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10 Takeaways from Interbike 2014

September 16, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Interbike 2014 Takeaways

So much of the time, a trade show like Interbike boils down to a tidy list of tips, trends and never-do-agains. Here are ours from Interbike 2014, in no particular order.

1). More than a few companies missing from the show floor this year. Redline, GT, DK, all kept their exhibits in the warehouse for Interbike 2014, opting instead for more hand-to-hand dealer experiences before the show, hosted on their terms, where the hospitality coffee was not $50 a pot.

Speaking of which, the expense of doing a booth at the show is cost-prohibitive for many BMX companies these days–upwards of $15,000 when all is said & done. With the number of dealers carrying BMX racing products always a challenge, many BMX companies have opted, instead to display product with the distributors who rep them to dealers. Household-name companies like Supercross, Speedline, Yess, Alienation, Profile and Tangent all buddied-up with either Fly/WPS or QBP. That worked out very well, as it turned out, since it was a “BMX Central” of sorts, and show-goers got to meet company representatives, then sit down to write orders with the distributor.

2). Fat tire bikes were everywhere. We have seen them growing in popularity at the past few Interbike shows, but this year, fat is where it’s at in terms of innovation. Could BMX tracks leverage the fat-tire boom by having dedicated races for them?

The Godfather of Mountain Biking, Gary Fisher, told it true to fat-bike.com:

Ssquared Strider bike
3). Lots of companies doing co-branded Strider bikes, catching the wave of getting the 5-unders on their brand early. Ssquared was one of those showing a Strider, and we expect those will be featured prominently on the new Oldsmar dedicated Strider track next year. Some companies also doing their own balance bike, such as the Staats “BBX.”

Speedline Carbon Cranks
4). Carbon BMX componments. We’ve seen a lot of carbon race frames come into the scene, but there hasn’t been much focus on carbon components. With Speedline, and RaceFace pushing carbon cranks into racing, as well as multiple companies dabbling with carbon rims, its likely we will see a lot of carbon come Rio 2016. On that same point, it was nice to see the “carbon” issue of Pull Magazine available for the taking on the magazine racks in the show lobby.

5). We are still trying to get used to the “new” show location at Madalay Bay. We definitely liked the food court adjacent to the show space, offering something other than the haut-cuisine or snack bar grub at the Sands. Still, we got lost a lot this year, ending up half-a-mile from the end of the hall where we wanted to be.

6). BMX Industry Gathering. BMX racing needs an industry-gathering at Interbike so we can all get together in one place. We missed seeing so many people in the sky-scraper-lined aisles of road bikes, fat-tire bikes and MTBs. We’ll see many of them at the Grands in just nine weeks, but the others? Just feels like a missed opportunity to catch up in person for once.

Tram to Mandalay bay
7). Stay near the Bay. If you’re not staying at Mandalay Bay, Luxor or Excalibur are the best alternatives. There’s a free tram between the three MGM properties, which really helps curb the cab fares. Still, it took 40 minutes to walk from our room to the show floor, even with the tram. The scale of these resorts is massive! Three weeks before the show, rooms at Luxor were $58. Warning: Excalibur does not have in-room Wi-Fi, but does have a wired connection, if your laptop still has a port for it.

8). Dead Tree Edition. Printed brochures at the show are going the way of the do-do bird. We usually see people toting heavy tote bags around the massive show floor. Not so much this year, as folks opted for the free-hands approach, and told exhibitors they would check out their products online. The “badge capture” system, where an exhibitor scans the attendee’s badge into their system is an essential aspect to not letting those leads get away–especially important with the amount of investment the show requires.

9). Cell while you sell. For as big as the show floor was, cell coverage was surprisingly good. We had lots of dead spots at the Sands, where even texts could not get out.

10). Tires. With Alienation pushing tubeless, Tioga working on a new tire, plus their O/S 20 format, we are seeing many more options spinning-up for BMX racing tires. Vee told News that Cisar is riding a tire that is different from those on the market today. Could “tire choice” soon become a “thing” at different tracks?

We had a great time covering the show this year, and wish to extend our thanks to Interbike show management for their hospitality, and making it easy for us to bring you the coverage. Also to the BMX Industry companies, whether exhibiting or “co-showing” with their distributors. Everyone took the time out of the busy show schedule to walk us through their latest and greatest, and we really appreciate it.

If you enjoyed this article, we would appreciate if you would share it with your friends:

Links

BMX News Interbike 2014 Day One

BMX News Interbike 2014 Re-Cap





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Interbike 2014 Survival Guide

September 9, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Interbike 2014 Survival Guide
By Bryce Betts

Another year has blown-by, and it’s time again for the bicycle industry to come to Las Vegas. Manufacturers, suppliers, team managers, star athletes, media types and bike enthusiasts alike all head to town for the largest industry trade-show in North America. Although the main show doesn’t officially start until Wednesday the 10th, many have already made the journey to the 702, and are setting up their exhibit space, or trying out the latest and greatest gear at the Outdoor Demo, currently underway (the BMX industry doesn’t really participate in the Bootleg Canyon event, so BMXers are putting time in on the crossover).

Interbike may be known as the annual industry meeting place, but they now have a “customer appreciation day” on Friday, allowing anyone to experience the industry gathering for only $20. While us at News wait for Wednesday to arrive, we thought we’d put some of our past experiences into an official “Survival Guide.”

Jumpstart the Day
With the show floor opening at 9AM and not closing til 6PM Weds and Thurs, it’s a workday on the run. Start your day with a hearty breakfast that will help fuel your deal making and glad-handing through the long day. Partake in some of the various energy bar samples on the show floor to give yourself a mid-day boost.

Dress For Comfort
Although you may want to dress to impress, remember that Interbike is HUGE. If this is your first time, you cannot grasp how large the show floor is until you’re handed the road map outlining all of the booths in the exhibit hall (link below, if you want to get a jump on it). Wear comfortable shoes, fit for a few miles of walking, because you will literally be on your feet all day.

Plan Ahead
It’s not too late to plan ahead, even though tomorrow’s the big day. As stated above, Interbike is colossal, and it’s very easy to get lost. It is all-to-common to get back home and realize there were a handful of booths you really should have visited, but didn’t. Having a plan can easily prevent this. Use your breakfast time to jot down the exhibitors you NEED to see that day, and stick to the plan. In your list, be sure to leave some time for exploring. There will be tons of exhibitors you have never heard of that can make your trip psy off in a big way. From mega brands like Specialized, to smaller companies, there are tons of booths with interesting “why didn’t I think of that” products, outside of BMX racing, that can be useful.

Download the Interbike App
The free Interbike app is an absolute-must if you are attending the show. This app has a useful interactive map, that helps you find exhibitors, learn about demonstration times, and even shows you featured products that you may have missed. If you have been to the show in previous years, be sure to download the 2014 version of the app.

Don’t Be Shy
There are a lot of people at the show, from company owners, to cycling icons, to media types (hint, hint). We’re all at the show to interact with like-minded industry folk. Plenty of contacts and deals get made in the aisles of the show, so have your antennae up for that kind of thing. And if you are star-stuck by a megawatt athlete or industry legend, don’t be shy to ask for a photo, or even chat about how you might get some business going together. You gotta give action to get action, afterall.

Be Patient
Remember that exhibitors are at the show to sell product. Exhibitors are sitting down with domestic and international distributors and dealers, giving their big pitch to write orders. Although you may want to say hello to Toby Henderson over at BOX, or John Sawyer at Answer it’s important to pick your moment. Make sure you’re not interrupting an important meeting. The savvy thing to do is to ask if they have a minute, or when they would be free to chat. If you have an order in mind, set an appointment to come back, so you can be the center of attention.

Bring Spending Money
Although the purpose of Interbike is not generally for companies to sell product right off the show floor, some companies do–especially on Friday, as the prospect of loading it back in the truck starts to loom large. The product for sale may be prime, not-yet-available hardware, or in-season stuffs that are offered at a last-day-of-the-show deal. It’s always wise to have a little extra cash in-pocket, in case you see some shiny new spd shoes that match your kit. Try to resist the blackjack tables with that flash-roll!

Breath of Death
Since you’re going to be in close proximity to others all day, grab some gum or mints at the gift shop on your way in to the show. Keep that going all day, and watch your lunch. The most popular quick-food at the food vendors in the exhibit hall is traditionally a hotdog. Hot dogs are chock-full of garlic, which will put your personal pew-factor on high about 10 minutes after you get back on the show floor. Same for the Caesar salad. Don’t do it.

Visit a Local Track
Las Vegas is the home of US Olympian Connor Fields, and has three great tracks to offer. Ed Fountain Park is the closest at just 10.3 miles from the show site at Mandalay Bay. We have a feeling the local race Thursday night could see some unfamiliar faces taking laps. See the link below for more info on the tracks in and near Vegas.

Enjoy The City
We all go to Vegas in September to see the latest and greatest products our industry has to offer, BMX and otherwise. But don’t forget where you are. LV is a great tourist destination, with some of the world’s best food, live performances and epic people watching. With the exhibit floor closing at 6PM on Wed-Thursday, and 4PM on Friday, there is plenty of time to eat at your favorite celebrity chef’s restaurant, or watch an awesome show (whether in a showroom, or right on the strip). Downtown is a great destination too, especially if you have never been to town. Cab fare from Mandalay Bay: about $22 each way.

Lots of BMXers also visit the “Gold and Silver” pawn shop at 713 South Las Vegas Blvd, home to the popular “Pawn Stars” TV series. Go get an Instagram with Chumlee.

Emergency Printing
If you run out of business cards or brochures (or the airline loses your bag), you’re in luck. One of the top digital printers in the country is close by, in Henderson. Digital Insight Printing can do same-day turnaround (link below). Phone: 702-792-3396

Have a great show, and watch for the BMX News team creepin the aisles and sniffing out all the show scoop. We will be posting from the show floor each day, and tweeting on @bmxindustry and @bmxnews with as-they-happen updates.

Interbike 2014 Interbike Show Schedule
Wed. Sept. 10 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Thu. Sept. 11 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Fri. Sept. 12 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Mike Carruth contributed to this article

Links

Interbike 2014 Exhibitor List/Search

Follow @bmxindustry on Twitter

USA BMX Tracks Around Las Vegas

Digital Insight Printing





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Why Your Free Facebook Reach is Over

March 18, 2014 by · Comments Off 

The Days of Free Reach on Facebook are Over

As you might imagine, we talk to a fair amount of budding businesses here at the BMX News Global Command Center. A few dozen advice requests come in each week, asking things like: “what do you think of our new logo?” “Should we trademark our company name before launching?” and “How much should I expect to pay for a ‘good’ website?” We respond to all of them, and are happy to do it.

More and more lately, when the talk turns to the topic of how to create a website for their brand, small business owners are saying “we’re thinking we’ll ‘just’ use Facebook as our website…you know, at first.” Big mistake, guy.

You know there’s going to be trouble when someone interjects “just” into a sentence like that. Second, someone who would say that needs an Internet intervention–STAT!

At first blush, it’s hard to blame them. Facebook is free, easy to update, and (presumably) has a built-in audience of friends and fans who will gobble-up all the content you can serve up. Or does it?

Many people make one tragic mistake when assessing their Facebook game: they think the number of friends or fans they have on their page equals their audience. Not necessarily true (or at least not as clearly as “I post it, they see it”).

People who are unfamiliar with how Facebook works often think that if they have 5,000 (or 50,000, or 500,000) Facebook page fans, and they post something on their wall, everyone will see it. That is called “organic reach,” and it ends up being far-shorter than the fan number you keep your eye constantly-fixed upon.

In fact, your posts only reach a small percentage of your total fans, and that reach is getting shorter all the time.

The company has been trimming organic reach over the past two years (the percentage of your total fans who see your posts on their News Feed). From greater than 50% in late 2011, to 16% in early 2013, to 12% in October 2013, to as low as 6.15% in February 2014, according to a new study by digital ad agency social@Ogilvy.




Charts by social@Ogilvy, via AdAge.com and Forbes.com, respectively

In an article published on Forbes.com this month, writer Ewan Spence said “the unofficial advice from Facebook sources to community managers noted in the report? Expect (organic reach) to approach zero in the foreseeable future.”

This can be plussed-up a bit as fans share your post, or people comment on it, as Facebook’s algorithm gives a little more juice to posts that receive “engagement.” That said, the sure-fire way to goose your reach is via paid “boosting.” This can get expensive real quick, as you fork over cash to reach fans you worked hard to get in the first place.

Facebook has a market cap of $175 Billion, and has enjoyed an earnings explosion of +566.66% in the past year. You do not get that kind of performance giving stuff away for free. Hence the trimmed-back organic reach, and increased prominence of paid reach– to your own fans, don’t forget.

Accumulating fans is a compelling way to “keep score,” because it’s a number, and it’s right there for your viewing pleasure. When it goes up, we feel good. In fact, some *drugs* are measured by the impact and satisfaction they deliver to the user. Facebook fan collection and watching post “likes” is kind of like that. But don’t be lulled into thinking you are making huge reach into your customers’ consciousness on this basis alone.

If someone is a fan of your page, they already know about your brand. It’s good to keep those people informed, but we need to be striving to attract those new prospects–people who do not know about our brand, or don’t know enough to have made a purchase decision yet.

As a companion to–and not a replacement for– your regular .com web presence, Facebook, and all the social tools will do a fine job driving traffic to your place on the Web. But you must not neglect or, dare I say, abandon the use of your .com web site as the primary place for the most up to the minute info on your brand.

Take a quick look: How current is the content (stories, product listings, photos and videos) on your website?

Here are five reasons you should not rely on Facebook (or any site other than your own) as your primary Web presence:

1). Control. Your website, your rules. Nobody can move your cheese, tweak the algorithm and cause your audience to disappear (of course, there are dozens of ways to screw that up all on your own, but that’s another article). When you do it right, you speak, all will listen, or at least hear, what you have to say.

2). Seach Engine Visibility. Relying too heavily on a third-party site for your content tends to put your brand on a path to obscurity on the search engines. When a customer searches your brand name on Google or other search engine, your .com site should be the first result on the list (and maybe a few other of the first-page results, if you do it right). Learn a little about optimizing your site for certain key words and phrases that customers may enter when trying to find you.

3). Market Credibility. Giving your web presence over to another party (whether Facebook, Wix, Weebly or other service where the user goes to some other domain.com/yourname) is the modern equivilent of listing a PO Box on your business card–it just isn’t professional. It costs as little as $1.99 for a .com domain name (with godaddy coupon), and as little as $12 a year to host it. WordPress is free, and you can get a template for less than $50. If a company does not have at least that much in place, any customer or industry on-looker would be right to question the commitment, if not the smarts, of such a business owner.

4). New Customers. It is a grave mistake to assume that new customers will find you exclusively via your Facebook page. It may happen, but you must not discount the power of the organic Web search. Put your brand’s footprint in many places, but your .com site should always be the “anchor.”

5). Longevity of Content. Social media platforms are, by design, all about the here and now. Content you posted last month, or last year is likely never going to be seen again when posted on Facebook. Posting this content on your own site helps to develop the “legacy” of your brand. What were you doing three years ago? Five years ago? 10 years ago? Each piece of content acts as a lawn sign for the search engines to recognize you, and serve you up to potential customers. It’s a big world out there, and billions of web searches are made every day get in on that! When your content is lost under the “silt layers” of social media, the richness of that legacy content is, essentially, nil.

I could go on, but we are already over-time on the attention span meter.

This isn’t to say that you should take a “protectionist” posture to your content. It boggles our mind when a brand says “we want to put this out on our Facebook page first.” Why would you want to do that? Cozy up to your favorite media outlet (BMX News, as one example :D), and work with them to leverage their audience to get more eyes on your story. Then, yeah, post it up on your Facebook page too. But, this way, you have given the media guy a “win,” and he’ll be stoked to work with you again next time. Just make sure that the ultimate place the user ends up is on your real estate.

The days of free reach on Facebook are over. More to come as it develops–and it is always developing. Just know that, where your Facebook audience is concerned, you are on a stage, blindfolded, and someone is whispering “you are speaking to 5,000 people!” in your ear. Only, there are 250 or so actually in the room to hear you.

—Mike Carruth





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BMX Industry Gig: BMX Sales at QBP

March 17, 2014 by · Comments Off 

BMX Industry Gig: Sales at QBP

Whether you’re a rider in need of a day job, or a BMX mom/dad who wants to put your career on a new track, a BMX Industry gig could be just the ticket. If you have the gift of gab, and a passion for product, a sales gig could await you at big-time distributor QBP.

Here’s what they told BMX News, in a release:

Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) of Bloomington, MN is hiring a full-time Sales Representative to join our BMX team (QBMX). Love BMX? Love sales and have experience? You might be the right fit, and we want to hear from you! Help connect the best dealers in the country with the best brands in BMX. See the details and apply at the link below.

QBP is a leading distributor to the bicycle and outdoor industries. Committed to advocating for the bike industry and creating safe places to ride, we are a center of bike culture in the Twin Cities. Many of our employees are deeply passionate about cycling and participate in every discipline, from fatbike to freeride (and BMX race/freestyle, of course).

Links

Read More and/or Apply

Interbike 2013 Wrap-Up and Photo Galleries

September 20, 2013 by · Comments Off 

By Bryce Betts, with Mike Carruth

Day Two of the 2013 Interbike show was another great chance to see what cycling consumers of all disciplines will see on store shelves in the coming year. There was literally too much to write about, but we got some photos of the highlights on the show flow and in the aisles.

In the coming days, we will bring you individual stories on products from Redline, Staats, Ciari, Chase BMX, BOX Components, Promax, Solution and Strength BMX (part of the Answer/SSquared family), Supercross and more.

Here were some of the final day highlights.

Stealth Hubs at Interbike 2013
There are lots of rumors of companies working on instant engagement hubs going around, but Stealth truly is the “Original Recipe” of the instant engagement hub movement. This year, they were showcasing their all new 20mil rear hub. This hub retails for $385 and is available to ship in an assortment of colors today. To go along with the stealth hub, True Precision is also adding separate 20mill axles to their line, and these axels will fit into any 20mill hub/fork combo.

Haro Clutch Carbon Frame at Interbike 2013
The new Haro Clutch seemed to be the star of the show this year, stopping just about every other person who walked by it. The frame comes in four sizes ranging from a 20.5″ pro, a 21″ pro xl, a 21.75 pro xxl, and the “Nic” Long which is the 21.75 frame with it’s monstrous back end. On the Clutch frame, you also see a prototype carbon CLiQ fork. This fork has a tapered steer tube, but they are also coming out with a 1 1/8″ straight head tube. DB44 is looking at a January release date for this $285 20mill fork that weighs in at only 1 lb 3 ounces. Also take note of the hubs, if you look closely you may notice the prototype 20mil CLiQ version.

Identiti BMX Frame and Halo parts at Interbike 2013
The British bike company Identiti had a bike on display that showcased all of it’s Halo parts. The Halo tire stood out the most to me on this bike. This is a brand new tire so the distributer didn’t have the details on weight or sizes, but the extra foldable tire they had laying around felt extremely light.

Tioga O/S 20 Rim and Tire combo at Interbike 2013
Tioga still had their O/S 20″ tire and rim on display. Things seen to be slowly be falling into place with this tire. Pete Dylewski, who was the first person to race the oversized set-up in Louisville, informed us that in 2015 two large companies will include O/S 20 frame bikes in their line up. If the O/S 20 wheel interests you, stop by the Chase Bicycles both in Chula Vista and test ride it for yourself.

Leatt Brace at Interbike 2013
On the protection side of things Leatt debuted their new brace at the show. This new brace is low profile, and includes a redesigned back. The back of the brace now has a split design to help take some of the load off of the spine during impact. I know they aren’t the first to do this, but it’s cool to see something new from the first name in neck protection.

Excess LSP crankset from BMX Racing Group at Interbike 2013
Chase/BRG had a few new products to showcase this year at Interbike. The complete bikes we talked about on day one made a strong showing, but Pete wanted to emphasize the new Chase RSP 2.0 frame and LSP crankset from Excess.

Chase BMX RSP 2.0 Frame at Interbike 2013

The RSP 2.0 features a new headtube, lighter bottom bracket, internal brake cable routing and bold new graphics. Street date: end of October or beginning of November.

Excess is expanding it’s product line with affordable sprockets and cold-forged 2 piece alloy cranks that start at 160mm and go all the way up to 180mm. Those should be ready for the consumer in time for Christmas.

CLiQ Components Helm and Maverick handlebars at Interbike 2013
Back to Haro for another hit: CLiQ has a lot of products in the works. On top of the new fork and hub, they also were showcasing Nic Longs signature “Helm” handlebar, and Corben’s signature “Maverick” bar. They didn’t stop with only pro size bars though, CLiQ also was showcasing 5″rise expert bars and 3″ rise junior bars. Derek also introduced a sleek new CLiQ stem to clamp your new CLiQ bars into.

Rift BMX Racing frame at Interbike 2013
It seemed like everywhere I went I ran into TJ Johnson or Rich Pelton. In the giant Fly/WPS booth, the new Rift frame and various tangent parts were shining in the far corner below the framed picture of Riley Stairs new BMXPLUS! cover. The Rift bike on display looked great and according to TJ they will be ready to hit the market on Halloween. Also showcased on this bike was Tangent’s new flat pedal, and their stylish new pivotal seat.

Keep your eyes on BMX News each day for individual “quick hit” stories on more of the products and people we encountered at the show.

If you just can’t wait, check out the photo galleries from our two days of walking the show.

Links

Interbike 2013 Day One Photo Gallery

Interbike 2013 Day Two Photo Gallery





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Rider News: Tyler Faoro shows a Dkoi

September 20, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Tyler Faoro to Dkoi Bikes

Scrolling through instagram yesterday we noticed that the self promotion king of Florida, Tyler Faoro had a new bike on display during an autograph session for Maxxis tires. A light blue “Dkoi” frame, which showcased his signature Optimum Nutrition and Dans Comp co-spos. We asked Ferocious if he is going to suit up in a full “Dkoi” kit or stay in his “Profile” kit. He quickly answered that he will still be riding for Profile, but his uniform will also display the Dkoi logo.

Here’s what else he said:

I am super-pumped to be partnered up with Dkoi Bike frames, awesome USA made frames that are priced at a very affordable price. Super stiff aluminum and all the perfect geometry for BMX racing. Check out Dkoibikes.com to see more on their race frames and specs. A perfect combination to go along with my other amazing sponsors: Profile Racing, Optimum Nutrition, ABB Performance, Maxxis Tires, and Dans Comp!

Tyler has had a rough year this year, with an injury during the off season, and another injury just a few months ago. He has still been working hard in the gym, and has recently been cleared to ride again. If Tyler’s injuries came as a surprise to you, that’s likely due to how great he is with getting his name out there through giveaways and clinics.

Tyler is definitely off the sheets for Chula Vista, and is still on the fence about racing Fresno, but either way he will be working hard on his new Dkoi frameset to make a strong debut performance at Disney.

We don’t know a whole lot about Dkoi as a company, but having Tyler tooling around the country will likely change that pretty soon.

Factory Tour: Yess BMX

September 10, 2013 by · Comments Off 

yess_bmx_tour

Earlier this year, we brought you the first in a series of Factory Tours, showing how the bikes you ride go from raw materials to the shelves of your favorite dealer or mail order emporium.

Today, we’re happy to bring you the another installment in the series, as we visit Yess BMX in Surrey, British Columbia.

BMX News contributing photographer Lee Cejalvo was snapping the photos on this one, and I think you’ll agree, did a great job. Thanks also to Bill and Renny Husada for opening up their shop to us, and helping us understand what the photos said.

Top: Father and Son, Bill and Renny Husada rolling a finished-welded rack of Yess BMX frames to the next step. Yess has been in their location for nearly 20 years.

Raw tubing at the yess BMX factory

Raw tubing is typically purchased domestically in the form of Extruded, Drawn Seamless and flat/round stock. All of this raw material comes in 12ft or 20ft lengths, and is then cut and sized in-house.

Haas VF-2 CNC Machine at Yess BMX

Yess has a number of specialty machines to process the various components of their products. This is a Haas VF-2, which is used for cutting fixtures, dropouts and various mitering shapes. They also use it for making component parts which come together later in the process. The Haas CNC machine is built in the USA and programmed using GibbsCAM.

Yess BMX Factory Tour on BMXNEWS.COM

Turn and burn. The “turning center” is used to make headtubes, bottom brackets shells and the like. Unlike a lot of frame builders, who purchase fittings and frame parts from outside vendors or fabricators, Yess does all this work in-house.

Dropouts after CNC at Yess BMX

A Yess BMX dropout after the CNC process. A ton of detail work goes in to the unique Yess dropout. Working this stuff in house allows Yess to integrate the axle size preferences of customers as well (from 10mm, 12mm and 15mm).

Tack Welded frames at Yess BMX

Tack rack. A “run” of frames have completed the tack-weld phase, and are ready to move to the next station. Renny tells us that the miters are so tight it is next-to-impossible to fit a strand of hair between components.

Machined seat stays at the Yess BMX Factory

Stays sit (but not for long). Mitered to perfection, a box of seat stays ready for action. These are also bent and machined in-house.

Seat tubes are tacked at Yess BMX

Seat tubes are tacked to BB’s and ready to be connected to the rest of the frame.

A welding atation at Yess BMX in Surrey, BC

One of the welding stations – “where the magic happens,” says Renny.

Welding station at Yess Products

Every frame is hand welded by a single person. This is done to ensure consistent weld beads through out the frame. A lot of the overseas production facilities have 20 or more welders concentrating on only one area. That “station” assembly method makes the weld beads look different on the seat/chain stays than they do on the head tube, etc. Small detail, but those are the details that add up to awesome in the end.

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Yess Products also does contract BMX manufacturing

Yess also does contract manufacturing for several BMX brands around the world. Here, front triangles for the “Pure BMX” frames are ready to be rear-ended. Each customer can specify their own preferred method. In this case, hydroformed tubes are provided by Pure Bicycles in the UK.

Yess Liam Phillips "LP65" frames coming together

Today we’re watching the Yess Liam Phillips “LP65″ frames coming together. These are racked and ready for the finish-welding stage.

Machine Shop at Yess Products

Tens of thousands of soon-to-be-bikes have gone through these two manual milling machines. Some operations are done using several different setups. Chips are flying and frames are being born.

Anvil Bikes testing fixture

Here’s a serious frame fixture from Anvil Bikes–helps Yess confirm all the angles on every frame are welded to spec, and are straight. It has passed tens of thousands of frames, and Renny says it is one of the best tools in the shop. This model is probably one of the earliest ones and it still works perfectly.

Age-hardening oven at Yess BMX

Once the frames are aligned and straightened. They go through age-hardening to ensure proper T6 conditioning. This means maximum stiffness from the alloy.

Yess custom Powder Coating

Yess does all their Powdercoating in-house, and can run custom colors for teams or even individual orders.

Yess BMX Factory Tour on bmxnews.com

Serial numbers are stamped by hand. Ask nicely, and you might be able to get a “vanity” serial number.

Yess Factory Tour on bmxnews.com

Done and Done. Finished frames hang around ready to be polished, bagged and boxed before boarding a UPS truck.

Very cool to see all the TLC that goes in to making a great product. Thanks again to Bill and Renny Husada and Lee Cejalvo for making this article possible.

Links

Yess BMX Website





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Remembering Howie Cohen (1939-2013)

July 18, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Remembering Howie Cohen - BMX NEWS

Last week, the bicycle industry lost one of it’s giants. A life-long devotee of the industry, and everything to do with bicycles. How fitting, therefore, that Howie Cohen’s company was called “Everything Bicycles.”

As I said above, he was one of the “giants.” I mean that in every sense of the word. He was a bigger-than-life kind of guy. You often hear people talk about the guy who would be the center of the room, wherever he was–a person whose presence would shift the gravity in the room. That was Howie. You knew where he was based on the crowd of people shaking hands, saying hello, and remembering every last detail about the last time he saw an acquaintance from the Far East. He had a booming voice, a booming laugh, and was a salesman in the most complimentary way that term could be applied.

He was an amazing mentor to the young people that entered his world; riders, warehouse workers, sales guys, and hot-shot BMX magazine types, myself included. We all thought we had a pretty good handle on what we were doing. That is, until he told us frankly, but from a position of empathy and mentorship, how far short we were in where we needed to be. That made us better at what we did, and want to rise to the next challenge.

He made a huge difference in the trajectory of BMX as an industry. Startup companies back-then needed distributor representation in order to jump from the one-guy-with-a-welding-kit stage, to being a legit company. Everything Bicycles was that connection. Howie bought two-page spreads in Bicycle Motocross Action magazine–something that did not make sense to many onlookers. The kids reading the magazine, after all, were not his customers–the dealers were. Of course, 30 years later, it makes all the sense in the world. Those ads created demand, linked his company with the hot brands of the day, and gave dealers leafing through the magazine a quick, at-a-glance look at what they should be ordering, and from whom.

Howie was responsible for bringing Kuwahara to the United States, and soon after, for the famous special edition “E.T.” bike, ridden by the main character in the 1980s film. This was recently documented very well by New York-based journalist Emon Hassan entitled “The BMX Boys of E.T.” It’s an awesome piece, and includes audio interviews with Howie (link below).

His rich experience in the bicycle industry did not start, or stop, with BMX. He was around the bike industry since he was seven years old, and was armpit deep in it–at least until last week.

Howie passed away on July 11 in Colorado, with family and long-time friends by his side. It took me this long to write this because, frankly, it was very tough to write it. We all know we will face the loss of friends and family at some point, but putting that loss into words and posting it on the Internet is very tough, almost feels inappropriate in a sense. I somehow feel these feelings should be private but, at the same time, I wished more people of the modern BMX era knew him. That was the deciding factor.

And while it had been more than 20 years since I had last seen Howie, I mourn the fact that we, as an industry and a planet will be without someone so genuine and generous.

—Mike Carruth

The image at top is a scan from his 1982 Holiday Card. E.T. was released June 11 of that year.

Links

In Memoriam by Emon Hassan

Bicycle Retailer Remembrance

The BMX Boys of E.T. By Emon Hassan

Proto Peek: CCH Stems and Clamps

February 3, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Production Prototype Pro Stem by CCH Bicycles

Since popping up on Vintage back in November, we have been following the progress of Cruisen’ Chris Hoffman, and the revival of his CCH product line. The line, which will include US-made components, as well as frames, took a giant step toward the market this week, with the arrival of the first production samples of their stem and seat post clamp.

The 53mm XL stem is a top-load design that has a CNC-machines middle to drop weight, and increase the cool factor. The clean lines on the clamp are also pretty sweet, with “keyholes” machined into the sides for the aforementioned reasons.

CCH is a “one who has returned” company, originally started in 1997. It’s awesome seeing old friends coming back to the loving arms of the BMX Racing scene.

Here’s a little ditty Chris wrote up, that he sent over to News first.

Cruisen’ Chris here at CCH Bikes. The FedEx man brought us a super cool goody box today friends! PRODUCTION SAMPLES of the NEW CCH racing stems and seat clamps!

These stems are extruded from aircraft aluminum, then FULLY CNC machined for maximum strength to weight ratio. And of course to look Radabonzical!

Anodized matte finish, Black, Red, Gold and Holy Moly Look at that Gun Metal Grey! Laser etched logo on top and bottom for style. First production run will be pro size (53mm) XL’s coming soon! These Masterful BMX treasures weigh in at a mere 10 oz and retail for $69..

Production Samples of Seat Post Clamps by CCH Bicycles
Next up in our goody bag is our super cool seat clamps. Forged aluminum sweetness, anodized matte finish to match the stems, Laser engraved CCH logo so you can show the posers what up! Should retail around $12

First production run should arrive end of March and be available at better shops near you and of course on CCHBicyles.com Check us out Facebook for more updates!

Crusen’ Chris

We are in agreement on the gun metal–lookin TIGHT!

Chris has a solid reputation for quality and an eye for details-in-workmanship; we’re anxious to see the final production parts on one of our test bikes soon. We’ll keep you posted.

Links

CCH Bicycles on Facebook





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

BMX Industry Jobs Open at J&R

February 1, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Help Wanted at J&R Bicycles, via bmxnews.com

Unless you’re training like Willers, Maris and Sam, one way to turn your BMX racing career into some consistent greenbacks is to turn your BMX experience into a career in the BMX industry. Start with something entry level, and work your way into something with more oomph. A lot of us started started that way: truing wheels at GT, stickering up plates for Bob Haro, or selling plates and jerseys for Owen Scheppman at Zeronine.

News just got an email from J&R with a few such jobs they are trying to fill at their HQ in Largo, FL (a pull-manual away from Oldsmar, and four other awesome tracks). Here’s what they have going on:

J&R BMX Superstore has immediate openings in our Sales, Service and Race Event Vending Departments. Applicants to all positions shall posess a thorough knowledge of BMX Racing or Freestyle equipment and should be active in the local BMX riding community.

Applicants for the Race Event Vending position are required to be at least 25 years old with a clean driving record.

Applicants to the Service Department positions shall posess excellent bicycle mechanic skills with previous experience as a professional bicycle mechanic.

These positions are hourly paid full time positions with benefits. Starting wage is dependent upon your experience.

J&R features the largest “BMX only” showroom and is located in sunny Largo, Florida. With it’s active cycling community including five BMX race tracks, Skate Park of Tampa (SPoT) and it’s white sandy beaches, the Tampa Bay area is a great place to be!

If you’re into it, gussy-up your resume (or create one, if you don’t have one already), write a well-worded cover letter, and send to Doug Stuart over there (doug@jrbicycles.com). Pro Tip: your “work” resume will differ from your riding resume. We have included links below to a couple “writing your first resume” articles.

Links

J&R Bicycles Website

J&R Bicycles Help Wanted Flyer

Writing a First Resume – on ReadWriteThink.com

How to Write a First Resume – About.com





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

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