Sometimes I wonder to myself about the paradox of manufacturing brakes in a seemingly brakeless BMX world. Is it wise for component brands to be investing time, energy and capital into the constant refinement of braking technology? Are all those brakes, cables and levers being sold to shops? And if so, are they going to good homes or sitting on shop shelves and collecting dust?
Once upon a time, everyone rode front and rear brakes. That started to change in the early '90s, leading up to the current state of BMX, where it seems like brakes don't have much of a place. Myself, I use brakes. Many others don't, and that's fine, but component companies continue to crank out new brakes, including the latest from Odyssey, the Evo2 and Monolever in mint. So clearly, someone out there is still buying brakes, and I asked Nuno Oliveira at Odyssey some of his thoughts on this BMX paradox.
ESPN.com: With the amount of people not riding brakes in this day and age, why do you think it's important for a component brand to offer brake setups?
Nuno: Well, the simple answer is that brakes still sell. Going brakeless is definitely not a fad, and I would be lying if that didn't even out brake sales, but there is still a large group of people out there sporting the stoppers. We still sell a significant amount that it warrants doing limited colors every quarter.
What team riders on Odyssey still use brakes?
Out of our crew: Aaron Ross, Gary Young, Matt Beringer, Adam Banton, Jim Cielencki, Taj Mihelich, and KC Badger. Mike Aitken is on and off (but mostly on).
What changes has the Evo2 brake seen over the years?
They've been slimmed down dramatically from the originals, lightened up and now come with our new Slim X 4 pads. Little changes like the nicer cable hanger have also been included.
Aside from the new minty colorway, what separates the Evo2 and Monolever from other brake setups currently on the market?
Without a doubt, I think the main thing that separates our braking components from some of the others is that we embrace minimal pricing by design. The Evo2 brakes and Monolevers have always been designed to minimize the need for secondary machining, which ultimately means a reasonable price for the rider.
The latest limited color way in Odyssey's brake setup is mint, as featured on the Aaron Ross Sunday/Etnies/Odyssey Triple Shot collaboration. Give Odyssey a brake and support better stopping everywhere.