Earlier today, Cult BMX previewed their new 12", 16" and 18" complete bikes, featuring lightweight aluminum frames, 25/9 gearing, sealed cassette hubs and more. BMX brands exploring smaller 16 and 18-inch bikes is nothing too groundbreaking, but Cult's new line pays special attention to the younger rider's ability to learn the fundamentals of BMX and eventually grow into a bigger BMX bike instead of reaching for a scooter. Recently, we caught up with Cult's Robbie Morales to discuss the motivation behind the juvenile line, the growing dad and son BMX market and Cult's upcoming "Talk Is Cheap" video.
ESPN.com: What was the inspiration behind the line, and what kind of demand have you witnessed for these size bikes?
Morales: Most of my homies are having babies. Between employees, team riders and family members, it's baby season. Also I felt the need to address these sizes with a actual performance-based stance. I always see little guys struggling with a 20-inch BMX bike and then hopping on a scooter. Hopefully with how light and responsive these bikes are, younger riders will be able to get in the air, carve around and have a good time.
As a father of a son who rides, I've been in the market for a 12" bike for sometime, and to be honest the market for these bikes is not great. All the bikes are designed horribly because of the small nature of the bikes. What was the process for designing these bikes? How did you guys change the geometry so the 20" bike transposed into such a small setup?
Lack of passion is why the market sucks, we embraced this category completely. From design, to testing, to backing young guns who actually shred, we took the same process as designing a high end 20-inch. We also listened to riders and parents on what these bikes needed to be. Phu from Epic was definitely very vocal. Neal Wood worked on the geometry to make sure the line had all the perks of modern day high-end frames. We went with 6061 aluminum to keep the weight down, tested them for awhile and now they are ready for the market.
What comes stock on these bikes?
These bikes are dialed 25-9 sealed drivetrain, 3 piece cro-mo cranks, we even made mini Chase Dehart signature grips.
Do you have an estimated time of arrival and when do you think they will be available in shops?
The first week of April.
It seems to me BMX is growing and a lot of riders who have been riding since they were kids are still at it into their 30s and 40s. Skateboarding has a huge older dude crowd and "lifers," would you agree this is happening now in BMX? Do you think it is becoming a family sport or at least a sport that is crossing multiple age groups and generations?
This is the first time we have a large number of parents who rode when they were growing up and are now raising children. For me and many others, BMX kept us out of trouble and taught us tons of life lessons. I definitely don't want it to get like little league baseball but if a parent can shred the park or trails with their son or daughter and show them how fun BMX is, Cult is backing that 100%.
What else is new with Cult? What's the deadline for "Talk Is Cheap?"
It's looking like some time around June for the video. We are almost done with a trailer. We also released two web edits, one with 8 yr. old Max Vu and the other with 10 yr. old Bryce Tryon. It was awesome filming and riding with these guys. Watching their love for riding can keep us all young.