Profile Racing Hub Guards Explained

What’s cracking peg thugs?  The folks at Profile Racing have always been great with explaining what will fit what when it comes to their components and now their hub guards are no different.  Head over to Profile’s Tech Tip 6 article for a full run down of which hub guards fit which hubs, how they fit, their qualities in relation to the hub they’re installed to and even some team rider accounts of what they ride and why.  Talk about thorough…

Top 5 Grips

Don’t fucking kid yourself, old timer, Big Cheese grips were the absolute pits.

Here’s a nice easy one, everyone likes grips, everybody rides with grips, if you don’t you’re some kind of self-hating, hand abusing masochist.  Hell, even I moved away from riding road bike tape! For the first 10 months of winter in Britain, grips are simply the way we prevent our fingers being amputated due to frostbite.  For the rest of the year they stop our sweaty, slimey, kebab and cider lathered hands from slipping a bar and landing on to our fragile arses with a familiar thud.  On a serious note, grips are the only part of your bike that ever touches your bare skin (well, you hope anyway…) so it is beneficial to have a set that suit you personally.

This time around we’ve got a panel comprised of pegless guy (with a tear in his eye) Greg Pearson and Brighton BMX Co owner Ben Stringer as well as my salty self discussing the industry’s current top 5 bar buffers. Continue reading

The Quintessential BMX Wheelbuilding Guide

I’ve laced up a fair few wheels in my time and always felt tutorial videos always fell a little short in the way that there’s just so much more to our wheels than meets the eye.  So without making too much of a song and dance I’m going to pass on to you, O’ faithful The Merged reader, pretty much everything rattling around my cranial cavity on the subject of building BMX wheels.  Stick the kettle on…

Yep… (pic nicked from Google)

Safety First.

Building wheels is potentially extremely dangerous and life threatening if done without caution.  The amount of tension stored within a single spoke can often exceed 150 kgf- effectively turning every spoke in your wheel into a makeshift crossbow bolt.  If one of those spokes gives way suddenly at the j-bend and there’s nothing to stop it, it will fire out of the rim and through anything in it’s path.  A fired spoke can very easily impale your hand so it can and will do the same to your brain if a spoke fires toward your eyes.  When working on your wheels, you must always have a decent rim strip on at the bare minimum, a tyre left on the rim isn’t a bad thing either.  If you have neither of these or can’t use them because you need to use a nipple driver, wear eye protection (your granddad’s angle grinder googles will do) and never look directly into the rim cavity while tightening spokes.  Now that I’ve scared the living shit out of you, let’s build! Continue reading

Top 5 Pegs

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Being a sad pegless guy for the last 10 years hasn’t done much for my knowledge of grinding apparatus, and I know I’ll be hounded to the ends of the earth, not to mention strung up by my cock and balls by a rabble of peg-thugs for not doing a grind-related top 5; so I sorted it.  Don’t go saying I don’t treat you right.  For a change, this weeks panel consists of Ben Stringer, H.M.F.I.C. at BTN(Brighton) BMX Shop and Jonathan Rubbersmith, aliased industry insider with far too much to say for his own good… both seasoned grinders with a better idea about pegs than the pedal-grinding prick typing this. Continue reading

Top 5 Pedals

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Looks like you lot liked the whole fanzine-style ‘top 5 tyres’ thing I did last week so once again I teamed up with old school racer Chris Coutts and sad pegless guy Greg Pearson to briefly discuss our favourite pedal options available out there today.  As much as I try to keep things as balanced as possible there aren’t any aluminium pedals on the list, simply because cheap alloy pedals are rarer now and if you still ride them you probably know what you like already.  This isn’t a nostalgia-fest ‘top 5 pedals EVER’ kinda thing, it’s more of an ‘independent buyer’s guide’ so don’t go losing your shit over OG Cielinski’s not making the list like you did last week…  Just be thankful you’re not bolting on Crupi beartraps. Continue reading

Top 5 Tyres According To The Merged

I think it’s safe to say that your tyres are ultimately the parts that determine what terrain you’ll ride most, whether you ride park, street, trails, bowls, track or flat, your tyres will probably reflect that.  Then people have their own individual tastes, whether they prefer more tread, smoother profiles, tightly packed or more agressive patterns varies from user to user.  That said, I, with a little help from Chris Coutts and Greg Pearson, have compiled a small list of our current (subject to change) tyre favourites.  Shout out to Tal Mazar for the idea.  In no particular order….

 

Tioga Comp 3

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CC: As an all-time hero, in my eyes there’s the Comp III…

This early 80’s legend can still be found on the bikes of trail riders everywhere, it’s hard not to have a soft spot for the classics, right?  I mean, you wouldn’t jump off a roof with them but they still roll in the woods okay…

CC: I never understood why Tioga never updated it, imagine the hype from the woodland folks!

20 x 1.75″
Inflated Width: 1.79″ (45.5mm)
Inflated Diameter: 19.5″ (495mm)
Max Pressure: 40 psi
Weight: 16.4 oz
20 x 2.125″
Inflated Width: 2.03″ (52mm)
Inflated Diameter: 20.02″ (508.5mm)
Max Pressure 40 psi
Weight: 19.7 oz

Shadow Conspiracy Contender Welterweight

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GP: I use Contenders because they’re slick shaped so slide well in parks but grip well on rough wallrides etc, many others to consider but yeah… Rubens for example are amazing grip and balance but are too thin, wear fast and are expensive…

‘A bit odd’ is what I thought at my first look at the Contender tyre with it’s recessed tread pattern but I can concure with Greg, these tyres feel great.  They look and feel more like traditional tyres than your average ‘basketball’ street tyre.

20 x 2.20″
Inflated Width: 2.16″ (55mm)
Inflated Diameter: 20.5″ (520.7mm)
Max Pressure: 110 psi
Weight: 23.6 oz
20 x 2.35″
Inflated Width: 2.30″ (58.5mm)
Inflated Diameter: 20.79″ (528mm)
Max Pressure: 110 psi

Primo V-monster

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Tal mentioned the V-Monster when he messaged me with the idea of doing a tyre article, Chris included it within his own personal top three and I always liked it so it gets a spot.  Being the product in 1995 that made Primo into what it is today there’s certainly some history behind it and now in it’s 2.4″ version, it looks as inviting as ever.

20 x 2.40″
Inflated Width: 2.48″ (63mm)
Inflated Diameter: 21.1″ (536mm)
Max Pressure: 100 psi
Weight: 25.5 oz

Animal x T1

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You gotta hand it to Terrible One, they know exactly what they like and it shines forth in this baby.  I’m not going to say that this tyre is my particular bag but anyone can appreciate the details; the dual compound, the centre tread groove, the unusually ‘edged’ profile, all pointing toward the kind of imitation-surfing and pool/tranny style that has been popping forth recently.  With the flavour-of-the-month (street; at the moment anyway…) taking up the most in the way of designing parts, it’s good to see something break the mold.

20 x 2.20″
Inflated Width: 2.24″ (57mm)
Inflated Diameter: 20.62″ (524mm)
Max Pressure: 110 psi
Weight: 28.2 oz
20 x 2.40″
Inflated Width: 2.44″ (62mm)
Inflated Diameter: 20.98″ (533mm)
Max Pressure: 110 psi
Weight: 30.6 oz

Cult x Vans.

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Chris Coutts: Cult x Vans seemed to be well priced and well loved…

Greg Pearson: I’ve never tried Cult x Vans tires, you would know more about those…

My personal (current) go-to tyre; 2.35″ front and rear. The tightly packed tread keeps it feeling slick enough for lipslides but there’s still plenty of traction for long, drawn-out wallrides.  The clincher is the large rounded profile that makes for super stable, predictable manuals, especially while in a carving arc.

20 x 2.20″
Inflated Width: 2.42″ (61.5mm)
Inflated Diameter: 20.82″ (528.8mm)
Max Pressure: 110 psi
Weight: 20.2 oz
20 x 2.35″
Inflated Width: 2.48″ (63mm)
Inflated Diameter: 20.86″ (530mm)
Max Pressure: 110 psi
Weight: 24.6 oz

(All tyre measurements from Dans Comp‘s website)

BMX And Unplanned Obsolescence

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One thing that has always fascinated me about BMX or more specifically; the economy of BMX- is the current lack and decreasing amount of what is commonly known in ‘the real world’ as planned obsolescence.  Planned obsolescence, for anyone unfamiliar with the term, is the reason you buy a new phone every year, a new games console every 2 years, a new TV every 3 years, a new fridge every 4 years, etc; instead of every 10 years- for ALL of them.  It’s not that companies can’t produce a games console that wouldn’t overheat and melt the solder, or a phone that doesn’t bend in your pocket or smash when you drop it, it’s that it doesn’t make them anywhere near as much money if they make a product that lasts a decade rather than last two years- even if they charged double for it.  800 quid per person every ten years? Or 400 quid every two years? (equating to 2000 per person every decade) It’s a very easy business decision.  The downside is that we are polluting the very planet we are stuck on with our broken junk, merely in the quest for profit.  Thanks to everyone who participates in making BMX what it is, we truely have something we can be proud of; our own little world where planned obsolescence is kept to a bare minimum. Continue reading

Spotted: Eclat Seeker Pedals

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A quick look at this ‘bike check‘- hyphenated because it probably doesn’t belong to anybody yet as it’s a trade show piece- and we can see a number of parts from Wethepeople and Eclat that are yet to be released.  While most of them, like the Strangler 25.4mm OD Bars have already been announced, the Seeker pedal shown above has yet to see the light of day (unless you count the poorly lit photo above, which is the clearest shot available…)  While there is next to zero information about it, what we do know is that it’s a sealed bearing pedal with a large knurled nylon body and at least 12 pins each side. As to whether the pins are all molded or if some are metal, or even if the body is concaved or follows a flatter Surge type design is yet to be seen.  Head over to CSG‘s site for a few more photos where you can kinda make out the side of the pedal…. Just.

Headsets Revisited- A Decade On

 

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When S&M unveiled the first BMX frame to feature an integrated headset over 10 years ago, it was met with puzzled looks and optimism alike; would it be that much easier to install? Would it be expensive to convert from Aheadsets to integrated? Where did this revolutionary design come from?  Let’s have a quick recap… Continue reading