It's all about the numbers this year at the annual INTERbike tradeshow. Everywhere we went, the familiar numbers we were hearing were: 31.8, 20 and 1 1/2. Day two of the INTERbike show saw over-sized handlebar, axle and headset sizing become this year's most modern trend - much of it taking a que from the world of road and mountain bikes.
31.8: That is what the BMX industry hopes will become the "next norm" when it comes to handlebar diameter. For years, road and mountain bikes have stepped it up to 31.8mm; which has a number of benefits - larger clamping area will decrease handlebar slippage, large diameter enables thinner (and lighter) tubing while keeping the strength and supposedly adding less bar flex.
For those who recall - Odyssey tried this a long ways back, and it never quite caught on - mostly due to the lack of interest from other manufacturers.
20mm: Look what Toby started! The over-sized thru-axles that Speedco introduced about two years ago are now catching on - with everybody from Dk to Phoenix stepping up to the plate with 20mm hubs and dropouts.
1 1/2 Inch: What has now become pretty common in MTB's and road bikes has now caught on with BMX. It's called "trickle down" - and the theory was in full effect at this years' show. The over-larged 1 1/2-inch lower headtube bearing is designed for providing more strength and less flex ... which is understandable in the flexy front-suspension of a mountain bike, but has been argued as over-kill for a rigid, suspensionless BMX frame.
Check out all of the pics below, highlighting many of the new 2013 items that'll be available in bike shops near you soon.