Hucker has left Redline and signed with S&M, and is now on Demoliton’s pro team. Check out his new ride and what he had to say about his bike setup and sponsor changes…
Interview and photos by Keith Mulligan
Name: Mike "Hucker" Clark
Height: 5' 8"
Current Residence: Costa Mesa, California
Sponsors: S&M, Demolition, DC, Skullcandy, Oakley, Team Soil, Epic BMX, 43 Hardware
Frame: S&M ATF, 20.75" top tube,
Fork: S&M Pitchfork XLT
Bars: Slam XLT
Stem: S&M Lil Redneck, 43 Hardware bolts (switched out after bike was photographed)
Grips: Demolition Missile
Bar ends: Demolition Missile
Seatpost: Demolition Pivotal
Seat: Demolition D-Fat Pivotal
Cranks: Demolition Revolt, 175mm
Sprocket: Demolition Merit, 28-tooth
Chain: Shadow Interlock Chain V2
Front Tire: Demolition Machete (sample), 20" x 2.30"
Front Rim/hub: Demolition Zero Hoop/Phantom Hub, 36-spoke
Rear Tire: Demolition Momentum, 20" x 2.20"
Rear Rim/hub: Demolition Zero Hoop/Rolls Hub, 9-tooth driver
Spokes: Demolition ("non-titanium")
Pegs: Demolition Team (metal)
Pedals: Demolition PC (plastic)
I cut about a quarter inch-half inch off each side of my bars. I put 43 Hardware bolts in my stem. I'll probably put on a Gyro with two cables.
Before we get into the details of your bike, let's talk about your new sponsor change going to S&M. That's a big switch-up.
Yeah, geez… S&M's a dream come true. It's the one company that I've always dreamed of riding for—in high school and growing up, before I ever even had a sponsor. I'm so stoked it happened. They used to give me parts back in the day, back before I was on Redline. It's good to be back in the family again! S&M's like two miles from my house, super local. Yeah, it's awesome!
You separated your shoulder about a month ago, so you really haven't gotten to ride much lately. When do you think you'll be fully back in action?
I think two more weeks, three max, if everything goes well and I take it easy.
That's not easy to do [laughs].
No, I went surfing yesterday. It didn't really hurt too bad, but it was a bit sore afterwards. But, it's good. It feels good today, a little stronger.
This bike is as new as it gets. Describe your setup and how you like everything to feel.
Yeah, my bike's pretty awesome right now. It's a 20.75" top tube, I've got Slam XLTs on it. Yeah, pretty big bars, I've got the Lil Redneck stem on it, Pitchforks on it, and then pretty much all Demolition parts on it.
What's up with your new Demolition deal?
Demolition has been super awesome, they've hooked me up for a really long time, and they just signed me onto their pro team this year. I'm super psyched on it! I'm looking forward to doing some big things with them.
Of all the frames in S&M's lineup, why did you go with the ATF?
I went with the ATF just because it was similar to the frame I was riding before. All the same angles on it, super light, and just real durable—well, all of their frames are super durable, but mainly just 'cause it's similar to the frame I was riding before. And, I don't know, I like the name [laughs]. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms…A.K.A. All Terrain Frame.
You just built this bike up, so everything is clean and perfect. What parts get thrashed the most, what do you go through fastest?
I think the things I go through the fastest are probably pedals, tires, and handlebars.
Do you typically build a bike with everything new, or like to switch up parts as needed?
Honestly about fifty-fifty. A lot of the times I'll dent a frame or something, or it just gets thrashed, and I'll just throw my old parts on it if they still look good. But I don't know, there's nothing like putting a bike together all fresh.
Some guys make it a point to switch out their frame or everything every six months, at least. Do you do anything like that or just go with what's working and what you need?
I just really go with what's working and whenever I need a bike I'll get one. I tend to thrash them pretty often, I used to go through a bike every three or four months, but lately I've been real good about it and they've been lasting about six months. So I'm real excited to see how long this one's going to last, it should be a good while.
Are you a fan of front-load stems or it that just your current choice for this bike?
Yeah, I've always just run a front-load stem—I've never run a top-load stem. I'd like to try it out to see what it's like, but for now I'm just sticking with what I know.
How do you place your bars? They look a little forward from the fork angle.
Yeah, I like them just slightly forward from the fork angle—it gives me more leverage and it feels way better for me. I used to run 'em super far back, and then [laughs] I saw Brett Banasiewicz running them all Chicago-style and I was like, "Whoa, how on Earth do you do that?!" I tried it just slightly and it worked out really nicely. Not totally Chicago, but going that way [laughs].
Brakeless right now?
I'll dabble with running brakeless. I'll always find myself switching back and forth between brakes, straight cable, and a Gyro. [Laughs] I'm super ADD about it, and just spur of the moment all of the time switching it up.
What's your general rule for seat height?
My general rule for seat height is you gotta have at least one fist in between the seat and the frame, sometimes a little bit more. A fist and two fingers is good sometimes…whoa that sounds bad! [Laughs] But yeah, I like a little bit of seatpost there.
How do you like your grips—thick or thin?
I like them a little bit thicker, not too thin. A little bit of cushion is nice—more to grab. The grips I have on now are pretty awesome—pretty psyched on them.
What tire pressure do you normally run?
It all depends, if I'm running super big huge trails I'll run about 70-75psi, if I'm riding skateparks and stuff about 80psi, if I'm riding Sheep Hills I'm running about 60psi—bumpy trails. And then for street riding I'll usually try to go about 70psi.
How do you like your chain tension?
It depends. I've had it super loose just because of pure laziness for the longest time, but I do prefer it a little bit tight just good enough so the cranks still spin, but they catch also.
How concerned are you with bike weight?
Weight's never really been a big factor of mine. I don't really mind too much. I always didn't like it super heavy, but I don't know, it's never really been a big problem, I like it right around 25-26 pounds, give or take. Maybe a little bit lighter. I have yet to weigh this bike.
Do you do all the work on your bike and build them up?
It depends. Usually if I go into Epic BMX shop an hour before closing or sometimes even two hours, they'll tell me, "Don't even touch it!" because I'll be in there way too long just 'cause I'll always get sidetracked and talking and looking at things [laughs]. But yeah, I love working on my bike. It's awesome putting a bike together—just working on it and then riding it after, and knowing you made it feel that good.
Do you set you bike up any certain way for specific tricks?
Um, no not really. I just set it up the way I like riding it. I like doing manuals and bunnyhops and stuff, and I always try to do adapt to it and do everything the way it goes.
What kind of vibe does this bike put out to the cougars?
Oh boy…I haven't tested that one out yet, but I'll get back to you as soon as I do [laughs].
Any thanks you want to give to anyone?
I'd like to thank my parents, Epic BMX for supporting me all these years, S&M Bikes, DC Shoes, Skullcandy, Demolition, and everyone that's helped me out along the way: Fuzzy Hall, Ride BMX, and everybody out there I forgot—you know who you are.