I’ve seen some wild set-ups in my time, for years people have been bolting wooden blocks to their BB’s, rigging two levers up to a single brake, blowing their tyres up with helium, using a shoelace as a straddle cable, grinding teeth off an old sprocket to make a bash guard… the list is endless and I’m missing plenty. Modifications have always been part of BMX and solving the problems associated with the kind of abuse bikes like ours have to endure.
…And then someone has to go and take it too far. Often you’ll get an over enthusiastic designer (some even go as far to call themselves ‘inventors’ like it’s the 19th century…) who’s looking to solve problems that can’t be solved efficiently, if at all. Some even look to solve problems that don’t even exist. Today we’re going to look at some of those bad designs that get churned out and discuss why they’re not the kind of thing you should/would put on your bike.
It is probably worth noting that although I have a broad experience of the BMX and general cycle trade I do not have a back ground in engineering, nor am I a product designer so this article is purely opinion, essentially I’m just an extremely picky BMX rider of 15 years. In other words; I’m broke, don’t sue me.
This one tickles me every time, the Curbrider pedals are a ‘pedal’ that bolt directly onto your 19mm spindle in place of your cranks. This way you can get rid of that oppressive drivetrain that was holding you back for all those years and join your scooter comrades on your new balance bike and feel more connected to the earth… because you kick-push now. Jesus..
Admittedly we appeared enthusiastic about Affix gyro when we posted the exclusive but I think this one will be tucked away, along with the UFO and the ‘beancan’ gyros, to the constraints of history. While aesthetically the Affix gyro is a ton tidier and a load lighter than the traditional Brian Scura design, it just didn’t cut it with the public, probably because of the fact you need a ruddy great hole in the side of your headtube to accommodate it. The way the entire load was put on a single cable rather than two thus decreasing its longevity probably didn’t help either.
Nope. Roller pegs are nothing new but pegs with bearings is a recipe for some expensive grinds. Even IF the bearings lasted long enough to do a feeble/ loop out on an icepick, the moment you drop your bike on your side the bearings are gonna start dying, quick. That’s only if the dropouts on Ed Miliband’s aluminium GT Power Series don’t kick the bucket first though.
At what point during the late 90’s/ early 00’s did people start thinking; ‘What I really need is a hunchback’ ? Like the S&M Elevenz bars are to big handlebars, the Snafu Sushi bars were to small bars; at 6″ tall and 23″ wide these were the smallest available. It wasn’t uncommon to see fully grown Quasimodo men running these bars with a brake lever clamped under the crossbar.
The above photo popped up on my Facebook feed under ‘suggested post’ a few days ago and later Kurt posted it to The Union, it’s a bolt on ‘frame guard’ that bolts through the chainstay bridge (like a kick-stand) and clamps onto the downtube in the same style as GT and Kore did back in the day. While it might initially give the impression that it will protect your frame or provide a great grinding surface, the clamp will more than likely put high amounts of stress on a part of your frame that simply is not designed to take that type of clamping load. Even more so if you have thinner gauge or butted tubing typical of today’s frames.
While we’re here, does anyone else find the company’s URL etched into the side a little fishy and non-bmx-y? A brief dig around reveals the company’s ‘C.E.O’ is a real estate broker and the bash guard itself was developed by a registered defence contractor. Do with that information what you will.