Speaking of FBM, the pre-order for the 2013 Sword SQ track frames is now open. Colors include: clear, trans blue, trans gold, galaxy grey and flat black. Head over to FBM Bike Co now for more information and see my Sword build photos here.
It’s Wednesday and I know everyone’s craving some stoke time. Here’s the latest from FBM!
It’s so nice to be able to check out vimeo now and what a video to lead into the week.
“Vagabond Ritual is an FBM feature film, with some of the most colorful characters in BMX traveling to and riding some of the best spots; Kona, Philly, NYC, Little Rock, Austin, Tucson, Sasquatch Canyon and Beyond! Get in the van and see what happens when Ruel Smith, Kenny Horton, the Ginch Bros, Jackson Allen, Eric Hennessey and the FBM crew and friends let loose on America’s freeways…”
Over the years, I’ve established what many would consider a “relationship” with Steve Crandall from FBM. Sure, some of it has to do with his latest videos, or products but most of it boils down to our mutual, vested, stokedness on bikes. FBM is one of those brands that never will, nor have ever had it easy. They’re not all driving sports cars, or hanging with SoCal bikini babes in hot tubs in their condos but they’re still living the life that many of us would consider meaningful and honest. And I don’t know that they would even want that lifestyle.
While I’m not as into BMX as the next guy, I can appreciate good company and that’s what I always get from Steve. Well, that and a bunch of crushed beer cans and leather jackets. I shot these two photos at House Park one day, before we rode to get cupcakes and I like to think that both of us are happy with how they turned out.
You look great ripping that bowl, brother!
Zeiss 28mm f2.8 T* ZM
The fourth installment of Kenny Horton’s (I hate that guy) web series for FBM is live and in your face. Don’t miss this one!
“Produced by Kenny Horton, featuring FBM Riders, and friends including Space Needle,Tom Blyth, Latane Coghill, Eric Holladay, Neil Hise, Jason Anderson, Ruel Smith, Chris Neighbors, Jackson Allen, Bob Quirk, John Held, Costa, Ginch, Chunk. Evan Venditti, Eric Hennessey, Darryl Nau, Kenny Horton and more…”
It was great seeing you in Austin, Steve. Amen, brother.
This bike has been in the works for a while now and I’m not talking about the weeks the frame sat in the box while I accumulated the parts. I’m talking about since I first saw one in person, at Post Bikes in Brooklyn. The original Sword wasn’t what I would consider a true track geometry. It was more of a fixed cruiser, marketed not only at the kids wanting a street bike to thrash, but also to the older BMXrs who wanted a quicker way around town.
Steve and John Paul began working on the Sword SQ. They talked to various people in the “industry”, including Josh “Big Red” Hayes and Kyle Kelley, who worked on the Sword’s geometry, making it what it is today. This Sword SQ represents a lot of things to me. Mostly, a company, who in the wake of Taiwanese fabrication, still make their bikes in America, for an affordable price and have never taken a penny from an outside investor.
While I’ve already got a kick-ass track bike, this Sword will go through many variations. I’m already planning on putting a Cetma on it to carry my photo bag in the summer and will probably throw risers on it at some point to encourage some throwback FGFS. It’s a little small, compared to what I’m used to riding, so the saddle to bar drop is much more race-fit than my Icarus. I’ve dialed in the fit now and it looks a lot more reasonable than the first Instagram photo I posted.
I tried to use as many American companies as possible. Profile Fix / Fix hubs laced to H+Son Archetype rims (fucking love these rims!) and a 18t Phil Wood SLR cog. Thomson stem, post, 1960′s Unicanitor Saddle, Ritchey Classic Curve bars and Newbaum’s tape. I was tempted to buy a set of the Phil Wood cranks, but went with the tried and true SRAM Omniums with an extremely rare, purple 44RN 144#47 ring. My White Industries pedals got a new life and the Toshi single straps are just right. Finally, a black KMC Cool Chain and 28c Continental Gatorskins finish off the build, with a 3/4″ mini Viking decal on the stem.
I’m very happy with this bike and it’s been nice to ride a track bike around, since my Icarus’ fork has been at the painter’s for a few weeks.
Many thanks to FBM for this beast and I can assure you, this won’t be the last time you see it here on the site!
Perspective has many applications, especially with reference to this site. PiNP made its impact through covering track bikes and FGFS in NYC and beyond. Still, cycling commentary, of all sorts filled the pages. Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time riding road bikes, been out bicycle camping, touring and the content all shifts depending on what’s going on.
Sometimes, looking at things a little differently can change your perspective and even a new track bike can bring back the nostalgic past. Shooting the Sword today made me really miss the days of bombing NYC traffic with my friends and wheeling down the avenues.
Even before I pushed hard on domestically-produced bikes and components, the Profile fixed hubs were the best thing money could buy for the street-thrashers and they look so bitching on this bike.
What I’m trying to say is, I fucking love this bike.
More to come…
Puerto Rico looks like a rad place to spend some time with your riding buds and who better than FBM to show us why.