12″ handlebars? Believe it

It seems like forever ago,  when S&M released the “Perfect 10” handlebar.

Many thought it was a joke (at first), but sure enough, the 10″ handlebar developed a following.

Granted, despite it burgeoning popularity, there were still plenty of detractors.

I distinctly recall a bike shop employee in California telling me the bars were “overkill” when I inquired if they had any in stock.

But, just when I thought Perfect 10s would be the absolute tallest BMX bars I would see…S&M brought out the “Elevenz“.

Now that’s tall.

Is there a market for them?

Well, considering that they’re sold out on the S&M site…signs point to yes.

That’s got to be the tallest, right?

Maybe not.

Today, S&M Bikes’ owner Chris Moeller dropped this picture on Instagram with the caption:

Custom @sandmbmx bars going to paint today – 5″ and 12″ rise. #shieldbmx

WTF?

Is this the next step in handlebars?

(And wouldn’t be great if they dubbed these “12 step” handlebars?)

Dang.

I don’t know…but I was surprised at how the other iterations of “big bars” took off …so it’s anyone’s guess.

12″ bars…who woulda thunk it?

Bigger bars for the race crowd

The big bar trend has been firmly established in the freestyle side of BMX…but if you’re a racer…the options are still pretty slim.

Of course, if you’re insistent about running big bars, you could always run freestyle bars.

But then you’re paying a weight penalty.

And as any self-respecting weight-weenie knows, ya gotta shave those ounces to get an edge on the competition.

To remedy this situation, S&M has starting producing their popular Race XLT bars in 9.25″, 9.5″, 9.75″ and 10″ sizes.

New sizes of @sandmbmx RACE XLT bars being made now: 9.25", 9.5", 9.75" and 10" #shieldbmx #usabmx #bmxracing #bmx

A post shared by Chris Moeller (@moeller_chris) on

Yowza, that’s some big race bars.

If Gary Ellis ever made a racing a comeback, I think these would most certainly be on his radar.

sm-race_xlt_9

Definitely worth checking out if you want to bring up the height of the front end of your race bike.

Big Boyz for the Hod

When you’re 6’5″, like S&M’s Mike Hoder, big bars are a necessity…

…especially when you’re rolling on a 20″.

So even though Hoder already has signature bars in 8.6 and 9″ rises…he’s bumped things up on the latest iteration of his bars to a height more fitting of his stature: 9.5″.

What I Ride - Mike Hoder

Seems like the right move.

🎥 @charliecrum

A post shared by @_mikehoder on

Speaking of right move…

Don’tcha think Hoder might be next in line for a signature 22″?

Heck, BF clocks in at 6’1″…it makes sense that Hoder’s BTM frame should come in a 22″ version.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

 

(Pic: Ride magazine)

First look: Fit Bikes BF22

A few months back, Brian Foster (BF) let the world know (via Instagram) that he had been dabbling with 22″ wheels.

According to BF, a 22″ S&M ATF had shown up at his door (courtesy of his sponsor, Chris Moeller).  Moeller wanted him to try it out.

What did the Blue Falcon (BF) think?

According to BF:

I definitely see the appeal. It rides better at speed and is more stable when landing flat. This stability comes at a cost as it is not as nimble as a 20″. I think a 22″ makes sense for trails and large transitions.

But that wasn’t all.

In addition to this pic of BF shredding said 22…

BF airing on 22

BF let the news drop that:

This fall, a 22″ @fitbikeco complete will be released and should raise the stoke for the generation of shredders that want to stay connected with riding.

That statement sent the world’s BMX keyboard jockeys a typing.

Thankfully, we don’t have to wait until fall to get a sneak peek. Below is a first look at the BF22 (My apologies for the awkward cropping).

BF22 first look

Not a lot of details at this point but with its long-ish looking top tube, top load stem and big-ish bars…it looks like it’s probably going be a good choice for the lanky set.

No word yet on an official release date or price point.