Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ben "Ginny" McGinnes Bike Check

I've known Ben or Ginny as he is more commonly known on the forums, for a little while now. I can remember seeing a few photos & hearing about this awesome rider who lived out on the East Coast of Australia & finally had the chance to meet him in Sydney at the BMX Games a couple of years ago.

If there is one thing I know about Ginny is that he loves flatland, he loves bikes & he loves to ride. Take a look at his bike check below & a few words from the man to get to know a little more about him...

Full name & years riding
Hey, my name is Ben McGinnes and I've been riding for around 6 or 7 years now but I've always been into BMX... just mainly little jumps and street urchin type stuff as a kid. Pretty much by myself, where I thought doing the odd wheelie was about as technical as you could get.

What got you introduced to flatland?
Ages ago I saw a dvd of Dave Mirra's 'tricks and tips' ... And right towards the end of if there were some clips from another dvd called 'Dorkin in York'... I couldn't believe what I was seeing, insane rolling front wheel tricks.. These rolling whip things, spinning back wheel tricks... All on flat ground! Who are these Kevin and Chase guys??? I had no idea any of this was possible!

....So after this 5 minute preview I went and bought some steel pegs for my old Mongoose and the rest is history. I'm not going to be some big name pro or anything, but flatland just gives me the best feeling whenever I'm working on something so intricate and finally nailing it, it just keeps me coming back. It's one of those thing that can just make your day.

What things do you look for in bikes/parts? What influences your decisions and how often do you go through parts? Any modifications?
Thankfully, over the years I've gained a bit more knowledge on bike parts.. I have broken that much stuff it is borderline ridiculous. Frames, forks, bars, seats, seatposts, stems, axles, 80 million spokes, pegs, sprockets, chains... It's endless. Some breakages were purely my error, some parts were just past their life span, and some were just well, shoddy quality.

On the bright side, you can learn from these things by looking for what actually went wrong, and look for a better design in the next part. My forks for example... I went through 2 pairs of KHE Tanaka forks... all of them cracking at the dropouts. I decided to get a beefier set at slightly more weight with the OG Vajda forks, they are solid as around the dropouts, and have alot of backup by the OG team. Good reviews and of course real world experience with parts helps alot in selecting what would be advantageous for your riding. Instead of choosing the lightest of everything and being bummed out because you can't ride for a week because your bars are snapped in half just because you wanted to save a few grams... You have to have faith in parts you run. You don't want to doubt the strength of parts when trying kickflips, whoppers, whatever.... There is nothing worse than thinking "I hope these hold up to this.."

Some parts just aren't suited for all riders. There's different styles, body weights, levels of experience - no two riders are the same, but on the other hand, It's also good to try out different things. Just getting a simple new part just gets me all the more stoked to go and try it out.

I love my setup at the moment, It's light enough to manoeuvre quickly, yet strong enough to handle what I can throw at it, plus it's a really good length - I can actually ride the bastard places!!! It's not the craziest Frenched up thing, but hey... The less attention I draw to myself in the carpark the better.. but later on I might change up some stuff if I get sick of looking at it..haha!!

Frame: St Martin Happy Place 19.1"TT
Forks: OG Vajda brakeless
Bars: KGB Sarvets 7.3" zero sweep
Bar ends: Knight Bikes Revolvers
Headset: FSA intergrated
Grips: Ares 88
Stem: Colony TLD
Pegs: Abadthing round ends
Front hub: 36h Geisha
Front rim: Sun Rhyno lite, double butted spokes
Tyres: Odyssey Frequency G wire bead
Crank: KHE Hindenburg 152mm, ti axle, KHE BB
Sprocket: Tree splined 18t
Chain: KHE hollow pin
Tensioners: Quamen Pops
Pedals: Ares
Seat: KHE watanabe
Seatpost: Thomson
Seatclamp: Intergrated with frame
Freecoaster: KHE Geisha 36h, 9t
Rear Rim: Sun Big City lite
Weight: 9.5kg (21lbs)

Modifications: Ti stub axles in both the hubs, alloy axle nuts, ti bolts and barrels for the cut Thomson post, ti bolt in the seat clamp, 3/4" high carbon spacer under the stem, ti bolts in the tensioners, chopped the brake mounts, Ti prepped and greased freecoaster and I'm soon to trim the dropouts. There's not really much else to do to it... It really is a nice reliable ride. I just have to keep the maintenance and tyres up to it! haha...

Any last words or thanks?
I'd like to thank you Shane Badman for giving me this interview, the peeps currently reading my babble...All the good friends I've met through riding flat and basically everyone out there busting their arse on a 'stupid kid's bike'.. for hours at a time... just for the hell of it.

Four pegs and a funeral bitches!!!!

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