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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.

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Cruiser class split into 2 proficiencies

14 08 2014

It’s finally happened.

The cruiser class has been split into two proficiencies: expert and sport.

When did USA BMX/BMX Canada institute this change, you say?

Well…they actually haven’t.

It was Fédération québécoise des sports cyclistes (FQSC), the sanctioning body in Quebec, Canada that made the change.

I first heard of this development when I was catching up with Quebec racer, Andrew Mueller, at a race a few weeks back.

Andrew Mueller Steve Di Monte CYL Photography

Andrew Mueller lays the power down at MBMX (pic by Steve Di Monte)

I was stoked to hear the news. I’ve been thinking about this idea for a while and was always disappointed when it would be raised on BMX racing forums and then quickly dismissed (shot down is a better description) by folks saying “it would be harder to fill gates”, “there are already too many classes”, “go race 20 then”…blah, blah.

Turns out these arguments to stick with the status quo are all bunk if the results in Quebec are anything to go by.

According to Mueller, more and more riders are entering races and it’s not uncommon to get 2-3 full gates in the “sport’ class alone.

Older riders in Quebec are now returning to the sport (or just giving it a try for the first time) because the intimidation factor is significantly lower. They no longer have to gate up immediately with highly experienced/skilled riders that are not afraid to bang bars or hit the big jumps.

BMX racing’s appeal and selling proposition was always “nobody has to sit on the bench.” Yet the Cruiser class (in USA BMX/BMX Canada) has always kept some people on the bench by not offering an option to people that are not willing or interested in racing an expert-level class.

Kudos to FQSC for making this important move.

Looks like it’s really paying off for them.

Will USA BMX/BMX Canada have the courage to make a similar change?

We’ll have to see.





Mike Day tries out some bigger wheels

10 07 2013

The August edition of BMX Plus! has an interesting column written by Mike Day about his new prototype Speed Series bike.

In the article, Mike talks about his desire to put together “the biggest-wheeled bike that was allowed to race” in the 20- inch class.

(Note: the bike in the video is not the prototype Speed Series…the video just highlights how smooth Mike is)

According to the UCI rule book that meant the diameter of the wheels, including the inflated tires, could not exceed 22 1/2 inches (57 cm).

Once he determined the parameters, Mike worked with GT and Tioga, to design a bike that featured a larger-diameter rim and low profile tire.

The result? A combined diameter just a 1/8 inch smaller than the maximum size allowed by USA BMX and UCI.

Pretty interesting stuff….especially given USA BMX stance that 22″ bikes belong in the cruiser class.

Wonder if this will prompt USA BMX or the UCI to make an announcement about this sort of thing…especially if the rumors are true regarding other companies working on their own versions of this.

Check out the BMX Plus article for more details.

MikeDay





The battle for #1 cruiser could be epic

24 11 2012

Six riders from the 41-45 cruiser class have a shot at the #1 cruiser title in this weekend’s USA BMX Grand Nationals.

According to USA BMX, this is the first time in ABA/USA BMX history (35 years!) that this has happened.  Now that Shawn Diprete (Answer~Rennen) and Shan Hatfield (SE Racing) have turned 41, six out of six of those riders sitting in the Top 10 in points will be racing 41-45 Cruiser in Tulsa.


FBN-Hyper’s Tommy “2×4” Board is currently on top of the points board.

Trevor Brown of Factory Yess sits only 2 points behind. Could Brown pull an upset and bring the title home to Canada? It’s anybody’s guess right now.

One wild card is  Todd Parry, a usually strong contender. Some people are saying that he’s not going to be in the mix this year.

And Archibald, DiPrete and Hatfield are not just going to roll over either. These guys will fight to the finish.

Of course, this is BMX racing and when the gate drops, anything can happen.

Will some of the contenders get taken out before the mains?

Or will we see all the contenders make it through for the ultimate showdown in the final?

Whatever happens, it should be good!





USA BMX not showing 22s any class

5 09 2012

Responding to the growing interest in 22′ bikes, I’ve heard that USA BMX/BMX Canada will now allow 22″ bikes on the racetrack for the 2013 season.

But only under strict parameters.

Namely, that they can only be used in the cruiser class.

Seems like an odd decision.

I can’t remember the exact rationale…probably because it didn’t make much sense to me…but it seemed to boil down to the importance of maintain the integrity or sanctity of the 20″ class.

But why the rigid adherence to wheel size in the “20 inch class”?

In cruiser, we already have 24s, 26s, BMX cruisers, mountain bikes…you name it.

Why not a slightly bigger wheel size for your “class” bike?

BMX RACING: 22″ wheel BMX first race win in 20″ class Faction Bike Co. from Faction BMX on Vimeo.

I would bet that most people considering (or already buying) a 22″ bike are doing so to replace their 20″ and not their 24″.

In an era where everything on a modern-day BMX race bike has changed spec-wise…handlebar size, top tube length, materials… there still seems to be a slavish devotion to wheel size.

Maybe that’s where the problem lies.

Maybe from here on in, race bikes should just be referred to “class” and “cruiser”…with 22s being part of the “class” segment.

What do you think?

Have your say.





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?