BMX Tubing Terminology


While we were on the topic of What 4130 Chromoly and Heat-Treating Is, we got thinking about a handful of the terms that you might see in the descriptions of BMX frames and parts like forks, bars and cranks that might be leaving some of you young guns not quite sure what those small details really mean. We decided to compile a handful of these terms and explain what it means like butting, tapering, machining, Investment Casting and Swaging. Let’s get into this!


What Is 4130 Chromoly and Heat Treating

All photos from Solid Bikes BMX Frame Materials Store

Last night, for one reason or another, a few questions popped into my head that made me think that there are probably a lot of riders out there that just got into BMX might be curious about. What is 4130 chromoly, what is heat-treating and why does BMX use both on so many products? It’s one of those things that a lot of riders know about, but do they actually fully understand what these two things mean and why we utilize them in the industry. So, if you’re curious… Let’s talk a little bit about this!


The Return of the Seat Post


In BMX’s pretty short existence in comparison to most other sports, it’s pretty crazy to think back and about how trends have come, gone, returned, gone away completely, then brought back to life again some how. This morning while we were watch a video that ended up in the Daily Section, we had a realization that the seat post has slowly crept its way back out of the seat tube and has made a proper return with a fists worth of it to show for it. We had noticed some people bringing the seat post back out over the past few years, but it still some how never really fully clicked for us that it was actually back until today… Let’s talk a little about this…


Editorial: Cautiously “Canadian”

Words by Justin Schwanke

In the last few years of my life I’ve contracted the travel bug. It’s a strong virus with symptoms of vagabond desire, a craving for adventure, and a longing to be well-cultured. For me, the bicycle seems to be the paramount device to assist in spreading this virus, and connecting with other infected individuals. As a proud victim of this infection, I hope to share my stories and experiences in this series, bicycles involved or otherwise. In doing so, perhaps I may be able to achieve the status of a parasite and inspire others to contract the travel bug themselves…


The Art of the BMX Grip


In BMX, there are literally hundreds of options of pretty much any part that you might be looking for. For some people, weight, color, size or just the overall look are the biggest deciding factors for them. One product in particular that comes to mind when thinking about countless options are BMX grips. You would think something as simple as a piece of rubber on your bars to keep your hands in place would be pretty simple and straight forward, but it’s far from that. From length to diameter, pattern, rubber durometer, flange or flangeless and color, the combinations and possibilities are pretty much endless. We were thinking it would be rad to go through a handful of brands and pull out either their most popular, newest or most unique grip and put them all together to really see the differences that there are. Check out all of the grips below, then let us know if we missed any good ones that should be added to the list in the comments! Ready? Let’s do this!


Welcome BMX Color App


We’re very excited to announce that we have partnered with the very popular BMX Color App that allows you to pick out a custom paint scheme for your bike right on the computer. We have been big fans of the website for a long time, and now you can use it directly from The Union! This application lets you pick out your choice of color on every part of your bike and we know a lot of you have been using this for a long time, but still a lot of people didn’t know it existed! So, with that being said… Get to customizing your own bike! Hit the link below!


Why You Should Throw A BMX Contest or Jam


There are a lot of reasons why BMX jams and contests are awesome. We’re not talking X-Games and Dew Tours, we’re talking the smaller, local, less publicized BMX contests and Jams. Over the years, I personally have thrown around 15 or 20 jams or contests at a handful of skateparks around Minnesota. Some have been small, some have been big and some, like the 4th of July, do a lot for the local scene more than a lot of people might think. With each event, you get the opportunity to meet new people, expose people that aren’t familiar with BMX to the sport, spend time with some friends you don’t get to see often and most importantly, have an excuse to have a fun day for those people to enjoy. Over the weekend, we were involved with an event that really opened up our eyes as to just how beneficial it can be when the exposure to people that aren’t familiar with it can actually be. Let’s talk about this…


Minor Details: BMX Frames


When it comes to BMX frames these days, there are a lot of factors that come down to geometry that can alter the way a BMX bike feels and rides. Want to have more balance on your nose? Get a steeper head tube angle. Want to spin better? Get a higher bottom bracket height. Want to manual better? Get a shorter chain stay length. Need something better for barspins? Get something with a taller standover height. What about tailwhips? Shorter standover heights will make it easier to get over the bike. Now days, a 75-degree head tube angle, 71-degree seat tube angle, 8.5″ standover height, 11.5″ bottom bracket height and 13.25″ chain stay length are pretty common geometries you will find on a frame. Sure, there might be a handful of frames that have similar (or the exact same) geometry, but what makes them different than the others? The “minor details” that are added on to a frame to give it an aesthetic touch, add strength or make for a cleaner fit when parts are installed. There are A LOT of frame options these days, so we decided to cruise around a handful of BMX brands websites to check out a few frames that have some details that make it stand out from other frames. Let’s take a look!



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