First Ever Two-Speed Olympic BMX Bike Uses Modified Zee Drivetrain

Jul 23, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  

For the first time in Olympic history, one of the BMX bikes will have more than one gear.

Dutch BMX racer Twan van Gendt revealed on social media that he plans to run a two-speed drivetrain with a modified Zee derailleur and what looks like a Zee shifter on his Meybo HSX carbon frame at the upcoming Olympic Games. He hopes that it will give him an edge on the opening straight, allowing him to take the holeshot. 80 percent of BMX races, van Gendt said, are decided before the first corner, meaning that every pedal stroke out of the start gate matters.

This is not a story of something that was banned becoming legal, as was the case with the mullet bike explosion in downhill racing. Rather, running multiple gears has been permitted by the UCI all along, but no one did it, at least not at the Olympics. There have been several attempts over the years to develop BMX bikes with multiple gears, but none of the attempts have gone far enough to disrupt the status quo, and some riders have criticized van Gendt's decision to step outside the norm. Culturally, BMX bikes are thought of as inherently single speed, even if the UCI rulebook doesn't say so.


Looking at the track, it makes sense that van Gendt would want a second gear. Lap times will be 20-25% longer this year than on typical Olympic courses, so all the pedaling sections and especially the opening straight will be longer than usual. van Gendt believes that the optimal gear for the start is different from the optimal gear for the rest of the race, and has tested his new setup extensively at the BMX track where he trains in the Netherlands. To help van Gendt give the Olympics his all, Red Bull worked with van Gendt to build a start ramp and opening straight that replicates the Tokyo track, designed carefully to match key measurements of the track he'll race next week.


All the Olympic riders are at the top of their game, and any marginal gain in speed is a good thing, especially at the start of the race. While critics say that a geared drivetrain is too likely to fail under the torque of an Olympic BMX race start, the widespread use of Shimano drivetrains in downhill racing should at least somewhat put those fears to rest, though it may not do much to soothe the fear of change. If van Gendt were to win next week — which he very well might, as the reigning BMX Supercross World Champion — it would certainly stir up the conversation and could change the way BMX race bikes look forever.




214 Comments

  • 242 0
 A friend did this on his 24" cruiser in the 90's. He used a brake lever as the shifter though. Hold the lever down at the start, then release it once you are out of the gate and it shifted into the higher gear. Pretty slick.
  • 13 0
 Clever!
  • 18 0
 Brilliant actually.
  • 15 3
 Did he win the worlds?
  • 8 0
 @DarkDiggler: No, he was mostly dabbling in BMX and once he learned he could have gears, put the set up on his bike. It was a short cage road derailleur, and a brake lever pulled from the parts bin at the shop he worked at, which he cut down and made into a little thing that you could just hook one finger onto.
  • 51 0
 suntour had one of these systems (brake lever actuated) way back when: www.disraeligears.co.uk/site/00_main_images/suntour_flash_news_-_jan_79_page_2_main_image.jpg
  • 1 1
 Brilliant idea
  • 5 0
 @xy9ine: super cool! Thanks for sharing.
  • 5 0
 At this point, what is the saddle even for???
  • 3 0
 @Waldon83: It's nice to have some place to sit so you can roll back to your pit instead of walking after your heat when you're totally blown.
  • 5 2
 @DarkDiggler: Did he have to in order for it to be relevant? dick digger?
  • 4 1
 Reminds me of the NZ made Healing HI-Max.

bmxmuseum.com/bikes/healing_industries/72158
  • 2 0
 @xy9ine: The original hole shot device ! Remember wanting that so bad, one of my buddies put one on his PK Ripper. It worked but not as well as we had thought.
  • 6 0
 BMXTR gruppo
  • 1 0
 @streetkvnt-kvlt: That's a trip down memory lane....
  • 1 0
 @twothirtyseven: definitely. Friend had one but it didn't work too well under load. Not a bad idea though.
  • 1 0
 @streetkvnt-kvlt: damn bro, I remember when they came out. Wish I'd kept my mark 1 HMX 500.
  • 1 4
 @Waldon83: rules. bikes have to have saddles. they also have to have 2 trangles that make up the frame, and thats why this bike frame looks so goofy. lol. BMX bikes would look way different if you didn't have that requirement.
  • 3 4
 @sirknumskullgt: not really …. Sirknumbkunt
  • 2 1
 @conoat: two triangles? So I can't use my old monocoque to go back to racing?
  • 3 0
 @Waldon83: may help to brace your leg against on turns / jumps? Riding with no saddle feels weird...
  • 3 0
 @conoat: So this is why nobody races a Quadangle!
  • 3 0
 @conoat: www.uci.org/docs/default-source/rules-and-regulations/part-vi--bmx.pdf

Nowhere in this does it mention that a frame must be made of 2 triangles. Shockingly, there are very very very few rules governing bikes. Wheel size, requirements for a saddle, max bar width, max stem extension, and max bar height are some. They also limit how much axle can protrude past the end caps, and require a rear brake. But otherwise to me it looks like frames can be any weight, shape, size, geometry, or material.
  • 1 0
 @Waldon83: Leaning against the inside of the leg when turning.

And for sitting on when not racing.
  • 1 0
 @xy9ine: cool cheers for posting that
  • 65 4
 Probably going to derail the whole competition discussion
  • 17 1
 I hope we can chain together a good pun thread here.
  • 16 1
 I hope so too, but then again I'm just a cog in the machine
  • 15 5
 @swenzowski: By the time he gets to the end of the start straight he will be absolutely shifting.
  • 9 1
 @Linkpin: as long as he links into the next turn he'll be good
  • 10 1
 The competition just downshifted their medal hopes.
  • 15 1
 I Zee your point.
  • 23 12
 This is not the only Tranny at the Olympics!
  • 5 1
 This is a shift in a new direction for BMX.
  • 40 2
 had no idea race bmx bikes looked like this and my brain just exploded
  • 10 1
 Right? Looking at it makes me wonder if the seat is even necessary.
  • 12 0
 @crazyXCsquirrel: It is from a rules perspective, as I understand it.
  • 3 0
 @sngltrkmnd: I was about to ask that. No way they run a seat if there wasn't a rule requiring it I'm assuming.
  • 11 0
 They've been slowly morphing to mod trials bikes in the last decade. The saddle is vestigial at this point.
  • 8 0
 @crazyXCsquirrel: I especially like that the seat post height is adjustable.
  • 3 0
 I was about to post the same thing. I raced a little back in the 90’s and haven’t really followed bmx racing much since then. I figured the bikes still looked kind of like what you see in freestyle BMX.
  • 8 0
 @SJP: that’s because a lot of racers will swap out their race post for a longer one for training/warming up/riding around the pits
  • 3 0
 was it the mid-80's when the Uni seat came out? Is the name right?

Was a single piece, with a fiberglass rectangle fused to the top of a fiberglass post. Thing weighed like 3 ounces and was completely useless for anything except passing the ABA rules.
  • 2 0
 @lutetium: I remember when my dad drilled a bunch of holes in my Uni to make it even lighter.
  • 1 0
 @crazyXCsquirrel: a seat is required in the rules. Otherwise, no.
  • 4 0
 @lutetium: My neighbor ripped his SCROTUM open on a Uni, holy shit was it gnarly ! I had to carry him to a friend's house to call his mom. His brother and I were relentless teasing him !!!
  • 1 1
 @Joebohobo: and for cool downs as well. I have seen them swap them with in a few seconds of crossing the line sometimes.
  • 2 0
 @ATV25: but that bike was light as a MF feather, yo
  • 3 0
 @crazyXCsquirrel: the seat is important. Everyone is running their pedals mega tight (yesterday Johannes Fischbach proved that unclipping = death).

Trying to clip in on the gate while stood up can be unstable. Plus it's nice to have something to sit on while waiting for the race to start...
  • 5 0
 Looks like a Corgi
  • 20 0
 ... I guess it IS the first two-speed Olympic bike. My bad.
  • 3 0
 I'm still glad you mentioned the Browning 2sp, THAT was a fascinating history hole to go down
  • 3 0
 @kilpatrick: I just aged myself!
  • 18 0
 MTBers and Roadies have been saying the UCI rule book is holding back development. The BMXers are saying the UCI should make rules to prevent development.
  • 2 1
 Well said. I def think we should get to see a single-speed Downhill, and multi-speed BMX category.
  • 34 19
 Not the first... - Brain Lopes used one in the 90s - There was also a thing called the Browning 2spd in the 80s - Barry Nobles rode a 2spd when he rode for SE as well. But, I do like the concept.
  • 10 1
 I thought bmx was added in like the 2000s
  • 23 0
 I think they meant in the Olympics
  • 6 0
 @nfontanella: it was added in 2008
  • 7 0
 www.thespoken.cc/mongoose-triple-threat The Lopes bike was welded by FTW no less!
  • 13 1
 It literally says "first time in Olympic history" not first time ever.
  • 4 0
 Barry Nobles nearly dug a tunnel into a first straight double while testing it..that’s probably the main reason why the project came to an end..
  • 1 0
 First time “in the olympics” though.
  • 11 5
 Reading comprehension is hard.
  • 1 0
 @skierdud89: agreed! I see what I am trained to see, not what is actually shown sometimes.
  • 2 0
 @vic690: Yeah when you spin it out the carnage will be real.
  • 1 0
 Brian used a 3 speed, way ahead of his time!
  • 2 0
 Mike King was one of the first to run a Browning system in the mid 80's when he was the reigning National #1 amateur. I remember watching him absolutely destroy himself on the first straight at Kearney Moto Park when it derailed on night. I don't think he ever ran it at a National though.
  • 1 0
 @salespunk:
Funny, he is now running BMX operations at the Rock Hill, SC cycling complex. Great guy.
  • 1 0
 @NCKingsting: agreed, passionate about the sport. Was stoked when he was offered that role.
  • 3 1
 @seangoesoutside: What a piece of crap! The gears aren't a bad idea, but Cook Bros cranks in 1997? Noodles. And suspension forks? Answer's ProForx were welded up by every pro out there who simply wanted a 100$ bonus for first place while running them.
  • 1 1
 @NCKingsting: Age will do that to a guy though.
  • 18 1
 yeah, but can it fit a water bottle?
  • 16 3
 Hes gonna win chainless when he snaps the chain out of the start gate.
  • 12 0
 WHAT!!*#??? No oversize ceramic bearing pulleys?
I'm disappointed.
Don't they take the Olympics seriously
  • 11 1
 He should hook up with Ruben Alcantara. There *must* be a market for a multispeed 20" bike with full suspension. /s
  • 13 2
 so like.....kids full suspension bikes? what a concept
  • 5 0
 I think the next step after a geared 20” BMX with suspension would be to try a geared 24” BMX with suspension and then try 26”.
  • 7 1
 1) Sun Tour had the Hole Shot similar to this, Browning had the 2 speed system where the front chain ring acted as a swinging gate to drop the chain on to the next ring. (BTW I have one on my 1980 Schwinn King Sting. bmxmuseum.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=807672

2) The problem with shifting in BMX is that you typically never have a good opportunity to pause in order for the shift to be clean. The starting hills at an International level are very steep (26.3’) and the first jumps are typically very close to the start, not less than 15’ per UCI guidelines. As a result the top Olympians are accelerating in the first 50 feet at a clip that is faster than a super car and then transitioning into a 8’ - 12’ step up jumps. www.cbc.esp.br/arquivos/UCIBMXTrackGuide-Rev.12-12-2014_Neutral.pdf

3) Ultimately, prior Olympic tracks like Beijing and London just didn’t give you the chance to back off full throttle. Shifting in the first straight would cost you half a bike length or more which would allow your competition to slam the door on you going into the first turn. With a total track length of 900’ to 1,200’ per UCI guidelines this cycling discipline is all about the sprint - power wins races. Can’t find the link but there is a video of Team USA rider Nick Long training where he launches from a flat gate, pulls a few cranks, and bunny hops a picnic table training for the Olympics. These guys are on a whole different acceleration curve from a MTB.

4) Looking at the attached video, there were only 6-8 pedal rotations in the two sections shown going into the first turn. Given track length restrictions I’m just not sure this theory pencils out. That having been said, Twann is one hell of a good rider and he obviously thinks he is on to something. Should be interesting to watch.
  • 4 0
 I was also wondering when he would shift. Maybe while in mid air? Throw an ET in and get to a harder gear.
  • 1 1
 When would be a good opportunity to shift? That's the first question that popped into my head too. You couldn't ever let off the gas while pedaling so surely the only option is to shift while airborne. However if you did shift in the air, you'd want to pedal while still airborne to fully engage the chain on the 2nd cog before you land, which we did NOT see him do in the video.

So I wonder if his shift point is later in the track? or perhaps in the corner
  • 4 0
 @superman-4: can’t speak for other pros, but I’m 99% sure that when Barry Nobles ran the 2 speed setup he shifted in the air.
  • 2 3
 Shifting under power wouldn’t be an issue if we had all moved to gearboxes by now. XD
  • 2 1
 I was thinking he would shift probably after six pedal turns
  • 5 0
 @Afterschoolsports: mtb gearboxes that I know of can't be shifted under power. They can shift with no pedalling and multiple gear at once though.

IMHO Shimano HG+ system is still the best in terms of shifting under power.
  • 1 0
 Nic Long: over 2700w on a wattbike on youtube.
  • 1 0
 @superman-4: Watch the London 2012 mens' final to see pedalling in the air. It's impressive.
  • 10 1
 Now sram is gonna do a 2 speed, 10-52 cassette... Hopefully they have it in gold
  • 10 1
 Ah, yah! BMX, the root of everything awesome in bikes!!!
  • 1 1
 Well said !!!
  • 4 0
 "While critics say that a geared drivetrain is too likely to fail under the torque of an Olympic BMX race start, the widespread use of Shimano drivetrains in downhill racing should at least somewhat put those fears to rest" - I doubt a start in DH racing is anywhere close to a start in BMX. If I remember correctly, the top guys go close to 3000 Watts out of the gate.
  • 1 0
 Name checks out, and yes! Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the DH pro's put out big power numbers coming out of the gate, but 1500 Watts is a really big for 5 second power, BMX and Track pros are another level. In my mind it shows how much better mtb chains have gotten in the past 10 years.
  • 2 0
 But, 4x maybe, not quite the same give the start ramp but there is some crossover riders popping big power for sure
  • 3 1
 I thought Chris Hoy had the highest wattage numbers I've seen at about 2600. He is an absolute bull of a man. I doubt BMXers are doing much over 2000, if that. Still more than MTB racers in the start gate though, and to be fair we have seen a lot of snapped chains in the past few seasons with the 12 speed chains. I wonder what gauge of chain this system uses.
  • 6 1
 @jaame: bmx pro's consistently hit high 2000's. Even top amateurs do mid 2000's. Power is about accelerating and no cycling discipline spins like bmx. We easily hit 180-200 rpm's.
  • 1 0
 @thejames: That's amazing, never knew!
  • 3 1
 @thejames: I have researched it but can't seem to find any actual numbers for top BMX pros. Have you got any links you can share?
  • 1 0
 @jaame: I’ve got to imagine at the most this is based on a 9 spd chain, I’m guessing. Love to see a tech article that breaks down the parts and pieces used to get this created…
  • 12 0
 To the poo poo heads downvoting me for questioning the wattage produced by top BMX riders, without providing any evidence of these 3000 watt efforts (which seem to be completely absent from web search results) all you're doing is making me think I am right.
I am perfectly willing to believe it's possible, but I would like to read something for myself on the internet, not just the word of an anonymous BMX fan. It's not difficult to type a wild number. Look:
Chris Hoy did 4300 watts in training all the time.
Try finding that on the internet - you can't because I just made it up. Like you did with the all top BMXers make 3000 watts easy comment.

If anyone reading this actually has any evidence that BMXers make 3000 watts I would love to read it. I know they are super powerful guys, and it makes sense that their wattage could be higher than an animal like Chris Hoy because the cadence is a lot higher. I believe power is revs X torque / 5252 so it absolutely makes sense that it could be done.... But saying it doesn't make it true.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: forum.slowtwitch.com/forum/Slowtwitch_Forums_C1/Triathlon_Forum_F1/Olympic_BMX_Race--How_Much_Power_P1948764

I not sure of exact numbers, as this link was back in 08. I was a laboratory for a quick minute.

I would imagine wattage numbers are higher now. Honestly, I remember being in the 2k range but ‍♂️. The internet is a great place for fish stories !
  • 1 0
 @jaame: I cannot poinpoint down where I saw the numbers, it was before the Bejing Olympics. The peak power is different to track riders, it is only for very few pedal strokes, they get up their cadence really quick thanks to the start ramp, so it is somewhat "easier" to hit high Watts. Track riders need the highest power at the end of the race over a longer period than a BMX start. But it doesn't really matter whether it is 2300 or 3000 watts, no way you get the same numbers in DH.
  • 1 0
 @cru-jones: The numbers are obtained from wingate (wind-gate?) tests. The numbers from the big hill actually register less wattage due to the hill and less power needed to get up to max spin.
  • 1 0
 Nic Long 2657w on a watt bike
  • 1 0
 @jaame: Is that Chris Hoy who rode BMX?
  • 2 1
 @jaame: I'd also point out that the watts you see on a wattbike might be relevant for a track cyclist, but BMX riders use their upper body as well, something a wattbike doesn't take into account. So whatever you see a BMX rider putting out on a wattbike is considerably less than you'd see as they accelerate out of the gate.
  • 2 0
 @DarrellW: I’m not sure about that. The upper body is doing work, yes. The work that turns the cranks and then the back wheel is affected by the work done by the upper body, but all ultimately goes through the legs and into the cranks.
Anyway, it is very impressive.
  • 7 2
 I always thought that was agains the rules or something. Why doesent everyone do this
  • 21 2
 Because people don't often think outside of the box. This may cause a major SHIFT.
  • 6 0
 Probably because of this: "While critics say that a geared drivetrain is too likely to fail under the torque of an Olympic BMX race start". I assume it has failed many times in the past.
  • 2 3
 I remember seeing Brian Lopes on geared BMX bikes in photos from like 20+ years ago. It's been done before.
  • 5 1
 @nickfranko: When gears were first introduced on the road everyone was against as it was breaking the "purity" of the sport event though it was quickly proven to work so good that a woman with geared biked beat a man on a single speed in a race! We, mountain bikers, are really open to innovations, rest of the bike world.... not so much!
  • 5 0
 @ZanielGa: I seriously doubt this dude is testing it for the first time at the Olympics.
  • 2 0
 @MillerTFB: I doubt that as well, but the question was why everyone doesn't run a geared bike. And as others have said it has been done before but still people are running singlespeeds. So I assume it has failed in the past and people have stuck to a single gear because of that.

Material has improved over the years so it could very well work in the current age and more riders would shift to a geared bike.
  • 11 1
 @winko: >> We, mountain bikers, are really open to innovations, rest of the bike world.... not so much!

Unless they're different wheel sizes, shock sizes, pedal-assist motors, tire inserts, fork offsets, steerer diameters. MTBers are pretty conservative but most aren't racing and looking for incremental performance advantages.
  • 3 0
 @winko: open to innovation people bitching about boost/dub/29’ etc
  • 1 0
 @nickmalysh: boost and dub are too incremental to be called innovation. 29er wheels are different story though.
  • 1 0
 @rifu: 2 gears quite incremental after 1 gear as well; people in general do not like innovation and changes
  • 2 0
 @nickmalysh: adding one gear to eight existing gear is small and incremental. Adding one to one is big change.

Personally, I like innovation. I've gone through phases where discbrakes are available but not that common, and still took the plunge when the chance arises. Cost around one month of my living cost at that time.

What I (and I guess most people) don't like is incremental changes dubbed as innovation when it is actually a planned obsolency to sell more stuff.
  • 1 0
 @ZanielGa: The technology wasn't good enough to justify the weight or failures. If you miss one pedal stroke in BMX, you've lost the race.
  • 3 0
 I remember Brian Lopes had a GT bmx with a 3 speed drivetrain at the Toronto Bike show back in the day. 2004-2005. He always won. I think he got payed to come by the organizer.
  • 1 0
 I noticed that too but memories are a bit fuzzy, it had disc brakes too.
  • 1 0
 Yes , disk brakes! @rodhp:
  • 6 1
 The zip ties are the most offensive part.
  • 6 0
 i'm surprised he's running the whole shifter...but the zip tie is bmx
  • 2 0
 Haha, integrated seatpost binder but no cable mounts!
  • 1 0
 Those frames wouldn't need it generally as they don't have a derailler. I can't blame Meybo for not redoing their molds for one guy.
  • 1 0
 @DarrellW: you're right, and I'm only now noticing the internal brake routing.
  • 1 0
 I remember multi-speed BMX bikes in 20 and 24 inch wheels being produced (2 to 4 speed affairs) being produced in the late 1970s. The idea never took off and was abandoned when mountain bikes became a bigger thing than BMX bikes. Its like the full suspension moto-bikes craze... with the fake bodywork. Things that were essentially relegated to fad status.
  • 2 0
 I haven't raced BMX in like 10 years and even back then I thought pro bikes were dead sexy but bikes these days are on another level.
  • 5 4
 " a geared drivetrain is too likely to fail under the torque of an Olympic BMX race start"... If MVDP ain't seen any failures under his uber-watts, it might be safe to say a geared drivetrain would be OK for a BMX start...
  • 21 0
 His peak watts are nothing compared to a BMX pro. They’re more like a track sprinter. Jamie Staff switched from BMX to track.
  • 11 1
 @B-Roadie: Right on! A lot of people assume the fastest roadies have the most power, but they just have the most power after riding around for 6 hours. Track sprinters and BMX racers are on that Dangerholm quad game!
  • 4 1
 yeah MVDP is not putting out the watts any of the BMX guys are....
  • 2 0
 My son races BMX on a team that is run by a top AA pro. I’ve seen him hit 1800 watts from a dead stop. Pretty amazing the power those guys can generate and maintain at 150 rpm.
  • 1 0
 @B-Roadie: As did Shanaze Reade.
  • 4 0
 that cable routing should be against UCI rules.
  • 5 0
 Shimano still makes a front shifter that would still work for a 2 speed rear
  • 1 0
 @taprider: the pull would probably be incorrect
  • 2 0
 @Inertiatic: pull wouldn't matter, use the limit screws on the rear, and with only two positions to the front shifter there would be no confusion with all the in between clicks of a rear shifter
  • 1 0
 Does anybody remember the holeshot 2 speed system from the early '80's? This new setup seems rad but is it legal, is there a loop hole if so and will it be protested if it wins. We'll wait and see I guess.
  • 5 0
 Looks like a session.
  • 2 0
 In the early 80's I got a Huffy Pro Thunder Z2 for Xmas.....I didn't go to the Olympics, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express.Smile
  • 3 1
 yea its been done before I remember some racer that would come to joyride 150 in 2011 that had a two speed set up on his bmx
  • 5 1
 Joyride is not the Olympics.
  • 1 1
 Just curious. Why don't they use front breaks. Seems like you could slow faster for the corners. Not afraid to show my ignorance, just wanna know. I've never seen a modern bmx, kinda sexy.
  • 3 0
 They don't brake for corners (unless scrubbing a bit of speed because someone else is in the way). They're only really used to stop after the race.
  • 1 0
 Not 100% sure, but I don't think they brake for the corners...it's just to stop at the end of the race
  • 5 1
 The brakes and seat exist because rules.
  • 1 0
 brakes are used to stop after the race and/or if you try a move and it doesn't come off (rarely for top-end guys, but it definitely happens to me), or to avoid a crash in front of you.
  • 1 0
 "Turbo" Harry Leary; "Front brake secrets" was a book back in the day.
  • 1 0
 In 1980 I wanted a PK Ripper so bad but it never happened..... that bike still looks way better than this Homer Simpson clown bike.
  • 1 0
 Brian Lopes brought 3 speed shifters to BMX in the ‘90s. Same time as clip pedals. Didn’t stick for the reliability of the drive chains back then.
  • 1 0
 Anyone else notice that the bike in the video doesn't have this setup? Only one cable (right side -> brake) on that bike.
  • 2 0
 Why in the world wouldn’t you use the Ipec system
  • 1 0
 I think so he could run the shifter upside down on the opposite side, I don't think he'll ever downshift during the race so it keeps that lever up and out of the way.
  • 2 0
 I had one back in the days White Industries Two-Speed Freewheel .
  • 2 0
 Essentially asking the question: what is bmx?
  • 1 1
 "80 percent of BMX races, van Gendt said, are decided before the first corner"

That'll certainly make the highlights packages easy to cut
  • 2 1
 Modern BMX race bikes are pretty wild... Those bars have like no backsweep...
  • 1 0
 @Glenngineer: 787 grams...
  • 1 0
 The real question is why a Zee derailleur and not a Saint .... or even a modified xtr?
  • 2 0
 Would this be to upshift after the first turn or downshift?
  • 1 0
 Or will he use it only once (one downshift or upshift only per heat) or multiple times in one run?

Considering that he placed the shifter upside down on the opposite side of the handlebar, it seems unlikely that he will shift into lower/easier gear. He will need to move his thumb from a natural under the bar position. Still curious though.
  • 2 0
 @rifu: He'll never shift down. It's just for snapping out of the gate. If he can shift under power, it'll be in the first 15 strokes easily, probably the first 10.
  • 1 0
 @DarrellW: so he'll use easier gear for quicker snap out of the gate, and shift to heavier gear to achieve higher top speed before the first jump?
  • 1 0
 just watched the quarter finals still cant figure out how van Gendt shift
  • 2 0
 Ohhhhh the Olympic BMX is going to be the one event to watch!!
  • 3 0
 BMX SX is Nucking Futs
  • 2 1
 I’m all for progress, but it’s going to make truckdriver 360s impossible through the woops.
  • 1 0
 Hahah. Wow. Just watched him in the semifinal and he was last on first stretch. Probably distracted him...
  • 1 0
 The results speak for themselves. Putting gears on a BMX is the devil's work.
  • 2 1
 Disk brakes too? Didn't know that was a thing in BMX. Pretty cool
  • 1 0
 I didn't realise that either! Very cool!
  • 1 0
 Meybo have been doing it for 2yrs I guess
  • 1 1
 Is that considered an unfair advantage? Is he going to be the Lewis Hamilton of BMX. Wink
  • 2 0
 That bike is beautiful.
  • 1 0
 This shift in expectations really grinds my gears.
  • 1 0
 What a cool looking ride ;D
  • 1 0
 How much power/torque are we talking about?
  • 2 0
 A 2013 French study www.jsc-journal.com/index.php/JSC/article/download/24/80 showed max torque at just over 250 Nm and a Us study in 2009 showed Us Olympic riders producing a max of 2,240 watts. I believe training advances in the last decade would yield even stronger results.
  • 1 0
 If I recall way back.. Huffy was the first to do this on a bmx race bike.
  • 1 0
 Interesting they put the shifter backwards
  • 1 0
 No worlds first at all. Brian lopes tried it and also roger rinderknecht
  • 1 0
 How long until there is an etap dropper post … Smile
  • 1 0
 Pick singlespeed or geared and be a dick about it.
  • 1 0
 Im looking at the results today and it seems it was no bueno
  • 2 3
 Cross country riders would put down more torque than downhill racers, wouldn't they?
  • 7 0
 Actually no.
  • 4 0
 @nozes: guarantee bmx pros are the torque champions in cycling.
  • 1 0
 We had them in the 80's.
  • 3 3
 Might as well use an e-bike
  • 1 0
 Cool.
  • 1 0
 Longer, lower, steeper.
  • 1 3
 Is it just me but I always thought 20" looked weir with a 180lbs rider on it. They need 26" BMX Wink
  • 4 0
 That's cruiser class
  • 1 0
 @skierdud89: aren’t cruisers 24”?
  • 1 0
 @sino428: I think cruiser is anything over 20''. Since bmx racing is all about the initial acceleration, bigger wheels are not as popular. There are guys that are competitive at their local tracks with 26'' dj bikes. Many will race with the suspension fork.
  • 2 0
 @sino428: anything 22-1/2" or larger.
  • 1 0
 The cruiser class was originally 26" in the late 60's early 70's because they were using... cruisers. Early bmx tracks were downhill and rough so cruisers were actually faster. 24" bmx cruisers became more popular as tracks got flatter in the 80's. Purpose built 26" bmx bikes have still been available ever since, just not very popular. I actually raced a 26" cruiser with 9spd drivetrain the last time the Sea Otter had bmx racing in 2008, it worked well cause the track was slightly downhill.
  • 2 0
 @sino428:
The first BMX cruisers back in 1979 or so were 26” wheels. After a few years the advantages of smaller radius 24” wheels for acceleration were recognized and they became the norm after 1981. Either wheel size is currently legal in USA BMX rules but in National and International competition only the 24” wheel is used today.
  • 1 0
 @Doogster: Because their bodies can't take the pain of impact. Cruisers are generally run by older guys are their more forgiving, and they like a bit of squish. It's not because they're faster.
  • 1 3
 I didn't even know that BMX was an olympic sport.
  • 4 0
 Since the 2008 games I think.
  • 7 0
 Post the address of the rock you've been living under. There's a whole load of other things you need to know.
  • 3 1
 @Molesdigmyjumps: why? Not everyone pays attention to the Olympics, regardless of the inclusion of pedalled machines or not…
  • 2 0
 Racing has been since 2008. Freestyle is this year for the first time. Should be good.
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