WTF…why the fender?

27 01 2012

There’s a thread going on right now over on Vintage BMX discussing the pros and cons on installing rear fenders on race cruisers.

Yes my friends….fenders.

Turns out GHP racer Todd Parry is running a carbon fiber (?!) fender on his race cruiser to avoid “being sucked in between the tire and the seat”.

And while the different sanctioning bodies tend to frown on these kind of things, it appears that track operators are letting the use of fenders slide.

Seems a little goofy to me.

What do you guys think?

Is a two-speed BMX bike just too much?

28 10 2011

Pictures have surfaced recently (on BMXmania and Vintage BMX) of Barry Nobles running a 2-speed at the recent Chula Vista SX race.

Granted, this isn’t the first time 2-speeds have been tried.

Back in the 80s, the Browning 2-speed enjoyed some short-lived popularity but was quickly abandoned due to reliability issues.

I’m not sure how I feel about this development. While it’s cool in a whiz-bang, “maybe it will work this time” kinda of way, it doesn’t feel like BMX to me.

Maybe I’m becoming a curmudgeon in my old age.

But isn’t part of the attraction of this sport the simplicity of the bikes? The race community has already adapted clips, if multi-speed bikes are next, are we just a few years from spandex skinsuits and paved tracks?

DK Bicycles raises bb on new race 24

11 11 2010

DK bicycles looks like it might be taking a cue from the world of 24″ freestyle bikes and raising the bottom bracket on its new 2011 race cruiser to 13″ (that’s at least an inch higher than a typical race 24 frame).

In a recent thread on Vintage BMX, a DK rep explained the reasoning behind the shift:

Cruisers have always been built with a ratio that was based off of 26″ bikes (which is what cruisers used to be) this bottom bracket is 13″…so check this out:

The professional frame has an 11.4″ bottom bracket height, that is with a 20″ wheel (so that means UNDER the drop out there is 10″ of wheel, plus the tire, since the other 10″ of the 20″ wheel is above the dropout and irrelevant to the bb height.). This cruiser has a 13″ bb height, so that is 1.6″ higher than the 20 inch professional, but with a 24″ wheel, there is 12″ plus the tire under the bottom bracket. That’s 2 inches more than the 20″ frame, so in actuality, this bottom bracket isnt that high, since its only 1.6″ higher than a frame that has 2″ less wheel under the bottom bracket.

According to the DK guys on the forum thread, the new 24 is supposed to handle great (with a 20″ feel) and be easy to manual.

Other specs on the 2011 DK race 24 are:

  • 22″ top tube
  • 14.75 chain stay (slammed)
  • 73.5 head angle
  • 72 seat tube angle
  • 7000 series aluminum

Certainly an interesting departure from your typical race cruiser geometry.

Will this be a game changer in the race community?

I’m pretty curious to see if other manufacturers follow suit.

Editor’s note: the BB height on the production model was lowered slightly to approximately 12.5″.

Old school indoor BMX racing in Toronto

22 02 2010

If you were a BMX kid in the 80s you probably remember the old school style of indoor racing with concrete floors, wooden jumps and smooth stadium tires.

Nowadays if you’re lucky enough to have an indoor track to race at, you’re racing in dirt. Vintage BMX actually featured a thread on this topic recently and it seems that a lot of people remember the old school races and are hankering for them again. It certainly brought back memories for me…my first race was an old school indoor race like that.

But those days are long gone, right?

Maybe not!

Turns out Brent Smith, the guy behind the super fun Orangeville race series, does an annual race at the Toronto International Bicycle show. This year the organizers asked if he could do it again but this time without dirt. So Brent reached into his bag of tricks and decided to go way back and kick it old school!  Flat turns, concrete floors and wooden jumps…this is going to be a total blast from the past. Clips aren’t going to help you here!

If you’re within driving distance of Toronto (March 5-7) you should make a point of making it out anyway ..not only is there wall-to-wall bicycle vendors but there’s a freestyle contest and flatland contest going on as well.

For more details on the race, check out the Facebook group, Toronto Bike Show MTB and BMX race and jump comps.

Legends Tinker Juarez and Jeff Kosmala tearing up an indoor track back in the day.

Too young, too soon

6 01 2010

37-year old racer Bryan Oblad passed away from an apparent heart attack this past weekend following his 36-40 cruiser main event at Rad Canyon BMX in Utah.

I didn’t know Bryan personally but reading about him today made me wish I did. A fixture in his local BMX scene, he was a family man with daughters who raced, a strong competitor and a big fan of SE bikes and vintage BMX. The outpouring of support and prayers on  forums like show how much of an impact he made on his friends, family and fellow riders. Steve Spencer’s write-up about Bryan is especially touching.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Oblad family.

R.I.P. Bryan

Sweet custom SE Quadangle cruiser

2 09 2009

Every once in a while you come across something that makes you grin from ear to ear…this is one of those finds. Surfing the web one day, I came across this sweet custom SE Quadangle cruiser in one of Vintage BMX’s forums. Talk about retro-cool!

24in custom quadangle

The owner, who goes by the handle, “rockabillyjay” describes his modifications as follows:

I added 990 mounts, cable stops, turned the forks into “Standing Gear,” clearanced the bottoms for some big pegs  ( I wear a size 13) , made the top tube platform, and of course..a coaster brake tab. I didn’t do the rear frame standers since they always got in my way…and this was a looptail anyway.

To say rockabillyjay did a great job customizing his 24″ Quadangle is such an understatement. I think he may have set the bar for a lot of the new retro-cool builds popping up.

And every time I look at this I get a flashback to that old Freestylin’ cover from the ’80s with Todd Anderson jumping the car full of SE dudes.  Awesome!

todd anderson se

Check out for more flashback fodder from the 80s.

CycleCraft is back

30 07 2009

If you’ve been around BMX for a while, you know the CycleCraft name. Having faded from the scene for a number of years, it seemed to be one of those “whatever happened to…” companies from back in the day.  However, all that has changed,  with a recent change in ownership that seems  intent on restoring some of the former glory back to CycleCraft.  A recent thread on VintageBMX provides some details on how the new owners are trying to preserve the distinctive look of the bikes while updating them with modern geometry.

Cyclecraft Cruiser_Spy_photo_1

While the picture above (of the new 24″ prototype) isn’t the greatest, it clearly shows the new owners are on the right track with the new and improved CycleCraft. Now if they could just lure back Brian Foster (he used to ride for them)…well, then I think we’d have something magical.