July 14, 1957 – July 4th 2015
I was producing a line of signature bikes for Scot Breithaupt that were finished shortly before the untimely death of Scot in July.
Interbike 2015 I will be announcing the allocation of my OM bikes for the Breithaupt family to help fund the Memorial Piece (potentially, a statue)
to be built and placed in Long Beach at Promenada Square.
PRESS RELEASE – 1/20/16
Most people know Scot “The OM” Breithaupt was one of the great pioneers in BMX. In addition to establishing the foundation for BMX racing, Scot set the bar with his innovative bike designs in the 1970’s. In fact, Scot’s PK Ripper is one of the most famous BMX bikes ever built and is still around to this day.
Scot went on to do many other business ventures over the years, but he always held a burning desire to start another bike project.
One of his final projects was the development of two OM Signature beach cruiser bike designs in a joint venture with Jim “Scooter” Decker of Soul Beach Cruiserswww.soulbeachcruisers.com. This joint venture started in 2014 when Scot saw one of Jim’s Soul Cruiser bikes and opened the dialog about working with Jim on a bike. Scot, being a stickler for quality and details took one of Jim’s bikes for a spin and decided the styling and premium components was something he would be proud to put his name on.
Jim has a very successful bike company in his own right, but still got goose bumps every time he spoke with Scot about the business. After all, it was a full circle moment to have the legend that sponsored him as a young boy in BMX, now mentoring him as an adult on bike design and marketing.
There were many emails, late night calls, and dreams to take things to a whole new level.
Scot wanted to make sure his signature bike had the right logo and name. He went over a long list of options for the Halo design and when the name “Phoenix” was suggested, he knew it was perfect to signify his return…his rising from the ashes! Scot made the final decision to call the single speed Halo model the “Phoenix Fighter”. He decided on the SS Stomper (Scot Signature Stomper) for the larger model with a single and 3 speed option. All the bikes were to be painted with a special metallic Root beer brown that Scot was especially excited about.
Unfortunately, Scot passed away tragically while the bikes were in production and he never saw the finished product. The bike frames were completed and painted when Scot passed. Jim was so devastated he considered having all the frames scraped. He talked to friends close with Scot and Scot’s family and the consensus was that Scot would have wanted the bikes to be finished.
A decision was also made to have some of the proceeds in the sale of the bikes going toward a fund for a Scot Breithaupt memorial.
The bikes are now ready to ship and a very limited quantity is available. Each bike is special OM serial numbered and is considered to be highly collectable. If you want a piece of history, act now as these bikes will not last long.
RIP OM. Your legacy will live on with our mutual love for rippin’ and roarin’ on two wheels, whether it is on the BMX track, streets or beach strand.
C-Ya on the other side!
ONLY 60 OM BIKES PRODUCED
Serial numbered OMFF0000 5-20 / OMSS0000 5-40
20 PHOENIX FIGHTER single speeds
20 SS STOMPER single speeds
20 SS STOMPERS 3 speeds
S O L D O U T
It sounds kind of weird, but we are still in the infancy of eBikes and electric vehicles. Yes, some electric bike technology has been around for about 10 years or so, but in the grand scheme of things, we are just barely scratching the surface of potential and innovation with these bikes. Thanks to the Chinese and miniaturization, hub motors have become the prevalent propulsion method on eBikes, and that is purely an economic choice.
As a manufacturer of eBikes, Soul has tested a number of products to evaluate and build what we feel are the best and most dependable electric bikes. As you might guess, dependability is our primary focus, and closely following is performance. With that, we choose to use mid drive systems over hub motors. So lets get into this debate a bit further.
Hub Motors – Big on Budget
Hub motors are great and all, and on a budget, they certainly fill a need. One of the big problems in the industry, and many shops complain of this is that there are many hub motors that we don’t even know who made them, let alone where do we get parts? It gets a bit scary when a virtually new bike fails, the hub motor wont trigger, and there isn’t much that can be done other than replace the motor. But since you don’t know the origins, you have to buy a complete kit, not just the motor. This happens daily in the hub motor world. Now, we can spec out a name brand motor, at a higher cost, and alleviate much of the issues, but we have other aspects of the hub motor to deal with.
Generally, a hub motor will have an internal drive ratio of around 5 or 6 to 1. That is the only mechanical advantage the system provides. For many, this is perfect for their riding needs. Another comparison aspect on hub motors is many of our competitors use a derailleur based drive train. They normally do not put high quality parts on, so you get a basic chain and gear set, an ok shifter, and a low end rear derailleur. The maintenance of the drive train is increased, and is also vulnerable to damage.
We prefer mid drive systems over hub motors. Yes, they are more expensive, but for that added money, the system offers many benefits.
In a hub motor system, you have an external motor controller, the wiring is quite messy, and the setup doesnt reach our benchmark of a simple easy to use bike and is clean and virtually maintenance free. There are a couple of bikes on the market that have tried to solve issues with hub motors, but, it is still a key stumbling block of integrating the system into the bike cleanly.
With a mid drive system like we use from Bafang (the worlds largest eBike motor manufacturer) the components are integrated significantly better. The controller is actually part of the motor for instance. A single harness cable runs from the motor up to the handlebars to help with controls. Other than that, you have the obvious power cables, and one sensor wire for wheel speed. This is a far cleaner approach.
Mid Drives – The Mechanical Advantage
The main reason we prefer mid drive is the mechanical advantage it provides. Remember from before, a hub motor is usually working at a 5 to 1 drive ratio. On a mid drive, we work through the drive train, so we can create pretty any drive ratio we desire. Add in using an internally geared hub. and the simplicity of riding up a hill, or on the flats is as easy as changing gears with the grip shifter. This torque multiplication through the drive train, just like in a car, is what sets the mid drive apart. This ability to vary the gear ratio, gives a significant advantage to mid drive motors.
We have used the Bafang BBSHD system primarily in our builds. It provides 1000w nominal power, and can handle surges beyond 1500 watts for a few moments. We are also employing the Bafang BBS02 into our Sonic Sport builds. The key difference is in case sizes. With electric motors, a bigger case usually equals more torque. The BBS02 is about an inch smaller than the HD motor. The HD will also handle more amperage.
When we built the original Sonic Sport, we were aiming at price point, but were surprised on our first ride of the bike. The Sport is a single speed, 500w system using a 48v 10.5 amp battery. It is the lightest weight eBike we make. Amazingly, it accelerates very hard, and has excellent range. We have reached over 40 miles on rides, and our customers back those figures up. This bike is quite surprising!
Our Sonic and Sonic SS models spec out the wider 170mm rear end frames and employ the Sturmey Archer RK SX3 hub. While we dont recommend shifting under load with the hub, we get excellent results with it on our bikes. Under take off in 1st gear, the bike launches very well, and shows the torque of the BBSHD 1000w motor. On full power, first gear can get you up to nearly 20 mph, and the other gears even faster. While not as efficient in power consumption, the bike can perform both on speed, hill climbing and in lower settings distance.
The Sonic Stomper has been a long time coming. We set out to design our own eBike. The majority of competing companies rebrand a generic bike, which can be good or bad. We didnt want to be the same as everyone else, and that is when the Sonic Stomper SS was born.
Over the last 2 years we have cut our teeth making eBikes. We have converted our own bikes. We have converted other brands into eBikes. Through it all, we have learned what makes for a good bike, and how many fall short.
One of the main keys is the frame. With a motor, and added speed, the frame becomes the most important design aspect of the bike. When a frame is underbuilt, the sheer torque of an electric motor will cause the frame to twist and contort. If you compare any of our frames to the competition, you will see the frame tubing is significantly oversize, and is not round. Overall, our tubing dimensions are nearly 3 times larger, which increases the strength and torsional rigidity significantly.
Our geometry is a bit different as well. We run a 67.5 head tube angle, similar to a downhill suspension bike. At speed, this helps with stability, and slows down steering inputs to inspire confidence. A twitchy bike can work against you.
Additionally, we worked to integrate the battery into our frame. From a security standpoint, this is better, but aesthetically, it looks so much better. All of the cabling is housed in the frame as well.
The Sonic is truly a purpose built eBike from the ground up!
While most of our competition chooses a rear hub motor, we opted for a mid drive system from Bafang. The smoothness of using a mid drive is unmatched. And just like a car, we feel that it is better to use the existing drivetrain to push power through, rather than a hub. You get significantly more torque, and you can use the various gear ratios to fine tune speed, or your efficiency.
On our SS model, we utilize TRP Zurich eBike specific brakes. We felt it was important that the right brakes went onto the best cruiser eBike on the market! Disc brakes are a must on any eBike, the added stopping power inspires confidence. We went a step further with the Zurich model over our normal Tektro hydraulic brakes. The Zurich is a 4 piston brake, where many brakes are either a 1 or 2 piston version.
A bike in this category should be simple to operate. Effectively keep the battery charged, air in the tires and you are good to go. That is why we use a Sturmey Archer internal gear hub. This 3 speed hub is simple and strong. It features the equivalent upper and lower gear ratios of any 7 speed system, and that is enough to get you up most hills, and achieve top speeds approaching 30 mph!
One thing that everyone loves about our bikes is the ergonomics. We get tired of leaning over, with numb hands and and uncomfortable seat. First off we feature one of the best seats for cruisers on the market. This quilted saddle features multiple layers of foam, so it has just the right density. Additionally, it has two rubber elastomer shocks built in as well. All this makes for a comfortable sitting position.
From there, the dimensions of our bike try to position your shoulders directly above your hips. We help that with our BMX style rise bars. These provide just over 7″ of height, and are fairly wide as well. The Sonic features a MTB style direct mount stem and a 31.8 bar size. So it is light weight and strong. The cross bar is there for looks, but also to support the bars for added strength.
We feature CNC billet platform pedals that are color coded to the bike model. Not only do these look sharp, they also support your feet and prevent slippage.
When we completed the design of the Sonic Stomper, we wanted to make sure that we built a bike that we wanted. It had to be strong, fast, comfortable and easy to ride. Test ride one today, and you too will find how great this bike is!
Adjust the brakes on any bicycle is a tedious process only sped up by experience. We will go over several steps that can help improve that process for you and get you riding quicker.
- Ensure the caliper mount bolts are tight. There are 4 bolts that hold the caliper onto the bike. 2 that bolt the caliper mount to the frame, and 2 that bolt the caliper to the mount. Ensure that the two that mount to the frame are reasonably tight. You dont have to go crazy and crack the paint.
- Sight through the top of the brake caliper to check for rotor clearance. You cant look through the center of the caliper, it has to be from the top on the front brake, and the top back on the rear. We are trying to identify how the caliper is orientated in regards to the rotor.
- Try loosening the caliper to mount arm bolts 1 turn, and adjusting the caliper in regards to the rotor. If the caliper wont move, loosen a bit more. You are looking to barely be able to move the caliper, not to be totally free floating.
- When you adjust the caliper, aim to have equal clearance between the pad and rotor on both sides. Tighten the caliper 1/4 a turn while trying to maintain the adjustment. We try to keep the brakes simple without concave washers for a firm mount that shouldnt come out of adjustment under use.
- If you find that you can get some clearance on both sides, but the pad is not parallel to the rotor, you can bend the caliper mount arm to adjust the angle of the pads.
- To bend the caliper mount we place a crescent wrench on the black portion below the brake itself. Using the crescent we tweak the arm slightly, just enough to get the pads more parallel to the rotor.
- Continue to adjust the caliper until you have an even gap on both sides between the pads.
- On Tektro hydraulic brakes there is no manual adjustment of the pads. You can adjust the lever throw at the lever itself, it is a small 1.5mm allen that is from the inside of the lever to the plunger.