Pics of FBMs full range of 2010 completes are up. Specless as yet, but looking mighty fine. And... some of them even have stoppers.

Here’s a video check of two of the 2010 fit completes. Specs are at the end.

Odyssey are now doing their Vermont sprocket in 25 tooth. That’s not exactly big news, but I’ve always thought that was a fine looking piece of sprocket – maybe doesn’t translate as well to 25t, but what d'ya do?

On the Light v.s Heavy, Old v.s New front, In the Gnar have weighed in with some sensible words on the new T-1 GB frame. This is very un-American of me, but since I’m not American… I think it’d be cool to see T1 move more of their production offshore so they could put out a bit of post-weld heat treated trickery with a T1 flavour. But you see Australian manufacturing died years ago so we don’t get patriotic about that shit.

Salty Females

There was just a little unfinished business from my WeThePros post the other day about the 2010 WeThePeople completes.

Klaus, who takes care of design for the WTP, Eclat, Salt and Fuse brands and obviously has plenty of more important things to do than email me, was good enough to clear things up. The spec on the Trust and the Zodiac included an "engineered polymer bb". That's actually a machined PVC cone spacer on the cranks, that apparantly works perfectly and has the added bonus of being a touch lighter than aluminium. And then there was the "sealed bearing / polymer bearing" on the rear hub of the Envy, which turns out to be a pretty much a Salt version of the Eclat Teck Cassette hub that uses both a sealed bearing and a polymer bushing.

Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to identify the polymer bushing

Just as a little bonus round, here's some pics of some of the 2010 Salt components that comes on their completes, but are also available aftermarket. They're new and improved for 2010, designed in-house by WeThePeople and are one of the things that really lift their completes above those that use generic catalogue parts:

The Salt 9t cassette is depressed. He trys his best and by normal standards does really well, but it's hard living in the shadow of an older and more talented brother

Let's face it, not everyone gets to have a first rate female. Some are just lucky to have one

Designing your own rubber is officially putting in work

And finally, here is the man that has played a big hand in bringing all this bmx style to your screens. Don't blame me it's Tunney's fault:

Once Was New Shit

Verde are taking the style points with their 2010 completes. They've put out photos of the full range - on Defgrip of course - and they are looking damn fancy. Fancy good that is. Chrome, fats front and rear, tan-walls, built in pivotals, minimal decals and flangeless grips. No spec yet:

Colony have also put up a couple of preview shots of their two completes for 2010 - The Endeavour and The Decsendent. The Decsendent is built around the low, low slung Hell Stallion frame and will, as a result, make people raise their voices and talk angrily about scooters. Or they may raise their voices in lively debate about whether or not Colony have deliberately used Australian/English spelling for both of their completes so as to confuse their American market. Either way, no spec yet:

United have their four completes and two logos for 2010. They are nice enought to tell you how much hi-ten steel and/or how much CrMo you're getting on your complete, but they have not made it clear which logo they would like you to primarily recognise them by:

And just to keep things confusing, as all the 2010 bikes start appearing Lotek have posted up a 2009 "back to school" range:

They look nice, but there's been talk that the quality of the last batch of Loteks was pretty average, with the soles requiring very little persuasion to separate themselves from the uppers and seek a happier life on their own. But on the other hand, the Lotek team do have a lot of tattoos... so you should probably just buy some anyway. And if you do, you can be safe in the knowledge that there is now a Lotek warranty policy - if your shoes fuck up, you can pay $20 to get another pair - if you live in the US. If you don't, you could always just put your $20 towards a new pair of Orchids.

I don't think I should say too much about the MacNeil 2010 stuff. They've put their "Cruiser" bike and frame right at the top of their product menu and the bitter taste of negativity it's left in my mouth is just going to get all over any other words that come out.

Maybe it's just a personal hang-up and maybe it's just the label "cruiser", but I can only see them are the drunk uncles of bicycles - loud and obnoxious, styleless and bloated. The MacNeil incarnation is actually one of the less lame examples that you'll see. It doesn't, for example, have any flame decals and it will probably never be ridden by Paris Hilton. But really, couldn't they have just done a fixed gear like everyone else?

Last but not least is some Fly prototype spotting. See I notice, that Pijin notices, that Bike Guide notices these things.

We Have a Winner

Hold on a fucking minute! I hadn't seen this thing, and if I'm not mistaken, it's the gold medalist in the 2009 Most Expensive Bmx Part by Weight final. And that's with not a bit of titanium in sight, nor even an invisible titanium coating!

The 16 tooth St Martin's English sprocket weighs just 15 grams and will set you back about US$40. That's an impressive $2.67 per gram. When you consider that it's 4mm thick and 7075-t6 aluminium, 15 grams is nothing and it really makes you wonder "how did they do it, where has all the weight gone?" ....oh, I see.

Anyway... the podium is as follows:

St Martin's English Sprocket: $2.67 / g
BlueSix Titanium Brake Bolts: $1.75 / g
Kink Ceramic Headset: $1.67 / g

Well done. Very impressive. Now the first person to run them all on one bike wins.


It's a cut-throat business the re-posting of bmx product news. It's the quick and the dead. You snooze, you lose. Post something up 12 hours after it drops and you're nothing. Nothing!

The WeThePeople 2010 completes have already been levitating in cyberspace for days, but now there is this nicely re-packaged official release that allows me to keep my dignity:

What can you say other than that WeThePeople are the rulers of completes. Even the most salty of critics would struggle to come up with legitimate complaints about the above flip-book and bikes in it. Maybe it isn't exactly your flavour, but the package as a whole is pro. The bikes, the spec, the artwork, the photos, the info, the presentation. Pro.

They've broken the range up into series, which start with "Novice", and then in true marketer-speak jump straight to "Expert" and then mangage to find 3 more levels above that. So it's: Novice, Expert, Pro, Master and Elite.

They also give a pretty good rundown of what you actually get from the frames at each different level. For example if you buy a Novice Series bike you know that at least your down tube is Chromoly. On an Expert Series you get CrMo downtube and chainstays, on a Masters you can the top tube to the CrMo list, until you work your way up the range to full heat treated CrMo of the Envy. On top of that you can check the spec tables at the back of the book to see at which stage the bars step up from hi-tensile to CrMo, or whether the dropouts on your forks are heat-treated or not.

It seems like a pretty obvious thing to do - to give people all the information so they can make the choice of what they want to buy for their money, but it just doesn't usually get laid out like that - in fact the more suspicious conspiracy theorists amongst you might even believe that manufacturers were trying to hide exactly what their completes are made of. (?)

So there is a lot of information about the bikes. That's good. But there is also some nice details: Some integrated pivotal posts that you can lop off if you're not into them, plenty of integrated seat clamps of course, bikes with front and rear specific rims, seat / post combos, removable brake mounts, 8.2" rise bars and female front hubs. Plus loads of nice eclat spec, especially at the top end.

A couple of interesting details are the "Salt Mid sized BB sealed bearing (polymer bb)" on the Zodiac and the polymer bearing in the "Salt Cassette 9t sealed bearing / polymer bearing" on the Envy. What's going on here? I don't know, I'm going to bed, so I'll just leave you to speculate on that with some firey and informed banter in the comments. Ha..... ha.... ha.

Some Things:

Federal's design guy, Chris Harrison has answered some questions on the Dig site where he's outlined his long term plan to get out of the bmx industry and make some real money. The short term plan is simpler: "I think I’ll most likely just work in the mornings, ride in the afternoon, do more work after that and then have the evenings for chilling." Sounds pretty good to me. Check the rest here.


Steve Buddendeck and Cory Muth are apparently the guys behind that clean website and two bike range at Verde and are in on Duo together with Chris Doyle. Now they're doing wheels as well under the name of Cinema Wheel Co. They were having trouble finding rims that they thought fitted the Verde image so they decided to do their own. I suppose by doing stuff under a bunch of different names you open up the possibility for brands in direct competition with your own line of completes to still spec your grips or rims on their bikes. Not stupid. But you wonder how many names they'll end up operating under ...maybe they just like designing logos.

Mark Noble on does some really interesting industry articles and interview over on the ESPN blog. If you have any kind of interest in bmx product design and you haven't been over there, you're missing out. He did a great two part interview with the guy behind Fly Bikes - David Quesada and now David has answered a few more straight forward questions on FAT FAVs.


And then there is this. Last, but definitely not least. Though I myself fall into the "started riding after '98" category, this is gold:

Edit: Seems like the vid was just too damn controversial and has been liquidated by the fun police. If you missed it, just imagine yourself a very upset Hitler slagging off just about every bmx company around. Hopefully it makes a reappearance somewhere.


Or do you just like dogs? Maybe you should cheer yourself up from all this negativity with some happy little canine pics and download some dog vector graphics. I don't know, just an idea.

Impure Animals

There has been a Russ Bengtson sighting!

You might have heard of Russ, he runs a little site called SPRFLS. I always assumed he was some kind of bmx troll with a permanent half scowl, half snigger expression - turns out he's just a regular guy. Ben Ward snapped a pic in Odyssey's offices and has posted it up on his blog. There is a distinct absence of a scowl on Russ' face and, in fact, he has kind an optomistic look about him. Must have seen some nice stuff on Ody's drawing boards.

He obviously hadn't been surfing the Impurity Bike Co's website, cause the scowl would have been in full effect.

Impurity is a new company that is half based in Australia and half in Singapore and has a self-stated dedication to lightweight bmx components.

They've got a post-weld heat treated frame called the WTF! V2. (The V1 kind of snuck under the radar) It's light. Not the lightest going around, but pretty close at 1.8 kgs (4 lbs) and it's got a steep head, a short back end so it's ticking the whats-hot-right-now boxes. I don't know if riding like "a mouse on crack" is hot or not, but that's how they've described it. It might be accurate, but it's an unfortunate description in that crack smoking mice tend to be unpredictable, un-nervingly twitchy and prone to snapping without warning. Personally I prefer frames that ride like sloths on smack, but I'm gen-X and we're pretty much irrelevant anyway.

It's not an easy thing to start up a bike company and I imagine that it's even harder to build a name, build confidence and make a dollar. I haven't done it, but these guys have started, so good luck to them. And I suppose you never know, in 20 years time they might be the next Odyssey.

But for now they’re unknown brand, with an unknown product and their website is their only shot at building confidence. And lets face it, when you’re flogging light weight variants on products that could potentially split your face open, confidence is kind of important. I don’t mean to be a prick, but outside of their logo and header, their website ain’t cutting it.

But, on to the actual bits…

They’ve got a stem called the Ridiculite, which does exactly what it says on the box and weighs in at a160 grams or 5.6 oz. Just to put that in perspective, the next lightest freestyle stem that I can think of is Colony’s Official stem that is 245 grams or 8.64oz. So how do you drop a further 3 oz off what everyone else has managed so far? I think the pics the Ridiculite speak for themselves:

They’ve got some plain, no-nonsense bars and again they’ve gone in heavy with the drug references and come up with the name Twist ‘em Bars. Sounds like another unfortunate tag to me, but… you know… gen-X.

On top of that they’ve got a bunch of Ti nuts and bolts, a couple of pairs of forks, a beefy Ti peg concept and some fruity descriptions on their About Us page. So don’t just sit there like a tortoise on acid… hit them up.

And a shout out to Jimmy from Eject for the heads up on Impurity

Breaking News

Yes this is some news. About broken frames... and I'm sorry about that title.

Anyway, it comes via Pijin and basically it is that three frames have broken in comps over the weekend. One at the Masters in Cologne, one (@8:15) at NASS in the UK, then another at NASS. All three have just sheared off at the head tube. Nasty.

I'd heard a few stories of frames collapsing in exactly this way. But stories are one thing, to have three "on record" incidents, makes it all the more real. Not to mention making you wonder how many other frames bit-the-big-one in a less public way over the weekend.

I suppose when frames weights drop and drop like they have, you could say that this looks to be like the official bottoming out... ahem. The difficulty is that all the frames going around use a wide range of different technology and processes that means comparing by weight alone won't give you an accurate measure of strength. Heat treated tube sets v.s front triangle only v.s full post-weld, internally butted tubing v.s gussets v.s internally gusseted tubing, machined this, shaved that - a frame is not a frame is not a frame. Throw into the mix the possibility of poor welding and/or quality control and you're well and truly fucked!

Sunday's Ian Schwartz frame: keeping gussets alive and hearts out of mouths, 4.95 lbs

So you've got to be an engineer just to get your head around which frame to buy, but the information is out there. And you can be safe in assuming that if a manufacturer's description of a frame doesn't mention something, it ain't on there. Think of the description as their sales pitch - they're not going to leave out features that they've spent time and money putting into the frame.

I think the way Federal are doing things goes a step towards making life a little easier and is definitely something worth supporting. Apparently their 2010 frames will be coming out with three tiers of heat treatment options: Standard, Front triangle or Full Post-weld. That's on top of a butted and internally gusseted tubes - You know exactly what's going on and can choose the option that suits your riding... or the dollars in your pocket.

Federal's Notorious HT: Full post-weld heating, a bunch of other features, a respectable 4.6 lbs

In regards to these three breaks over the weekend: I'll leave the detective work on all the details of the frames to you, but it must definitely have some people feeling a little shaky. If you do happen to be aboard one of these frames, or if the whole thing is just getting you down, here's some light entertainment... pun intended.

Chris Kink

While I'm talking about Kink, I might as well post this thing:

It looks like a normal headset, but it's actually a super headset. What's so super about it? It's got ceramic ball bearings and titanium coated races which may, or may not, make it smoother and more durable than your current headset. Super!

But, if you are thinking of buying this headset you should first ask yourself these 3 questions:

1. Is this the most pointless and expensive upgrade I can think of?
2. Should they have called this the Chris Kink headset in homage to the original overpriced headset?
3. Is it worth paying $1.67 / gram for each of the 59.5 grams that this thing weighs, or should I just buy 10 sets of these.

Food for thought.

Viridian is the New Black

Tony Hamlin bike check up on the Transworld site and Kink have snuck a few prototype bits on his ride.

There's a little black pivotal, which is, of course, a must have item for any bmxer about town. Run it high or run it low, they're just so versatile! So it's black. And kind of textured. And looks like it's covered with the same stuff as this one. It could just be me, but it might also be a little smaller than a stock standard "slim" pivotal moulding. At least that would mean that it's actually worth mentioning and these six lines that I've typed hadn't been wasted.

Looks like Kink now have female front hub. And if you look at the pic you'll see that it seems to be called Viridian, which is the name of a greeny-blue-type colour that my grandmother uses in her water colour paintings, but obviously Tony prefers black:

And now for the interesting part - well relatively speaking. There's a proto stem called the Bold. (sorry, couldn't resist that) It's not revolutionary in that it's a run-of-the-mill front load with the sides machined out, but the shape and proportions of the cut looks pretty good. And if you want proof of that, you've only got to compare it to the recent Subrosa prototype. Although you'll still need to be an above average hacksaw technician to ensure that the steerer on your fork is cut to precisely the right length. Oh yeah... and it comes in this lovely shade of really, really, really dark grey:

A Woman Walks Into a Bar...

2010 bikes have well and truly started to appear.

Subrosa are having an honest tilt at the "more is more" crown, with a humble tally of 17 bikes. But it's not won yet - Mongoose are yet to run.

Colony Descendant bike is having a fair crack at taking the "how low can you go" title from Blackeye's Killorado complete . It's a race to the bottom. But wait, this guy is already polishing his trophy, if you know what I mean, with his custom Solid from last year.

On that note, a joke:
A woman walks into a bar and asks the barman for a double entendre.
So he gives her one.

Anyway... I can't tell you much more than that other than the Kinks 2010's are out and they've kept it to a round number. That GT are doing a brakeless street complete that I can't find a picture of, and Verde are doing two completes that both look nice.

Over and out.

You be the judge...

Insane Manual Feathering

Do you think that brakes might be making a comeback?

Not two of them obviously - that's a far too high brake to bike ratio. But one on the back end can be a revolution in opening up new worlds of variable speed riding, insane manual feathering and sudden stopping. Sure brakeless completes were novel at first, but now they're just passe. Their cleaness crying out for some cable and caliper clutter.

Anyway, maybe in Spain brakes were never "out", cause Fly have pumped an unfashionable amount of time and effort into improving them and have just released the final piece in their forged, cnc'd and anodised braking puzzle:

Fly brake lever: 66 grams / 2.3 oz

I've grown very fond of my Primo J Lever over it's five years of faultless service, but since reading up on Fly's new offering the wobble it's developed over the course of it's life seems a little worse. They've addressed this by using a larger diameter brass bushing that is apprarently also of a harder material. Sounds good.

Everyone want's less for their dollar these days, so I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that you can now also have less for your lever-dollar. Working on the principal that all frames now come with a barrel adjuster, they've not included one on the lever and in the process have been able to further reduce the size of the lever body.

You'll also get a little bag of hardware that allows you the choice between the 4 set ups above, depending on how complicated or clean you want it. The "internal coned piece" is one of those options and seems like a good, simple idea that acts to open up the end of the cable casing to reduce friction on the cable. It's probably not going to make a huge difference to your braking performance, but every little bit helps and it ain't going to hurt.

Besides, you don't even run brakes.

It is Done

Just a quick update on the No.1 post I made a few days ago.
Jimmy at Eject has stepped up and given me a keyworded link and the No.1 spot is a done deal. In the process he's bumped himself into the no.2 spot and put those... ladies... in their place.

Cheers Jimmy.

Rad Wrench

This wrench is like... so... totally random. Hey, hold on a minute - it's actually really specific. Bmx specific to be precise. In fact it's so specific that it has just about every bit that you'll need to work on your bike while out pedaling. And it hasn't just been thrown together. The V2 of DK's Random Wrench has had a lot of thought and effort put into the design. You don't believe me? Read this.

The original version was a good idea, simply executed that became a bit of a classic. But the V2 makes the original look like a stone age pick axe by comparison. It features a slimmed down machined main body with some nice graphics so you won't need to faff around trying to work out how all the bits fit back inside and it even has it's own logo. Only special wrenches get their own logo.

Here's what you get for your US$32.99: a 15mm pedal wrench, 5 and 6mm allen sockets, 15 and 17mm sockets, a socket extension, and a spoke key.

So don't just sit around, get out there and grab yourself a Randy Wench.

The progression from stone age axe to the mordern form of the DK Random Wrench is clear and undeniable.
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