Text by Brien Kielb
It's no secret that better bikes produce better riders. Sure, the pioneers of our sport were able to revolutionize BMX on bikes that were lawsuits waiting to happen, but for a variety of reasons, the skill and style of today's generation of riders has increased exponentially, largely thanks to the quality of the machines underneath their feet. Not only does that go for high-end framesets and aftermarket components, but even more so for complete bikes. The brands that really pushed the frame/parts markets in the 90s and early 2000s have taken over the complete bike world, with bikes spec'd and engineered to match the rides of your favorite pros, making it all too easy for beginners to quickly learn the basics. Volume Bikes is no stranger to the complete bike game, and their 2016 Infantry model offers pro geometry and a killer component package at a price that won't empty your bank account. Let's take a look at one of the newest rides from the minds of Brian Castillo and the rest of the Volume crew.
If you're building up a new bike from scratch, $500 won't get you very far. If you're a savvy shopper, that might get you a frame, fork and some bars—and even then, one of those will likely be some weird color that you only picked up because it was on sale. But for $500, the Volume Infantry offers you a full chromoly 20.75" frame, 100% chromoly fork with the all-important 1-piece steer tube, and a set of 9" chromoly handlebars. This is a modern machine, so you won't find any press-fit bearings here – the Infantry features a sealed, integrated headset and a sealed Mid bottom bracket. Three-piece cranks have become the standard for every complete bike on the market, and here you'll get the Genesis 4130 cranks with Odyssey Twisted pedals. Odyssey also helps with the process of slowing down, with the easy to install (and remove) Springfield brake set. Volume's Vader tires in the ever-popular 2.4" width will soften the blows of a heavy flyout session, and the double walled rims and sealed hubs of the Genesis wheelset should keep you away from a truing stand for a minute or two.
When buying a complete, an important detail to pay attention to is the amount of aftermarket parts that are included in the spec sheet. Generally, the more you spend, the more you should see; spending a few extra dollars up front for higher end components will save you money in replacements and upgrades as your riding progresses. Rounding out the list of premium parts on the Infantry, Volume has bolted on the VLM Tripod seat system, and keeps your front end tight with the Staple V2 investment-cast top load stem.
No matter how much you spend on a new ride, one thing is clear: a great bike won't make you a great rider. Riding a bike that feels comfortable and is built properly, however, will help you become a more confident rider, and in turn just might make you a better rider faster. If you're new to the BMX game, or just looking to upgrade your ride, you have more choices than ever for a dialed bike at a decent price. Start your complete bike shopping at www.volumebikes.com for more information on the 2016 Volume Infantry, available now for just $500 at better bike shops everywhere.
Check out the Volume Infantry and the rest of their 2016 line of completes here.
Colors: Matte Black and Copper
Frame: 100% Chromoly
Geometry: 20.75" TT, 13.25" CS, 75º HT, & 9" ST Height
Fork: 100% Chromoly, Tapered legs, 32mm offset, 1pc Steerer
Bars: 100% Chromoly, 9" Rise & 29" Wide
Stem: Volume V2 Staple Top Load
Headset: Genesis Sealed Integrated
Seat: VLM Tripod Fat Padding
Seat Post: Tripod
Seat Clamp: Built-in
Brakes: Odyssey Springfield
Brake Lever: Odyssey Springfield
Brake Cable: Odyssey Quik-Slic
Grips: VLM flangeless
Cranks: Genesis Octagon 3pc Tubular Chromoly/ 175mm
Chainring: 6061 Alloy 25t
Bottom Bracket: Sealed Mid 19mm
Pedals: Odyssey Twisted PC
Rims: Genesis Turbine Double Wall 36h
Front Hub: Genesis Turbine Sealed 3/8"
Rear Hub: Genesis Turbine Sealed 14mm Cassette
Driver: Sealed 9t
Front Tire: Volume Vader 20" x 2.4"
Rear Tire: Volume Vader 20" x 2.4"