FRESH OUT THE BOX: Sept—Oct 2015 - Ride UK BMX

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FRESH OUT THE BOX: Sept—Oct 2015

BMX product reviews of the freshest parts this month

Intro: Seb Hejna
Words and Photos: Ryan Van Kesteren

No one ever gets tired of products. Getting stoked from walking into BMX
shops and spending hours viewing the wall-to-wall options never gets old.
But, with the amount of product now available on the market, it’s difficult to sometimes know which products are worth parting with your well-earned cash for. We’re lucky enough to be the first people to be sent the new products and prototypes from the UK’s various distribution companies to test and review for this exact reason. Product development has come a long way over the past few years and companies are able to spec things higher and choose a whole range of colours and finishes to make their products stand out in a busy market. We make a point of trying to review a whole range of parts, not just from different companies but also parts aimed at different levels and styles of riding. One thing we do stand firm on though, is all the parts we review, are from reputable brands in the industry, that have BMX’s best interests at heart. You’ll see a host of different brands across our product pages and we’ll give our honest opinion on them all. If you don’t see the brands on our product reviews, and you’re unsure, then either contact us to ask advice or go into any BMX retail specialist and pick at their vast knowledge.

Check out the latest product to come through our door and Fresh out the Box.

 


Federal: Vice cranks

As soon as you set eyes on the new Federal Vice cranks, you can tell they are strong as f***. They’ve been built to handle abuse from the bottom up. Starting with the 24mm spindle, which is 2mm thicker than tradition spindles and makes the cranks noticeably stiffer, especially if you’re in the game of doing big street drops. The spindle has also been machined out, to keep the cranks light.

Naturally, the extra spindle width slightly affects the bottom bracket, as the centre race is thinner, but that’s a small price to pay for the extra rigidity.

The Second feature is the box shaped arms, which have been designed to withstand crank arm grinds and even make them feel more stable.

The good thing about 24mm cranks is they come with a full bottom bracket. So even though they cost a little more than other cranks on the market, you get a lot for your money.

SPECS:

Spindle: 24mm hollow, 48 splined
Material: 4130 Chromoly heat treated arms and spindle
Drive Side: Left/Right hand compatible
Bottom Bracket: 24mm Mid bottom bracket bearings and spacers
Colours: Matt Black, Chrome and Raw
Weight: 934g / 32.9oz
Price: Matt Black £159.99 / Chrome & Raw £164.9


 

Odyssey: Tom Dugan Stem

Tom Dugan has taken the ever-popular SXTN stem as inspiration for his new signature top loader. Keeping most of the key design features, including the flush fit top cap recess and machined out side ways. The bottom isn’t machined to keep the lines as simple as possible.

Dugan’s geometry is longer and lower than the SXTN stem, to keep the front end nice a stable. Overall, this is a super clean stem with flawless production quality.

 

SPECS:

Reach: 51mm
Rise: 28mm
Weight: 312g / 11oz
Price: £69.99

 


S&M: Hoder Grips

When I first picked these up I had to have them. The super soft compound of the Hoder grips present some serious business class comfort. In my opinion, the best thing about them is that at 31.5mm, they’re fatter than your average grip which gives me a better purchase on the bars. Sick packaging too.

 

SPECS: 

Diameter: 31.5mm
Length: 160mm
Compound: Super Soft Bar
Ends: Nylon Plug Style w/Sharpie Shield logo
Price: £9.99

 


 

 


Stay Strong: Larry Edgar Bars

We’re lucky to get our hands on these numbers, they’re actually the prototypes, but they look sweet all the same. The bars are set for release in early 2016, extending the growing Stay Strong hardware range.  We have a lot of time for anything that Stay Strong produce, their apparel has always been good, their team continues to grow and now with beauties like these being developed they’ll continue to grow.

SPECS:

Rise: 9″
Width: 29″
Upsweep: 1°
Backsweep: 12°
Colours: Black or Chrome


BSD: Stacked Rise

The new High Rise stem is a tweaked version of BSD’s popular Race Stem V2, with a more responsive geometry, it’s 2mm shorter and 7mm taller than BSD’s previous top loader but with a similar simplistic design. The extra height is a good way to make your front end a little more responsive, or just an excuse to run less headset spacers.

Team riders Alex D, Dan Paley, Liam Zingbergs, Sam Jones and David Grant have all been putting the stem through it’s paces this summer, so you know it’s built to take what ever you can throw at it.

SPECS:

Material: 6061-T6 aluminium
Reach: 50mm
Rise: 33mm
Weight: 312g / 11oz
Colours: Black, polished, red and blue
Price: £57.99

 


Éclat: Contra Pedals

Personally, I do I lot of pedal grinds. So I can see the instant appeal of these pedals. Éclat have simply taken the concept of their thin profile Slash pedal and added removable metal pins on one side. Just for people like me who grind their pedal/money away every time an unwaxed ledge comes their way.

SPECS

Material: Injection molded nylon / fibreglass
Bearings: loose Ball
Colours: Black, Dark Gum, Dark Purple
Weight: 389g / 13,72oz (pair)
Price: £16.99
Release Date: December 2015

 

 


Cinema: VX 2 Front Hub

The first thing that struck me about this hub is how god damn polished it is, Cinema have taken Chrome to a whole new level, it’s like a mirror, the Mrs could do her makeup in it. For proof, take a look at my reflection in the coaster photo; it’s honestly one of the shiniest things I’ve ever seen.

Starting with the new and improved Cinema VX2 front hub, the body now features thicker flanges, which prevent denting and general grind damage. Along with thicker Axels, made of SUJ2 steel, which is tougher than standard cromoly. All-in-all, the new VX2 front hub is designed to last longer without any significant weight increase.

SPECS:

Colors: Black, Gold, Chrome
Axle: 3/8″x24tpi Female Bolts
Weight: 289g / 10.2oz
Price: £64.99

 


Cinema: FX Coaster

Next up is Cinema’s Freecoaster, it looks clean, stylish and pretty damn strong, with extra thick flanges that will brush off more than a few feeble grinds. It features the tried and tested KHE innards that have gone into some of the most popular free coasters on the market and include 3 slack adjustment washer, so you can run it just how you like it.

 

SPECS:

Axle: 14mm Male
Driver Pawls: Clutch System
Driver Bearings: 2x 6902, 1x Polymer Bushing
Hub Bearings: 1x 7905 ACB (Drive side), 1x 6002 (Non drive side)
Weight: 620g / 22.95oz
Price: £129.99

 


 

 


BSD: Zinger Bars

BSD’s Australian team rider Liam Zingbergs wanted his bars to be a little taller than BSD’s 9’” offering, without going all the way to the mighty heights of a 10” bar. These 9.25” bars are just the ticket for riders who aren’t 7 feet tall, but want a bit more front-end leverage. The sweeps just right, with 2° up and 11° back, you wont get any surprises the first time you sling the Zingbar.

If you haven’t seen Zingbers Welcome to the BSD Team video before, the end scene is one to remember.

SPECS:

Rise: 9.25″
Width: 29″
Upsweep: 2°
Backsweep: 11°
Weight: 794g / 1.75lbs
Colours: Black, clear coat raw and chrome finish
Price: £57.99

 


FBM: PMA Top Loader Stem

A positive mental attitude goes a long way, and so does good quality, American made bike parts. This top loader stem has a perfectly simple design, no gimmicks, just good quality machining that’s built to last. The geometry puts it in the taller end of the market with 31mm rise, so it should give you plenty of leverage. It’s also machined internally to save weight without compromising strength. Above all that, this stem’s named after a Bad Brains lyric. “We’ve got that PMA” – Look it up.

SPECS:

Colour Black, Silver
Rise 7mm
Top Load Rise- 33 mm
Reach 51mm
CNC Machined 6061 T-6 Aluminium
Bolt Thread M8x1.25
Hex Key Size 6mm


 

Federal: Mid Royale Seat

This is the luxury leather sofa of Federal’s seating range. Based on the same proven padding design as their Mid Logo Seat, with a few extra features. Including faux leather covering and subtly stylish embossed logo. Naturally this style of seat weighs a bit more than slimmer models, but that’s the price you pay for luxury.

This camo version only comes in the pivotal option, but you can get the plain leather versions as tripod.

SPECS:

Colours: Brown Leather / Camo, Brown Leather, Black Leather, Black
Weight: 317g / 11.2oz
Price: £31.99

 


Federal: Stance XL Freecoaster Wheel

Staying on the subject of Sturdy parts. Federal have upgraded their Stance Freecoaster wheel with the new XL Rim, coming in at a whopping 40mm wide. The extra wide rim is designed to work in proportion with the wide 2.4” and above tyres that are now available. As well as making your tyres even wider, the XL rim also offer more strength then a traditional 22m rim, due to its extra surface area. Beside that, Federal have upped the material form 6061 to 6066 aluminium, increasing strength by around 30% and they’ve even increased the sidewall depth to prevent spokes from pulling through, pretty good.

For such a beefy rim, they weigh in at a respectable 524g / 18.5oz, so still above the industry standard of around 500g, but considering they are almost twice the average width, I’d say that’s pretty good. The main weight saving is in the low profile design, standing at only 15mm tall, rather than the average 20mm, this saves on material all the way around, whilst still allowing room for thick side walls.

The XL rim is laced with Primo spokes, onto a Federal V3 Freecoaster with a 4 cross spoke pattern, giving more rigidity than the usual 3 cross pattern.

Federals V3 Freecoaster is designed around the KHE innards, with an additional thrust bearing behind the driver, for smoother engagement. The drive gap is completely adjustable, but it can be tricky to get it right, so it’s recommended to order the freecoaster from a specialist BMX retailers, where you can specify how you’d like the hub set up.

This is an absolutely solid wheel, that’s designed to handle plenty of abuse. It might not suit your bike if you run a brake, although it is possible, with a wide mouth brake and slim pads. However, it’s ideally for burly/tech street riding.

RIM SPECS:

Width: 40mm
Height: 15mm
Material: Aluminium 6066
Colours: Matt Black, Polished Silver
Seam: Welded
Weight: 524g / 18.5oz

HUB SPECS:

Axle: 14mm Male
Driver Pawls: Freecoaster Clutch
Driver Bearings: 2x 7802-14
Hub Bearings: 1x 7905 ACD (Drive side), 1x 6002 (Non drive side)
Weight: 669g / 23.6oz
Total Price: 209.99

 


 

 


 

Bicycle Union: Paw Brake

The new Bicycle Union PAW Brake is aimed at a lower price point than their ever-popular CLAW brake (get it). Offering relative braking power, for less than half the price, making it a good option for riders who don’t run brakes all the time or just can’t handle the superior stopping power of the CLAW. The slim design also makes it possible to run with wider 2.4″ tyres. All for the princely sum of £19.99.

SPECS:

Material: Forged, then CNC Machined 6061 Alloy
Hardware: High quality springs, hardware and aluminium hanger
Price: £19.99

 

 


Fit: Vandal Bars

After well over a decade of professional riding, Van Homan knows what he wants when it comes to handlebars. The new Vandal Bars come in fractionally shorter than Fit’s Big Mac bars at 9”, but with a lot less up sweep. Van’s chosen to go for the regular 2° up, 12° back, so these bars should suit most riders. They feature all the attention to detail you can expect from Fit and Van, with larger radius bends to increase strength and a slimmer gauge cross bar for extra style. Weighing in at 122g / 2.6lbs they’re not too heavy. Nice bit of kit.

SPECS:

Rise: 9″
Width: 29″
Up Sweep: 2°
Backsweep: 1
Weight: 122g / 2.6lbs
Colours: Flat Black, Chrome, Gloss Clear
Price: £64.99 (Chrome £74.99)

 

 


 

United: Machinex Sprocket

United have developed the Corey Martinez signature sprocket with an integrated guard to stop your chain and teeth from getting a hammering whilst grinding. The sprocket is machined from 7075-T6 aluminium and comes with all the relevant adapters for conversion with 19, 22 and 24mm cranks that are spline drive. There is also an offset 1/8” of the teeth to get the chain lined up nicely. The Machinez looks and rides like the business.

SPECS:

Material: 3d CNC machined 7075-T6 aluminium
Width: 7mm thick Sprocket with optional 3mm guard
Adaptors: 19mm, 22mm & 24mm steel spline drive adaptors included
Regular Sprocket Weight: 25t: 76g 28t: 82g
Guard Sprocket Weight: 25t: 114g 28t: 122g
Sizes: 25t – 28t
Price: £49.99 including guard (£39.99 without guard)

 


Éclat: Cortex Freecoaster

Éclat are a brand who listen to their team riders, although Alex Kennedy and Shane Weston love the feel of the Blind Coaster, others wanted a coaster with extra slack. So Éclat have developed this traditional clutch system coaster that runs on there own brand, high quality internals.

The inner workings of the Cortex have been designed to be strong and easy to adjust, by simply using the spacers that come included. It’s also more affordable, as clutch system is less complex than the Blind’s cassette style internals.

Visually the Cortex has inherited it looks from the Blind coaster, with some extra details on the flanges.

SPECS

Material: 6061-T6 alloy hub-shell
Axle: 14mm hollow, heat-treated Cromoly
Bearings:2 high quality bearings and bushing in the driver
Colours: Black, Red, High Polished
Driver: 9 Tooth LSD or RSD
Weight: 671g
Price: £134.99
Release Date: December 2015

 


 

Odyssey: Grips

Odyssey have release three new signature grips for summer / Autumn 2015. With a reputation for making good grips, you can rely on Odyssey to produce grips that still perform under sweaty palms and wont ware down after a few long weekends of riding. They all come with a pair of Odyssey robust plastic Par Ends, so you definitely get your moneys worth.

 

SXTN Grips

I like the design of Sean Sexton’s signature grip, it’s a simple step forward from the tradition mushroom grip, with zig-zag section for a little extra texture. The Odyssey branding stamped into the end of the grip is a nice touch and they come is this rad army green colour, Gum or Black.

SPECS:

Colours: Gum, Army Green, Black
Diameter: 32mm
Length: 155mm
Price: £8.99

 


Broc Raiford Grips

I’ve got to admit, I’m a big fan of these marble style grips that first came out with Gary Young’s Signature grips a few years back. The cool thing about these is, they match Broc’s signature Frame, Fork and Bars. He’s clearly a man who knows what he likes.

SPECS:

Colours: White/Black Marble, Gum, Black
Diameter: 30mm
Length: 160mm
Price: £8.99

 


Boss Grips

Odyssey don’t do things by half, so naturally they’ve updated the Aaron Ross signature grip to match his new tyre pattern. The simplified design is a big improvement in my eyes. They come in a super soft feeling compound making them perfect for riders who prefer a slicker grips.

SPECS:

Colours: Gum, Black, Orange
Diameter: 30mm
Length: 158mm
Price: £8.99

 


 

 


 

Proper: Select Freecoaster

We’ve seen the Freecoaster market explode over the last couple of years. Gone are the days of the temperamental coke can freecoasters that fall apart after a week and require all the attention and maintenance of five girlfriends all at once.

Thankfully, the Proper Select freecoaster is of the new breed of dialled coasters that are reliable, engage on cue and are built to last. Proper are using the same, KHE designed, internals that you’re going to find in the likes of Odyssey and Primo. They’ve also managed to squeeze a male axle into the compact and sleek shell, relief to those who go heavy on the pegs.

The new Proper Select Free Coaster is a damn fine piece of kit!

SPECS:

Drive side: RHD or LHD option
Drive: 9t driver only
Flanges: Width 4mm, height 70mm
Bearing code: 2 x 6002 bearings
Axel: 14mm heat-treated chromoly axle
Body Material: 6061 shell and 7075 cones
Price: £139.99

 


Proper: Select Front Hub

Front hubs are built to last these days and the Proper Select front is no exception. It looks bomb proof with the thickened flanges and larger than average bearings. I’m pretty sure the only things to survive a nuclear war will be the cockroaches and these hubs. Your spokes can sleep extra safe a night by replacing the cone nut with the matching nylon hub guard that will stand up to some serious peg abuse.

SPECS:

Flanges: width 4mm, height 52mm
Bearing code: 2 x 6902 bearings
Material: 6061 shell and 7075 cones
Weight: 203grams with bolts
Price: £59.99 (£69.99 with guards)

 


S&M: X-Man Sprocket

Look at this battle ship of a sprocket. It is as sturdy and as well made as you would come to expect from S&M, this sprocket is no joke. Coupled with the minimalist design, the X-Man Sprocket will be passed down through the generations. I’m putting this on my Christmas list.

SPECS:

Material: CNC machined 7075 T6 Aluminum
Sizes: 25, 28, and 30T
Weight: 79g / 2.8oz (25t)
Price: £59.99

 


Stranger: Brooks bars

Gabe Brooks’ signature bars are like the man himself, tough, gnarly and strong. They are based on the popular Stranger Thrash bars, but with thicker tubing and deeply kurled clamping area to prevent slippage. Conveniently they come in a range of sizes to choose from.

SPECS:

Rise: 8.5″, 9″, 9.5″, 10″
Width: 28″
Backsweep: 11°
Upsweep: 4°
Crossbar Height: 6″
Weight: 1020g / 36oz (9″)
Price: £71.99


WeThePeople: Stickin Tyre

You might have guessed by the name, this tyre is designed to stick. Designed with Ed Zunda and WeThePeople’s most hardcore street assassins. The side-walls have been developed especially to avoid catching on grinds, whilst the tyre surface offers maximum grip through it’s soft and sticky rubber compound. They’re only available in this dark gum and black colour combo. So if you don’t like it – Stick it

SPECS

Size: 2.3”, 2.4”
Colour: Dark Gum / Black
Price: £29.99
Release Date: December 2015

 


 

Fiend: Morrow Corduroy Seat

Fiend have made a style upgrade to their popular Ty Morrow signature seat. Cordurory takes a bit of looking after to keep it fresh, but who cares when it looks this good. Available in this beige and also in black. Other materials are available in pivotal, but this version only comes with a tripod fixing.

SPECS:

Colours: Beige, Black
Weight: 337g / 11.9oz
Price: £30.99

 


 


Gsport: Uni-Guard

This is a pretty cool new product from GSport. This Hub guard works from the outside of your drop out, so there’s no need to flex your frame, or replace your cones. It’s simply held in place beneath your peg and features two anti rotation bolts, so you can run it on either side, making it perfect for riders who don’t run pegs all the time, as you can remove it as easily as the pegs themselves. You’ve probably guessed by its name, this guard is combatable with almost every setup.

SPECS:

Material: Heat Treated Cr-Mo Steel
Drive side: Drive & Non-Drive side
Axel Size: 14mm or 3/8″
Price: £15.99

 


Verde: Neutra cranks

These look like a no fuss, simple, all you need crank. The 22mm hollow chromoly spindle has been pressed into the right hand side and finished with hollow flush mount bolt on the other side to make the installation hassle free. The 4130 tubular chromoly crank arms are wrap welded around the pedal and spindle bosses for strength. They look solid and simple, if that’s your bag, these could be for you, you’ve got the option for both LHD and RHD.

SPECS:

Spindle: 22mm
Spindle Bolt: 15x1mm
Sprocket Bolt: 10×1.5mm
Weight: 921g / 32.5oz
RRP: £129.99

 


 

Vocal: Flathead Stem

We finish off with the Vocal Flathead Stem. Vocal pride themselves on attention to detail and noticing the finer things that sometimes get overlooked. To make sure this stem looks as clean as possible, they’ve made sure the bolts will never piece through the back of the stem or under the bar clamping part, even the heads of the bolts are neatly tucked in. The CNC’d side detail is reminiscent to HotRod design style and the Vocal logo is nicely engraved on top. They’ve trimmed off any unnecessary bits to keep it neat and light. The bolts are solid, so no worry of them breaking.

SPECS:

Material: AL-6061 100% CNC
Reach: 48mm
Stack Height: 31.5mm
Width: 48mm
Top Cap Step: 3mm
RRP: £49.99

 

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