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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

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


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


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


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


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.


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)

Tall Order Product Line


The ‘David Coulthard of BMX’ (*cough*) a.k.a. Bas Keep recently launched his new English transition/ramp-riding brand, Tall Order, and we’re finally getting to see some samples emerge from Taiwan of what kind of products they’ll be pushing.  So let’s start with the frames, of which there are two; the 215 and the 187 (the names derive from the respective standover heights in millimeters… in case you were wondering) the 187 is the smaller of the two with a shorter standover height, chainstays and top tube options and the 215 is the more ‘adult’ sized frame with slightly longer TT’s, standover and rear end. The custom slanted seat clamp is a great little brand signature for these clean looking frames, as is the return of the BB/stay junction gusset on the 215 (think along the lines of the old Wethepeople Omen frame) I can’t say I’m too enthusiastic about the lack of a top tube gusset on either frame as that’s where I always break my frames but maybe that’s just me.  My favourite part in the Tall Order line isn’t even a part, but we’ll get to that at the end.  Walk with me… Continue reading

Can You Dig It’s 2016 Trails Frame Guide


The guys at Can You Dig It posted a rad overview of some of the trails orientated frames available for 2016 and their respective geometries for a comparison; handy if you’re in the market for a new dirt steed.  While most frames in this list will typically have slacker, sub-75 degree head angles, longer top tubes and chain stays for stability, CYDI recognises that not everybody likes stable bikes so they threw in nippy-er bikes like the Fit Motomike and the Verde Oxbridge frames for good measure.  If I had to pick a favourite though, It’d be hard not to go with a Standard Trailboss…

Mutiny Bikes Deathgrip Frame


This one’s been doing the rounds on social media recently; Mutiny posted a preview of Dylan Lewis’ signature Deathgrip frame where we get a full look at the specs (bar the standover height which I’m willing to bet is around the high 9-10″ mark judging by how long the top tubes are…) and a photo showing a bunch of cool details including a traditional look chromoly seat clamp and the lowered chain stays to better accommodate brake usage with micro-drive gearing.  Judging by his recent edit, I’m sure he had speed in mind when designing this.

Top Tubes: 21.3″, 21.6″ & 21.8″
Head Tube: 74.5°
Seat Tube: 71°
BB Height: 11.65″
Chain Stay: 13.7″ – 14.2″
Removable Brake Lugs (Not Included) on Chain stays
4130 Sanko Cromoly Tubing
Heat -treated Offset Thickness Head tube
125mm Taller Head tube
Triple Butted Top Tube with 1.4mm thickness at seat tube junction
Double Butted down tube
Top and bottom gussets with debossed “Badge ‘n’ Bones” logo
4130 Cromoly Seat Clamp with 6mm bolt and horizontal clamp slot on seat tube to give better clamping power with less torque
6mm Dropouts with integrated chain adjusters
Custom seat stay bridge
420 BAKED” Heat -treated Mid BB

Available in September ’16

From Mutiny Bikes’ website.

Fitbikeco MAC V2 Frame


Fitbikeco have dropped a flipbook on the newly revised version of their Shawn McIntosh’s signature MAC V2 frame in time for Christmas.  This year’s model features longer chainstays (from 13.35″ to 13.5″), a slightly higher BB shell (from 11.6″ to 11.65″) more conventional top tube sizes (from 20.625″, 20.875″and 21.125″ on the V1 to 20.75″, 21″ and 21.25″) and a bunch of rad graphics penned by popular BMX freelance artist Eben Fischer.  Get onto your local shop about snapping one of these USA made badboys up.

S&M Shredneck Stem


The Union posted this product feature on S&M’s eighth (?) incarnation of the classic 1992 Redneck stem; the Shredneck.  While it’s essentially just a slightly shorter Redneck LT with a top cap recess machined from the top of it, that’s not a bad thing, heavily machined stems akin to the XLT are rapidly losing popularity as bikes are generally starting to look a lot more ‘traditional’ again.

CNC machined 6061-T6 aluminium
50mm reach
7mm rise (24.75mm inverted)
11 ounces
Available in matte black and raw

Ecalt 25.4mm 4-Piece Strangler Bars


It wasn’t too long ago when uncut Slam bars were considered the biggest bars available at 8″ tall.  With bars getting an inch or two taller over the last 5 years, back pains are becoming less frequent due to not being hunched over a set of tiny 7.5″x 24″ bars (probably mounted to a bloody ‘dropped’ front-loader stem too…)  In short, we’re all riding for longer and we have our bars to thank for it.  The only real issue with tall bars is the leverage forces involved, the extra strain can be way too much for some stems and can cause a lot of extra slippage- or even snapping in the bars if your stem is too powerful not to slip.  Not so great for your teeth…


The guys at WMT have been trialling their solution of changing the clamp-area diameter from the traditional 22.2mm (7/8″) to 25.4mm (1″) for about a year now on two piece bars with Wethepeople.  This is to increase the clamping tube’s surface area to prevent slippage and adding extra material where bars break.  Éclat being the innovators they are, announced the first four piece version yesterday; the Éclat Strangler bars.


Being WMT’s premium quality brand, Éclat have been designed these bars from the ground up with function and longevity in mind.  The 25.4mm clamping tube is welded to a 25.4mm griptube for an increased welding area at the junction where four piece bars typically break.  The grip tube actually tapers back to 22.2mm where the grips are installed to maintain the traditional feel but gives it a slick new-age look that’s sure to turn heads.  There’s no info on angles/geometry yet but they will be available in 9.1″ or 9.6″ sizes by summer 2016 with compatible stems being released at the same time.

Sneak Peak: Division Brand Complete Bikes


Division Brand has been putting in work lately. With a new frame on the horizon, it looks like they’re also getting into the complete bike game, and you should be glad that they are. All their bikes will be coming brakeless, and with four pegs, with the amount of hub guards included increasing on the higher-end models. For someone who only rides street, it’s great to see bikes made to ride right out of the box, set-up similar to my own and taste. Hopefully we get some more info on these soon because I’m dying to see what they look like. You can get more info on the Division Brand site as to when they’ll be available, and pricing. Also peep the ‘read more’ button for some more shots. Continue reading

Federal Stance XL Rim


I’m a big guy; 6’4″ to be exact. I’m gotten used to having to use bigger bars, longer frames, smaller cranks (to not catch my feet) and now I find myself trying to find a reason to need wider rims because I’m really, really into these Federal Stance XL rims. Although not the first to make an extra-wide rim, the guys at Federal definitely nailed making a clean and simple product for those out there willing to try new things. The idea is that a wider rim will keep the profile of these +2.3″ tires, while creating a stiffer and stronger rim. Not only that, but they claim to help reduce the amount of flats you may get in session due to a thicker wall where the spokes are located, minimizing the chance of your spokes popping through on a high drop. I think these look great, and they come in black or silver to keep a classic look on your ride. For more info, peep the Federal site and click through to see a few more images of these rims.

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