Name: Jonathan Lomax
Started Playing: Spring of 2008
Club: Pittsburgh Bike Polo
Pittsburgh Bike Polo is pretty tight with the guys from the Pedal Republik of Cleveland, so we cross paths a lot. In Cleveland some time in the 2010 season, I saw that Lou (of Cleveland Bike Polo and Rustbelt Welding) was riding a handmade bike. He told me that he had made it and asked if I wanted to take it for a spin. It took a few rides to get a feel for it because of our different setups, but once I did, I knew that I had to have one. I don’t think that equipment makes you a better player, but this bike has been a game changer. When I retired my old 700c polo rig and started playing on my Marco, I found that I was able to throw it around in ways that I wouldn’t have considered on the old bike. It inspires an excessive amount of confidence in handling, allowing me to continually push my personal abilities as a rider. I had the honor of receiving the first production Marco early in the 2011 season, and when there was a slight issue when I decided that I wanted (read: could afford) S&S couplers, Lou built me a new one and put my name on it.
There were some sizing options, and I ended up with what Rustbelt calls the medium. It’s tight, nimble, and incredibly stable. Rustbelt also gives the option to choose wheel spacing and brake type. My frame and fork are both spaced to 120mm, so it uses rear track hubs in both wheels thereby only requiring me to carry one spare wheel to tournaments. I went with removable cantilever posts so that I could keep the bike safe and looking clean when I switch my brake setup from time to time. Why v-brakes and not discs? I felt more comfortable worrying about keeping my wheels in true than I did protecting a rotor, though neither is truly difficult. I’m currently running only a front brake with the cable going through the steerer tube to eliminate any potential damage to the brake in a crash from the bars spinning. I had intended to go back to dual brakes eventually, but I’m having no issues whatsoever that are motivating me to set it up. My weight is well over the rear wheel, so it stays grounded in heavy braking situations, and ‘brakeless’ rear wheel pivoting is completely comfortable.
If I had it all to do over again, I probably would have had disc brake mounts added in addition to the canti posts just to have the option. That is honestly the only thing that I would change. I love the geometry of the bike, and I couldn’t be happier with my current build.
Specs as pictured:
Frame & fork: Rustbelt Welding Marco. Built in Cleveland, OH with a
mixture of True Temper OX Platinum, BMX Supertherm, and Verus HT
tubing. Painted in Pittsburgh, PA by Anthony Mezzatesta Custom
Drivetrain: 35t Milwaukee Polo Chainring, 165mm Sugino crankset,
Eastern BMX pedals, 22t White Industries freewheel
Wheelset: 26″ 48h Velocity Chukkers, Phil Wood rear track hubs, DT
Swiss straight gauge spokes, Halo Fix-T thread covers, 1.5″ Panaracer
Crosstown tires (replaced with 1.5″ Panaracer RibMo tires)
Brakes: Avid Single Digit 7 front v-brake, Avid Speed Dial lever,
Gravity Whip It pass through stem cap
Stem/Bars/Headset: 100mm Thomson Elite MTB Stem, Ritchey Severe
Condition riser bars, Lizard Skins Lock-On grips, FSA Pig Pro headset
Seatpost/Saddle: Thomson Elite inline seatpost (replaced with a
Thomson Elite setback post), Selle Italia Turbo, Thomson Seatpost