While in Chula Vista, Calif. earlier this year for the Supercross race, it was obvious that there was something odd about Barry Nobles' bike. He's been on SE Racing for almost a year now and is rocking a PK Ripper, but beyond the ovalized tubes, there was something else noticeable-- a multi-speed hub and derailleur.
Multi-speed hubs were made "popular" in BMX in the late '90s with the likes of Wade Bootes riding them, and Profile introducing a three-speed BMX hub. This one is similar and different at the same time. Barry had the guys at Profile make him a hub that was a bit different so that he could fit two drivers onto his hub and have it work with a derailleur.
On a Supercross track, riders are usually spinning their 44/16 after the first or second jump. To counteract that, Barry takes a pedal in the air over the first or second jump, and switches up from 44/16 to 44/15. Once locked into the 44/15, every pedal stroke is worth a little bit more. Chula Vista was the first race run with the gears and it seemed to perform pretty well, giving Nobles a slot in the main event, where he finished fourth, following a major ball up in the first turn. And because we were interested in the new technique, we checked out the rest of Barry's bike. Enter the ripper.