Old 06-01-10, 09:55 AM
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UrbanPrimitive
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Reputable Companies/Advice for the Newbie

I've had a growing interest in BMX riding and realized recently that I don't have a good avenue of finding out what I don't know. I've been wrenching on road bikes for a while now, so I have the basic concepts down, but there is so little overlap between those two worlds that I'm feeling like the new kid wondering if "Campy" and "Campagnolo" are the same thing all over again. So here's the break down:

I'm primarily interested in flatland, but would also like the flexibility to hit the ramps at my local park. I'm not looking for big air, just some fun puttering around on the ramps and pipes. As I understand it these interests may be at cross purposes in terms of frame geometry. I'm 6' and 140lbs, so I'm not worried about components not being strong enough for my weight. I am, however, concerned about getting a top tube long enough to fit my body, but still with a short enough wheel base to be a good match for the type of riding I'm hoping to do. Am I correct in thinking that this is a compromise situation, or am I thinking too hard about this and should just go for a long top tube that gives me enough leg room?

I'm also curious about people's notions on brands out there. I'm trying to figure out what I should spend my money on. I'm flat out not willing to ride "Hi-Ten" frames, and blended material frames just seem like a bad idea to me. For my money it's CrMo all the way. I'm trying to be budget conscious, as money is a bit tight and I don't know how far into trick riding I want to get. I'd like to keep the price tag below $500. It's also worth mentioning that the shop I work for sells Stolen, SE Racing, and Mongoose, so I can get a pretty good discount on either of those brands. (after some reading I'm convinced I'd love an S&M frame, but that's just not in the cards right now)

So here's one I've been looking at, and would like an opinion on: Stolen Sinner.
It comes stock with a freecoaster hub, which is appealing for flatland, but I've heard universally bad things about Stolen's hubs. Also noteworthy is the need for a gyro (yes, I'm keeping brakes on. I'm 28 and breakable), but that looks to be a common aftermarket addition anyhow.

Last question is related to the gyro, so let's transition to that now: brakes. What do you see as the advantages/disadvantages of caliper vs cantilever vs U-brake systems? Are these basically the same arguments that roadies and mountain bikers get into, or are there BMX specific considerations?

No doubt there'll be a lot more jabbering from me later, but I'll leave it at that for the moment. Input on any of the questions or thoughts mentioned above will be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance for the help!

Last edited by UrbanPrimitive; 06-01-10 at 10:05 AM.
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