If you haven't noticed, we talk a lot about complete bikes here at Know Your Roll. To me, it makes total sense – the assumed majority of our readers are youngsters looking to be educated on what bike/part to ride and why, and if you're buying a complete bike, there's a better chance than not that you're still figuring this whole BMX thing out. But what if you've already earned your stripes and want to take your riding in a different direction – like flatland, for instance. Full-time flatland rigs are hard to find, and quite expensive to build from the ground up, as the flatland community might be the smallest BMX subgenre there is in 2016 and there aren't many companies out there producing products made specifically with flat in mind. With their roots firmly planted in all aspects of freestyle, Colony aims to grow that segment of the BMX world with their new, affordable Apprentice complete bike.
When writing these KYR pieces, I usually like to give the reader a brief lesson on why a bike/part matters, or why it's built to perform a certain way. Technically, you can ride flatland on any BMX bike that isn't set up specifically to race with, especially now that so many street riders like bikes with tighter steering and shorter rear ends, not to mention the growing number of freecoasters adorning even mid-level completes. No matter how many moves street riders steal from flatlanders, their bikes will never have the extreme geometry of your average flat bike, which you can find on the Colony Apprentice. The Apprentice is built around a full 4130 frame that features a much tighter wheelbase than just about any bike out there, with an 18.6" top tube and a 12.4" rear end, which not only makes the bike more responsive when spinning but also keeps the weight of the bike more centered, allowing you to figure out balance points much easier. The standover height is also much, much lower at only 6.8", which makes it easier to hop to different standing points on the bike. The front end consists of a zero offset fork with a chromoly steer tube, 8.9" chromoly handlebars, and a Colony stem with a shorter than average 40mm reach. Seeing a Fishbone Straight Up stem at an early age made me believe that all flatland bikes were set up with zero offset stems, but I learned that those don't exist at all in the flatland world anymore, so that's something. As far as the rest of the components are concerned, just about every component one would guess comes on a flat bike makes the spec sheet, including 4 alloy pegs, 2 brakes and a gyro, narrow non-directional tires, and 3-piece cranks with tiny 153mm arms. Being that flatlanders popularized freecoaster hubs, it goes without saying that this bike comes stock with one; this particular model being an unsealed Taska with a 10mm (3/8") axle.
The Colony Apprentice complete bike is available now at Dans Comp and all Colony retailers. The 2017 Apprentice comes in metallic metal grey, and retails for only $419.99. Keeping the price low on a bike like this is important, as it encourages riders both young and old to give flatland a shot, and the quality 4130 frame will last for quite a while as you eventually make changes and upgrades after figuring out the basics. For more information on Colony, including full specs for the Apprentice and their entire line of bikes and components, check out colonybmx.com now.