Fixed rear ends - here to stay? The Dutch Olympians think so!

Author: Bruce Morris - LUXBMX Race Guru  


 

One of the benefits of age, if not necessarily wisdom, is seeing a bunch of trends come and go across all aspects of life. This includes BMX where I’ve seen some wacky ideas in my time that have lasted less than 5 minutes, and some which have become staple in the racing world.

 

Though in the past 5 years or so, there’s a couple of trends in BMX race frames that we here at LUXBMX think are going to last. One trend that has a genuine rider performance advantage, and one that pushes design and ideologies in an area that’s not seen a change this radical since the single sided Kastan forks of the late 80s. 

 

 

One of the trends we are seeing is the lengthening of top tubes with some frame brands pushing towards 23 inches in their “standard” ranges. This is being seen across a number of brands. Another trend is being driven by one manufacturer, and normally that would send up the BS antenna, except it’s from world respected, and rider respected Dutch brand Meybo.

 

This major change in (BMX) frame design came in the form of their HSX frame which saw Meybo drop a new design that featured a fixed axle rear end. When the 2020 Olympic frames were offered to us, we snapped up several of them, and promptly sold out of all of them, bar one which we kept as a shop build. The quality of these frames really impressed us, and the customers that bought them, who are still out there shredding on them today. 

 

A major advantage of this design is the fact that you can change chainrings and rear cogs quickly and without having to be concerned about chain length and trying to get the rear axle located back in the same spot as you were running before. Thus removing a lot of anxiety when changing your gearing set up. That, and the fact that there’s no need for a chain change either if you’ve set your bike up correctly in the first place. That’s been our experience so far off the HSX builds that we’ve finished. 

 

 

The second advantage of the fixed rear axle is the disc brake caliper (mount) can be solidly mounted to the frame and doesn’t need to be designed to move with the rear axle, thus eliminating components required to facilitate this. With the bikes we build now with a disc brake set up, the disc brake mount/adapter needs to be able to slide to accommodate changes in axle location when a change of gearing happens, or when fitting a new chain. You will see on the Meybo frame that it runs a chain tensioning device which keeps everything in check as far as chain tension goes, plus its derailleur ready for those early adopters going for a 2 speed set up. This is one thing that we feel won’t take as we’ve seen this before over the years, but who knows, if Twan wins a gold medal, people might change their minds.

 

 

A third advantage is that rear wheel changes can happen really quickly. Now, we aren’t exactly competing in the Tour de France here and need 2 minute wheel changes, but with all the disc brake set ups we’ve seen presented to us from manufacturers, there is a certain amount of fiddling around when changing a wheel. Be it for a flat tyre or a gearing change, it’s still a little fiddly with the adapters and extra components compared to a regular V-brake bike.With a fixed rear axle frame, this is 100% eliminated. You could literally change a rear wheel in 2 minutes with this fixed axle design. Again, reducing the anxiety level on race day. 

 

The announcement that Meybo is manufacturing their HSX frames in carbon got us all pretty excited here at the shop! We feel that this is a solid indication that this movement to a fixed rear axle length is becoming more legitimised. Something that 8 Olympians will attest to. We can’t see these Dutch riders choosing these frames just because their sponsor told them to, if they had any doubts around the inability to “change” the rear length of their frames because it would affect performance, then they would stick to the established dropout design seen on almost all BMX race bikes. 

 

The other factor is well, just look at this thing! It is so slick and LUX is committing to all of the sizes in the range from Expert, to the big dawg Pro Cruiser. As well as all the Pro sizes in between. Pre-orders are open now on our store, so jump in quick as the demand for these carbon Meybos will out strip the supply for 2022 stock. 

 

Click here to pre-order your 2022 Meybo HSX Carbon