Working at both a bike shop and a bike park, I get to check out a grand assortment of bikes ridden by a diverse cross section of the BMX population. It never ceases to amaze me when I see a kid whose ride is spec'd well above their skill level, but I get it – when you're young, you think that getting the best possible parts will make you ride better. This isn't the fault of the part manufacturers, nor does it fall on the shoulders of those in charge of marketing; the desire to have the coolest bike on the block was born long before social media existed, and even before the days when Dans ran 6 page mini-catalog ads in actual printed magazines. Why does it seem like I'm telling customers not to waste their money on high-end components? Well, I am, and I'm not – let me explain. If you can afford the top shelf parts that you want, by all means, I'll take your money, but if putting all of your hard-earned cash into a new wheelset keeps you glued to the couch because you can't afford to ride your local indoor park for the next 3 months, it kinda seems like you're shooting yourself in the foot, doesn't it? Not to mention the fact that in many cases, higher-end parts require a little more maintenance, and if you can't do that job yourself, that's even more money you'll be spending to have someone else fix your stuff. Really, this message goes out to all of the riders creeping into the "intermediate" skill level, who are spending $600 on wheels for their $400 completes – there are lots of options out there to upgrade your 20"s while keeping your wallet full enough to ride all winter & maybe support some local jams or tip your favorite mechanic for adjusting the headset that you still haven't figured out how to tighten yourself, and Stolen's Rampage wheels are the perfect upgrade to keep you rolling without emptying your bank account.
When looking to make the first step up from stock wheels, there are a few key upgrades you need to look out for. One, sealed cartridge bearings are absolutely mandatory, as they require minimal maintenance and will have you rolling faster in no time. Two, double walled rims will vastly increase the strength and stiffness of your ride, while adding an almost unnoticeable amount of weight to your bike. Trust me, the strength to weight ratio is well worth it. Third, if you're a right side grinder, or even just figuring out grinds in general, switching to LHD and/or adding some hub guards is a good idea to increase the longevity of your drivetrain, which isn't usually an option with most stock wheels. Stolen's Rampage wheels are built with 6061 series double walled aluminum rims in a variety of colors, 3-cross hand-laced to sealed bearing Stolen mid-flange hubs with hardened 4130 axles. The rear cassette is available in both RHD and LHD options, and features 4 bearings total and a 3-pawl, 9t 1-piece driver. The cherry on top, in my eyes, is the matching 17mm axle nuts front and rear, which is almost an afterthought on any aftermarket hubs, but nothing drives me crazier when building a complete bike than encountering a bike with 15mm nuts in the front and 17mm/19mm in the rear. The less tools needed, the better. Did I mention the 6061 hubguards for both hubs? Yup, those are available in black only, and should be required for riders 16 and under.
The Stolen Rampage wheels are available now at Dans Comp and all Stolen retailers. Stolen Rampage wheels are available with black, polished, red or blue rims, in both LHD and RHD configurations. The front wheel will set you back $64.99, while the rear is $89.99. If you need hubguards, the front is only $12.99, while the rear tops out at $19.99. Did I mention you can pick these up in 24" or 26" as well? Well, you can, and the rim is also available separately for $34.99. For more info on the complete lineup of Stolen products, check out www.stolenbmx.com now, and be sure to follow them on Instagram @stolenbikeco for team clips and product sneak peeks.