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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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.)

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!

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.

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.

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🎥 @charliecrum

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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)