Strider Releases “Convertible” Model

October 17, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Strider Model 14x Convertible
If you have had your ears-on in the BMX Racing world at all for the past seven years or so, you know that Strider-brand bikes have revolutionized the way the five-and-under set gets on two wheels.

Ask any track operator, and they’ll tell you that the Strider program at their track is a blessing beyond description, as younger brothers and sisters of BMXers get to ride, just like their big bro or big sis. And those young Strider-riders eventually show up in the gate, as 5-under racers, confident, and ready for berm warfare.

Over time, and away from the BMX track, Strider founder, Ryan McFarland, and his team in Rapid City, South Dakota have continued to innovate the product line, and found a central place in the lives of special needs kids and their parents, many of whom have been told by doctors and therapists for years “s/he’ll never ride a bike.” But now, thanks to the work of Ryan and his crew, they can, and do.

This week, the Strider product line makes another stride of innovation, as they announce their “14x Sport.” It’s a “convertible” model, which bridges the gap between a pure balance bike, and the smallest of pedal bikes.

Through a release, Ryan told News:

We’ve established that training wheels and tricycles are obsolete. Balance bikes are the best way to train our children how to ride.

We’ve brought the entire learn-to-ride process together into one amazing bike.

The Strider 14x Sport Balance Bike with the Easy-Ride Pedal Kit is the only bike you will need to help your child ride with instant success.

The 14x is proof that a child, no matter their experience level, can ride a bike in no time and achieve this life-changing milestone.

Here’s a video of how the 14x makes its transformation from “balance bike mode” to “pedal bike mode.”

THAT is pretty-slick, indeed! And, if you’re someone who appreciates solid engineering and creative product design, take a look at the following video, which shows the actual unboxing of the “Easy-Ride Pedal Kit” assembly, and the ease of making the conversion.

The 14x Sport is intended for riders 3-7 years of age, with a 16-23” inseam. You’d have to be BMX-blind not to see the direct-progression potential from the 14x bike in the driveway to the 5n rider in the gate.

It’s available now on the website for $209.99 (link below), if you have a youngin’ who is ready to get going on two wheels, or a track-full of baby bros and sistas sitting on the sidelines, now’s the time! It’s the most fun they’ll have driving a convertible for at least the next dozen years or so. #StrideOn


Strider 14x Product and Ordering Page on

Strider Model 14x Convertible

BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Letter: What Does #AgeOfTheBeginner Mean?

May 21, 2017 by · Comments Off 

What is #AgeOfTheBeginner
For the past couple months, I have noticed you and Donny Robinson and a few others using the hashtag #AgeOfTheBeginner in your Facebook posts. What does that mean? Is it something to do with your BMX Beginner League?

JP, Florida

Thanks for writing JP. As you are aware, an “age” Read more

Podcast: BMX Racing League Update

May 12, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Podcast on the BMX Racing League

For the past eight months, BMX Racing League has been testing and proving-out the concept of a Beginners-only program for new families coming into BMX Racing, with great success. The League sets up a program where families pay a single entry fee, which includes five sessions of instruction, five races, a League jersey, number plate, season-end award and pizza party on the last day. All participants are USA BMX “trial” members, which sets-the-stage for them to eventually join the “Open Racing” program at the local track (AKA the regular local program).

In this, the 139th episode of the Announcers Tower Podcast, Donny Robinson fills-us-in on the details of the League, as well as his success at his own local track, North bay BMX in Napa, CA.

This episode is unique, among the other episodes, in that I, as host of the program, act as both host, and somewhat of a “co-guest,” since I also ran three “test seasons” of the League program at one of my local tracks, Steel Wheels BMX in Hobart, IN.

The reason we decided to do this show is because Track Operators, industry-folk, and many BMX families interested in growing the sport have sent-in questions—to BMX News, to Donny, and via the BMX Racing League Facebook Page (link below).

Donny answered as many of those questions, individually, as he could, but a central place to hear about the program, and its nuances, will help a broader-audience understand the scope of the program, and (hopefully) spur-on deeper discussion, as the program wends its way through to a larger rollout.

Listen now:
iOS users: paste this URL into your device’s browser

Bonus Clips

“BMX Goggles: Bike Sizing”
“The BMX Goggles:” Bike Sizing
iOS users: paste this URL into your device’s browser

“BMX Goggles: Transfer System”
“The BMX Goggles:” The Transfer System
iOS users: paste this URL into your device’s browser:

It was a lot of fun doing this episode. There is SO much more to say, but both Donny and I really enjoyed sharing our experience with the League, and the details surrounding how it all works, and why.

If you are an interested Track Operator who knows that Beginner programming is needed, reach out to Donny ( to get on the list of tracks that will be among the first to be trained in running the BMX Racing League program–according to the “recipe.”

If you’re NOT a track operator, but know this program will be a game-changer for your local scene, contact Donny as well. The position of “League Coordinator” is open, and ready for you to fill.

—Mike Carruth


BMX Racing League on Facebook

BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Podcast on the BMX Racing League

Bell Sanction Helmet

March 7, 2017 by · Comments Off 

In the J&R Product Spotlight: Bell Sanction Helmet

With 2017 began “The Age of the Beginner” in BMX Racing—a new era, where a flood of new riders will be entering the sport, whether signing up for a local BMX Racing League program, or diving into the Novice class straightaway. One thing almost every beginner needs is a sturdy and well-fitting helmet.

Unfortunately, most beginners come to the track with helmets that they use for riding on the street (that is to say: open face). Well, even though USA BMX rules permit open face helmets, most tracks strongly discourage the use of them, unless a cosmetic dentist and plastic surgeon are in the immediate family.

The Sanction Helmet by Bell is the answer. A bicycle-certified skid lid that looks bad-to-the-bone in black and hi-viz yellow, the Sanction Helmet puts hard plastic between you and the hard knocks of the BMX track.

15 vents make sure you keep a cool head, while those all around you blow their gate start, or blow up in the rhythm section.

Three sizes (Small-Large) give the best range of fit and comfort.

As noted above, we like the Black, because it’s stealthy, but the Sanction Helmet actually comes in five colorways (see link below).

The price is right, too, with a retail of only $74.95 at J&R. But wait, there’s more! Use coupon code JRSPOT15 at checkout and save 15% on all non-sale items in your cart. The minimum purchase to get the discount is $75, so add an Echo Product Helmet Strap Quick Release to your order to meet the discount – link below. These are PERFECT for beginners as well, since they just clip in and out instead of trying to get the D-Ring down.

Echo Helmet Strap Quick Release

Fun times at the track start with keeping the seeds in your melon. The Bell Sanction Helmet can help with that.


Bell Sanction Helmet on J&R Bicycles

Echo Products Helmet Quick Release on J&R Bicycles

Use discount code JRSPOT15 for 15% off your order of $75 or more at checkout

Product Spotlight is Presented by: Product Spotlight, Presented by J&R Bicycles

Reader Letter: Pump or BMX Track?

October 18, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Pump Track vs BMX Track
Next Spring, I want to present something to my city that might be either a pump track or a BMX track. We are BMX racers, but I think a pump track might be easier to get approved due to cost. What should I present that has a better chance of growing the sport and getting approved?

-JS, Midwest

Thanks for writing, JS.

First, big props to you and your crew for working to get ANY “dirt cycling” program going in your town. We need more people like you out there!

Regarding which format to pitch to your city leaders, there are two questions you need to answer:

1). Do you want to get more kids on bikes?
2). Do you want to get more kids on BMX bikes to race BMX?

A pump track MIGHT be good for #1, but the problem, if your goal is to grow the sport of BMX Racing, is that the new riders at the pump track will be influenced by riders who may or may not be racers.

Most importantly, and as you know, BMX Racing is a FAMILY sport. It is not uncommon to see three generations of a given family at the track to cheer-on their racer. That is massively-appealing to city council members in almost-any municipality in America. This is not necessarily the case at a pump track.

Everyone wants more family time these days, and BMX Racing is a rare activity that provides that. At BMX News, we like to say “Fun, Fitness and Family” are the three points that make a BMX Racing track important to any community.

BMX Racing is the perfect sport for kids who are too young for other sports. And, of course, just as perfect for kids who are not interested in team sports (all stuff that you know, but we’re giving you ammo for the presentation).

The MUCH better way to go (for your presentation) is to use the same land you had in mind, to create a beginner-level BMX track. One track builder told us he can take a piece of unused municipal land and build a beginner-level BMX Track for about $15k (plus the gate).

Once you have that ready, you need a bunch of new families. Run the Donny Robinson “Beginner League” format on your new beginner-level track. The riders you enroll for your new program are directly-accretive to BMX Racing numbers. If your goal is “growing the sport,” this is how it happens!

Set your sights on six teams-of-10 for the first “season” (60 riders, or about 12 motos, all showing up every week for five weeks–that’s what the beginner league is all about).

The key is: Don’t over-think it! Take the “BMX Goggles” off and stop worrying about a perfectly-groomed facility with lights and “progression” features. Do not promote your new track to BMXers outside your town. You are here to build a local program from scratch. Tune out what existing BMXers say about your track and you, personally, and get local families involved!

Lean on USA BMX for help; they know exactly how to get this done.

I hope this helps answer your question, and we look forward to seeing your new track on the map in 2017.

—Mike Carruth

Top photo: rjp, via Flickr (News cropped and re-sized the original image).


“BMX Beginner League” Format a Success in Napa

Beginners Have a Big Day at North Bay

May 9, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Donny Robinson With Beginners at North Bay BMXBy Donny Robinson

The tide is turning in BMX Racing. Every day, tracks and existing BMXers are stepping up to the plate, implementing ways to help attract more racers into the sport of Bicycle Motocross. I noticed it myself, as an attendee at the 2016 USA BMX Track Operators Summit. Read more