Fallen Angels

mini-size Vida Loca frames.


The kids love them. I may have mentioned elsewhere my opinion that most BMX bikes for small riders are evil-handling pieces of basura. Go to the track, watch the riders age five to eight or ten. .. Watch them crash!

I build a mini/junior/expert size bike with a slacker steering angle, so the bike will straighten out when a kid gets a little squirrely. I use a lower bottom bracket height for easier standups in the gate, more stability on the track, and because the kids are using shorter cranks. I build them for the individual rider's size, skill level and riding style.

The bikes even get a new model name.... "Fallen Angel." You race cruiser, you have to fight through a raging pack of manic children to get to the gate. Fallen angels indeed!

Here is an example, in mini size...

I've been building these one-at-a-time, custom. The process involves watching the kid on the track, riding his or her own bike. Talking to them a little. The most common thing I've seen is a child gets a bike that feels unstable, she'll slow down, making the bike even more wobbly. And fall off or go off the track.

Here's a typical build for a seven-year-old: 20” with 72 degree steering angle, 71 degree seat tube, 18” top tube C-C, 13 ¾ “ chainstay and 11 1/2” bottom bracket height. I used lightweight Reynolds 525 for this bike, .8-.5-.8 for the main tubes and .9-.6 for the seat tube. Stays were ¾” x .035” chainstays and 5/8” x .035” seatstays. Used .100” chrome moly plate for the dropouts. Fork was a SuperX mini, heat treated chrome moly. This was a lot stronger than your typical mini, and only a little heavier.

Having a bike she could control, the rider went from an also ran to a winner in what was left of the season. Next two years she won practically every race she entered and took at least one state championship. Not bad. Now she's outgrown the bike and looks like she's moved on from BMX as well. I'm sure she'll be a winner whatever she does.

Pricing: Thursday prices the mini somewhat lower than the pro-sized Vida Loca, $620 as of 2016. However, when the rider outgrows the frame, you may turn it in for a 50% credit on a new frame. That is, if you can get the kid to give it up!