Holy Fit!

So to not have heard this news already you would have to be living in a non-wi-fi enabled cave or something. That is, the super-team is no more – Fit have split.

Tunney is well and truly on the ball and has already posted up a Fit obituary. Yeah OK, so it’s not really an obituary, since Fit ain’t dead and they’ve still got a legendary team, but it's pretty obvious that it's the new breed riders that keep the new breed dollars rolling in and it seems like all that is going to change. Moeller is going to have to pull a big, gold plated rabbit out of somewhere to keep Fit’s momentum going.

And then there's the rumours of a cult… at least of a new brand headed by Robbie called “Cult”. Really, if that is the name, you’ve got to give it to him for piss-take value, especially since the irony of it would be lost on the majority of kids that flock straight to it. And born-agains are usually pretty quick to renounce their bad old ways, so you gotta wonder what the hell is going to happen to all that old Fit stuff once the kids start worshipping the new Cult? Ebay glut.

Alright, so that was a bit of bullshit, but now for some semi, halfway, tenuously, somewhat related news. Lotek have a look at some new pair of samples up on their page:



Yep, looking nice, and you can also check Rich and Hoder talking the talk on some of the new Lotek stuff here.

BUT, while we're talking shoes, here's a little something from InterBike:



There is a new BMX specific brand of footwear called Almond that's about to drop. It was launched at Interbike and apparently the money behind it is from a "German brand of BMX frames" and the designers behind it are FBDesign who do work for Etnies, Es, Emerica, IPATH and Burton. So the credentials are there, looks like the colourways are there, hopefully there's some quality to match.

Zen Minimalism, Metal and Death

Well InterBike's out of the way and I managed to get through about 1/100th of stuff that was on show, but you can bet your titanium Ratchet axle that there'll be a flood of re-caps and reviews, reminders and re-launches coming up - so it ain't over yet.

I never did get round to saying anything about the morsels on offer at the Fly booth at InterBike and they've already posted up their re-cap. So you could check that here, or bear with me while I pick out the tasty bits:



So that's basically how it all looked - flat colours on white, simple graphics. Translated, the names of the frames and forks are Moon, Lakes, Mountains, Earth and Water. All very minimal and zen. But then, of course, there's the Pantera, which is more metal and death, but hey, you gotta stick with the classics.

That said, the Pantera forks are no more. And neither are the Tierras. Instead Fly'll only be making the Agua forks - the ones with the investment cast dropouts. And speaking of discontinued models, there was no sign of the Campillo frame on their stand either. I'm not sure whether or not this means my current ride is now officially an antique, but since it was one of the lighter frames going around (4.3 lbs) it'd be interesting in that it would be another manufacturer joining WeThePeople in moving away from lighter weight frames. Yeah, sounds doubtful.

Another fairly doubtful scenario is the mass re-emergence of brakes and that's just not going to happen until Fit's street kids put 'em back on. Regardless, Fly just keep pumping out brake related stuff - which is admirably untrendy:



Just a bunch of brake pads? Yeah, I suppose so, but apparently they're a different compound and are a bit fatter so you've got more rubber on rim, and they use a female bolt system to keep them looking tidy. Also the curved adjustment surfaces are integrated into the bolt and the pad so you've got a couple of less washers to faff about with. Incidentally Odyssey have just posted up some new pads and cables and are saying that the clear pads work the best for painted rims. So there you go.



Rigid straddle cable = less flex and easier set up.



Possibly the most boring photo I have ever posted, but anyway, it's a close up of their Spanish removable mount set up that Sergio explained in a web vid not long ago.



They dropped a new sprocket at InterBike as well - The Circulo. What did I tell you ... Zen.



The red stem pictured is a new topload stem. And like superstar they seem to be suggesting that you should run it upside down. Bottom load stems are officially hot right now.



And lastly, but definitely not least, a chance to have a decent look at the PC Ruben pedals. Fly are pretty much the last to jump on board with PCs, but at least they're not just hijacking a Wellgo and calling it Sliced Bread.

So in homage to the pedal, to the man, to the middle name of my first born, to no-footer to flatty wall rides (@1:11) and to Built to Spill:

That's Low Bro!

A few days ago Obama became the first US president to chair the UN security council and try to ban the bomb, then Stay Fit premiered and just blew that news out of the water (ahem). Now Diamondback in a selfish attempt to take out the controversial Low Top Tube 2010 award have dropped their own bombshell. They are now mass-producing bmx frames with co-linear top tube / seat stay geometry. That's right, a straight line between the head tube and rear drop out! Do I need to spell out the gravity of this? It's like we're standing on the edge of cliff - one more step and we'll all be riding trials bikes.



So this little rocker is Nicholi Rogatkin, he's 13, he's sponsored by Diamondback and that's his bike. And bro... it's low.

I've got to say that I had never heard of this guy, but something tells me that you're going to have to learn to pronounce his name properly, cause in a few years time he'll be everywhere and you'll have to see stuff like this. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's where he was at when he was 12 (warning: mute it)



Ahh, kids these days and their 360 backflips. I remember when I was a boy we were just happy to hop a curb. Progress eh? I suppose if it's going to help him with his 360 flip-whips he can keep his co-linear, 180 degree, straight line, as-low-as-you-can-go geometry (what would you call that?), just as long as he doesn't start hopping around on stuff.

Edit: This just got posted up today. The kid is definitely not hopping around!

Odyssey / GSport: Get Frugal



Yeah, yeah fire engine red everything, but did you see that little flash of the new Odyssey Quadrant rim in there? There is a little more information out about this rim now. Specifically that it's pinned rather than welded, making it an economical alternative to the other Odyssey / GSport models. But, it's a pinned rim with a difference. The name Quadrant comes from the fact that it uses 4 pins rather than the standard 2 that hold most cheap rims together. This means that you wont get that annoying little step in the braking surface caused by the mis-alignment of the outer most edge of the rim wall. Simple ideas are often the best + everyone loves a bargain = winner.

There's also a new Ratchet hubguard that is forged rather than machined, so it's also going to save you some cash as well. It looks like this:



And apparently Odyssey have a new sprocket. They may or not save you money:

S&M WTF... what the fuck?

I'm sorry to do this to you, but I'm going to embed this. You have my sincere apologies for any skating or skaters that you might see, but this is something:



The S&M WTF. Being over here on the other side of the world I don't have that patriotic little piece of DNA that genetically pre-disposes me to loving everything that S&M do. But I like this. Sure all these ideas aren't going to work. Maybe even none of them will end up as practical, but it's a whole lot of radically different ideas packed into one bike. It'd be cool to ride the thing and see how it feels.

In case you didn't watch the video, here's the run down: The S&M WTF is a complete bike that weighs in at 20lbs without a piece of titanium in sight (and at a guess I'd say without any post-weld heat treatment either). The fork legs are shorter by 1/2". Wtf? To save weight. And the head tube is 5/8" shorter than a standard frame. That's got to really change the geometry of the frame - have they adjusted the BB height and head angle to compensate? Don't know.

Then there's the shorter pitch chain and the sprocket with little miniature teeth to fit the chain! Wtf? Apparently this allows for even smaller drive trains than what's around now. Read: 7 tooth rear driver. It's an interesting idea, but it's going to have to do some serious self-promotion before everyone rushes out for new sprockets, drivers and chains.

Next: The Black hole dropouts on fork and frame. Clearly it'll work on the fork, though I think people will need a little convincing as to the point of it, but on the back end? Wtf? How's that going to work? Really small drive trains with no chain adjustment sounds like chain slap hell to me.

And just for the record, not only does the hub have brass bushings replacing the driver bearings, but there are also little holes drilled in each of the driver teeth. It's all getting very cute.

Sunday @ InterBike

A closer look at some more of the Sunday stuff with Jim C videos shot by BMX feed.

This one's got the 3rd wave tubing, new removable mounts and cable guide system:

video

This one takes a pretty good look at the new completes that are looking damn nice:

video

This is kind of a Sunday product. It's Kink's rip of Sundays hollow drop outs and who better to introduce them than Jim himself with some words taken from his Facebook:

"Here it is! Bootleg hollow dropouts by my own distributor and former sponsor Kink! Wow!"

Animal @ InterBike 09

Animal were keeping it in the gutter at Interbike with a bit of a street stall:



Though the hardcore would be questioning whether a plastic peg was keeping it street, but really steel pegs? You're living in 2007. Who goes to InterBike in 2009 and drops a steel peg. Not Animal. The new Butcher peg has an aluminium inner and plastic outer sleeve, similar to the Demolition numbers. It's light and it slides good. Oh, and it has approximately 1/100th the lifespan of a steel peg. But don't be too hard on 'em, they've still got the OG 2.0's and Light 2.0's if you like steel. Check 'em here.

They were showing a multi-tool as well:



Go deaf watching the video here.

NOT InterBike 09

Just so your brain doesn't blow on product news. Clip. Watch it big:

New Profile Hubs

New hubs from Profile is big news. So here's the big news:



At this stage they're being called "Elite" hubs, which apparently isn't their final name and although these look to be racing specific, there is a 14mm version with a 9t driver. I don't have any details on what's actually inside these hubs, but they do bring up a few questions. The name "Elite" would suggest that these are a step up from Profile Mini cassettes - could bmx hubs really get any more elite / expensive than the Mini? It's either that or Profile are getting all marketing-speak on your ass and calling a cheaper model a more expensive name, but since Madera is locked in as being their affordable product line that seems unlikely. So the question remains - what makes these hubs the elite of the elite?



Anyway, they're looking nice and clean and there is definitely a saving in machine time on the hub shell that might allow them to put in a few more internal features - Different bearings? More pawls? New materials? According to Profile all will be revealed officially some time after InterBike. But for now, that matte green anodising is looking the goods and is definitely a step away from the techni-colour of the current Profile range.

Edit: Check the comments for official news from Christian at Profile.

They've got a new spline drive sprocket (Demolition have actually also gone that road - if you take a good hard look here) that looks interesting:



And they've I suppose you'd say it makes sense for them to do an 7075 aluminium peg. So they have:

InterBike Incidentals

Just a few Interbike bits and pieces:

Klaus from WTP / Eclat has a vid up on Ride where he talks you through their stuff. You get a look at the Eclat complex seat and post combo that's looking slick in clear with an anodized gold inner sleeve. Vid here (corporate milk warning!). You also get a good look at the fork prototype below that uses investment cast dropouts. :



Demolition have come up with something new in pegs - though I suppose it had to happen sooner or later. Now for the first time the grind friendliness of a plastic sleeve has been combined with the strength of 7075 aluminium. Or is that the softness of plastic combined with the softness of aluminium. Judgement reserved: the proof is in the ledge. You can either squint at the picture below or check this vid.



MacNeil have a 22.2mm pivotal post out. The theory being that everyone runs their seat slammed so why bother with a 1 inch post when you can save weight with a 7/8". Kind of makes sense, but really is it worth it? Jay himself doesn't seem too sure in this vid. Anyway, the rest of the MacNeil range is looking really nice and you can definitely see Harrison's hand in the colourways and textures etc. Apparently there's a couple of new stems. A front and top load of similar design:



Thomas Goring from KHE talks you through some of the Shola stuff in this vid (Milk warning). Including a nice looking new stem that looks to use a similar clamp to the KHE Anchor bar / stem combo and he also goes over one of new KHE Shola street completes that seems to have a very slim set of Shola pedals on the bike that the camera is trying to check out, but Thomas doesn't touch.

WeThePeople 2010 Parts

Yep another flippin' WeThePeople book. This time it's the 2010 parts catalogue:


Probably the most noteworthy bit would be the new cassette - the Supreme Switch. It uses the Q-lite like the old Supreme, but you can switch the pawls around in driver so that like the Ratchet you can run it left or right drive. That's pretty much a win for the shops and distros, but the win for the kid who's going to ride it comes with the fact that there is a total of six bearings in there and 4 in the driver alone and that's got to equal longer bearing life. Doesn't it?. Despite the fact that there's a lot of bearings in a little driver, the weight is still down to a very respectable 16oz.


The Supreme Switch: Six pawls, six bearings, two drive sides, 16 ounces.

So they've got five frames all up and not a single mandatory sub 4.5 lb trend whore in sight. In fact non of them are even sub 4.8 which is admirably modest, but the Elektro has gone full born-again-virgin and covered up with an extra ounce or two. That said all bar the Elektro have a 13.22 rear end - and that is kind of slutty.

There are plenty of investment cast parts welded into the various frames and forks in the form of drop outs, bridges and seat clamps. But with the Mike Brennan / Max Gaertig Warriors frame not only do you get two pros for the price of one, but you get all the tricky bits including those dropouts which you would have seen already:



I'm loving the way the back end of this frame looks. The smooth curve made by the inside of the dropout and the curved bridges gives it a kind of old school looptail look, while at the same time using a technology which is new to bmx and an innovation in frame design.

If you were to say to me:

"This ain't no innovation, just a useless bit of fashion!"

I would probably say to you:

"But bro, they're creating 3D forms that are inherently stronger than a 2D cnc'd or lasercut design and moving the weld away from the stress point at the tip of the rear triangle. What's more they allow for tighter fit between the dropout and stay tubing that allows for a neater and stronger weld. If you'd pull your head out of your ass and you might smell the innovation!"

Then we'd have a punch up.

Klaus from WTP / Eclat actually has different things to say about them and you can listen to them here. But first you'll have to drink a warm glass of corporate milk.

According to a couple of little guys that I've had words with the set up costs for investment casting makes it an option only for the big guys, which is a shame, cause it would be interesting to see what other variations on shape and form would come up. There is definitely a lot of potentially to subtly change the look of a bmx frame by adding in some more interesting "designed" shapes or logo details for people to hate on. But remember... hate is great.

Sunday's Booth and the 3rd Wave

Sunday have up a flip of their InterBike booth:



Notables include some rad looking completes and a look at their 3rd wave tubing:



Some pics of the 3rd wave were up on TCU a while back and got loads of people commenting, including Jim C. As well as letting everyone know that Adam is a naughty boy, he had some words to say about the the 3rd wave tubing:

"As always Adam is good at leaking info that he shouldn’t. As most of you know, Sunday is always trying new and inventive ways to improve a BMX bike’s performance. Which is why other companies are heat treating frames, copying our hollow dropouts, doing angled brake mounts and using Black Magic rustproof coating on their parts. There’s stuff we do that we can’t even say because it will get copied. We made a few samples of Funday’s and Wave’s with the waved top tube because the wave downtube has been proven so strong. Why not improve the strength of the whole front end by using a stronger top tube? The current Second Wave and Funday frames are easily the toughest frame we’ve done so far. Jake has only been on this frame for a few days now, so there’s many more months of testing to be done with it. The earliest you might see this would be late spring of 2010. As always Sunday will continue to design and make products that will fit the rider’s needs."
There you go straight from the J.C's mouth.

DeGrooted



Just an update on Chad DeGroot's Deco brand. He's got a nice little interview up on ESPN where he talks about his motivation for getting Deco going. And he's also done the old InterBike video booth check here.

Odyssey @ Interbike

Interbike is off and running and what better way to kick it off than with an Odyssey booth check:



As colourful as you'd expect. There is a pic of their new quadrant rim in there too. Here's a closer look:



Looks like a rim, but the cross section is where it's at so keen to check that.

There's also a vid with Jim Bauer going through their shit here.

Chad DeGroot is Raw!

Does it seem to you that bmx gets more and more fragmented all the time? Lots of little boxes to
Either way, bear with me a second: You’ve got your low top tube trendies v. staunch high tt geometry enforcers. There’s your light weight digi-scale obsessors v. back-in-my-day heavy weight protectors or the roasted brakeless street slackers v. the protein shaking gyro gymnasts.

It’s getting harder and harder to choice the hard and soft goods and piece together a fitting bmx persona for yourself. That is what you're doing isn't it? Anyway it’s almost enough to make you want to put your seat post to a comfortable level, put on a front brake, Chicago your bars and do one-footed, x-up kickturns in your driveway.

My point here is acutually that there is a clear new division emerging. The Raw v. The Colour kids. Raw is definitely the mode preferred at my local park and has even been taken to new levels of rawness with the spray bottle of salt water used to create a very even layer of rust over a frame. Sounds dumb, looks good. Probably not great if you value your warranty, but at least you're hard. Here are some of the contenders in this new sub-sub-cultural divide:

Fly are definitely in the colour camp and their 2010 stuff will allow you to match your pedals to your cables, to your brakes, to your brake pads. You may now view a shitty quality image of said stuff right here.

Failure have a new Jerimiah Smith frame called the Flying Lion that is r-r-r-raw:


More shots here.

Mutiny have a new frame called the Lucky Strike that cleverly combines paint job and decals to mess with your eyes:


Bright. Looks like they've also got some new forks on the way.

The graphics on Colony’s Gnarkill frame are obscenely colourful:



But for the pinnacle of rawness. Chad DeGroot’s “brand” Deco Bmx which kind of looks legitimate, despite his website being the least legitimate company website imaginable – it’s an odd mix of porn (how are those two kids in the background not curious as to what's going down on the mini ramp?), new born babies and general freakiness.



But there is even a selection of bmx parts on show that may just be a product line… or they might be some stickered up things he found in someone’s garden shed. Actually the frame is complete with bullet tipped stays and a logo’d lasercut seat-stay bridge and seems very unlikely to be a hoax.

Upon further examination of this rawness, it appears there is a pair of forks with removable 990 mounts that will do their part to create harmony between the front brake and brakeless sub-sets. Despite this gesture, the level of raw product combined with a website unmatched in bmx for it’s raw female content, you've got to say that Chad DeGroot is raw!

Nothing Flashy, Nothing Trashy

You know Salt? It's a brand that was put together by WeThePeople just so they could spec their completes with something a little more dignified than generic unbranded parts. It actually started out as not much more than generic parts with the Salt logo applied, but WTP have been quietly building it up into a force of it's own and it's now all available after-market.

The "quietly" part probably comes from the fact that the parts are pretty much designed to not stand out or break new ground, but just to be cheap, functional and respectable. I think it's pretty safe to say that ideal is reflected in the flip book that out now - nothing flashy, but nothing trashy:


Coming from dudes that already have a 2 top notch stand alone brands in Eclat and WeThePeople, not to mention all the Fuse protection stuff, it's pretty damn impressive that they've put together such huge catalogue of stuff right down to double-butted spokes and alloy nipples. I'm impressed anyway.

Volume and Demolition 2010

I knew that Volume / Demolition had dabbled a little in the fixed gear world with their Cutter frame and Fu Manchu fork, but I'd just put that down to a case of fixie-curious, but it may be more serious. Their 2010 flip book that came out recently is all in all a very pro package, but as I was flip bookin' through I realised that I was staring at a page of fixed gear specific handlebars of various rises depending on how much of a barspinner you are. To be honest I thought the whole fixed gear freestyle thing was a phenomenon that would eventually fade away. Apparently it's not, but anyway, here's the book:


There's also a new cassette hub in there called the Rolls, which is a simple male axle set up. It's got a polymer bushing in the driver, is available in 8 and 9 tooth only and compatible with Demolition's screw on hub guard. For the record it's 14.3 oz's light and looks like this:



Demolition is now officially yet another late entry into the 2009/2010 PC pedal spectacular, with a fetching pedal that has been spat from a mold kinda different, but kinda the same as half the other entrants:



Lasty and leasty, let's round up this wrap-up with the newest of photographs of the undisputed yard-stick of bmx creativity:

Charles Chappell / BlueSix Bikes Interview

I occasionally ride with a guy who’s a machinist and is obsessed by titanium. As you’d expect from a guy of that description, his bike is like a half titanium cyborg of a bmx with all the usual suspects like spindles, axles, pegs, bar ends, bolts, cranks, but also a stem that he’s chopped out of a solid ti block complete with a Transfomer logo milled into the front of it. It’s not lighter than an alloy stem – he just a titanium nut.

My point here is that there’s something about titanium that gets a hold on people. It could be that it’s used in jet engines and spacecraft and just about any self-respecting high performance machinery, or it could be that metallic white freshly machined look that it has raw. I myself have been known to shell out Ebay dollars on off-cuts for future projects that are still in the future and I just like that you’re holding in your hand a piece of metal that looks heavy, but feels light. It’s like magic, although “excellent strength to weight ratio” may be a slightly more accurate technical description.

So if you’re a machine head, chances are you like titanium. Combine that with the fact that if you ride bikes, chances are you’re conscious of the weight of your whip and then it’s clear that there’s a bmx market for the stuff. Of course it’s been played with it before – think RNC, Knight, Brand X – but you’d have to say with limited degrees of success.


Hold on a minute! This ain't the same ol' same ol'. The fact that this BlueSix upgrade decreases the weight of a pair of Odyssey PCs while simultaneously increasing the potential colour combinations, means that it's impossible for anyone to convince me that it wont be a winner.

But the current titanium-man-of-the-moment is Charles Chappell. You’ve probably heard of BlueSix Bikes – he’s the man behind it and is definitely doing things a little differently. The name BlueSix says a lot in that it sums up his idea to simplify and standardise the tools you need to work on your bike by designing hardware upgrades that all use a 6mm allen key. On top of that he’s going outside your standard stem and crank bolts and doing product specific upgrades for parts like the Gsport Ratchet and KHE Geisha freecoaster. They’re all CNC machined from Ti6Al4V titanium alloy, are available in anodised colour variations and look the goods.

Charles was up for answering a few questions about BlueSix and he’s dropping some new product as well, so if you like your bike tight or light, read on:

The Interview:

Jeff: Hey Charles, thanks for being up for saying a few words and showing us some of your new stuff, could you just start us off with a basic run down of how and why you started BlueSix Bikes and the idea behind it?

Well, I've aspired to start a little bike company since I began riding at age twelve. I have always had fun modifying my bike and drawing up new ideas for parts. I guess I felt it was time to fulfil my childhood dream.

The idea behind Bluesix is to make your bike exactly how you want it. What I like about bikes is they are half way between a skateboard and a car. You can ride it and have fun doing tricks, but you can customize it like a car. I just wanted to focus on upgrades and small specialty parts that add the finishing touch.


The official finishing touch


Doing titanium bolts and hardware is pretty specific and at the high end, price-wise, when it comes to bmx parts, but it seems like there’s plenty of people keen to lavish hip pocket love on their bikes.

I don't think the prices are out of reach for most people. I mean, there are plenty of people that buy new frames or parts just to keep their bike fresh. A 20 dollar axle bolt isn't much compared to a 300-400 dollar frame. I just think that people have a hard time justifying a 20 dollar bolt when they usually cost 3 bucks. Bluesix may not be for everyone, but there are people out there that understand how much goes into a Bluesix product and are willing to pay a premium price.


You like? Pay the premium and ratchet your Ratchet up a notch

Generally speaking, how’s business? Can you tell us what kind of volumes you’re pumping out? What’s your big seller and which colours are people most into?


I keep busy. There are some products that collect dust, but some of them are gone as soon as I get them. I work with very small volumes, anywhere from 25-500 units depending on the product. Stem bolts sell the fastest with crank bolts close behind.

As for the colors, Raw Ti is the most popular. I sell quite a bit of Gold, and Stealth Grey would sell a lot if I could recreate it.

I think I’m right in saying that you do all the machining yourself (?), in your apartment (?). Could you tell us a little about your set up – how big / small it is. You’ve obviously got a lathe in there, but any other machines that you fire up of an evening?

I do not do the production work myself. I would go insane if I attempted to manually machine every bolt on my mini lathe haha. I have a few manufacturers that I work with. The titanium stuff is made overseas to keep the stuff affordable and the aluminum stuff like the 7075 washers and Geisha conversion collars are made here in Lawrence Kansas by a local machine shop. I looked into getting the Ti stuff made here in the states, but it would not be possible to offer the current prices or the warranty.


The Geisha conversion kit: I told you this was more than just some fancy titanium shit


Collars made in the US of A, bolts in the PP of C

I have a small room in my apartment that I call “The Lab”. It's not quite big enough to be considered a bedroom, more of a study room. I have a 7 x 12 mini lathe that I use to modify stuff, make prototypes, and small runs of simple stuff like spacers and adapters. I have a lot of fun with that thing and I am always buying new tooling for it. I'm not sure how my neighbors feel about the noise, but I haven't gotten any complaints. I have a milling attachment for it, but I haven't gotten much use out of it so far because it takes so much time to set it up. I have an anodizing station that I set up and one of the cool little machines I have is an ultrasonic cleaner. I was talking to an engineer at work when I first started anodizing and told him about how I had to clean each bolt individually with a rag and acetone. It was time consuming and the colors didn't come out very consistent. He told me about his anodizing experiences and gave me a line on an ultrasonic cleaner that uses ultrasonic soundwaves to thoroughly clean all the microscopic crevices, and I can clean a bunch of bolts at the same time. My life has been much easier since.


Straight out of the lab: Some new stuff from BlueSix. "Clear mouldings + anodized titanium upgrades = positive consumer response" - Jeff 2009

Anodizing titanium – is it exactly the same process as anodizing aluminium?

Titanium anodizing is quite different than aluminum anodizing. Basically the way aluminum anodizing works is colored dyes are absorbed into the small pores in the surface of the metal. Titanium anodizing doesn't use dye at all. The colors are dependant on the thickness of the oxide layer which is determined by the amount of voltage applied. For example, Blue is about 30V, Gold 60V, Purple 75V, Green 100V. You can get a whole spectrum of colors and shades. The way it works is the light is reflected off of the surface and the different wavelengths are perceived as colors through the human eye.


These anodized titanium crank bolts are actually all the same colour. It's just them damn wavelengths fuckin' with your eyes' perception again!

People can get pretty tense and opinionated about light weight parts and although the shouting has (mostly) died down and just about everyone at least considers the weight of their bike, even if they’re not obsessed by it. Do you think people are into BlueSix upgrades more for the way they look and the dialled detail that they bring to your bike or the performance factors like the weight and the 6mm standard?

It depends on the person. Some people have fun with finding ways to see how light they can get their bike, but I think most people are into Bluesix because the stuff makes your bike easier to work on and the stuff looks awesome.

To the standard questions now - well, they’re standard for the one interview I’ve done so far, but anyway… In your opinion, is there something that BMX design needs more of?

I think bmx is evolving in the right direction. I would like to see more focus on standards. We need to decide on one bottom bracket size because I've seen a few of my friends get a new frame and had to wait until they got new bearings to ride it. I guess companies would sell less bottom brackets, but it would be easier on the consumer. Also American companies need to go metric. S&M/Fit knows what's up because they switched their stems to metric so people don't have to use a 1/4” allen key anymore. Now Profile needs to follow and make it easier on everybody. I watched one of my friends search through a tool box trying out each size allen key in his profile cranks. I told him it was a 7/32” and he didn't have the right size so he ended up riding with loose cranks. I hooked him up with Bluesix bolts so he doesn't have to worry about it now.


6mm is the new 7/32”

Something it could use less of?

Holes.

What are some of the other BMX companies, or brands outside of BMX, whose design and / or outlook you appreciate?

My inspirations stem from my favorite companies when I was young; VG made all kinds of little parts that made the bike come together as a whole, and Brand X produced lots of Ti stuff that made people drool.

I look up to Chris King and Thomson for their high standards, Tree for how much thought is put into their products, Fly for being innovative and changing the standards, and G-sport for making strong and reliable designs.

Brands outside of bmx that I find inspiration in are VW, Lamborghini, and BMW.

So it’s all going along smooth and you’ve got some new products in the works. How far do you want to take it? Would you move outside doing only Ti stuff and maybe move on to doing hubs or other parts? What about going outside the bmx market – those roadies seem like they ain’t short of a buck?

The sky is the limit. I didn't plan on starting a bolt company, or making so much titanium stuff, it just happened. I just went with it and people kept requesting different bolts, so I made what they wanted. I've been putting in a lot of time in designing parts like stems and hubs, but it will be a long time before they are ready because I like to take my time and make sure it comes out exactly how I envision it. I want to work with team riders and make stuff they like. My dream product is a freecoaster that doesn't suck. I really want to offer affordable grade 8 steel versions of the bolts. I'm going to interbike this year so hopefully that will open up some doors for me.

As far as venturing outside of bmx, I would like to make stuff for all kinds of bikes since I love riding anything with pedals, but I don't really have any plans for it right now because I have so many ideas for bmx.



In the case that you picked that the Odyssey PC upgrade at the top of the interview was shown without bearings or bushings... That's because it's still in the prototype phase. Charles is currently messing around with needle bearing and plastic bushing combos, but here's the inspiration - a bent stock PC spindle. So he's beefed up the Ti and, of course, it'll come 6mm equipped

Shout outs? Final words of wisdom?

I would like to thank my mom for everything. She would always keep me busy with projects and taught me how to make stuff. My wife Rachel has helped me so much with Bluesix. Without her none of this would be possible. Shout outs to all my homeboys; Na, John, Daniel, Goldfanga, Abe, T-Love, Damon thanks for the solidworks help, Kyle, Dave, My nephew Chris the pigeon man, Dirty Joe, Lucas, Ben, Wiley, Mo, Adam, my team riders Jon Saunders and Big James, Tom from Empire thanks for generating a huge spike of interest, Rayn from Danscomp thanks for the technical help, Brian from Re-cylery thanks for hookin it up, thanks to everyone that has bought a Bluesix product I really appreciate your support, and of course thanks to Jeff for this interview and letting people know what Bluesix is all about.

Final words of wisdom: Life is short so keep it real and do whatever makes you happy.

...
you can't fault that, but you can head over to BlueSix if you want open your wallet for any of the stuff above.

Volcanicus Boltious

Forged from subterraneous erruptions of bolt-manship, they are here:



They work with some hubs:
» G-Sport Marmoset
» G-Sport Monkey
» G-Sport Fat Shaft MkII
» G-Sport Fat Shaft (1995 onwards)
» Odyssey Vandero 2
» Demolition Mary-Kate front
» Shadow Raptor Front
» Colony Clone Front

But not with others:
» G-Sport Fat Shaft (1994 -1995)
» Profile Mini Front
» Madera Pilot Front
» Fly Bikes Front
» Eclat Teck front
» WTP Supreme Front

If you crave more information, you will find it here.

Actually this post is a nice little lead-in to the interview that I'm about to put up. The keywords in this guessing game are: "slick bolts" and "6mm allen key". You with me?

Flippin' Heck

It's pre-InterBike flip book mania.

Fit have one up with their full 2010 range, including 20 complete bikes with not a brakeless model amongst them. Neither is there an embed code but you can check it here.

The next is another big American - Eastern. They are slacking somewhat with just 19 completes (even a few of them are the dreaded mtb's), but they are right up there matching Fit in the unembeddable flip book challenge. You can check theirs here somewhere.

There is just so many bikes, grips, tyres, pedals, shirts and everything else that it just makes your face hurt looking at it all, let alone reading everything. But even at a skim it's interesting looking at just how different the two brands are. Fit's all quality photos and minimal layout while Eastern just piles as much shit as they can in there with photos that look like they've been taken by your mum and graphics laid out by your dad. That's harsh, but my point is that they do things completely differently, yet both sell a shitload of bmx paraphernalia.

This pretty much sums up the difference:


Absolute chaos...


...v.s Absolute clean

And when it comes to the words, I'd say Eastern has crammed about 2000 into the first few pages, including a detailed analysis of how to identify whether you're a "Beginner, Intermediate, Expert, Pro and Team" rider and a very scientific chart to decide upon your TT length. But there is also a dark side to all this information that no kid will ever read:



Since you still didn't read it, you wouldn't have seen that bit that warned of other brands hiding subpar products behind flashy advertising. Is that code for "read on to find flashy products behind subpar advertising?"

Of course for the sake of cleanliness Fit have put there message more simply with some short but thoughtful quotes:



OK, that's enough about that. I've said more or less nothing, so let's move on and pretend it never happened.

Back to flip-mania. Eclat also have a flip book for you to... flip through:




And just so you're sure that Klaus at WeThePeople is not a lazy man, you can flip the Fuse too:


 
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