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Answer-Rennen to Become Factory Answer in ’19

November 21, 2018 by · Comments Off 

Factory Answer Rennen Becomes Factory Answer in 2019

Team changes are historically held til after the Grands, out of respect for the current sponsor. In this case, however, the current sponsor IS the new sponsor, so we’re cleared to take off the duct tape on this one going INTO the Grands, instead of as a post Grands report.

For longer than some BMXers have been alive, there has been a Factory Answer/Rennen team (and Rennen/Intense, before that). George Costa has been one of those guys who has perfected the art and science of moving the chess pieces around on his BMX Ouija board just-so, ultimately leading to back-to-back USA BMX Factory Team cups in 2016 and 2017. The squad comes into Tulsa third place in the 2018 points.

George announced recently (in a blurb carried in Pull Magazine) that he would be stepping away from the team scene in 2019, leaving many to wonder what would become of his constellation of BMX stars. Would they be the hot properties to seek out for other teams looking to move up in the pecking order? Would they go “plain-wrap” for a season, or would it be something else.

Well, turns out, it’s something else alright. Long-time team title sponsor, John Sawyer of Advantage Bicycle Corp (parent company of Answer BMX) has stepped up to announce that the Answer/Rennen team would be absorbed into the Factory Answer BMX team, as would the Factory Squared team, creating a 28-member mega-squad for next season.

Here’s a press release John sent over to BMX News about the plans:

Advantage Bike Corp is pleased to announce the following team changes for the 2019 season. The Factory Answer BMX team will be absorbing the Factory Ssquared team as well as welcoming riders from the Answer/Rennen team.

We would like to thank George Costa at Rennen for everything he has done involving the Answer/Rennen team over the years. George will be stepping away from the team aspect of BMX for the time being and we wish him the best with his new warehouse endeavors.

Glen Knapper will be active Factory Answer BMX Team Manager moving forward. The Knapper family has been a staple not only in the race programs, but also from the grassroots level as a Track Operator for countless years.

2019 Team Sponsors:
Answer BMX
Ssquared Bicycles
Rennen
MJT Designs
Custom Racing
Carve Tires

2019 Team Roster
Tory Nyhaug, Elite Men
Justin Posey, Elite Men
Lauren Reynolds, Elite Women
Saskja Lack, Elite Women
Larry Dardini, Vet Pro
Justin Knapper, A-Pro
Andre LaCroix, A-Pro
Ronan Weber, A-Pro
Markwane Billingsley
Bailey Brannen
Sebastian Chavez
Brandon Crain
Marshall Gehrke
Dustin Hammond
Tyler Holland
Jeremy Knapper
Tyler McGuire
Matthew Meekins
Kater Montellano
Aubrey Palmer
Al Roybal
Ronalds Ritins
Tyler Rooney
Michelle Senger
Robert Slatter
Jeremy Thompson
Jacob Trujillo
Sumi Yuki

Lots of familiar names on there, from the Answer Rennen days, also some high-wattage Elite presence in the bring-together of Tory, Posey and Lauren Reynolds, plus some names we are not familiar with. Looks like 2019 will be a very interesting year in the team scene. It always is, of course.

And a big Congratulations to our friend, George Costa on an incredible Team Manager run (since 2012 for Answer/Rennen, and with Rennen/Intense before that).

Naturally, George isn’t “retiring” to his rocking chair on the front porch of Rennen HQ. He just built a brand new manufacturing facility (a large part of which was with his own two hands), and we’re quite sure he will be cranking out chainrings and other moto-morsels very soon.

News will bring you updates on all of the above, as they happen.

—MIke Carruth

Links

Answer BMX Website/strong>

Factory Spots for Posey and Palmer

December 21, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Posey and Palmer join Ssquared and Clayborn

The team news train takes us ever-forward toward the 12-pages of a new calendar. Today, we’re pleased to report that Justin Posey and James Palmer will join John Sawyer’s Advantage Bicycle Corporation (ABC) group as factory flyers for the Ssquared and Clayborn brands, respectively.

Posey is fresh off a long ride with Dan’s Comp (where, perhaps not-coincidentally, he rode an Ssquared), and we remember Palmer well from his long-stint on Factory Yess.

Here’s what John told News about the pickups, via a release:

Over the past few years we have been striving to build an image that is second to none.

Always seeking the best brand representatives on and off the track, it was a no-brainer to add Justin Posey and James Palmer to the arsenal of ABC riders.

Posey has been co-sponsored by Ssquared and Answer since 2012 through his Dan’s Comp sponsorship so it was a natural fit to add him to the Ssquared roster and we wouldn’t see it any other way.

With Palmer being new to the ABC family, we’re pumped for him to spearhead the Factory Clayborn team to help bring the brand back to the top.

Bring on 2018!

Justin and James join factory Answer BMX anchor-pro, Tory Nyhaug to form a powerhouse trio of household-name stars, representing ABC brands around the world, and here at home (North America, being “home” to all of us).

All the best for a successful 2018 to all our ABC friends, both long-standing, and new.

—Mike Carruth

Posey and Palmer join Ssquared and Clayborn

Ssquared Adds “VP” to the Business

October 24, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Ssquared VP Frame - Blue

The Ssquared CEO frame is one of the most popular BMX Racing frames on the market, there is no denying that. For some racers, however, the $509 retail price is a bit lofty, even for their lofty goals in the track.

Leading in to the 2018 season, Ssquared has announced the release of their “VP” frame model. The VP has the same geometry as the CEO, but is made in Asia, under the exacting standards of quality you have grown to know and love from John Sawyer and his crew. Retail price: $409 in the C-suite, a c-note saved can make all the difference between an extra national entry fee or two.

The VP is on its way America, with the Pro XL and Pro XXL sizes first in the suite to arrive (more to follow). The frame rocks a sophisticated silver finish, with your choice of three accompanying decal kit colors (Red, Blue or Black).

Ssquared VP Frame - Black

Ssquared VP Frame - Red

Available for pre-order now, and arriving in time for Christmas, check the link below for specs, and ordering info.

VP is a respectable rung as you climb the “gettin-down-to-business” BMX ladder.

Links

Ssquared VP Frame – Pre-Order Page

Answer/Ssquared to Expand Factory Team Westward

September 28, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Answer Factory Expands Westward

Shawn Pischke has run the SpeedTech grassroots team for the past several years from his home base in North Carolina. The team is one of the top grassroots teams for Answer and Ssquared, and influences a lot of racers in the region by their presence at the local, state and regional races—to say nothing of select nationals they hit each year.

Shawn just accepted an awesome new day-job, for which we offer big congrats. The only issue is that it requires a cross-country move, to Southern California.

It would be tough to run a North Carolina team from So. Cal so, after much thought about it, he posted the following on Facebook over the weekend.

After thinking long and hard over it, I’ve decided the final chapter for SpeedTech will come to a close at the Grands. This team has been a huge part of my life past few years, and has given me much more than I’ve given to it.

I wanna thank all the riders who’ve put on the SpeedTech colors over the years, and the sponsors who”ve supported the team.

This will not be the end of the road for me with BMX, and I’m very excited to get started with my new opportunity. I’ll share details with everyone when the time is right.

Sometimes life deals the cards, and you have to play them just-so to turn them into an even-bigger win.

Shawn and Ssquared/Answer jefe, John Sawyer got together, and hatched a plan to make some exciting new plans that will leverage Shawn’s new location to plant the Ssquared and Answer flags on the West Coast, with a new expasion arm of their Answer/Ssquared Factory Team.

Alongside the new plans, Shawn told News the following:

In a month full of changes I’m excited to share that I’ll be staying in the SSquared and Answer BMX camp as team Manager for the soon-to-be-launched West Coast eddition of the Answer Factory Team.

I’ll be at local tracks, gold cups and state races to work with teams and riders interested in joining the SSquared and Answer bmx family.

I’m looking forward to getting out to California, and getting things kicked off.

I’m stoked for the opportunity John Sawyer, Blake Sawyer & Michelle Senger have given me to help expand the factory team and grow SSquared / Answer team and grassroots footprint in California.

Shawn also told us that they want to get the word of the coming expansion team out now (hence this article), so they can talk to riders as their 2017 commitments are coming to an end (between Grands and Jan 1), and get them suited up for the first National of 2018 (wherever that is, since we do not yet have the new schedule).

If you’re a top-hand West coast rider looking to make a move in 2018, or an out-West grassroots team interested in talking to Shawn about making a switch, hit him up at ssquaredwest@gmail.com.

A big BMX News high-five to Shawn for the new West Coast gig, and for making BMX work out as he and his family start their new life in the BMX epicenter of the universe.

—Mike Carruth

Links

Answer BMX Website

Ssquared Bicycles Website




BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Advantage: Sawyer

March 28, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Advantage Bicycle Corp.

In a little-less than seven years, John Sawyer has gone from BMX dad and Oldsmar Track Operator, to the shot-caller in one of the most important groups of BMX brands in our sport (in addition to his on-going role as BMX dad, Oldsmar Track Operator, and life-long entrepreneur).

BMX News has covered his progression the whole way, from our first article about a new company called Ssquared Bicycles (January 20, 2010), to his acquisition of Answer BMX in October of 2010 and, most recently, acquisition of Clayborn Bicycles on the eve of Interbike 2015.

In that time, Ssquared Bicycles has gone from a startup brand, in the staging area with the hundreds of others BMX Brand startups that cross our path, to a multi-time USA BMX Golden Crank Award Winner. John saved Answer BMX, literally in the final hours of its existance, and turned it around to be more relevant, and more popular than ever.

Through it all, there has never been one “umbrella” structure to his BMX operations–ala “General Motors,” with brands under the parent–but now, there will be.

Late yesterday, our “Big Ears” news ticker picked up some talk about some new moves in the Sawyer camp, ultimately leading us to the following release explaining some big headlines in BMX Industry circles.

Here is part of that release:

The owners of ANSWER BMX and Ssquared Bicycles are excited to announce the formation of their new parent company, Advantage Bike Corp (ABC) to oversee operations, branding, and sales of not just those brands but several new brands moving forward. Clayborn Bikes, ANSR Race Wear for the BMX market, and the soon to be released Solution Race Products component brand will all fall under the ownership of Advantage Bike Corporation, to be known as ABC.

Something you may not have known is that the popular ANSR clothing line, worn by Golden Crank-winning teams Answer-Rennen and the Ssquared Factory Team, flows through ABC to the BMX market.

Another big-news item that the full release (below) reveals is that ABC will become the USA sales and marketing arm for Staats Bicycles and Ciari Parts brands. Staats and Ciari dropped below the radar temporarily after splitting from then-partner Richard Huvard & Co. in the early hours of 2016.

Here’s the rest of the official release:

The BMX race market is a very unique and rapidly evolving industry with customers that are extremely brand loyal and demanding of the brands they choose to use. We realize that not every racer out there wants an Ssquared Bike or ANSWER BMX parts, therefore, why not have a “menu” of sorts with different options and styles to support the diverse BMX race market?, stated Ryan Birk of ANSWER BMX.

By offering several different frame and component options and continuing to offer the same level of quality, service, and market branding that people have to come to expect from Ssquared and ANSWER, we feel we now have something to offer everyone, keeping in mind each brand has their own unique style, quality, and image.

We have plans for a new complete line of Ssquared Bicycles complete bikes, the launch of the new Solution parts brand, and new Clayborn frames in the works. We are also happy to work with the owners of Staats Bicycles and Ciari Parts to help them grow their brand. We are also continuing to work with ANSR Motocross to handle the distribution of their race wear in the BMX market globally.

Obviously by adding these new brands to our portfolio we are looking at the big picture and preparing for significant growth, hence the need to form the ABC Corporation, Birk continued.

Advantage Bike Corporation will remain based in Palm Harbor Florida and plans are in place to increase staff, infrastructure, and resources to complete brand integration for all the separate individual brands. New websites are currently under construction for the new ABC company as well as each individual brands respective website.

No question, there are some big things afoot from John and his crew. We wish our good friends all the best in their expanded footprint, and we can tell you true, that we will bring you all the awesome details of their further progress as it happens.

—Mike Carruth

Top Photo: John Sawyer (in the blue Ssquared shirt), flanked by his core crew: Michelle Senger, Marissa Caprara, Blake Sawyer and Ryan Birk (just after taking a dip in the pro set gator pit), moments after winning 2015 Golden Crank Bike of the year at the 2015 USA BMX Grands.

Links

First Ssquared Interview – January 2010

Answer BMX Acquired – October 2010

Clayborn Joins the Family – September 2015

Answer’s Carve is Rollin

November 17, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Answer Carve Tires

We first saw the Answer Carve tires on the bikes of some well-placed team members in Louisville a couple months back. At the time, it was hush-hush (or as hush-hush as putting a new product on a famous-star athlete can be), as the riders passed on their feedback to HQ.

But now, all the testing and tweaking Read more

John Sawyer Acquires Clayborn Bicycles

September 14, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Clayborn Bicycles Acquisition
John Sawyer makes some big waves in the BMX pond. Whether it’s starting Ssquared Bicycles back in 2009, or saving Answer BMX from the clutches of the Grim Reaper a couple years later, or working to bring a world-class dual-hill track to his Oldsmar BMX facility, JS is always doing stuff us headline hunters like to hear.

Clayborn Bicycles is a respected brand, with roots going back before I made my reentry to the sport, but one of the things I remember most about my return to the sport was the Barry Nobles, Brooke Crain and Jordan Miranda Clayborn team, led by another Alabama gent famous for BMX, Richard Bunt.

It was in the air the past couple of months that something might be afoot with a Sawyer/Buntster brand mashup, and today–on the eve of the all-important Interbike Trade Show, the official news came in to the BMX News Global Command Center on the “Breaking News” sideband.

John Sawyer, President and CEO of Answer BMX Products and Ssquared Bicycles, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Clayborn Bicycles to add to the company’s portfolio of BMX race component and frame offerings.

“The purchase of Clayborn Bicycles will give our customers another option when it comes to high end BMX race specific frames. We realize not every racer out there wants an Ssquared and by having another quality frame choice, we hope to capture that new segment of the market. And hopefully whether it’s an Ssquared or Clayborn frame, we hope the racer will outfit those bikes with Answer BMX parts,” stated Ryan Birk Vice President of Answer BMX and Ssquared Bicycles.

Terms of the purchase were not disclosed, but former Clayborn owner Richard Bunt is excited about the new direction and growth potential for Clayborn with the resources and infrastructure Answer BMX and Ssquared Bicycles has in place. Bunt will also remain on board as the Clayborn Factory Team manager and oversee those race operations.

Immediate plans for the new brand will include a new website and advertising efforts. Product design changes are under consideration while not wanting to stray too far away from the traditional characteristics that make Clayborn frames what they are today and have been known for since their beginning.

Production schedules will be ramped up and the frames will soon become available through the same sales channels that Answer BMX and Ssquared products are available.

This announcement comes at the onset of the 2015 Interbike Trade Show in Las Vegas later this week and a Clayborn frame will be on display in the Answer BMX and Ssquared Booth (#4171) where representatives will be promoting the brand and fielding questions about the new venture.

That is some solid scoop to open the show, and we will bring you more on this story from the show floor on Wednesday.

—Mike Carruth

Podcast: Tory Nyhaug on New Answer Deal

June 17, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Tory Nyhaug signs with Answer MX

It’s been a minute since we have seen Tory Nyhaug. The Canadian star suffered a badly broken foot at the USA BMX Grands last November and has since been through months of healing-up and physical therapy to bring himself back to racing condition in this all-important pre-Olympic year.

The setback on the track was matched in December, when he learned that he would be parting ways with sponsor Redline Bicycles, after a six-year relationship, which saw the launch of his Elite career, trip to the London Olympics and many other impressive milestones.

In the ensuing months, there were some unconfirmed rumors floating around the BMX News Global Command Center that had Tory in talks with several household-name brands–but none of those rumors turned into hard news leads we could run down.

That all changed last Friday, when an Email came in from Ryan Birk, VP of Answer BMX. That message read in part:

ANSWER BMX Products is excited to announce the return of the ANSWER BMX Factory Team highlighted by the signing of Canadian Olympic athlete and World #2 Tory Nyhaug to a multi-year deal. BMX historians will remember the ANSWER factory teams of years past that included rosters of some of racing’s most accomplished amateur, pro, and Olympic racers in history. While the purpose of those teams in the past was the pursuit of team trophy titles and team sheets, the newly formed team’s focus is purely on promotion, creating strong brand image and exposure in a global market.

Alongside the new sponsor announcement, Tory was back on the bike, and setting up for his first race back–Stop number one on the 2015 Canada Cup tour in Toronto. This race also doubled as the test event for next month’s Pan American Games.

Once the weekend was over, News caught up with Tory, and we had a nice chat about his comeback race, plans for the future, and how his new deal with Answer BMX promises to put him in a leadership role with the team, unlike he has had before.

It’s a quick-listen, at just-over 11 minutes, so mute the phone, and enjoy the show.

link
iPhone users: paste the URL below into your device’s browser to listen:
http://bmxurl.com/at110

A big BMX News congratulations to Tory, John Sawyer and Ryan Birk on their new partnership.

The full Answer BMX Factory Team Roster looks like this:
Tory Nyhaug, Canada, Elite Men
Alfredo Campo, Ecuador, Elite Men
Cole Proctor, USA
Sebastian Velasquez, Columbia
Valentina Velasquez, Columbia
Ronalds Ritins, Latvia
Larry Dardini, USA
Mazin Shehayeb, USA
DJ Foster, USA
Jackson Gentry, USA
Evan Putnam, USA
Rusty Dial, USA
Darin Houston, USA

Links

Full News Release: Answer BMX Factory Team

Answer BMX Website

Ssquared Bicycles Website

Tory Nyhaug on Twitter

Virtual Flyover: Oldsmar BMX/SX

February 5, 2015 by · Comments Off 

A virtual fly-over of the new Oldsmar BMX
John Sawyer and the Oldsmar BMX crew are making progress out at the site of the future dual-hill BMX and BMX Supercross facility they will unleash on the world this year, in plenty of time for the 2015 USA BMX Gator Nationals in October.

The latest glimpse is a virtual fly-over of the track layout, showing how both tracks will flow when you go.

Looks awesome, guys! We’re already scoping out the perfect camera positions (any chance for some “media steps” on the berms?).

Oldsmar Making Progress on Dual-Hill Build

September 23, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Oldsmar BMX Artist Rendering

One of the cool things about Interbike is that you get to get to see and hang out with friends you rarely get to hang out with. Case in point: stopping by the Answer BMX booth, we got to have a chat with John Sawyer. Naturally, we talked about all the newest and truest with regard to Answer and Ssquared, but we also got to lay our glims on the above artist’s rendering of the forthcoming, super-sized, Oldsmar BMX Park (click for full-size image in a new window).

On June 6 of this year, I sat down with John to talk about the master plan for the site. At that time, we had a demarcation line that showed the footprint of the new build, but now we are seeing details filled in, as the start of construction nears.

From the layout, we can see what John told us in the Podcast, the orientation of the track has changed to run parallel to Tampa road, and the new dual starting hills/staging will be roughly positioned on the footprint of the current track.

We also see where the pump track (at top right, just off turn three in the full-size image) and dedicated Strider track (represented by a triangle behind the first straight stands) will go. With “three rings” of attraction (pump, BMX racing and Strider), John is putting the pieces in place to bring different kinds of riders out there–always a good thing.

Clearing land for the new Oldsmar BMX facility
We can see from the above photo posted on Facebook last week, that the ball field that was situated behind the current first straight has now been cleared. Some other facilities adjacent to the current staging area had been cleared earlier in the year. Soon enough, they’ll hit the pause button on their local racing schedule, and bring the dozers out to start the transformation.

BMX News will keep you up to date regularly as this awesome new facility takes shape.

Meanwhile, if you have not listened to the podcast from June 6, now would be a great time to do it.

Links

Podcast with John Sawyer on Oldsmar BMX Supercross

—Mike Carruth

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