You kick your front foot back hard, scooping the pedal back and flicking the cranks around underneath you with your battered Vans. Something is wrong. Your cranks squeak to a halt a mere 180 degrees from their original position. Your feet slap down anti-climatically upon the asphalt. Your heel-bruise worsens. The attractive woman who was showing mild interest as she walked past looks away in embarrassment and quickens her pace. Your peers nonchalantly look back down to their smartphones in silence; Courage Adams just posted on Insta and he actually lands his tricks… You try again- you kick back harder, grunt a little, people can smell your desperation now. This time you get a better grip of the remaining three pins left in your pedal. ‘This is the one…’ you think, ‘the fist bumps are coming my way.’
As you lay there, tangled among steel tubes, bleeding from a chunk missing from your Achilles tendon (probably caused by a Schrödinger’s pedal; a pedal that paradoxically seems unable to grip the bottom of your shoes yet will savagely butcher any part of your body it may end up touching) with your pride in tatters, thinking ‘Maybe I should make crankflips easy for myself and just ride a cassette…. like Courage.’ you might be better off by simply lubing your chain and changing your bottom bracket.
There are plenty of crank installation videos out there, this Merritt one being the latest example. While it gives you some good pointers on crank installation, it completely skips the BB installation stage so today I’m going to take you through what it takes to properly measure and install your new bottom bracket like a goddamn… god! We’ve all seen a number of wrong ways to fit a BB; some accidental, some on purpose, and with the evolution of the BB slowed down to a halt on the extremely efficient press-fit Mid sized BB shell, I’d say it’s high time to explain how to install the sucker correctly. Continue reading →
FBM Bike Co have been at the forefront of USA made frames for well over 15 years in the 20 inch market but now they’ve branched into the relatively new-found 22 inch wheel market that has emerged recently with a scaled-up Steadfast. The 74.25 degree head angle and traditional 71 degree seat tube angle remain unchanged but the chainstays have been lengthened by 0.825″, the bottom bracket height has been lowered by 0.875″, the standover height is raised a smidge by 0.125″ and it comes in 21.75″ top tube (more than long enough for anyone big enough to ride one)
If you’ve never rode a 22″ before; do so, they’re incredible- forget any preconceived notions influenced by the poorly designed 24″ cruisers of the past- these things handle just like an ‘adult’s’ 20 incher but give you confidence to jump bigger stuff.
Top Tube Lengths; 21-3/4″
Head Tube Angle; 74.25 degrees
Bottom Bracket Height; 12-1/4″
Seat Tube Angle; 71 degrees
Standover Height; 9.375″
Rear End Length; 14.125″ (slammed)
Weight; 5 pounds
Head Tube Integrated – Externally machined 4130 Chromoly
Top Tube 1-1/4″ O.D. Double Butted 4130 Chromoly
Top Tube Gusset 3D laser cut 4130 Chromoly
Down Tube 1-3/8″ O.D. Double Butted 4130 Chromoly
Down Tube Gusset 3D laser cut 4130 Chromoly
Bottom Bracket Mid – Internally machined 4130 Chromoly
Seat Tube Internally Butted 4130 Chromoly
Seat Post Clamp A Seat Clamp is Required
Seat Stays 3/4” O.D.x 0.035″ Wall tapered to 5/8″ OD
Chain Stays Double Bend
3/4” O.D.x 0.049″ Wall tapered to 5/8″ OD
Seat Stay Bridge 5/8″ OD tube bridge 4130 Chromoly
Chain Stay Bridge 3/4″ OD tube bridge 4130 Chromoly
Capped Stays Yes
Dropouts Heat treated 3/16″ thick 4130 Chromoly for 14mm axles
Brake Position Chain Stay
Brake Type 990’s
Cable Stop Threaded and Slotted
Cable Guide Dual Slotted Tube
FBM are taking pre-orders of these and their 22″ CB4K fork now so hit them up if these are up your alley.
News about ProperBikeCo‘s new Tecmatik street frame has been floating about for a fair while but the full specs have eluded us until now. Straight from the horse’s mouth, here’s what Proper has to say about it;
This frame was designed with three main objectives; to be strong, responsive, and affordable. There’s no compromise on quality but we’ve managed to keep the price reasonable by keeping what we call “vanity features” to a minimum. There’s no laser cut headtube logo, no gusset stamp, no fancy finish, and no investment casting or hydro forming, no signature pro to pay…..even the box packaging is recycled card. What you do get is finest quality construction, twin headtube gussets, and a short rear end designed for more technical riding. Virtually all our team riders wanted a similarly specced frame, so you shouldn’t be surprised to see this frame easily cope with the harshest riding.
20.7, or 21″ top tube
11.6” bb height
13.38” cs length (13.05” slammed)
71 degree seat tube
115mm head tube
Clearance for 28t sprocket
Twin Laser cut headtube gussets
5mm thick heat treated dropouts with 14mm slots
Curved tube braces on chain and seat stays
Tapered chain and seat stays
Tapered Mid BB
Integrated seat clamp
Removable seatstay brake mounts (included)
Removable gyro tabs (included)
Weight: 2.2kg (4 lbs 13 oz)
Colours: ED Black, Matt Raw
From the sound of it I’d say the Tecmatik ticks all the right boxes as far as frames go, word is that these will be available from next week onwards so get onto your local shop to snap you one up.
Fresh from the offices in Cologne, Wethepeople have revamped their Patron frame for 2016. Not to be confused with their Patrol trails line; the Patron is a super responsive, hight tech street machine with short chain stays, a medium/high- height bottom bracket and a tight head angle to keep it nice and nippy. Other smart features include the super stiff D-shaped chain stays, double head tube gussets and integrated chain tensioners. These badboys are out now so check out the full specs below and get onto your local shop to order you one up or head to Wethepeople‘s site for more pics.
Tubing: butted, seamless Japanese 4130 chromoly tubing
Top tube length: 20.75 “or 21.15″ TT
Chainstay length: 13.25 ” with 25-9 gearing, 13.1″ slammed
Head tube angle: 75.5 °
Seat tube angle: 70.5°
Bottom bracket: Mid BB, 74mm width, 11.75 ” height, cnc machined and heat-treated
Head tube: cnc machined and heat-treated, integrated head set, drilled for gyro tabs
Dropouts: 7mm, investment cast, 4130 crmo with integrated chain tensioners
Features: Slim profile integrated seat clamp
Top and down tube gussets
D-shape chain stays for dent resistance
Single butted top tube with integrated threads for cable guides (removable brake hardware not included)
Wide rear triangle allows clearance for a 2.4 ” tyre.
Colours: Gloss black, translucent brown
Weight: Aprox. 2.31kg/5lbs (21.15″)
2016 looks like it will see a fair few classics coming back, starting with this little gem; the re-issue of FBM’s USA made Gypsy frame. While FBM continued to make the Gypsy in a 16″ wheel size, we haven’t seen a ‘20 inch‘ version since the Gypsy 2 in 2012. Updates include a top tube/head tube junction gusset, steeper 75 degree head angle and shorter 13.5″ chain stays. Be sure to get your local shop to bag you one via FBM’s many distros.
Featuring Artwork by Thomas Hooper, and a smooth but aggressive geometry, it will be available in 20.5″. 20.75″ and 21″ top tube length, with a 75 degree Headtube angle, 71 degree seat tube angle, 11.5 inch bottom bracket height, 8.75 inch standover height, 13.5 inch Chainstay (rear end) length and removable seat stay brake mounts.
Devon Smillie’s signature Flybikes Fuego frame underwent a few significant tweaks for 2016, the most notable being the addition of external head tube gussets as well as the existing internal ones that Fly utilises and the shift from Fly’s proprietary Spanish BB to a larger Mid;
For 2016, Devon wanted to make a few changes to his Fuego frame. The first thing you will notice is that we’ve added external gussets. These gussets are an addition to the internal integrated gussets we already utilize on the frame, making for an extremely strong front end. Next, we’ve raised the seat tube height a half inch to 9.25″ and shortened the back end to 13.35″ making for a strong frame that’s built to take on the streets. We have also added an additional top tube length for those of you who are looking for a smaller frame. This year, the Fuego will be available in 21″ and 20.5″ top tube lengths. We have also switched to a Mid bottom bracket to accommodate our new 24mm Dolmen cranks, the spindle size was too large for Spainish bearings, and our traditional Dylan removable brake mounts for a clean looking frame for brakeless riders.
Top tube: 20.5” / 21”
Head tube angle: 75.5º
Seat tube angle: 71º
BB height: 11.75”
Stand over: 9.25”
Chain stay length: 13.35”
Weight: 2.531 kg. / 5.57lb. (21″)
Colours: semi-translucent brown, flat grey, trans black.
The Fuego bars are also now available in a higher 9.5 inch rise for those of you on the tall side. The Fuego bars and frame are out now in some countries with others following close behind, get your local shop to grab a set if they are your bag.
Rise: 9” or 9.5”
Weight: 796g / 1.75 lbs. (9″)
Colours: semi-translucent brown or trans black
Back in September, Kurt at the Union gave us this brief look at the new S&M park-specific frame, dubbed The Dagger, that they had on display at the Interbike trade show. While information on it is limited right now, what we do know is that it has double headtube gussets, removable seat stay brake lugs, an integrated seat clamp and is going to be made in small batches; sold with a pair of the responsive 26mm offset Widemouth forks.
As well as the forks being very manoeuvrable, the frame itself is something of a nipper with it’s tight headtube angle, short rear end and low bottom bracket, all making this frame as responsive as possible. No word on available top tube lengths as of yet but with only two weeks until it’s released, we won’t be waiting long.
The guys over at Dig have a great first look at the new V2 FitBikeCo Benny L frame and an exclusive interview with UK street hero Ben Lewis on how it differs from the first incarnation, the shift from US to Taiwanese manufacturing and it’s general snappy and responsive nature;
Sizes: 20.5″, 20.75″, 21″, 21.25″
Rear end length: 12.8″-13.1″
Head tube angle: 75.5°
Seat tube angle: 69°
BB Height: 11.7″
Dropouts: 14mm 4Q Baked
Seatpost size: 25.4mm
Weight: (S) 20” – 5.08 lb (2.3 kg) , (M) 20.5” – 5.1 lb (2.31 kg) , (L) 20.75” – 5.13 lb (2.33 kg) , (XL) 21” – 5.15 lb (2.34 kg)
It’s a good read so head over to Dig to read the whole thing, then get onto your local shop to order you a V2 Benny L as it is out now.
FBM are currently testing out a new unnamed street frame they have in the works and in our opinion, it looks built to take it. Details like double headtube gussets and a traditional slotted seat post as well as the OG frame decals are great additions to this nippy little beast. Boasting a steep 75.25 headtube angle, 9.125 stand over, 13.625 rear end, low 11.625 BB height and steeper a 72 degree seat tube, this frame is built to move.
It’s no secret that lately Mike Laird has been killing it just as much in his frame fabrication as he ever did during his pro riding career but the promotional video above gives us a good insight into just why his frames are so special. We’ll let Mike do the talking but it’s great to see such attention to welds, as the saying goes; a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link.