Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sign up...

JD over at Union has a petition post on his site to save a local park & Epsom trails therein. It's always good to sign a petition to attempt to help save something BMX related & you never know you might get the chance to session there some time? Go & take the time to sign on the line:

Save Nonsuch Park


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Pre BMX...

Before BMX arrived in the UK, I was fully into riding my 26" wheeled Raleigh Bomber. I have always loved bikes, as far back as I can remember (although I don't remember my defining '2 wheels only' moment...?) & I treated this one, as I have done every bike since: with mucho care & attention... sort of.

I remember the build up to ownership well, I had been pleading with mum & dad for a Bomber on a daily basis since about July! I would strategically leave the Freemans catalogue open on the 'Bomber' page & just go on & on about how good it was & that 'the price was really good for that bike!' I would pull mum or dad into Trinders on a Saturday morning visit to town & stand & stare at it on the display stand, well I must have worn them down sufficiently as on Christmas morning I woke up to find it behind the downstairs living room curtains! I remember shedding a tear I was that happy :-)

I had the original black, 3-speed Sturmey Archer hubbed version, there was also a single speed version. It had sponge grips with the push-in plastic end caps, big beach cruiser bars (It was after all, a copy of the popular US beach cruisers that preceded it) all the usual Raleigh steel accessories like brake levers, solid cotter pin cranks, pedals & brake calipers. It came sans mudguards of course & had grippy dirt tyres which looked quite like Primo dirt monsters do today & also ran a big foam padded seat made for comfortable 'cruising' around the streets.

It was finished off with the nice 'bomber' graphics which were a concoction of planes, tracer fire & search lights, oh, & who could forget the Raleigh crest on the head tube? - all good.

When Tony 'Burlo' Ball came to live in Banbury & started at Drayton school, we made friends on pretty much the first day & we arranged to meet up after school, when we both came riding along to meet each other & he had a Bomber too, we just couldn't believe it! He had the single speed one (ever the purist) & we rode around Drayton, jumping off steps & having a great time.

Well with all this jumping about, the forks on the Bomber became it's Achilles heel, they were designed with a kink in the fork blade at about the level of the brake blocks & quickly became 'choppered' with all the air time. Burlo got his replaced first, he waited until the tyre was rubbing the fork bridge! & mine followed soon after, apparently there were a lot of kids having the same problem... I also remember he came around one day after school & his mum had just bought him a new 'anti skid' tyre from Trinders & of course we took that 'Lying Trinders Bastards' Challenge & after about 10 minutes of 50ft, full tilt, brake melting skids, the inevitable 'BANG' of the tyre submitting to defeat was echoing around the houses. We both laughed so hard, fuck knows how he explained that one to his Mum!?

With the advent of BMX in the UK, my attentions soon turned to the '20" dark side' & I honestly don't remember what happened to my Bomber!? I think I must have had it for a couple of years before it was replaced by the Falcon Pro & the rest as they say, is history...

The legend that is the Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub

I also found the History of Sturmey Archer too, which has some great information about the company.

Heres a C&P from the 'International Cycle History Conference held at Osaka in 2000':

3.3.4 A precursor of the mountain bike

The models discussed thus far already existed when Yvonne Rix became product manager. Following her appointment, she noticed older teenagers in England riding conventional cycles fitted with dirt track racing handlebars and sorbo protective padding. This observation led her to instigate the Bomber. To get the desired image and line while minimising the need for retooling, the front end came from a bicycle already in the range, a Nigerian roadster providing the sloping cantilevered back end. Equipped with chunky tyres and specially-made handlebars, the Bomber somewhat resembled an early mountain bike but was well ahead of the MTB craze and was developed independently of it. Launched in 1981, it was promoted in an advertising campaign featuring pop star Toyah Wilcox.

I have been thinking for a while that a Bomber project is something I might be interested in doing at some point, I saw an old guy trundling along on one last year & was so suprised I nearly crashed my car! If you have any Bomber nfo then please forward it on to me...

Monday, February 12, 2007


I was sorting some stuff out at home yesterday & I came across an old T-shirt...

It got me thinking & reminded me of when I had a Condor frame back in the day. The shirt in question was bought by BobK from the Bicycle Stunts series comp in Oaklahoma in 1994. This comp was amazing, we got a VHS tape off Stu Dawkins from Backyard who was also there with his camcorder clocking all the mad footage: John Peacy won stunt boy with a style all his own & ruled the place on his little GT. Jay Miron did some mental tricks (super fast nose manuals etc) & owned the place in my opinion. Matt was flipping everything, Mirra was flying high, Rooftop was hitting the roof or dying trying, the Gute was in FX & Taj & Joe Rich were making their mark on BMX too. Stuart King was going for it with massive no hander landers & 720's.

The flatland was amazing too, all the west coast boys had travelled to drop their latest links with Day smith & Edgar Placencia taking it to the next level as usual. One name missing from the flat side of things was Richard Zabzdyr (owner of Graveyard products) who was tragically killed in a car crash on the return journey from that years York Jam a few months earlier, check out his riding on some of the older vids as he was soo soo good & could spin faster than anyone.

I remember BK returning from his 'US Summer tour' & us all getting together in the pub & hearing all the stories he had to tell. His riding had improved dramatically & it went to show that if you put the effort in, you got rewarded.

Thanks for the shirt (& the memories) Bob.

R.I.P Richard Zabzdyr

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Nothing to do with bikes...

but it did make me laugh. And it has fire

Saturday, February 10, 2007

you've all heard of Gsport yeah?

ok, so on this BMX site called ..theres been a bit of a debate ( aka slaging match) between G, the head/owner of Gsport,( although I think their mostly owned by odyssey now?) and disgruntalled 'customers'. this seems to do with mainley products produced under the odyssey logo but designed by G.....

G really should learn how to deal with people better, I mean to quote him..." my designs & products pay my mortgage" this is the best ( in my opinon) thread..

and I found this pure entertainment...


So I design cranks that only fit 70% or so of sprockets and get a slagging.Wheras these companies like Profile, Tree, Fly etc, make a sprocket that only fits 20% (at a guess) of cranks (without a shitty spacer) and no one says anything against it?

Key thing being that they don't say anything about it because they DO fit, even if you have to use "a shitty spacer"? For most people, if their new sprocket can go on their bike, they're fine. Sprocket spacers aren't the biggest problem you face on a BMX, nor are they an insurrmountable problem, so as a result most people don't have a problem with running one. Notice how people got by for many years before the introduction of Wombolts? Either way, I know you're not a stupid person and you'll know full well why people don't complain in the manner you suggested in your post, so I'll not waste my time by elaborating more.


If we go with 22mm then the sprocket is STILL going to wobble about and give uneven chain tension. The "integrated adaptor" is about the only way to counter this. It allows us to have a really nice tight fit without the rider having to hammer the sprocket ALL the way down the axle which would ruin the fit even more....

I had fine chain tension with no sprocket wobble, and without having to hammer on my Profile Imperial sprocket onto my Primo Hollowbites. 22mm spindle and a 22mm sprocket worked out fine for me. No doubt someone will chime in with some horrifying experience about how using a 22mm sprocket on a 22mm spindle gave them lung cancer or something, but from my point of view it works perfectly well enough. The only time I've had a problem with running a sprocket was using a piece of shit top-hat spacer that wasn't worth the money it was made of. With my Mankind sprocket that had a good spacer with it, it worked fine. With a decent spacer, my current United sprocket is fine. With a decent spacer, my brother's Superstar sprocket is fine.


The fact is that MOST sprockets are made to piss poor tolerances anyway.

Any chance of specifics here, G? Not that I'm saying that the usual generalisations used on here aren't really insightful 'n' stuff, but it might be nice to know what you consider to be made to "piss poor" tolerances? All the sprockets I've seen and have measured seem to be pretty good these days, in that sprocket manufacture is better than it's ever been.


For example 1" would be a good size. We could use 25mm bb bearings and reduce the weight of everything without any loss in strength. Wheras going to 22mm would make it heavier AND weaker....

Are you honestly trying to say that using bearings that are smaller (in that you're increasing the inside diameter of them, but retaining the same outer diameter, unless you're planning on introducing a new BB size that's larger, just to accomodate some cranks...) makes things stronger?


If they are using a non-standard hole (liek 22mm) then in my opinion it is THEIR job to make that clear and justify the change.

Cranks (apart from Wombolts) use either a 22mm spindle or a 19mm spindle. By making their sprocket 22mm, it means that half (or whatever the percentage of people is) won't have to use a spacer, and they can supply a well-made spacer for those running 19mm. They've made sprockets that work for the current cranks out there, and from my experience and from other riders I know, they work fine. I'm not saying the Wombolts are shit cranks or anything, before I get a knee-jerk, stereotypical Bikeguide reply of "LISTEN TO G" or some shit along those lines. I don't personally like them, but that's due to other reasons than sprocket sizes.


Seriously what is it with fuckwits that cant make these distinctions?

Much appreciated there George, always nice to know what company owners are like. Interesting to note when I used similar terms with someone before, I got a threatening post saying I'd be banned if I ever did it again, and I've seen other people suspended for less, especially with how ridiculously anal about some stuff moderators are on here.


I see Grant Smith implying I am a hypocrit, (for setting the record straight about Taiwan), while trying to jam his nose up Chris Moellers arsehole in this month's Ride UK, because he cant distinguish between me slagging shoddy early 90's taiwan made forks and Magoo accusing them of human rights abuses, while buying from there....

Perhaps he was implying more about the way that you used to seem to have an anti-Taiwanese slant to your advertising (going on about being made in Sheffield, and so on...), then happily jumped into Taiwanese manufacture with Odyssey? I've never had a problem throughout my riding life of using Taiwanese products, so don't start "fuckwitting" me again and try and set me straight, I'm just putting across what my interpretation of the article was. This isn't a personal attack on you G, because the Ride articles you do on setup and BMX related stuff are generally good, but it just seems when you're defending your products you seem to not actually be the same person, at all.

rip'd from BG ...

BTW... something not many of you may know, but.. alot of 'Gsport' products, are BAD copies of someones else's work/designs, & most of his 'own' designs are evident when you see them (nimrod forks, wonder bars, custom frames)

here, I believe are some of the true innovators (to which he copyied from)

P.E. hubs
& me, (6-7yrs ago I had a 2hr phone converstation with him about a duel cable system from the lever to the top gyro, only to read that 'HE came up with the idea' ) ....

There are more, some bmx, some mtb ( new 'wave' down tube tech on sundays)..but I think the point is made!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

street killer?!!?!

fly mosca 19.8
ody civilan hi-rise bars, eastern grips w/flanges cut off, loophole barends ti bolts
ody elermentry stem, ti bolt, carbon stem stackers, kink headset
ody race forks
ody 7ka, rim vandero, ti axle, ti nuts, khe 2.2 tyre w/four holes in side wall repaired with puncher patchs, khe tube.. allsorted broken spokes, custom wood chip stuck in spokes, ( bloody benchs)
ody hazard hub ti axle ti 9T driver ti nuts, primo 1.95 commet tyre, khe tube.. allsorted broken spokes.
wtp toxic slim pegs.. sometimes 2, sometimes 4!?!?
primo cranks, rnc ti axle, no axle bolts, fly bb... custom cracked ( left arm..)
dmr mag pedals, one side pins removed
profile (yuk) 25t chainring w/custom bashguard
kmc sl710 chain, w/half link (makes a proper dodgy noise as it goes around the driver??.. custom noise maker....)
gt seat clamp w/ti bolt, custom drilled, for that punk effect en'it
macneil fat capitol w/shortened post, ti bolt

getto cammo paint

so a few changes to the street bike (currently my favorite at the mo).... brake gone, reason... 990 post's were flexing so much that i'd always crush my fingers + the brake felt really crapy so I ditched it, not to worry tho, no chance of this happening on my park bike!.. so I shaved the mounts guides etc off, then touched in the paint.. ( proper getto!!).. I made a bashguard from a worn macneil chainring/bashguard..