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VSI Products to Suspend BMX Program June 30

June 6, 2013 by · Comments Off 

VSI Products to suspend BMX Program June 30
VSI Products, the parent company for BMX megabrands like Intense BMX, Sinz, and Speedco will announce today that it is moving to sell each of the above brands to a new owner, effectively ending the company’s ties to the BMX hardgoods business.

VSI (which stands for Vigor Sports, Inc.) entered the BMX market in 2004 and has remained a market leader since. Over the years, it enjoyed a level of brand presence at both local and national races that made it nearly impossible to see a gate of riders without at least one Intense bike in the mix.

BMX News spoke to VSI’s outgoing Chief Operating Officer, Gregorio de Haro, about the developments. Here’s what he said:

We are actively looking for a new home for three of the VSI BMX brands, Speedco, Sinz and, together with Intense Cycles, Intense BMX. VSI is not closing its doors, but we have had to take a very hard look at the financial performance of our BMX lines over the years in relation to the company objectives …it is just part of a “re-thinking” of the overall business of the parent company, and where ownership wants to take the company in the future.

Until such time as each respective sale is final, VSI will continue to handle sales, warranty, and other customer service needs. Customers can contact us at 562-407-2184 or by email at sales@vsiproducts.com.

t.h.e. is the one brand VSI will keep in its portfolio of products. This is due, in part, to the fact our parent company is a large player in the helmet and protective gear space. They will decide how to re-orient t.h.e. as a brand, and to which segments its product will be marketed.

Gregorio also told us that VSI’s four Factory Elite riders (Above: Brian Kirkham, Arielle Martin, Dominique Daniels and Kory Cook) have been released from their contracts and, while VSI will pay them through the end of June, they are free to explore other sponsorship opportunities (so, if you know anyone who’s lookin, hook ‘em up).

On a personal note, VSI has been a big part of our advertiser community here at BMX News since 2009, and that support has helped us get to more races, and bring you more photos and news. I’d like to extend my personal thanks to them for that friendship–which, of course does not end here, but changes a bit. We all agreed to keep in touch.

We asked the departing riders if they had any comment on the news. A few responded by “press” time:

Arielle Martin: “While I am disappointed the Intense BMX brand will not be continuing, I am incredibly grateful for the sponsorship they have given me over the last four years. VSI fully supported me in my Olympic quest and continued to financially back me, with full faith that I would return through the seven months I was off my bike recovering from my injuries. I want to publicly thank them for that support and wish the best to all moving forward.”

Brian Kirkham: “I was shocked by the news today, and its really disappointing they are letting the BMX program go.”

Dominique Daniels: “I have always enjoyed riding the products produced by VSI. They have been a sponsor of mine, in one form or another, for most of my career. I very-much appreciate all they have done for me over the years, and wish them well in their future projects.”

Kory Cook: “I would just like to say I am shocked and dissapointed. I’m thankful for everything VSI has done, but this was out of left field. All I can do is move forward and keep my head clear for Salt Lake City.”

The irony is not lost on us that today’s Speedco Top Story is the impending transition of Speedco, itself, from the hands of its birth parent, to a new home.

We will keep you posted on new developments on this story as they become available.

—Mike Carruth

Links

VSI Products Website





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Tell Your Tale of Woe, Win A Phenom

February 19, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Intense Phenom Giveaway

Intense BMX is looking for the best “I need a Phenom because…” story the BMX community can muster. Between now and Monday, February 25 at 8:30am PST, visit the Intense BMX Facebook page, linked below, and post a comment on why you deserve a brand new Phenom frame. The one with the most likes at closing time will receive the frame.

This is a great chance to check out the newest Intense BMX hardware, and to rally your posse to help you get one for the 2013 season.

In fact, we hit up Intense for a little status update on the Phenom…here’s what they said:

The 2013 Intense BMX Phenom frames are now available in all sizes.

Minis, Juniors, and Experts use 1″ or 1 1/8″ forks, while all Pro sizes and Cruisers get the tapered head tube which allows use of a standard 1 1/8″, or the new Sinz Elite Stealth Monocoque carbon fork, available in late March. While it is not necessary to purchase the new Sinz Elite fork to complete a build, the use of the new Sinz 1.5″ headset is required.

In addition to the tapered head tube, the Pro size frames come with 10mm and 20mm tensioning blocks to allow use of traditional wheel sets, or the newer 20mm axle wheels (15mm tensioning blocks are also available, separately).

The Phenom frames are made with smooth-welded 6061 T6 alloy, with double and triple-butted tubing for maximum strength and lightest weight. The down tube on the Pro sizes features an asymmetrical hexagonal shape, while the top tube has a square profile.

The larger, tapered head tube increases the weld areas between the top tube and down tubes, further strengthening the frame. All frames feature Euro BBs to maximize compatibility with bottom brackets and cranksets in the marketplace.

We are running the Phenom giveaway to celebrate the full-availability of the product line, so visit the Intense BMX Facebook page today to get in on the fun.

More details on the Intense BMX Facebook Page:

Links

Intense BMX Facebook Page

Intense BMX Website

Word Travels Fast on Intense Sonic

January 30, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Intense Sonic Complete BMX Race Bike on bmxnews.com

Complete bikes are traditionally awesome for people looking for a good deal on “something reliable” that will not break the bank. Expectations are generally not very high in the way of trick stuff to make your comp in staging take notice– but the complete gives you an off-the-shelf sled to shred, for not a lot of bread. The second you pay for it, you’re back to saving your pennies for upgrades like carbon forks and better cranks.

Intense has turned that theory on its head in 2013 with the intro of their new Sonic line of completes. These are high-end hardware from the get-go, no major upgrades needed.

The Sonic comes with a re-imagined Intense frame, hydro-formed from 6061 aluminum. Totally new styling for 2013, as Intense moves away from the long-in-tooth “Podium” form factor.

Onboard the Sonic complete, you’ll find all the familiar-and-favorite Sinz components you have seen out there under the top stars, including the stealth carbon fork, two-piece alloy cranks with an external-bearing BB, a legit wheel set with sealed cassette hubs, bladed spokes and ITS tires. The Sonic is also laced up to Sun Envy rims front & back (32/36 hole) for the larger sizes.

Size-wize, there are seven Sonic sizes to choose from (say that fast, three times). The Mini and Junior carry the lowest pricetag, then the Expert, then the three pro models and a Pro Cruiser. Intense decided to keep it simple in the new year, with a flat black and red accents as the only color way.

We scoped the sonic up on a display rack at the USA BMX Silver Dollar Nationals in Reno earlier this month. It looks even better in person. These just landed at J&R before Christmas, so we’re starting to see them out at the local tracks (indoor and otherwise) as well. Stepping off last year’s model, and on to a super Sonic is definitely the stuff of some serious psych-up in the new season.

Specs vary by size, so we’re going to give you links to each, and you can peruse the particulars personally.

Links

(will open in new window)

Intense Sonic Mini Complete – $774.95

Intense Sonic Junior Complete – $774.95

Intense Sonic Expert Complete – $799.95

Intense Sonic Pro Complete – $849.95

Intense Sonic Pro XL Complete – $849.95

Intense Sonic Pro XXL Complete – $849.95

Intense Sonic Pro 24″ – $879.95


Product Spotlight is Presented by:

BMXNEWS.COM Product Spotlight, Presented by J&R Bicycles

2012 USA BMX Grand National Photo Galleries

November 28, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Coverage of the 2012 USA BMX Grands on bmxnews.com

What a week it’s been! Starting out last Wednesday, leaving for the drive down to Tulsa for the 2012 USA BMX Grand National, the action (and the work) was non-stop until about four hours ago. If we weren’t talking tasty BMX scoop with an industry insider, we were shooting photos on the track, if not shooting, we were at the hotel processing photos, or sleeping…only to wake up five hours later and do it all again, and again, and again. Then ring, ring, ring, it’s Monday morning, time to go home–hurry up, you have 10 minutes to pack it all up…housekeeping wants to get in there.

We blew the ref’s whistle at that point (right into the phone), and Priceline saved the day with an “extend your stay” reservation–for the same agreeable $46 rate. That gave us another 24 to catch up on photos, and begin to feel human again.

In all, we punched the shutter button over 2000 times on the weekend, then spent 36 hours refining, tweaking and tagging that set down to about 700 “choice cuts,” which we have posted on PhotosArePosted.com for your viewing and free downloading pleasure (links below).

With all that jawin’ and photographin and tweakin, there wasn’t a whole lot of time for the writin. So, we’re getting our re-cap into shape, and will have it posted tomorrow. But before the site got too much of a “life after people” look and feel to it, we wanted to bring you the photo galleries as a beefy appetizer, leading up to the main course.

We hope you enjoy the photos as much as we did shooting them (and more than we did editing them :))

Team Managers: We have tagged all major teams by brand name. Download this handy PDF for instructions on searching for your team’s images.

Above: Justin Richmond of Answer Ssquared was the favorite to take home the national Number One Amateur cup after points leader Austin Loebe did not make the main. Justin had a solid lead in the main, but his hopes were dashed with an unfortunate crash in the last turn. That paved the way for Intense BMX star, Rusty Nesvig to clinch it.

Galleries


bmxnews.com Photo Gallery for 2012 USA BMX ROC
2012 USA BMX Race Of Champions Photo Gallery


bmxnews.com Photos from the 2012 USA BMX Grands
2012 USA BMX Grand National Photos – Saturday


bmxnews.com photos from the 2012 USA BMX Grands
2012 USA BMX Grand National Photos – Sunday





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

BMX Yard Sale at VSI Tomorrow

November 16, 2012 by · Comments Off 

bmx news - Yard Sale at VSI Products November 17

Here’s something for you bargain shoppers in the So. Cal area. Tomorrow, November 17, VSI Products (makers of Intense BMX, THE Products, Speedco and Sinz) is holding their once-in-a-blue-moon “yard sale.” This is the chance to save massively on closeouts, dented and scratched merch that can’t be sold to your favorite bike dealer, and maybe a color or two that never made it off the drawing board and onto the shelves.

This is the time when you find the awesome flea market fodder that will help get you to a couple more nationals in 2013 (or at least pay a few entries at Orange Y).

The event is going down at their office/warehouse in Cerritos (CA). Click below to download the official info sheet. Let us know how you do.

Links

Download VSI Yard Sale Info Sheet

VSI Website

Special Delivery: Interbike 2012 Foretells Changes

September 25, 2012 by · Comments Off 

BMX News reports on Interbike 2012.

This is an over-arching editorial on one aspect of Interbike 2012. Please see our special Interbike section for individual articles on products and companies, sponsored by Answer BMX, throughout the week.

The annual Interbike trade show in Las Vegas is equal parts class reunion, frat party, open air bazaar, strategic operations exercise and do-or-die pitchfest.

It is where our favorite brands set up shop for three days of hardcore razzle dazzle–wooing dealers, distributors, media and, bike industry VIPs on the amazing things they have planned for 2013. Some years yield a richer crop in that regard than others, and 2012 will go down as one year where some new things in BMX racing really started to take wing.

In 2011, 20-mil was tip-toeing out of the BMX laboratory, and the pitch was on to get some early traction for a new way of doing things. That movement has had a whole year to simmer, and soak up the juices of market feedback, upstart competition and messaging by marketing mavens. 20-mil is definitely here to stay, helped tremendously by glowing endorsements from A-List riders like Marc Willers. We will be seeing lots more of it as the 2013 calendars get posted on the wall. Opinion is well-divided on what age someone will actually start to benefit from 20mm axles, aside from the BMXer placebo effect of “I think it is making me faster, so it must be.”

On top of last year’s advances, there is a ton of new stuff coming down the pike in 2013. Much of it is inspired by the Mountain Bike world, and adapted to BMX racing. Probably the biggest part of the trend is the word “special.” Special, in that, for some of these products, you need a special stem, a special fork, special inner tube, and for many new products, a special frame.

“Special” is trick, it’s exotic and it’s exciting. It gives you massive “gaper appeal” in staging, and an extra psych edge that you are on the scoot all the other poor sots are drooling over. And, of course, the whole idea is to get you actual gains in speed, handling and stiffness.

But special also takes more prep than the average bear. Nonconventional sizes do not always lend themselves to the widest array of size choices, colors and at-the-ready availability. You can’t just roll into a WalMart tire center and get a new set of Michelins for your $1.4MM Bugatti Veyron, after all (they cost $45,000 and Bugatti sends a technician from Italy to perform the install).

Special Sauce

Here is a quick run down of some of the “special” projects about to hit the market.

As we reported earlier, Phoenix is showing their bolt-up 20mm dropouts, which just happen to have disc brake mounts too, tipping the time machine door open a peek to what may lie ahead. Because, also at the show, we saw that Stealth is readying its famous spinners to do discs (in addition to a 20mm version, above, far right).

Intense phenom at Interbike 2012, via bmxnews.com
We reported last week about the emergence of tapered head tubes, which are 1 1/8″ on the top and a beefier 1 1/2″ on the bottom. Intense was showing their new tapered-headtube Phenom, mated up with the new Sinz monocoque carbon fork (above). And DK was showing a “concept” frame and fork that also used a 1.5″ bottom and companion fork.

Intense will be shipping the Phenom in time for Christmas. DK is still in the development phase, and will only say “when it’s ready” to the “cuando” question. The 1.5″ head tube can be used with an adapter if you want to run a conventional 1 1/8″ fork. But that 1.5″ looks killer.

Tioga OS 20 Tire System, via bmxnews.com
Tioga has moved boldly into bringing a taller 20″ tire to market, with their OS 20 (oversize 20″) system (above, in back of a traditional 1.6). Read more about OS20 in our Interbike section, but suffice it to say it promises some extraordinary speed boosts and greater control than your dad’s 20″ from BITD. Requires a special frame with lower bottom bracket and adjusted geometry.

Box Components "Maximus" Bars and Delta stem, via bmxnews.com
Box components had two special projects on display at Interbike 2012. The “Maximus” handlebar (above) is a beefier 31.8mm at the clamp, versus the traditional 22.2. The ever-increasing taper of the tubing, as the eye makes its way from the crossbar to the clamp, looks way cool, and the function of a stronger bite, when married-up with their special 31.8mm Ø “Delta” stem is definitely reassuring. We gaw-ron-tee your bars will not be going “Chicago style” down the second straight of your favorite SX track any time soon.

Box Components Vector Crankset, via BMX News
More outside-the-box thinking, inside the Box Components booth came in the form of the Vector crank set (above). Their new 35mm spindle is Brutus Beefcake next to Brand X product we are used to seeing. Thick tricks like this don’t come without some special demands. Requires a frame with the larger PF30/BB30 bottom bracket shell.

Looking Forward

Imagine, if you will, race day a year or two in the future. It’s likely you, or someone next to you will be running an OS20 frame with 20mm dropouts front and back, a tapered head tube and PF30 bottom bracket. You’ll squeeze into some disc brakes that will be laced to your OS 20 rims, onto which your nearly-22″-tall OS20 tires are firmly seated. All based on progress made at Interbike 2012.

Of course, between now and then, there will be times when something breaks at a race and you need a fast fix. When you’re the only bloke East of the Mississippi running this super-special hardware, you may not be able to just run to J&R or Dan’s on Vendor Row for a replacement. Such is the plight of the “early adopter.”

The 1977 Redline Pro-Line is still one of the hottest BMX bikes we have ever seen (white with red parts and original “Red Line” decals). But, to look at it today, we always wonder “how in the heck did a bruiser like Stu Thomsen race one of those things?” Will we say the same for the 1 1/8″ head tube, 15mm axles and 20 x 1.175 tires in a few years?

BMX Racing is all about going faster than the next guy. And if you can get there in better style than second place, well, then you just did it more-than-right. Getting to eighth place in style is , obviously, magnitudes worse than an “elegant mess” on the top-step. So, if the new tech above makes fast happen, we have no doubt you’ll start seeing it in short order at your favorite BMX emporium, and in the gate next to you.


Comments





BMX News Interbike 2012 Coverage is Presented by Answer BMX

Intense Podium Makes Room For New Pheom

September 18, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Intense BMX to Replace Podium Frame for 2013

After a wildly-successful run, multiple Golden Crank awards, and countless wins on the track, the Intense Podium frame is going to cross the proverbial finish line for the last time in the coming months. VSI Products, parent of Intense BMX is saying “move over bacon, there’s something meatier!”

Meet the Phenom–the new-fangled frame that will be capturing all the clicks and Instagram interest at this week’s Interbike show.

It features a tapered headtube designed to be a hand-in-glove partner to the reimagined, soon-to-be-released Sinz carbon-fiber monocoque fork.

This thing has some serious beef up front, belling-out to a thick 1.5.” where the fork meets up. Out back, you have 20mm-compatible dropouts, ready for the next big wave of axle artistry to come from the component companies.

We will be on this in a big way at the show, and will bring you photos of what is built up on the show floor, as well as expected MSRP and street date.




BMX News Interbike 2012 Coverage is Presented by Answer BMX

Podcast: Arielle Martin on Worlds and London

May 31, 2012 by · Comments Off 

2012 US Olympic Womens BMX Team Member Arielle Martin

The last time Arielle Martin was our guest on Announcers Tower, she had just won the Chula Vista World Cup, last October. Back then, the sole goal was to “make the team.” At the OTC, there’s no need to specify what “team,” because there is only one…the 2012 US Olympic BMX Team.

Well, Arielle’s long journey toward making the team became reality last Sunday, as she crossed the finish line in the 2012 UCI BMX World Championships. Her points lead going in, an unfortunate turn one wreck for Alise Post while leading the Worlds final, and steering clear of the resulting carnage, all factors in winning the USA Cycling BMX “Power Rankings–” and with it, earning the the “automatic nomination” slot on the Womens team.

BMX News sat down with Arielle four days after the World Championships. She was already back in Chula Vista, and moving on to day one of her London-specific training. When we got with her, she had just wrapped on a day of shooting with The US Olympic Committee and YouTube, who have joined forces to create a special YouTube Channel called “Qualified.” The Webisodes will follow 16 London 2012 athletes, and show an anxious audience what life is like behind the scenes as they get ready for the Summer Games.

This was a really fun interview to do, as Arielle’s always a very chill guest, whose easy conversational style will have you smiling right along with the flow of the discussion.

Listen Now
Link
iPhone Users: Paste the URL below into your browser
http://www.bmxnews.com/podcasts/at_056_arielle_martin.mp3

We wish Arielle, and all of Team USA the best as they pull out all the stops to pack the podium in London on August 10.





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Arielle Martin in USA Today

May 14, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Team USA/Intense BMX Elite Racer Arielle Martin profiled in USA Today

As part of their “100 Olympic hopefuls in 100 Days” coverage, USA Today featured Arielle Martin as their May 13th athlete.

it’s a great profile, which talks about her compelling story, missing the Beijing spot due to injury, being the wife of an active-duty Army hero (our words), her competitiors (both for one of the two Team USA slots, and in general), and sneaking some dark chocolate when coach James Herrera is not looking (or is he the supplier of same?).

One thing that’s exciting about these mainstream media profiles on our athletes, is that we get to see the story told from a non-BMX perspective. Athletes like Arielle are our friends, on-track heroes, and ambassadors of the sport we love. It is just so awesome to see them get their due on the world stage. Unique visitors to usatoday.com? About 20 Million per month.

Read the Article Now

Intense BMX Steps Up For a Local Kid

March 15, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Intense BMX donated this bike to 10-year old Jacob Olson

No doubt that there is a fair amount of drama in this sport we love. Who cut off whom…who quit the team and showed up in the main wearing a fresh jersey…which pair of grips failed in front of an international TV audience…who replaced the contents of a Monster can with…something other than Monster?

But every once in a while, we come across a “good guy” story that proves-out the true heart and soul of our sport, and the people in it. Today, we bring you one of those. Intense BMX marketing manager, Brian Schrimpf shared the following story with News, about a local kid he found at the Sheep Hills trails in Orange County (CA). We’ll let Brian take it from here.

“An accident waiting to happen”

Sometimes, in the day-to-day living of BMX life, we come across people at the local track or tearin’ up the trails who have a passion for riding, and raw potential waiting to be developed. It’s the classic story of the kid on the ratty old bike, beating a national hotshoe, or shredding up a world-famous riding spot and causing the long-time locals to take notice and nod their heads in silent approval.

Case in point: Jacob Olson, a 10-year old from Huntington Beach, CA. The “world-famous riding spot” in our story: Sheep Hills, also in HB. On a recent trip down to Sheep, we saw Jacob doing his thing: cuttin loose with no-footers, catching some big-guy-sized air, and basically owning the terrain like no 10-year old we’ve seen down there.

We were floored by the fact that Jacob was busting all this style on a janky little mountain bike that was one-busted-spoke away from completely blowing up. This went beyond comfort or looking cool: Jacob was in danger riding that thing, no question about it. “That’s an accident waiting to happen,” said one of our posse, and he was absolutely right.

So we did a little research, chatting up some of the locals to get a better idea of what Jacob was all about…what was his story? Everyone gave him major props, and a degree of respect that is only earned over time and putting in some serious work on the dirt (on and off the bike). In fact, most of the guys said he helped out more with maintaining the jumps than a lot of the older locals.

“We need to do something to help this kid,” was the unanimous opinion in our group. With the help of some of the guys out there, we got in touch with Jacob’s older brother, Michael, and he filled in more of the backstory on their situation.

Jacob and Michael live with their Grandmother. She has been talking about getting Jacob a new bike–but money is just too tight to make it happen.

You know, there are so many times in life where we’re not in a position to do something to help, for a variety of reasons. But this was one instance where, in my role as Marketing Manager at Intense BMX, our company COULD do something. We talked about it around the office and came up with a bike we could donate to Jacob so he could ride safely, and take his skills to the next level. Totally random…but that was part of the fun.

This past Sunday, March 11, 2012, we presented Jacob with his new bike. He was absolutely blown away, and the excitement in his face was indescribable. He didn’t miss a beat. His old bike was cast aside, he climbed aboard his new Intense BMX scoot, and instantly started launching tabletops, and all kinds of other moves.

We couldn’t be more happy with how this turned out, and wanted to share it with our friends. We’ll bring you a follow up on Jacob and his new bike in a couple months, and report on his progress.

Goon on you, Brian. We’re looking forward to that update in a couple months!

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