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24? Quadangle Looptail from SE Bikes

Okay, here it is – I’m gonna lay it out for you. Cruisers are the new black, and bike manufacturers seem to be getting the drift – or is it making the drift? This is about the fourth post I’ve made in the past month about a cruiser.

For today’s rider – when you’re not feeling it riding your slammed seat, brakeless bike across town to enjoy a beer, you might want an alternative.

For the older guys – when you don’t want to tear up your childhood dream bike, and you need something to ride to shave off the beer belly, (I’m speaking from intimate knowledge here) it is rad to ride something roomy.

So, maybe I’m stretching it a bit by thinking that your beer bike is this limited-edition Quadangle Looptail from SE, but it is damn clean looking, and would be a classy way to roll. I think the chrome rims are what do it for me, personally.

Here are some specs from Todd Lyons at SE:

  • Limited Edition Retro Cr-Mo Double Downtube Quadangle Frame w/ Looptail Rear End & Retro Dropouts
  • Chrome Alex Double Wall DM24 Rims
  • SE 3-pc 48-Spline CR-MO Cranks
  • Retro Blitz Seat w/ Bottle Opener
  • Fluted Seatpost
  • Quadangle Padset & Grip Donuts Included

Only 250 will be available in the US, so get a hold of your SE dealer now if you want one.

Related:
MacNeil Cruisers Coming Soon
Smitten with the Big Wheels
Knight Cruiser

Knight Performer 24? Retro Cruiser Standing Platform

Seat stay/framestand and bologna-cut top tube detail. Photo: George Yang

Looks like there’s already quite a bit of chatter about the Knight Performer – I’ve seen it pop up on a number of the vintage BMX sites over the past couple of days. One thing that’s been discussed is the geometry of the ride, and how it compares, considering it is overall, a pretty modern ride. I hit George at Knight up for some more information, and he sent over pretty much all you might want to know:

Material: 4130 Chromoly
FRAME
Top tube length: 21.5″
BB height: 12″
Chainstay length: 15.25″
Head angle: 73 degree
Seat tube angle: 70.5 degree
Headtube: Integrated
Bottom Bracket: Mid type
Brakes: 990 mounts
Seat post: 25.4mm
Dropouts: 3/16″ thick
Axle type: 3/8 axles
Extras: Coaster Brake plate like the 20″ version

So, there you have it – the top tube length should keep it roomy, yet quick for a cruiser. With the 3/8″ axles, you might need to hookup a set of the Skyway Graphite TuffWheels to go with the frame. Keep a lookout here for shots of the prototype as it gets built-up.

Related: Knight Retro Performer Prototype

Knight Performer 24? Prototype Frame
Raw and fresh out of the jig. Photo: George Yang

The 24″ Retro Squareback Knight released last year was very well received by those looking for a cruiser with vintage styling. Modeled after the Redline squarebacks of yore, it was a fairly traditional cruiser frame, with some really nice detailing.

I think that the new 24″ jam from Knight will up the retro BMX game – other manufacturers should take note. In fact, it is only retro in styling, as it features all of the modern features of today’s BMX bikes – integrated headset, mid-bottom bracket and 990 brake mounts. However, look closer at the photos of the prototype – a coaster brake tab and a standing platform. Yeah, I said it – a standing platform, just like the GTs of yore – on a 24″ cruiser. Knight is calling it the Knight “Performer”, but I don’t know if they’ll stick with that name. They say it is a tribute to one of the most recognizable early freestyle frames, the GT Performer/World Tour, and Eddie Fiola – who helped make GT so prolific early in the freestyle game. Be sure to hit the link on Eddie’s name – there’s a great story on lifelounge.com, with some of Eddie’s personal photos.

If you want one, get a hold of Knight quickly. They’re going to be made in limited numbers, and available very soon. Damn, just like yesterday’s post – did I find yet ANOTHER bike/frame to obsess over? Check more photos over on the Knight blog.

I’m back. After a long unplanned hiatus (life, work, etc. got crazy for a bit). Enough about that, though…

Knight Bikes Inverted Retro Stems

George at Knight just sent news that he’s got some new inverted Pro-Neck-style stems available, as well as the traditional top-loaders back in stock. Right now, the inverted stems are available in silver and gold, with blue available next week. Check ‘em out and order directly from Knight. So, if you wanna drop your bars a bit, and do so with a clean, simple looking, retro-styled stem, you’re set.

I’m interested to hear what you think of these, compared to the other retro-styled products that are starting to crop up. Drop your opinions over at the Vital BMX Old School Talk forum.

Hutch Hi-Performance BMX Logo
I wondered when it would happen. We’ve seen a number of retro products over the past couple of years being pushed out by Knight, SE and other manufacturers. Just yesterday, it was announced on a number of the BMX message boards that John De Bruin, who has been making repro Hutch pedal cages and decal sets, has acquired the rights to the Hutch Hi-Performance BMX brand, as well as CW. He plans on creating new product “reissues” that have at least one detail that is different from the original, and down the road, creating more modern products. Read his full press release here.

This story holds interests me a lot, because I was a Hutch kid. When my department store Columbia BMX (that had been quite updated, mind you) cracked on a jump, my dad and I went to BMX Pros, THE BMX shop in Kansas City in the 80s, so that I could pick out a new frame. They had all the flavors of Hutch Candy. I picked a Candy Metal Blue, had it built with the good parts from my Columbia, hooked up a pair of white Skyways, and so the freestyle story began. I’ll scan some photos over the next couple of days and tell more – that bike was THE nicest thing I had ever owned, and it was absolutely my baby.

Needless to say, with the prices of Hutch parts continuing to climb, Hutch Hi-Performance with be something to watch. Interesting to see if John will build bikes with modern geometry and old-school flavor, a la SE, or vintage-style frames with 1″ headsets. Hell, they’re making “new” 60s Ford Mustang bodies now, so it was only a matter of time until we saw this happen with BMX.

Knight Spider for Profile Racing Cranks

Hot on the heels of their other recent retro/vintage releases, Knight has come out with a vintage-inspired chainwheel spider for Profile Racing Cranks. Made from 6061-T6 alloy, with a 19mm hole, this retro spider keeps it simple and classic. Order it directly from Knight.

Knight Bike Co Retro Stems
Oh, man, I’m drooling over this eye candy…

Knight Bike Co have released their vintage Pro-Neck style stems for all of you who want something truly different for your threadless headset bikes. Featuring an etched Curb Dogs Bulldog logo (courtesy of Maurice Meyer) in place of the old Tuf Neck tiger, and a nice array of classic colors, these would be perfect for a retro-fied modern bike, or even better, on a Knight Squareback – their 24″ throwback frame.

Get on over to Knight and check out their array of vintage-influenced parts, as well as their modern work. Note that George at Knight knows his BMX history – they were one of the primary sponsors of the Tuff Love art show last year.

Tom Dugan, toboggan
Major boost courtesy of Tom Dugan. Photo courtesy of Thad Allender.

Last night, Red Bull sponsored a BMX Jam at the Pleasant Valley Skatepark in Kansas City, MO, and it was fast, loose and everything a jam-format contest should be. Justin Mann, KC local, organized the whole deal and Red Bull provided the cash for the riders and the beverages for all. With as much Red Bull as was flowing, there were a TON of kids in the crowd who are probably still buzzed.(Editor’s note: I’ve been given more information on the contest, and want to pass it along, especially as it seems this crew has some big plans for next spring (more to come on that). Jesse McCollum worked hard to put this together with Kyle Munn and Justin Mann, mentioned above, and Ivy Melvin from Red Bull. Dig.)

The format of the contest consisted of multiple 10-minute open sessions with judges throughout the park giving $$$ for tricks pulled. Then, there were 5 or so 10-minute sessions on various features of the park, and winnings were given for longest jump, biggest gap, etc. At the end of the night, the riders turned in the funny money for cold, hard cash.

Personally, the contest was cool for so many reasons:

  1. The turnout was impressive – 25 or so riders competing, with many more all over the park, and a big crowd taking it all in. This all went down with mostly word-of-mouth promotion from what I can tell. My faith in BMX went up a couple notches.
  2. I brought my 5-year old (his first contest in-person), and he was so stoked about the whole thing, especially the gap session.
  3. I finally got to meet a couple guys whose work and riding I’ve respected for a while. Phil Wasson, FBM rider and now machine shop entrepreneur – he was one of the judges, and we talked about doing an interview about the work he’s been doing for Knight, Tree and others. Also met Thad Allender, an excellent photographer and rider, whose work I’ve followed for a while. He’s now a neighbor of mine, and I’m hoping to ride with him and his crew soon. Check out more of his photos of the contest at his Flickr site (need a flickr or yahoo account to view them).
  4. Got to make reintroductions with Dennis McCoy, as well as see him ride and introduce my him to my kid. I knew it was Dennis from across the park when I saw the full-face helmet (more riders should take note…), and the crazy-long hang-fives and nose-wheelies out of the transition and around the bowl. He said he was asked to judge, but was unsure of his schedule, with things like running and riding in the Dew Tour, for example. Instead, he just came to ride, watch and enjoy the level of riding from the locals.
  5. As I said, the level of riding was right-on, and the respect between the riders was evident. Technical and flow styles were represented, and both were encouraged by the judges and applauded by the crowd.

I hope that the organizers continue to put together events like this around Kansas and Missouri. With support from Red Bull and bike shops like Cycle City, (who gave a $600 gift certificate to one of the riders who was tearing it up on a beater of a bike for the unannounced P.O.S. award) I know they’ll continue to grow and pull in more riders, crowds, and kids wanting to give BMX a go.

If anyone has more photos or video, send me links, and I’ll post ‘em up.


See More BMX Videos at VitalBMX.com

A cool concept for an art show was held yesterday in LA at the SLB store. Called Tuff Luv, it was billed as “A celebration of the Skyway TuffWheel from today’s leading bmx companies”, sponsored by Knight Brand.

Vital BMX has coverage on their site (nice work, guys) – looks like a good time, and an excellent concept. The wheels were all done up by a number of bmx companies – I personally dig what Stolen and S&M did with their Tuffs. I’m really happy to see the bmx community participating in something like this. The skate community has been doing art shows and other celebrations of the culture for a long time, and it is time that we see this from the bmx set as well. It would be rad to see this show on the road and growing (which the organizer, George Yang, from Knight, mentions in the video). I hope I get to catch it.

Any other shows like this out there? Post in the comments and let me know.