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…
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 →
‘Back to the drawing board’ is a phrase companies use with due caution, but when you almost completely redesign a cassette hub in your own glorious vision, it’s hard to avoid such idioms. WMT flagship brand Wethepeople have finally re-released their extremely popular Supreme Cassette hub after a long hiatus, this time with plenty of new tech of which we covered here on The Merged last time. The most notable of which is the first example of a German IGUS bushing being utilised in BMX. Here it is used to replace the pesky driver bearing which is notorious for failing under high loads, it should be interesting seeing how much longer they last in comparison to driver bearings.
The next high-tech item on the list is the 12mm female bolts with 14mm collars. The 17mm chromoly female axle has an extra 2mm of material compared to if it simply accommodated a 14mm female bolt with no collars thus giving it a load of extra strength. Wethepeople have also borrowed a feature used in downhill MTBing; the extra non-drive side bearing. The drive side of a hub generally gets a lot of support from the drive side bearing and the driver bearing (or bushing) but the non-drive side tends to be largely ignored by most companies despite having a lot of leverage/forces going through it. The extra bearing helps everything run smoother and faster for longer. The Supreme Cassette and Front hubs are both out now with matching aluminium hub guards available (nylon versions out around Summer time) Hit up your local bike shop and get some ordered in.
The guys at RideBMX posted an article on the new Wethepeople Supreme hub, of which has been revamped for 2016 after a brief hiatus from making it. This year’s model features WTP’s very own female axle system where 12mm axle bolts with 14mm ‘shoulders’ or ‘built-in adapters’ thread into a 17mm chromoly female axle, the hub comes with two sets of bolts, one with longer shoulders for pegs and one with shorter ones for those without so you’re covered whatever the weather. WTP have been messing around with the concept of 12mm axles for about 10 years and it’s good to see it cross over on a female hub, word on the street is that no one has come close to breaking one during testing.
The Supreme also features their L/RHD switchable Q-lite driver (the pawls are mounted onto the hub shell and the ratchet teeth are on the driver instead of vice-versa) IGUS driver bushing, dual non-drive side bearings to dissipate the largely ignored leverage on that side of the hub. Even the bolts have some crazy styling to them, and at a mere 391g, well, someone at Wethepeople clearly knows their sorcery…
SUPREME – FRONT HUB
Material: 6061-T6 alloy refined hub-shell
Axle: 4130 chromoly female axle – 3/8″ thread
Bearings: 2 high quality Japanese sealed bearings
Features: Alloy CNC’d cones
Weight: 262g (9.24oz)
Colors: Black or Polished
Hub Guards: Alloy available, Nylon coming 2016
SUPREME – CASSETTE HUB
Material: 6061-T6 alloy refined hub-shell
Axle: 4130 chromoly female axle 12mm thread bolt with 14mm extension shoulders
Bearings: 3 high quality Japanese sealed bearings
Driver: 9t only
Full IGUS bushing driver system
Q-Lite system. Ratchet is machined into 1pc driver for maximum strength.
WTP-unique 12mm female bolt system.
Two bearings on non-drive side to increase hub life
Switch drive LHD/RHD system, new one piece pawl & spring system
Weight: 391g (13.79oz)
Colours: Black or Polished
Hub Guards: Alloy available, Nylon coming 2016
After the unveiling of the Eclat Cortex clutch coaster a few days ago a lot of inquisitive souls were asking ‘what happened to the Blind hub?’ While it was always public the Blind would carry on being made, what wasn’t made known was that Eclat were updating/simplifying the internals. A few people had issues with the large circular spring that held the pawls down so it has been replaced by three seperate coiled springs, one for each individual pawl, that slot into the adjoining pawl housing to hold them down. Having personally tested one of these with the updated internals I can say, even as a huge coaster sceptic, that this thing is solid. Photo pinched from The Union.
The guys at BSD posted a Interbike preview of their 2016 parts line-up ahead of the event in Vegas this week, first up is BSD’s first freecoaster hub ,dubbed the Westcoaster, in which the driver utilises bushings and bearings and a different resistance system to traditional coasters. It will also be compatible with the press fit Jersey Barrier hub guards which are also included.
Then we have the NASA rim; BSD’s first pop at a wheel hoop. This is a high-tech I-beam constructed rim with thick tapered sidewalls and tapered, offset spoke holes for cross lacing, sounds tough enough!
Next up are these M-Cap bar ends, these are good if you like the convenience of push-fit plastic bar plugs but break them often. The M-Cap bar end comes with a metal (Aluminium I’m assuming) ring to protect your plastic bar ends from being pummelled deep into your bars and having to fish them out again with a screwdriver.
There’s more on BSD’s site, on which we will be touching on when there is further info; namely the Dan Paley signature Soulja frame.
Profile Racing have fired up the old Jared Eberwein Cotton Candy colourway for their Mini and Elite hubs again (front and back, left and right hand drive) and oh lord, these things are bright. Head over to Profile’s e-store to grab yourself a set of these bad boys before they disappear. And just in case you need any more bike porn, Profile were also good enough to show an exploded diagram of their Elite rear hub for your viewing pleasure. Happy drooling.
It may be a couple of weeks late on here due to staff illness and general misfortune but here is the brand-new offering from Profile Racing; The Z-Coaster, of which is out now. After a lot of speculation, rumours and stories (my favourite being the one about Profile welding on the cone nuts to prevent any security leaks during team testing) they’ve finally released specs and this video giving you an idea on how this high-tech freecoaster hub works.
As is evident from the above video, this is a pawl-retaining system similar to a handful of other new coasters that have been released recently except that it uses slack-cam rings to set the slack to pre-determined adjustments; A. 25/33/45 degrees, B. 60 degrees, C. 75 degrees or D. 90 degrees. The oversized driver is supported by an extra external bearing and is coaster/cassette switchable by simply removing the cone and driver and replacing the inner spacer.
The Z-Coaster is also available in a series of options ranging from black or polished hub shells, male or female axles, titanium or chromoly drivers, axles or bolts. These coasters start at $359.99 for the most basic ones and weigh in at a very reasonable 585 g/20.6 oz. Head over to Profile Racing’s site/webstore for more info on this hub and how to order yours.
As is tradition in BMX all the stops are pulled and the industry sets out to start a shit storm for the gullible and superficial alike, this year was no different. Here we have our selection of our favourite prank parts ranging from Merritt’s Brian Foster clip-in pedals to Blank’s spray on grips. I won’t lie, I’m disappointed we didn’t see a Leonardo Da Vinci piece formed into a Profile Racing stem but I guess there’s always next year.
Profile Racing are firing up the limited edition graphics again, this time with a colourway that even your grandma can get down with; Jake Seeley’s signature Hawaiian Mini Hubs, of which there are only 100 being made. They will be on sale on March the 15th and will come in left or right hand drive.
Colony have controversially decided to come out with a 7075-T6 aluminium replacement 9t driver for their popular Wasp hub. While chromoly (also available) is by far the superior material to use on drivers, some park riders out there who don’t crank their bikes up miles of steep hills everyday on the way to work like some/I do might benefit from the weight savings these things offer.