine asked us for a 24″ that would ride similar to a 26″ DJ hard tail. He wasn’t into the steep HA and tall BB all BMX 24’s have. So we built an extra for us (and you) to ride

sm-slack-24-left

Now, some companies are a little picky about you handling the displays at Interbike so I wasn’t sure if I should ask to try it out…but then I thought again…this is S&M…if anyone had a blatant disregard for the convention rules it would be them.

So asked.

And they said sure.

So I promptly pulled it out of the stand and took it for a spin at the back of the booth.

sm-slack-24-top-left

I didn’t think I would like it…I typically prefer the steeper head angle and higher bottom brackets of new school 24s…but I kinda dug it.

Returning it to the stand, the rep (his name escapes me) said that they went a little too low on the bottom bracket on this prototype and if they do decide to go into production with this particular frame/style they would probably go a smidge higher.

Pretty interesting.

With S&M jumping on the bandwagon of this style of frame (that Commonground is currently championing) we could be…as I mentioned in the writeup of Sutty’s custom Invictus frame (set up in a similar manner)

on the cusp of a bona fide trend in cruisers with slacker head angles for the dirt-jumping crowd

It might seem a little presumptuous to say that now but with a couple of companies experimenting with/selling this style and a handful of customs¬† adapting this style…it certainly seems like something is in the air.

 

More Interbike coverage, all this week.

Keep it to this Bat channel.

 

 

 

 

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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.