Friday, February 25, 2011

Eastern Venus Hubs: Variety Is The Spice of Life

Eastern Venus Cassette Hub
Eastern Venus Front Hub
    This is the recently released Venus BMX hub set from Eastern Bicycles.  If I was going to build a new wheel set regardless of price I would use these hubs.  The front hub is your standard female axle 3/8" model, looks like the cones just pop in, interesting is the fact that it comes with a plastic snap on hub guard.  Comes with a 7075 alum center axle, I think it also comes with a chromoly center axle too for peg riders. 
    The rear hub is where things get really interesting.  It comes with the same bi-rection driver as the bi-rectional hub, so you can switch the drive side easily.  It also has the same pop-n-lock guard lip as the bi-rectional hub but does not come with the guard, unlike the front hub.   It does however come with no less than three axles for optional setups.  It comes with both a 7075 alum female axle for pegless, a heat treated cromo for peggers, and also a special cromo axle with a traditional threaded 14mm side and a female on the other for a super tough peg setup.  It uses 3/8" bolts for the female setup with built in 14mm lips on the hub.  The point of the three different axles is to have the lightest setup possible for your needs.  It's only $130.00 for the rear hub, making it cheaper than most hubs made of the same material with half the features.  IMO it is the best hub option for weight wienies for any price. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

G-Sport Birdcage: Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board

Gsport Birdcage Crosssection
Gsport Birdcage
 This is the soon to be released G-Sport Birdcage rim.  It is named the birdcage because it has a hollow lip that you can see in the cross section above.  It is called the birdcage because birds have hollow bones like the hollow lip on these rims.  At 14.4 ounces it will be the lightest welded freestyle rim on the market.  The only rims lighter are a few cheap Alienation rims that have pinned joints.  CYCLE SENSEI EXCLUSIVE INFO: The ERD on these yet to be released rims is "about 383mm" according to designer George French, I asked him on a message board because I'm dying to sell my set of lighter-but-designed-for-racing Sun Ringle Env front specific rims and snag a pair of chrome Birdcages when they come out. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

S&M Bikes Ironman Sprocket: Sprocket Evolution

S&M Bikes Ironman Sprocket

Toughest and best looking sprocket on the market.

This is the Ironman sprocket made by S&M bikes.  It is unique for a BMX sprocket because it is made out of heat treated chromoly.  Normal professional grade BMX sprockets are made out of either forged or cnc'ed 6000 or 7000 series aluminum.  To make up for the increase in weight from using chromoly the sprocket is highly machined, the teeth are hollow and the spokes are very thin.  The result is reportedly the toughest sprocket on the market at only a 1 ounce increase in weight over the lightest aluminum sprockets of the same size.  The slimmed down profile gives it a great look too on the bike.  Of special note is the 19mm splined interface for attaching to your spindle.  This eliminates the need for a sprocket bolt, thus negating some of the added weight and it also allows the owner to switch drive sides without buying a LHD crank arm.  A few companies have been making "spline drive" aluminum sprockets for a few years but they are very weak, they require a pressed-in cromo insert at the spline interface that has a tendency to separate from the rest of the sprocket when you give it a good bashing.  Because the Ironman sprocket is 100% cromo there is no weak point, thus making it the only spline drive sprocket I would recommend for anything other than trails riding.