Warning! BMX content! Here’s the final bit of material we gathered at the Cycleshow. Whilst cruising the stands we met Keith from Faction Bike Co who was showing off their new 22” wheel BMX concept and 2 new 22” bikes.
Here’s our video interview with Faction boss Keith – shot at the Cycleshow in London:
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As you probably know, BMX’s have 20” wheels. Crusty old racer dudes will sometimes graduate up to a 24” ‘cruiser’ bike when they outgrown little bikes but generally they’re pretty race only, choices are limited and they’re just a wee bit too big for BMX tricks. Keith wants to open up a 22” option which will give people another choice. Not a replacement for 20 or 24 – just another option that he thinks will be a great ride.
You see a lot of wacky new concepts badged as ‘revolutions’ at cycle shows and for the most part if they smell like bullshit chances are they’re…yep… bullshit. Faction’s idea seemed a little different. First up they’re getting some really legit industry recognition with some really respected old school and new school riders jumping on board. That includes THE Matt Hoffman who has apparently been trying to make 22” happen since the 80’s. They’ve also got Matt distributing the bikes in the US and are already making sales in the UK. The day after the show Keith popped down to my local bike shop (Crucial in Bedminster) to drop off a bike to replace a sold one. Good sign. The bike is also winning races when put head to head with 20” bikes. Fair enough, it’s not a ‘legal’ win but it shows 22” can out perform a 20 in the right hands.
Above all that though, I think Keith’s passion for the bikes was what got us all hooked. He’s a quiet, modest and in fact very shy guy who really stands out as a rider and a BMX lover rather than an sales man or marketeer. Get him loosened up and talking about the bikes though and it’s clear he’s an absolute mine of information and just loves talking about BMX and making bikes. He seems to genuinely believe in what they’re doing with 22” because it’ll make for a fun and fast bike rather than because it’ll sell units.
Anyway – we’ve got a full interview with Keith in Issue 11 but I wanted to post up the video interview and the race video above to show off what Faction are all about. Check out Keith’s email below that goes along with the race video. Give it all a read and keep an eye on Wideopen for more info on Faction’s crusade. Enjoy!
“Hi Jamie here is our video clip of our 22″ wheel ‘Amero’ bike making history in it’s first test race and win against 20″ bikes. The event is the Midland Champs held at Rotherham two weeks ago, the 22″ wins from the start beating the top 3 ranked riders who are all on lighter and more expensive 20” bikes.
The 22″ ‘Amero’ bike i’m riding is not designed to be a race bike yet in this race it beats a Haro with Carbon fibre forks, two PK Rippers a Redline, Free Agent and a GT so that’s all of the top 20″ race brands represented in this race and getting beat. We will begin development of our full race spec 22″ bike soon for release next Summer code named the ‘Aurora’. This race is a huge World wide story as it is the first time a 22″ bike has ever won against 20″ bikes which are the Olympic standard. We had to sneak our bike into the event to race in the 30+ Masters 20″ class as it states in the racing rules ‘that bikes with wheels larger than 20″ are not allowed in the 20″ class as they are deemed to have an unfair advantage’.
The race forums called 22″ bikes ‘cheats bikes’ after we got two 2nds in our first test race last year at the Nottingham Regional (beating the current #1 ranked rider) in the 24″ class (see our web site www.factionbikeco.com).
This race in the video is possibly the most controversial thing that has happened in BMX racing in the last 25 years and I predict all of the BMX media will block or ignore this as it will really piss them all off.”