Riding street on a bmx race bike | Featuring Skills with Phil

Riding street on a bmx race bike | Featuring Skills with Phil


15 years ago, I was a dirty street rider—a park rat. My BMX bike was designed for smashing and
hucking. But at that time I didn’t know much about
my bikes roots. Indeed, all of the crazy variations of BMX
bikes that you see today, had one common ancestor: The BMX race bike. Today, BMX racing is still thriving. In fact, its practiced all over the globe. This includes UCI sanctioned events and even
the olympics. With almost 40 years of progression in the
sport of BMX racing, it’s no surprise that today’s bikes bear little resemblance to
their primordial 1980’s counterparts. Ethan at Box components built this to show
us the current state of BMX race bikes. As someone who last examined one 15 years
ago, I think it looks totally alien. I’ve never seen 20mm axles on any BMX, and
most definitely not a tapered head tube. These are only a few of the standards that
Box helped to make mainstream. But this thing of beauty… this featherweight,
alloy, carbon, and plastic rocket ship, is now in the hands of a dirty street rider,
and a complete maniac. You might recognize Skills with Phil, a connoisseur
of using the wrong tool for the job. As a pro BMX racer, pro downhill mountain
biker, and now a pro youtuber, Phil is no stranger to breaking bikes in half. But this race bike is different from anything
either of us have tested. Our plan was to test it on some jumps and
maybe even a legit track, but the weather didn’t cooperate. Since everything was wet and Phil would only
be around for a day, we needed to think quick and be creative. For all of you who wanted me to build a bigger
ramp, it’s your lucky day. This one wouldn’t be portable, or built
to last, but it would serve its purpose. We started by tracing a transition and cutting
it out ahead of time. If this ramp were for keeps I’d use thicker
plywood for the sides, but it’s amazing how stiff a ramp can be once it takes shape. The surface would be 4 feet wide and 8 feet
long, the same dimensions as a sheet of plywood. With all the parts precut, all we’d need
to do is screw it together. That is, once we found a suitable venue. We needed someplace spacious, dry, and—safe. Although we might have been able to find someplace
safer, and drier, all we needed to do was a little landscaping to get it perfect. At some point, every trail you’ve ever ridden
was cut, and then named. We’ll call this one, “safety first”. Now to assemble our safety ramp. After jumping the safety ramp and cleaning
some 360’s, Phil and I realized this bike could take a lot more abuse. In my last ramp video commenters were cringing
at the thought of landing spins on a race bike, but they didn’t know the half of it. After coming off 27.5 mountain bikes, we weren’t
exactly confident or stable on this 20” bmx. But that didn’t stop us from pushing our
luck. The bike needed a handlebar adjustment, which
would be expected after a flaming nose dive. Everything else was in good working order. Time to go back and clean that couch jump. It was time to stop pushing our luck and leave
the safety jump alone. While I was originally nervous about the carbon
fork and the lightweight build giving out under pressure, Phil’s thermonuclear nosedive
erased all my doubts. It was clear that this bike would break us
before we broke it, and with that we decided to take it easy for the rest of the day. I’d love to take this bike on an actual
racetrack, and definitely a pump track when I get the chance, but on that day there was
only one more test we needed to complete: the North Shore drop at the beginning of Berm
Creek. I was confident the bike would survive, but
wasn’t so sure about controlling my descent on 100 PSI racing slicks. You know it’s a bad idea when even Phil
is having second thoughts. And we survived. I’ve done a few tests with Phil, but I think
this one was my favorite. Not only were we both astounded by how rigid
a modern race bike could be, but we were also forced to go back to our 20” routes. Sure we used the absolute wrong tool for the
job, but I’d say it faired quite well. I hope you guys had fun watching from the
safety of your homes offices and bathrooms. Although we probably had more fun risking
our lives. So thanks for sharing some laughs with us
today, and definitely check out Phil’s channel for some more shenanigans. Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll
see you next time.