A modest proposal for Odyssey

If you spend any time at all on the 22″ threads on the various forums and pages, the topic of Sunday/Odyssey joining the 22″ movement will come up.

More specifically, why Sunday/Odyssey hasn’t joined the movement.

Some have claimed that Sunday/Odyssey (let’s just say Odyssey for this post) hasn’t dived into the pool –even though a large number of their competitors have — is because they overinvested in the 24″ BMX scene and were left hanging when their investment wasn’t met with the demand they were expecting. Because of this, they are more than a little gun-shy about getting their feet wet with 22″ BMX. (I’m not saying this is true…it’s just what people are saying)

Another piece of evidence for this line of thinking were some comments from G-Sport in the Bike Guide forum discussing 22″ BMX. He more or less said there was no business case for it.

Granted, these comments were from a 2011 thread when the 22″ scene was far less populated by companies having a go at this new wheel size.

To be fair, there was a similar view expressed in 2010 over on our brother site, Cruiser Revolution, in a 22″ themed post. At the time, only one company Faction was doing anything 22″ related in a meaningful way.  The post suggested that without more industry support it would likely be an extremely small niche without much traction.

Of course, once S&M tiptoed into the scene, before full-on embracing it, other companies now had the “air cover” to try it for themselves. (Which kind of proved the thesis of the post.)

Digression: Felt actually introduced a 22″ complete (pic here)after dropping their new school 24 from their lineup back in 2013.  Kind of ahead of their time you might say, but alas Felt BMX is no more. I guess with that kind of forward thinking, you’re just flying too close to the sun…

Odyssey tends to be higher end, with more proprietary items —Hazard Lite, etc. –so it’s a bit harder to do a cookie cutter entry into the 22″ scene. They have standards (which is also why they are so popular/respected).

So what’s a company to do? On the one hand you have customers begging you to produce something…but you’re worried about misjudging demand and being left holding the bag/overstocked.

I think, my modest proposal is to embrace a tried and true BMX industry practice….copy what works for someone else.

Chris Moeller, of S&M Bikes saw the gap in availability/reliability of replacement 29″ forks for the “raise ’em up” wheelie crowd. Moeller pounced on the opportunity and “Pounding Beer” forks were born. (And, if I’m not mistaken, they sold out immediately).

S&M isn’t a “bike life” company –they don’t even make 29″ frames–but they found a way to make money in an area adjacent to their core business.

Odyssey could do the same.

Odyssey makes some of the best aftermarket forks in the industry.

The 22″ scene is sick with completes with easy to bend forks….see the similar business gap Odyssey?

With a slight tweak the R32 forks could become the R22 fork.

And, if they’re light enough (which the 20″ version are, I think)…you’ve got the small but still significant OS20 crowd who might grab ’em up too.

With just a little effort, they could become the 22″ aftermarket fork.

Heck, S&M already did a second run of the Pounding Beer forks because the first run went so fast.

Seems like a win-win to me.

And, that’s my modest proposal.

 

(Also, don’t forget to send a pair of the first batch this way…I can’t be doing all the market strategy here without a little something, something, dontcha know)

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Dan Atherton’s 22″ titanium bike

Dan Atherton of “The Athertons” fame (and a long distinguished MTB career…along with his talented siblings) has debuted a new 22″ titanium BMX bike.

This comes as a surprise given that what was expected from this Atherton Bikes company was mountain bikes, and possibly some enduro and e-bikes (heaven forbid).

According to Dan, he’s “been working with @tedjamesdesign for over a year on this beauty, anyone that knows Ted James knows how passionate he is about bikes and that passion comes out in the way he builds frames”.

Granted, it’s still only a prototype…but wow, is it hawt!

All titanium with a disc brake!

Yowza!

Dan seems pretty stoked on it if you can go by this picture.

Over on PinkBike, who were ones to break the story (after Instagram, of course), Atherton jumped into the comments with this explanation/teaser:

Cheers for the comments guys, this bike is very much a prototype at the moment with no plans to sell it as yet, i basically had this bike built because i like riding big jumps on my BMX, and coming from Wales where the jumps are not super smooth it made sense to run 22″ wheels, i also wanted a disk because anyone who has ridden Big, Fast, Downhill jumps knows that having a reliable brake gives a lot of confidence!! Myself, Ted James and Atherton Bikes have been blown away by the positive response to this bike and if it becomes clear there is a market for this type of bike then maybe we could make something happen!!

“Maybe we could make something happen?”

Sounds pretty promising.

For now, I just want to see some riding clips of Atherton ripping on this thing…I need some shred!

22″ race tires back on the table?

Chris Moeller (of S&M bikes) floated the idea of a 22″ X 1.95 race tire some time ago (back in 2016, I think) but for whatever reason they never seemed to make it to market.

Many people have made do with the slimmer of the current offerings (if they wanted to race their 22s)…but I suspect many silently grumbled about the weight penalty of the more street/trail-designed rubber when they used them at the track.

You might also remember that ORP BMX tried to engineer their own solution by mounting OS20 tires to 22″ wheels.

Not a bad interim fix, but ORP themselves admitted they were a bear to mount. It also goes without saying that whenever it came time to swap out the tire (or tube) if a flat or blowout occurred….well, that’s probably not going to be the most pleasant experience either.

Anyway, back to the present day….

Moeller recently asked on his Instagram if S&M should make smaller size racing tires…and that he was considering opening up a new mold to do so (presumably if interest was there).

Well, that prompted this exchange between John Paul Rogers (S&M alum/BMX enthusiast) and Moeller:

jpr_fla Produce light weight 22” tires & wheel sets that aren’t monster truck size, my back hurts. Harry Leary came up with Turbo Lite tires & wheels in the 80s. There has to be at least 40-50 people worldwide that want this.

moeller_chris @jpr_fla basically a 22” race tire in our 1.95 size. It’s actually a good idea.

 

Of course, after a number of comments followed from a number of 22″ aficionados (myself included) asking for 22 X 1.95 option.

Will this be enough to convince Moeller to open a mold for a 22″ X 1.95 Trackmark tire?

I can’t be sure at this point but I’m hopeful.

Heck, S&M’s offering 26″ and 29″ tires these days…so I think there’s got a be some love for the 22″ crowd for a more race-friendly tire option.

(And..I have my fingers crossed that they get them out by summer so I can throw them on my own rig for racing.)

A 22″ Haro trails machine? Maybe…

Things started off innocently enough.

Last week  SugarCayne posted a look at the new 2019 Haro Group 1 RS-1, 20″ Trails Edition.

The idea behind it was to make an updated version of the Group 1 (featuring modern geometry) with the classic colorway of the 80s.

(For context Haro has done a good job of re-imagining the classics from the modern age…with retro cruisers being some of their popular offerings.)

No doubt, there’s some great stuff on this bike: the frame and fork is full cro-mo, the bars are 9″, the classic Haro sprocket design makes an appearance and the 1978 parts round out the components.

However, it was an instant bummer to see that Haro had decided to go with a 21″ top tube for this bike (Cayne noted his reservation with this too).

As soon as I saw this, I instantly thought, “Why not just make it a 22″ (wheels & top tube)?

After all, the people buying this are most likely older/bigger…and well, 22″ tend to also really shine at the trails.

Seemed like a no-brainer.

Apparently David Anderson over at 22-Inch BMX thought the same thing.

According to David,

 “I thought, that needs to be a RS22.”

Then he mocked up an image for the 22-inch BMX group Facebook page  “to show the minor changes that would need to be made to make it happen.”

He suggested the following geometry:

  • Head Angle: 74.5 degrees
  • Seat Tube Angle: 71.5 degrees
  • Top Tube: 21.85″
  • Chain Stay: 14″
  • Seat Tube height: 10.25″
  • Bottom Bracket 12-12.5″ (on 22″ wheels)

Seemed pretty legit to me.

The 22-Inch BMX group seemed to be very receptive to the ideas as well. Many wondered aloud (or at least commented) what would it take for Haro to do this?

Well, that’s when things escalated.

Haro’s John Buultjens saw the discussion and weighed in.

According to Buultjens, if 100 people express interest in buying  a 22″ Group 1, Haro will make them!

Wasting little time, Anderson put together a poll on the 22-Inch BMX Facebook Group page to gauge interest.

They’re not quite at the 100 person mark yet but it’s only been a couple of days.

If this is something that might interest you, check out the poll and add your 2 cents.

Trevor Sigloch’s 22″ edit rolls out

S&M rider Trevor Sigloch recently debuted his signature 20″ frame (the DTF) with features befitting his tall stature…most notably a 5″ headtube and a 9.25″ standover.

You can check that out in his “What I ride” clip that came out in early December.

Now that it’s 2019, Trevor has stepped things up a bit by dropping a brand new edit called, “I need my Dubs”.

The cool thing about this particular piece of footage is that Trevor is hitting the streets, parks and the dirt aboard a 22″ S&M ATF.

His 22″ setup is pretty sweet too…in addition to the aforementioned ATF frame….it’s got some Hoder Bars, 22″ Revenge wheels, Speedball tires and (to keep things moto) a stylish crossbar pad.

Pretty stoked on this…let’s keep those 22″ edits coming!

Odyssey Lumberjack bars get bigger

One of Odyssey’s more popular “big” handlebars just got bigger.

The new Lumberjack XXL bars are a full 9.8″ high and 30′ wide (both wider and taller than its predecessor the Lumberjack XL). Rounding out the spec sheet, these bars sport a 11° backsweep and 2° upsweep.

Other notables are multi-butted main tubing and Odyssey’s 41-Thermal Lifetime Warranty…which means, in layman’s terms, these bars will take whatever you throw at them.

Nice upgrade by Odyssey.

 

Framed Bikes’ new 22″ Defendant priced to fly

Framed Bikes, out of Minnesota, is focused on making fun bikes that aren’t expensive.

This past weekend, they dropped the news on social media that they were going to be adding a 22″ BMX bike called the “Defendant” to their lineup.

The Defendant is available in two trim levels, an entry level high-ten (frame/fork) version and a Pro version with a full cro-mo frame and fork.

The crazy thing is that even though it is dubbed the “Pro” version –and is full cro-mo with sealed components (minus the looseball headset)..it currently retails for the decidely non-pro price of just under $320 US.

Wow.

That is very a good price for a full cro-mo complete.

Now the full geo hasn’t been posted yet (most notably the head angle and seat angle) but what has been posted is looking pretty promising:

  • Top Tube: 22″
  • Seat Tube: 10.5″
  • Chain Stay: 14.5″
  • Bottom Bracket Height: 12.5″

Not too shabby.

In the clip below, Brandon (from Framed Bikes) does a walk through of the 22″ Defendant, showcasing some of the key features and explaining some of the thinking behind the bike.

Keep in mind, Framed Bikes is a direct-to-consumer outfit so you won’t be able to hit up your regular bike shop or mail order for one of these. They are only available via framedbikes.com or the-house.com.

 

At this price-point, I think we’re going to see even more people taking the plunge and experimenting with 22″ bikes…and that’s a good thing in my books.