I've barely let the Giant STP out of my sight since I first put it together earlier this year- it's one of those rare hard-tails that's long enough for a big git like me.
When I first built it, it was intended as a general use thrash bike for jumping, street and moshing round the woods, although with Bath BMX track's recent re-vamp, I've been shedding some weight of here and there to make the laps a little quicker...
Gone are the burly old 36 spoke wheels I was running on here before, and in are the excellent Bontrager Rhythm 28 spoke tubeless compatible wheels. These are intended for All-mountain duties, but are spot on for thrashing round a BMX track. I'm currently searching for a mega-light UST tyre with minimal tread- so far the new Continental WC is looking top of the list, but for now I'm running the excellent Tioga Square of Eight tyres with lightweight inner tubes. The low profile tread pattern zips along nicely at 70psi and there's enough grip to off-road with them too.
For XC duties, I would never consider using flat pedals- I'm a life long SPD user, however I'm not a fan of using them for DH or jumping. But recently watching a few of the top BMX boys up at the track, realised how fast they can get away- even though they all seem to like wearing race jerseys with baggy grey tracksuit bottoms and dodgy looking disco slippers- from the gate.
It's lucky then, that the new Crank Brothers Mallet pedals should turn up- in gold, which look ace on the STP.
Hooking up the cleats on my 661 shoes, I pedalled up to the BMX track to try them out.
The immediate thing you notice when using clips on a BMX track is that your riding style changes completely- as you can pull up on the pedals as well as push down, the bulk of pedalling is done through the pedals, rather than a combination of pushing down on the pedals whilst pulling on the bars. It's an odd thing that you don't really notice on an XC bike as you don't ride as aggressively. The next thing is the actual jumping- it's weird.
Because your feet are connected to the pedals you feel obliged to pull up on them- which isn't the correct way to jump as such, but you can use it to your advantage- I've found I can stay lower over the jumps and if needed pull the back end up just enough at the last minute to avoid hanging up. They're also great fun for whips as you can rip them out without even thinking about it! I do still prefer flat pedals, and I think I ride better with them- but I'm going to persist for a while to see how things go.
I've also changed the chain-guide- not for weight reasons as I could save a little weight if I used the E13 Light Guide- to a new limited edition E13 in Sea Foam green- which is nearly the same colour as my Rock Shox Argyle fork. Sweet!
Oh, and one last thing- I've shoved on some new brown ODI grips to match my saddle. I swear, it's too easy these days to get carried away with colour co-ordination!