Reader Letter: Three Kits or One?

April 29, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Reader letter: Three Kits or One?

I am team manager of a new team in the Northeast, and we are thinking about what kind of uniform we want to go with. Some members of the team want a different color uniform for each race day, like many of the factory teams, and I think we should have two uniforms of the same design.

You see a lot of riders, what do you think about this question?

GB – Northeast

Thanks for writing GB, and congrats on the new team. This is a great question, and one about which I have a split-opinion. The uniform of a BMX team is one of the most important aspects of their duty to sponsors, and to their own identity as a team.

Your note did not mention who, if any, your sponsors are, so I will go on the assumption that you have some sort of support, whether a set of co-sponsors or a bike sponsor, or a local business supporting the team.

As a photographer, I love the idea of different kits for every day of racing (as shown above on #NewsTeam member, Bryce Betts at the recent Carolina Nationals). Different kits allow me the opportunity to capture two, sometimes three, different “looks” for the riders who change day-to-day.

2016 Carolina Nationals – Friday
Sam Willoughby rockin the TLD Sprint kitWhen Sam Willoughby changes up his TLD uniform for each race day, the photos I come back with have some great variety. Of course, not everyone is Sam Willoughby, who is among the most recognizable riders in the world. Fans and media go out of their way to find him in the crowd. That can’t necessarily be said for a lower profile rider or team.

2016 Carolina Nationals – Saturday Sam Willoughby rockin the TLD Sprint kitWhen a team changes colors from one day to the next, it IS tough to pick them out. Not so much for the well-known riders, but for teams that are not as well-known, it is easy to miss those riders entirely from one day to the next, so they never gain recognition with the fans, because their identity is a constantly moving target. This is the point at which the “cool factor” that riders dig, bumps up against the “business” of being sponsored.

BRANDING is about consistency and repetition. This concept of consistency and repetition dictates that riders should be rockin the same uniform any/every time they show their face in public. Fans get used to seeing it, and can visually identify riders in the gate and on the track, without benefit of an announcer’s help.

So, to answer your question, as to what is “best,” like most things, it is going to depend on your goals. If emulating the factory stars is the desired outcome, and visual recognition is less important, then the multi-kit would work out fine. If, however your goal is being instantly recognized by the racing public, media, potential new sponsors and announcers, then stick with one consistent kit, and purchase two of the same pants/jerseys.

The riders should have two complete sets of clothing–at a minimum– in case they crash and rip one set, and to ward off the stinky funk of running the same clothes on day three of a steamy national weekend. If you only order one jersey for each rider, and that one jersey gets ripped, or left hanging on the shower rod at the hotel, it could take a month or more to get a new one ordered up from your jersey vendor.

I hope this helps give you some points of discussion within the team. If you’re shopping for your uniforms online, check out the link below for the “Race Wear” page on J&R Bicycles. Use Discount code JRSPOT15 for 15% off non-sale items (orders totaling $75 or more).

Send Your Letter:
Reader letters can be sent to If we use yours, we’ll send you a BMX News T-Shirt.


Racing Apparel at J&R Bicycles

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Start Packin’

August 31, 2015 by · Comments Off 

TLD Ignition Backpack

With 2015 back to school here to stay, it’s time to grab the gear that will get you to and fro like a bro. The Ignition Backpack by Troy Lee Designs has all the space you need to stow everything your learning experience requires between now and next June. Plus, it travels well to the races.

This backpack is dialed for all your devices, with a large chamber for your laptop and those heavy dead-tree-edition tomes (aka books), phone pocket and inside iPad sleeve on the frontside (below). There’s also a water bottle pocket and one for your shades.

TLD Ignition Backpack Inside
It’s a TLD product, so you know it has both quality construction, and enough smooth style to earn you “best prepared” props from the principal.

This one is on super-special, as part of J&R’s “Bike to School” Sale, so the normal 15% off Product Spotlight discount code “JRSPOT15″ is not in effect for this purchase. No worries though, because the regular price of $84.95 has been trimmed nicely to only $68.95.

But wait, there’s more: Buy the Ignition Backpack, and you can still use the discount code for any other non-sale purchases in your cart! Once again, that code is JRSPOT15.

So gear up this school year, and take it all with you with the style only a BMXer can show.


TLD Ignition Backpack at J&R Bicycles

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

TLD Elite Dawn Pants and Shorts

May 27, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Product Spotlight - TLD Elite Dawn Pants

Troy Lee Designs has some of the most popular and performance-minded BMX racing gear on the market, and has for a long time. Last year, they debuted a new line of “sprint” gear for BMX, freeride and downhill MTB which is engineered to be lighter, more breathable and very approachable in price.

Immediately after the line was rolled out, Sam Willoughby showed-up, decked out in the sprint kit, and it wasn’t long before we started seeing it at the nationals and local tracks on riders of every proficiency.

For 2015, TLD has released some slick new colorways, and made a few tweaks to the sprint gear recipe to make it even more tasty for fashion-minded flyers, who also like to keep things cool in the engine room.

The line comes in full-length pants, and sprint shorts (below). At a sub-$100 pricepoint, they’re affordable on almost-any BMX budget.

Product Spotlight - TLD Elite Dawn Shorts

The J&R Chase team is rockin the Elite Dawn colorway this year, and it looks awesome enough as a full-kit, that we decided to spotlight this specific model this week. But all four colorways are killer, and deserve a looksee once you head on over to J&R’s new website.

Speaking of the J&R Chase team, we snapped the shot below last weekend in Nashville of Ryan Pettigrew blazing out of the last turn, on his way to a second place finish in A-Pro on Sunday. We decided to hit Ryan up for some real-deal commentary on how the Elite Dawn is working out for him.

As you might expect, the 2015 USA Cycling Junior Men National Champion keeps a pair of “longs” and a pair of shorts in his gear bag, and lets raceday conditions dictate which one he’ll pull on that day (not a bad idea, by the way). In this shot, he’s in the shorts, but also gives us good feedback on the full-length model.

Ryan Pettigrew TLD Elite Dawn Pants
Here’s what Ryan had to say:

When Troy Lee first debuted their bike-specific “sprint” gear last year, the first thing I noticed was how light the pants were compared to the usual motocross pants every BMXer wears.

TLD came up with an innovative, lightweight, pant that not only looks good but is also very durable. At first I was a little skeptical about the materials used, because the pant was SO light. But after a full season of racing, riding, sliding in dirt, asphalt and everything else that’s inevitable in BMX, I never had an issue.

This year, we’re running the “Elite Dawn” pants, which is the second year TLD has offered the sprint line. With some minor changes from the first year, the pants (and shorts) are still the lightest and most comfortable I’ve ever ridden. The pant is slim-fitted so it’s not “clown suit loose” BUT still has room for knee/shin guards. TLD has always had unique colorways, but the Elite Dawn is definitely toward the top of the list. With the bright neon yellow and orange, it’s hard to miss on the track!

Like most things, it’s the little details that make a good product great, and the TLD sprint line has a lot of those little niceties baked right in–such as the zip-pockets, stretch Kevlar in the knees, and a gel bead around the inside of the waistband to keep that jersey from gettin un-tucked, even when you’re in full-tuck over a monster set of doubles (you DO tuck that thing in, right?). And if you don’t tuck it in, the gel waistband still helps to keep the sprint pants up where they should be, and not saggin like they shouldn’t.

Shipping now from J&R, get the full-length pants for $98.95 and the shorts for $94.95. BMX News readers can use discount code JRSPOT15 for 15% off your sprint pant order, and many other items you may pop in to your cart along the way.

More Info/Ordering

TLD Elite Dawn Sprint Pants

TLD Elite Dawn Sprint Shorts

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

Troy Lee SE Gear Bag

December 24, 2013 by · Comments Off 

TLD SE Gear Bag

There’s nothing like sipping a cranberry juice at 30,000 feet, knowing your luggage is not sitting under you, disintegrating in the baggage hold. When it goes bad, those zippers will surely bust open at precisely the wrong time, revealing your Captain America undies and other unmentionables to everyone in baggage claim.

The SE Gear bag by Troy Lee Designs is not only an insurance policy on your factory reputation with your fellow flyers, it also has closures, cubbies, zippers and handles everywhere you could possibly need one.

Deep enough for a helmet, and cavernous enough for three day’s street clothes, racing kit, and whatever else you pack up when you bug out, the SE puts a great start to your “SEe ya later!” The grommet-reinforced vents will let any post-race stank from your racing clothes escape into the atmosphere.

Available with or without wheels, the big decision after this lands on your door is whether you will be “that guy” and try to carry it on next time you take off (please don’t).

Size: L-33″ x H-18.5″ x W-15″
Colors: Black or Red.

Wheeled – $159.95

Troy Lee Designs Wheeled SE Gear Bag – Red

Troy Lee Designs Wheeled SE Gear Bag – Black

Standard – $119.95

Troy Lee Designs Standard SE Gear Bag – Red

Troy Lee Designs Standard SE Gear Bag – Black

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

Answer Ssquared On Top Of National Points By One

November 21, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Answer Ssquared leads Factory Points

The 2012 USA BMX Factory Team title is currently a one-point ballgame. Rockford’s own Answer/Ssquared/TLD leads it by the slimmest margin possible. In the political realm, they might call it a “statistical tie.” Only, this weekend, the margin for error is nonexistent.

It’s been close for the latter part of the season, with Answer Rennen putting in strong performances, and Factory Intense in the familiar place they have been so many years before–leading it all.

The Disney Cup proved to be a breakout weekend for Jim Buchanan, Shawn Whitfield and the team. Leading up to the weekend, the threat of rain was ever-present. Thursday’s practice was rained out as Hurricane Sandy steamed up the East edge of Florida, a couple hundred miles away.

The team is missing one of its top stars right now, as National #1 Girls Cruiser champ, Jamie Windholz is out with a broken collar bone (get well soon, champ).

But the girls were well represented on the sheet with Kaitlyn Deters (Nick’s sister) putting in a solid day in 12G, battling some deep talent to grab a second to Crupi’s Anna Johnson. News is going to be watching Kaitlyn closely in the future. We heard she just started racing earlier this summer, and to already be up-top of the results is pretty amazing. Speaking of Dynamite Nick, he was in full effect, with wins in 13C and 13x on day one.

Justin Richmond went into Disney leading the overall national amateur title chase, with Austin Loebe and Justin Posey close behind. He raced three classes on Friday, and ended up with wins in 14 Cruiser and 14x. The Juice is also riding Jr. Devo now, and logged a second to Collin Hudson on day one.

Come to think of it, these guys had full supremacy in the teen cruiser classes, from 13 on up to 17-20, as Ryan Zinzow, Big B Brandon Ceslok and Tyler Whitfield all spiked the ball in the proverbial end zone.

The stacked-to-the-rafters expert classes had some tough customers, but the team pulled out wins in 13x, 14x in the person of Deters and Richmond (25 rider points for the Juice to tack on to his National title chase…but Austin Loebe’s Friday win in 19-27x would give him 37). Zinzow had some trouble in the 15x main, but managed a fourth.

The 16x main faired a little better, with Big B running second (behind Doc Johnson). Even with a couple of off-podium expert finishes, the team still managed a third place in the team sheet battle, with a 214. Answer Rennen moved their game piece a few squares on the board, topping the day’s sheet with a 219. And Redman Rockstar was second.

A few final Friday notes: Tyshawn Carr was out with an injury for a big chunk of the season this year, but is getting his groove back on track, and moving up the results with every time on the moto sheets. Friday saw the Pibull log a pair of threes (12 Cruiser and 12x)

The storm clouds held off for the most part on Friday–only a few sprinkles–and things for Answer/Ssquared TLD were shaping up perfectly for Day Two.


Day two had a lot of the same slicing and dicing in the cards for the team, with solid wins in 13, 14, 15 Cruiser. Super Cooper Sheldon brought home a second in 10 C and Tyshawn was third in 12C. Kaitlyn stayed on the 11-12G podium, with a second.

The age class battles were just as they had been on Friday, and the team’s results were kind of a 52-pickup, deck-tossed-in-the-air situation. Deters and Richmond topped 13 and 14x, respectively. Ryan Z crashed out in the 15x main and limped in for a seventh. Big B stated consistent with a second on day two. Tyshawn and T-Whit both had trubs in class, with a seventh and an eighth.


We were stoked to see Big B on the Jr. Men Podium, with a third. Consistency in racing is great, especially if you’re up top…but it doesn’t make for the most exciting story copy. The Day three Cruiser conflict in 13-14-15 Cruiser went to Deters, Richmond and Zinzow once again, putting the cinch on three Cruiser Disney Cups coming back to the Land O Lincoln. Some Girls class clashing dropped Kaitlyn down to fourth on day three with a fresh pair up top.

Toward the end of the main event running order, we would see the Deters and the Juice put the punctuation on a perfect weekend, as 13 and 14x wins were inked for all eternity. Two more Disney Cups. And the next main to drop was 16x, where a day three rally brought the win of the day, and the Disney Cup win home for Big B. Whitfield was back in the groove, with a second in 17-18x.

The Team took the Factory Team Disney Cup by a slim margin, and wowza! some amazing work put in by this crew.

Going into the Grands, each of the top contending teams has taken a long look at the 2012 season, where they were strong, where they needed improvement and, no doubt adjusted fire where necessary. A month between races gave the team captains a good chance to motivate their top guys into training up (more than usual) for the run for the cup.

Last year, Crupi emerged late in the Sunday main events to win the Factory Team title. With all the other adrenaline packed around the Amateur title chases, it looks like it is going to be another squeaker between Answer Ssquared, Answer Rennen and Factory Intense. One place could make the difference, so tell those guys to sprint PAST the finish line…no getting nipped at the line for the win!


Answer BMX Website

Ssquared Bicycles Website

Troy Lee Designs

Team Co-Sponsors: J&R Bicycles,, Sun Ringlé, Stealth Products, Crit Plate, SRAM, Stile Industries, Maxxis, XBalm

*Links above have been placed by BMX News to highlight companies who are also BMX News advertisers

Limited Edition TLD Ssquared/Answer Kit

October 8, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Interbike 2012 coverage on

This bad boy was on display at the Answer/Ssquared booth. John Sawyer did not have a lot of details on the when, where and how much, but did say he would give News the heads up early in the process.

What we did get from the chat was that this will be a limited-edition (maybe 100 or so sets in the whole wide world) offering, with Stars & Stripes paint by the masters of all things colorful, Troy Lee Designs.

Ssquared Limited Edition Stars & Stripes Paint by Troy Lee Designs

Stick with News, and the Ssquared Facebook page for more on this Patriotic pony.


Ssquared Facebook

BMX News Interbike 2012 Coverage is Presented by Answer BMX

TLD No-Squeal Uniform Deal

September 10, 2012 by · Comments Off 

J&R Product Spotlight: Tyler Whitfield in the TLD Cyclops

The new year is here for TLD fans. J&R just posted the 2013 line, and we are stoked to bring it to you, in time for a letter to Santa, or your Team Manager (whomever you are on better terms with).

Pictured above, on the person of Mr. Tyler Whitfield, is the Cyclops Black uniform package. We met up with TyWhit at Rockford BMX last month to get some shots for the Troy Lee Catalog and, you might say, we had our “eye” on this kit. We think it is going to be one that we see a lot of in the viewfinder.

TLD Cyclops Black Uniform Package at Uniform packages consist of jersey, pants and gloves–everything you need to be the picture of style when in the public eye.

A total of 15 different TLD uniform packages are available for 2013, and range in price from $162.85 to $212.85. The Cyclops Black, as shown is $192.85. Note: helmet, goggles, shoes and super-dialed Ssquared scoot all sold separately.

We are also big fans of the Hot Rod Black and Hot Rod White package. Understated, and just waiting for your co-sponsors to be ironed on…or go for an old school look and sew those patches on. We are ever-grateful to the style gods for permitting a basic black and a basic white kit to come forth, without any random splashes of color, or other “technicolor dreamcoat” elements.

Pricing came in a lot lower than we thought, which should put them solidly into “no-squeal” territory for most budgets.

Jerseys available in sizes Adult Small-XXL, Pants 28-40″, and gloves x-small to XXL.

Bonus!: Order up a Uniform Package and receive a FREE J&R Bicycles T-Shirt! Also, Free Shipping during September.


TLD Cyclops Black Package

All Uniform Packages

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

2013 Troy Lee D3 Composite Helmets

June 18, 2012 by · Comments Off 

BMX News Product Spotlight: Palmer D3 Helmet by Troy Lee Designs

The 2013 Troy Lee Designs gear is starting to trickle onto the track, and into your favorite TLDealers for inspection and drooling.

We first caught a glimpse of the 2013 TLD kit, complete with the above-pictured D3 helmet, on Tyler Whitfield at the Dixieland nationals last month. TLD has some of the trickest gear out there, and the 2013 line is insanely great.

The D3 “Palmer” helmet fits like a pit in a peach, and is fit you your kit, whatever the wheel size or aggro-medium. Use it at your favorite BMX national on Satu/Sun, then at the trails or n the ramp, then put in some office hours on the MTB…heck, some blokes even use the D3 for snowboarding.

Like all TLD helmets, the 2013 D3 Composite line comes with aluminum hardware, a removable/replaceable roost guard, and their wildly-popular Dual Density Shock Pad System™, which are removable, washable and replaceable.

There are six sizes available (Adult XS – Adult XXL), and J&R has a handy little sizing chart that will help you keep your head on straight.

J&R Price is $394.95

Click for more info on the 2013 TLD Palmer D3 Composite Helmet

Use Discount Code BNJUNE15W at J&R for 15% off orders of $50 or more (like this one), which brings this baby down to $335.70

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

Did You Win the J&R/TLD Helmet Giveaway?

May 14, 2012 by · Comments Off 

J&R Bicycles and Troy Lee Designs Helmet Giveaway

Troy Lee Designs is known for their quality and exceptional designs, the D3 carbon helmets are among hundreds of great products offered by Troy Lee that meet or exceeds rider expectations.

The one-month long promotion offered a chance for thousands of BMXers to win this one-of-a-kind helmet.  J&R Bicycles would like to thank all of our customers and participants who entered online along with Greg Skibel and Troy Lee Designs for their contributions. Stay tuned for future promotions at

Oh yeah… The Winner of the Troy Lee Designs/J&R Bicycles Custom D3 helmet Give-A-Way is none other than Patty Richards of Ukiah, California.  Patty will receive a D3 Pinstripe helmet with custom J&R Bicycles graphics and personalized with their last name (if they so choose)

Support those that support the sport

J&R Bicycles

Troy Lee Designs

I. Am. Ironman.

January 23, 2012 by · Comments Off 

Troy Lee Products - Available at J&R Bicycles

There is nothing more confidence-inspiring when you’re locked in the gate, and staring down a massive first straight, than knowing your safety equipment is the best it can be. It gives you a bit more “go for it” than you otherwise might have, and helps those on the sidelines keep their composure, should the unexpected happen.

Troy Lee Designs brings us the BP 7855 Long Sleeve Protective Jersey as a major component to the “bulletproof directive.” Not necessarily a “new” product, but one that flies comfortably under the radar–and under the jersey of many a hotshoe.

It has “strata foam” in all the places where your arms, chest or back are likely to impact and skid along the soil-tac…and it is designed to work seamlessly with your Leatt-style neck brace. In fact, the upper chest / spine and clavicle pads are all removable to facilitate the ideal fit with your brace.

The Anatomical design provides a close fit, while dedicated zones protect the chest, ribs, back/spine, clavicle, shoulders and your buffed-up biceps.

You can run it AS your jersey, as we’ve seen some privateers do, or slip it on under your factory rags for that robo-rider look & feel. Bottom line is that the investment in this ounce of prevention will be worth far more than any cure when you get pounded in the first turn.

Available in Adult Small – XL at J&R Bicycles.

Click here for more info

SPECIAL! BMX News readers save 15% on this item, when you use discount code: BMXNEWSTLD7855. Offer ends Feb 14th, 2012

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

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