I remember at some point growing up thinking “I’ll never ride anything but a BMX bike”… It was a pretty bold thought that I’m going to blame on being young, dumb and, at the time, not moaning and groaning from the aches and pains of years of abuse when I try and get myself out of bed in the morning.
But, like a lot of BMX riders that have climbed the ranks of age, we’re finding that our backs and knees aren’t what they used to be and sometimes you want to go for a ride, but would want something a little more comfortable. At least, that’s what had been going on in my mind for a little while now. Especially with my right knee giving me some hell. So I started looking around at some of the options that were out there.
About 7 years ago, I worked in a shop and always thought a road bike would be a good way to work out the legs and knees to help build them up for BMX, but I couldn’t imagine myself in spandex (especially now) and I didn’t think taking road bike riding seriously would be a good idea because let’s face it… If you’re on two wheels you’re going to try and jump some shit with it. I started looking at Fairdale because let’s face it… Once a BMX rider, always a BMX rider and if Taj Mihelich is the master mind behind it, it’s gotta be designed for the BMX rider at heart, right?
After weighing out the options and giving the bank account a proper investigation to decide on a budget, I found myself wanting the Weekender Canti more and more. A few weeks back I finally pulled the trigger and decided it was time and picked one up. After getting a bunch of use out of it, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the bike… Let’s take a look!
Traditionally, BMX bikes are pretty simple in comparison to something like a road bike. Road bikes tend to have a lot more going on as far as upgrades, features and styles go. Three of the biggest factors I was looking at were drop bars versus a flat bar or one with a lot of backsweep, the gearing and finally brakes. I wanted something I could hop on the bike path and cruise on a nice day. I wasn’t really concerned about distance, speed, shedding testicles for aerodynamics (too soon?) and juicing so that pretty much eliminated the need for drop bars and more than 9-gears. Then, looking at the price difference between cantilever brakes versus disc brakes, I figured I’d keep it traditional and go the cantilever route because overall the price of the bike was cheaper, they’re easier and less expensive to fix or replace and I’m not super concerned with the braking quality and feel since the only time I’m slowing down is for turns and when people get in my way on the bike path. So I landed on the Weekender Canti out of all the options that Fairdale had to offer.
The Weekender Canti features a 100% full chromoly frame that features disc and cantilever brake mounts and rack / fender mounts and an integrated campy headset. The bike features a 100% chromoly fork with a one-pieced steerer tube, a built in headset race and mounts for disc brakes if I desired to upgrade, the Fairdale Archer aluminum bars, a forged aluminum 80mm stem, Terry Adams’ signature Odyssey grips, Fairdale 42T sprocket and 17mm cranks, Odyssey Twisted PC pedals, a KMC X9 chain, Fairdale seat, Kalloy post, Fairdale clamp, a sealed 32-hole front hub laced to a 700c rim and Continenta Contactl tire in the front, a SRAM 11-34 tooth sealed rear cassette hub laced to a 700C rim and Continental Contact tire in the rear, Shimano Alivio shifters and derailleur and Cantilever brakes.
You can find astethics like the Fairdale badge on the head tube, graphics like the Designed in Austin, Texas sticker and anodized axles that really help set the bike off.
The Shimano drive line with the Fairdale 42 tooth sprocket and 175mm cranks… and the legendary Odyssey Twisted PC pedals.
700C Continental Contact tires and the Cantilever brakes… I left ‘er dirty since, well, why not?
Once I received the bike, since I didn’t buy it through a shop, there was some assembly required. When I unpacked it, I was a little intimidated by the bike because there’s a lot going on with the bike. Luckily, I really only needed a few allen keys and I was pretty much set to get it all together. I’d suggest picking the bike up through a shop or having them put it together for you if you’re not much of a mechanic. Also, make sure you have a pump that works for Presta valves. I had to pick one up because when the hell have you seen that style of tube in BMX, haha?
Popping on the bike for the first ride, I had to make a few adjustments… Seat angle being one. It doesn’t feel good angling the seat up a little like a BMX bike, haha. Give it a little drop because it will make your kids thank you. The other adjustment I needed to make was the derailleur. The chain was skipping around the 6th gear so I had to make some tweaks (and still need to make more because it happens every now and then still). This is one that I highly suggest you let a shop do if you don’t know what you’re doing because making a 1/8th of a turn could throw the whole thing out of whack. Other than that, it was pretty much good to go right out of the box which is what I expected.
Now that I’ve been riding it for a few weeks now, the bike hasn’t really had any major issues. Obviously these bikes take a lot less abuse than a BMX bike, so as long as you aren’t getting too crazy on it, you shouldn’t have any big problems with it. The only two things I’ve noticed is that I’m a little reckless and tend to haul a lot of ass and take some risky moves crossing roads and shit because of how my mind works from BMX. It’s gotten me a few nasty looks and “slow down”‘s but otherwise nothing too major. I do have a slight hop in my wheel that I need to true as well. That could be just from the spokes settling or because of how I’m riding. Either way, not a major problem and easily fixed if you know your way around a truing stand.
Overall, I’m really stoked on the bike. It was a good investment and has been a lot of fun to ride and my knees and belly are pretty stoked on it too. Was it worth it? Definitely. I don’t feel like I’ve gone completely over to the other side that’s loaded with Specialized, Trek and Cannondale bikes either since Fairdale is Taj’s project either. The Fairdale Weekender Canti is available worldwide in sizes of small, medium large and extra large (depends on height and inseam. I ride the Large with a 32″ inseam for example) and colors of black with red and Mint. The bike goes for $849.99 and can be picked up through any Fairdale Dealers or by having your local shop hit up Full Factory Distribution today!
You can find out more about Fairdale and their products by visiting their website — FairdaleBikes.com