At Level 4, Simon Tabron is totally killing it on the big ramps, and his riding is only getting radder and radder with every new day. Pay attention to the next vert comp and you’ll see for yourself how fast, high, and dialed he is. And check out his custom Haro Lineage, here, that’s also dialed…
Years riding: [Laughs] 32
Sponsors: Rockstar Energy Drink, Haro, Vans, 5050 BMX, 187 Killer Pads
Frame: Haro Lineage, custom geometry, 20.7" top tube
Fork: Haro Lineage
Bars: Haro Lineage
Stem: Haro Lineage
Grips: ODI Longneck
Bar ends: Haro
Cranks: Haro Lineage, custom length—165mm
Bottom bracket: Haro
Sprocket: Haro Lineage, 26-tooth
Front Tire: Odyssey Aitkin, 20" x 1.9"
Front Rim/hub: Odyssey Hazard Lite/Odyssey Vandero 2
Rear Tire: Odyssey Aitkin, 20" x 1.9"
Rear Rim/hub: Odyssey Hazard Lite/Odyssey V3 cassette, 9-tooth
Pedals: Wellgo MG
Helmet: Bell full-face and Classic 500
Shoes: Vans Half Cabs
No brakes or pegs, custom geometry and cranks.
Let's start with something small: give us some insight on the Union Jack valve caps.
I'm British, I'm proud! [Laughs] Like a funny little reminder of where I began!
This frame is fully custom, built for you. What's the story behind it, and what makes it different than what's available in shops?
As a vert rider, and a rider of big obstacles, I want stability more than maneuverability. Modern geometry tends to be very twitchy in the air, so I have a super low bottom bracket and a slightly longer rear end. My bike sucks for manuals and mini ramps, but is as stable as f-ck 14 feet above coping!
Not many riders are on chrome bikes these days. What made you decide on going with some shine?
A little while back I thought about how I hadn't had chrome since I was a kid. I found a place and had a frame done. Then I got kind of carried away, got bars, cranks, forks. I did it at a time when I was just burnt out on all of the trends—I stopped doing flairs, barspins, whips. I got my bike chromed, kind of went back to the purest representation of BMX that I could think of. Just changed everything and became obsessed with tables, trying to go as high as possible and trying to make my riding look good instead of just being tech or looking good on paper.
Why white tires?
Coco Zurita's brother Juani posted a picture of a new setup that had white tires. It looked so rad and I had a pair of Odyssey Mike Aitkins that Jim Bauer had given me a few years back, but had only ridden for a week. I felt like a change so I put them on. It's been wild, everyone noticed them, it's been fun. I just love how my bike looks! Coco made a video of me giving his brother props and sent it to him!
How do you place your bars? How come they're not leaning towards Chicago? [Editor's note, the Chicago question was meant to be humorous, as forward bars were a big trend on vert years ago]
Why would they be? The idea of forward bars is inconceivable to me! I set them up with the head angle, I feel comfortable there. You know, I'm pretty liberal about bike setups. I'm very particular about my own bike, but don't judge others'. Ride your bike how, where, and when you want. The whole thing is totally up to you.
When was the last time you rode with pegs? Any chance of you ever putting some on again?
I bust them out every once in a while, but get over it really quickly. Taking them off was a conscious move to adapt my style, to force me not to slow down on a vert ramp or linger on the coping for too long. It's fun once in a while, but I feel as though it betrays the way that I ride—the way that I want to ride.
What's your seat height rule?
Put it wherever you want. I like about a fist of seat post, the Blue Falcon rule.
What parts do you go through the fastest?
Probably grips, pedals, and tires, I like them to feel fresh and new. My contact surfaces are pretty damned important. I don't really break stuff very often. I hope I didn't just jinx myself!
Your bike is really clean and simple. Are you concerned with weight? How much does this bike weigh?
Yes, I'm really concerned about my bike feeling and looking perfect. It weighs about 23 pounds, which is about right for me. Any lighter and it feels flimsy. I like the lines to be clean and uncluttered, and I actually keep my bike really clean and well maintained.
Any pet peeves when it comes to bikes?
Rattles—they distract me and freak me out. In the two seconds between landing and taking off on a vert ramp, I don't want to be stressing trying to work out what's making the noise and if it's gonna break and kill me!
Overall, how do you like your bike to feel?
Smooth, dialed, fast.
Does this bike have a name? If not, please give it one now.
A name? [Laughs] No! Wait, the skaters I ride with call it "White Lightning" because of the tires! [More laughter] White Lightning!