I’ve known Crandall since he was a punk-ass kid heckling from the sidelines and hocking Fat Bald Men T-shirts in the pits at New York state BMX races. My first thoughts of him were something along the lines of “he’s not right” and “keep your distance from that dude.” Fast forward a couple decades and I’ve logged many miles in various parts of the country with him, and had some of the funnest times of my life hanging and riding with him. I still think he’s not right. That’s why I love him. Check out his FBM Steadfast—his American Dream machine.
Height: 5' 10"
Years riding: "Roughly 30 years."
Frame: FBM Steadfast, 21" top tube
Fork: FBM CB4ks
Bars: FBM U.S. Apes, 8.75"
Stem: FBM Bottleneck
Grips: FBM Double Fisters
Bar ends: FBM
Brake lever: Old Tech 77
Brake cable: ODSY Slick
Brakes: ODSY Evo 2
Seatpost: FBM Pivotal
Seat: FBM Heart Pivotal
Cranks: Profile 175 mm
Bottom bracket: FBM
Sprocket: Profile Spline-drive, 28-tooth
Chain: ODSY Bluebird
Front Tire: ODSY Aitken biggie (has pink paint on it from riding over an unfinished painting)
Front Rim/hub: ODSY 7k and a Profile Elite
Rear Tire: Tioga Street Block, 20" x 2.25"
Rear Rim/hub: ODSY 7k and a Profile Elite cassette, 11-tooth?
Spokes: 26 per rum
Pedals: ODSY Trail Mix
Helmet: I use a Biltwell helmet.
It's got a lot of love built into it, that's what the FBM heart logo means.
What does this bike stand for?
Kicking ass, going on adventures, having fun, and being awesome!
What's the story behind the "Steadfast" name?
Steadfast means true to form, unwavering, to be consistent, real, genuine. In a fast-changing world of fads, trends, phonies and posers, it's important to have a constant. That how I regard my bike.
How do you place your bars?
Parallel with my fork, in line with them.
Do you prefer your brakes on the chain stays over the seat stays, or is that just the Steadfast way? How do you like your brakes to feel?
Brakes on the bottom is what I am used to, and if you travel a lot like I do or drive to the trails, it’s easier for bike rack use. I keep my brakes dialed.
How long have you had that Tech-77 lever?
Like 400 years? I couldn't even tell you… Even if my bike gets stolen, there always seems to be more in the toolbox from some unsaid era.
What's your seat height rule?
I try and keep as few rules as possible attached to my BMX. I like to feel it on my knee when I carve berms, or walls.
Overall, how do you like your bike to feel?
I run high pressure, semi tight, well-tuned chain, well-oiled moving parts, precision, fast, and slightly worn-in to be comfortable. I like having my pedals grippy, my headset snug, and all my shit tuned smooth.
What parts do you go through the fastest?
Knees, wrists, ankles, and years… My bikes usually hold up good since I ride more stuff with tranny than not.
Are you concerned with bike weight? How much does this bike weigh?
I'm a big dude, who's almost 40. My bike is reasonably light, but not out of concern, I just try and keep it dialed with current practical components.
You got a name for this bike?
My bikes have always been loosely referred to as the Murder bike. Kills boredom.
What's the worst thing that's happened to you on this bike?
This year I bruised my ribs, hit my head on a tree, rolled some ankles, rode into a steel pipe, got bit by a black widow—sleeping under a ramp after riding it, some flat tires… I've had this bike a couple years, so probably a bunch of wild shit I don't even remember.
What's the best?
I did a table at Catty this summer, and spent a lot of time smiling with some people I have become friends with because of my bike. I did some hill bombs that got me stoked, too.
What's written on your top tube is pretty rad. Anything you want to say to go with that?
I met Mike Tag in like '87-ish. I was best friends with him my whole time as a BMXer, started FBM with him, and he has always been a big inspiration to me on a lot of levels. He died of cancer a while back. It's something I think about daily, so I drew an ode to Make Tag with Sharpie on top of some engine block spray paint on my top tube that reads "When we ride, he rides!" I like to think my friends and I have kept his spirit alive this way. He wouldn't be stoked if any of us lived boring, conventional lives. I miss him a lot and try to honor his name in my own little ways.
If this bike had a list of illegal activities that it's been a part of, what would be on that list?
I don't feel comfortable answering this on here, but one time I caught a dude stealing my bike, and he was straddling it—holding onto the grips, like you would be on a bike when not pedaling it. And I was like, "Hey man, this is my bike…" And buddy was giving me the runaround as you would expect, and the whole time, my left hand had a firm grip on the handlebar crossbar. I gave him one more opportunity to let go of my bike, and then with one motion I pulled my bike towards me with my left hand, and laced him with a pretty hard right hook. He let go of my bike in an instant and fell backwards. This was a grown-ass man. He didn't try and argue with me after that. I am NOT someone to let people mess with my stuff.
Thanks and such?
Matt Coplon at Profile, Nuno at ODSY and Vic at Circuit always help me out with my bikes, since way back when, and the dudes at FBM make it all possible. Ride forever. Don't slow down till the wheels stop, have fun every day!
I'd also like to add that my bike is very important to me—not as a material object, but as a vehicle, that has empowered me, taught me without boundaries, introduced me to some of the greatest people I have ever met, and taken me around the world. I love my bicycle.