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FBM Ballista Ride Report

July 23, 2013

IMG_1131_zps7e0351edThis article was originally posted on The Assassins’ Bike Polo blog.

The crew at FBM put the hammer down to get us some new polo bike prototypes a few days before the Cascadia Qualifier. We wanted to get as much time in on them before the tournament so we got the frames built up as soon as they arrived. This is the best polo frame and fork that I’ve ridden. As soon as I jumped on the Ballista I was instantly comfortable and my game changed for the better. Mike at the FBM frame shop got in touch with us to ask what we would be interested in having on a polo specific frame set. We gave him some input and they really delivered. Mike and the rest of the guys at FBM have lot of years of experience in frame design and production, it shows in the quality and craftsmanship. FBM is an invested bike company with over a decade of success in BMX. All of their frames are hand made in Johnson City, NY by real people that ride bikes. They are awesome dudes and we are very excited to be representing them in bike polo. It was a great experience to work with Mike and everyone at FBM to develop one of the best frames in bike polo.

ScreenShot2013-07-16at90642PM_zps5fa0c266The frame and fork are 700c specific with mounting options for front and/or rear linear pull brakes, and a front disc tab.

IMG_1126_zps6a20d1cbThere are full housing guides on the under side of the top tube for smooth routing from either side of the head tube and to keep the housing tucked out of the way.

IMG_1124_zps4cec42e7The small gusset behind the bottom bracket helps to keep the rear end stiff.

IMG_1149_zps8f0dd20fThe Ballista is tig welded with 4130 chromoly steel tubes. There will be a few sizes depending on general interest, available through a preorder. The production frames will have custom head badges, new decal designs, and will be available in 2-3 colors.

IMG_1163_zpsd4788ef9The Ballista feels really stable at speed, there is no shimmying or speed wobbles. Cornering is smooth and predictable, I’ve had no trouble with diving or jack knifing. The slightly longer wheelbase provides no toe overlap and a firm footing for going shoulder to shoulder. We’ve been giving feedback to FBM to make improvements that may be needed. But what you see here is pretty close to what the finished product will be, possibly a few modifications. The Ballista will go into production sometime this coming winter.

And finally, a few shots of the fork…

IMG_1137_zps30a71a4c IMG_1125_zps419ae240 IMG_1140_zps3849e08e

Culture, Product

Hoser Shirt Sale

July 18, 2013


If you are unfamiliar with HOSER, you should first read our article praising the company for the work they do for bike polo teams. Setting up the hottest bike polo teams around the world with high quality 100% ring-spun cotton shirts. The profits from the shirts go towards helping the teams travel to tournaments. With the 2013 Bike Polo World Championship just a few months away, HOSER decided to set up a sale to help get their teams some extra travel funds.

If you go to HOSER’s website and add your favorite shirts to your cart,  you will be able to enter the code MIAMI2013 into the promotion code section. This code will allow you to receive 20% off of your entire purchase! The sale ends on July 31st, so you have until the end of the month to help support teams like Edisons, Call Me Daddy, and Hooks.

Your orders help ensure that the Bike Polo World Championship has the best teams from all over the world in attendance, so do your part!


Compacting the Arc

July 16, 2013


Toronto’s Modifide Bike Polo is an ivy that is growing over all the walls of the bike polo community. Less than a year old, you see their heads all over the North American polo scene. Through innovative design, Modifide is determined to out grow it’s competition.

The newest item in the Modifide Bike Polo cauldron is their 4″ Arc. Just like it’s 5″ predecessor, the 4″ Arc is promising hard hits and unmatched ball control, but only this time in a compact size. Weighing in at 89 grams, the 4″ Arc has an outer diameter of 2.5″ so you will be able to do all the fancy scoop tricks in your recipe book.

Modifide Bike Polo limited the first run of heads to only 4o, so be sure you pick one up before they sell out! Hit up their store HERE to get one for yourself.


The Milwaukee Travel Bag

July 5, 2013


There are only two major tournaments left this season (actually, only one for most people around the world) but that shouldn’t stop you from finding a convenient way to fly with your bike. One of the newest travel bags on the market comes to us thanks to Ben’s Cycle and Milwaukee Bicycle Company.

For $109.99 (come on, why not just round up to $110) you can purchase the Milwaukee Bicycle Company Polo Travel Bag. It is made out of 18oz heavy duty vinyl and measures at 39″x35.5″. While this is more than the 36 linear inches limit that most airlines mandate, I’m betting that you can fold in the loose corners and the airline staff won’t measure it. Since it is shaped like a tote bag, I’m betting they wouldn’t measure it anyway.

Pick one up, fit your bike and mallets in it, fly to Minneapolis or Fort Lauderdale, and enjoy easy bike travel.

Hit up Ben’s Cycle, go to the Milwaukee Bicycle Co. Section, click the Milwaukee Bags image, and find the newest way to travel with your bike.

Product, Reviews

Mamba X Gets a Facelift

June 19, 2013


Last October I wrote a review of the Mamba X shoes by DZR (you can find that review HERE). At the time, the shoes had gone through four months of pick up twice a week, as well as four different tournaments and they help up very well. I didn’t experience the problem with the outer sole like I had seen on other pairs of the shoes. How quickly things changed though. About a month after the review was posted, the glue on both soles started to come undone. To save the shoes, I took them to a local shoe repair shop and had them re-glued.

Jump to today, one year after receiving the shoes, and the story has changed 10014_4931296242448_1225402707_ndrastically. The re-glue job on the left shoe has held pretty well, but the right shoe is another story. All of the layers of the sole have come apart, and they are barely wearable. One hop while clipped in could result in sole ripping off completely. I brought this problem up to Brian Dillman at DZR, he informed me that the company was well aware of the problem and had actually already fixed it!

The reason it was happening was because the vegan glue used on the Mamba X couldn’t hold up in a high octane atmosphere, like on a bike polo court. DZR wanted to keep the Mamba X a vegan shoe so changing the glue was out of the question; instead they simply added a stitch around the outer sole. This is such an easy solution to a major problem, and we are glad to see DZR facing the problem head on and fixing it. It’s always great when independent companies recognize problems in their products and fix them, instead of putting the blame elsewhere. Kudos DZR!

If you moral beliefs guide your shoe shopping or you just want to support an awesome company who does things right, then head over to DZR’s website and pick up a pair of the new Mamba X shoes. Be sure to tell them 321Polo sent you!

We will be posting a review in the coming months.