A D V E R T I S E M E N T
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16325 Arthur Street
Phone: (562) 623-9995
BMX started in the early seventies when kids began racing their bicycles on dirt tracks in Southern California, drawing inspiration from the motocross superstars of the time. The size and availability of the Schwinn Sting-Ray made it the natural bike of choice, since they were easily customized for better handling and performance. BMX racing was a phenomenon by the mid-1970's and it wasn't long before an influx of market-specific companies emerged. Fast-forward a decade and a whole new round of companies began to pop-up that were intent on addressing the needs of riders who had grown far more interested in doing tricks on their bikes than they were with racing them. It was during this time period, 1985 to be exact, that Odyssey started selling BMX and freestyle products from its original office in Carson, California. The initial goal was to fulfill the growing desire for OEM and aftermarket components in BMX alone, but the brand soon became devoted to the relatively new and wildly ground-breaking freestyle riding that was growing in popularity both in the United States and in other countries around the world.
The brand's first products consisted of braking "systems" (calipers, pads, cables and levers), seating (clamps, posts, and seats), stems, handlebars, cranks, pedals, sprockets, frame and fork standers, aluminum pegs and a few novelty items like the infamous Barefeet tires. Many of these parts were specified as OEM equipment on some of the best bikes of the time period. Several of Odyssey's early components weren't much more than "me too" products that were based around the notion of offering aesthetically distinct OEM part kits. However, this approach fulfilled a market need and also catered toward the tendency for customization that was an important part of freestyle in this era. As a company, Odyssey's initial support for riding both in the US and internationally had relatively few equals, boasting a long list of co-sponsored riders, numerous monthly magazine advertisements (sometimes three or more per issue) and title sponsorships at events like Bob Morales' AFA Master Series and Ron Wilkerson's inaugural 2-Hip King of Vert contests (that would eventually lead into Mat Hoffman's B.S. Series and ESPN's X-Games).
It wasn't long, of course, before Odyssey was well known for trying to follow a technically innovative path with its products, while simultaneously embracing reasonable pricing too. This was most evident with the early success of components like the Slic-Kable, Excalibur crank, Pitbull brake, Sprocket Pocket, and the Gyro.
The Slic-Kable was designed and introduced as one of the company's first products, and it's still one of the most popular brake cables in use today, this is due in part to its flattened outer wire profile, Teflon-lining and a limitless supply of housing colors. Additionally, nearly everyone was riding one-piece cranks in the eighties, and the Excalibur had a reputation for being stronger than many of the other one-piece cranks that were on the market. Amazingly enough, production continued on the Excalibur through 2007, over twenty years after its initial introduction.
In 1988, the Pitbull brake was introduced and found favor with BMX racers and freestylers alike. The brake didn't need dedicated frame bosses, and it's direct dual-pivot operation worked extremely well for a wide variety of riders. The Pitbull caused a temporary push away from u-brakes that would last into the early nineties. Around the same time street riding began to grow, and a small group of highly respected San Diego riders decided to bring their plastic Havok Sprocket Pocket to Odyssey for mass-production. As a result, one of the first bolt-on sprocket guards soon gained a level of wide-spread acceptance that would eventually lead to metal "sprocket pockets" from other brands several years later, and it's influence is still seen in the modern era.
These early parts were special, but clearly nothing compares to the impact that was made by the Gyro in 1986. Originally invented by Brian Scura and still manufactured by Odyssey, the Gyro is one of the most important innovations in BMX history. It's indifference to stems and headsets meant that it was the only detangler that made the transition to 1-1/8" threadless, and it is still a product that's in widespread use today. The current Gyro G3 has received changes to its cables and bearing unit over the years, and our top-of-the-line Gyro GTX-R may not look like the original, but the basic detangling cable function for all of our Gyros is still the same. The Gyro truly helped to set Odyssey apart, and it also established our reputation for following through with the development of original designs.
The Gyro was one of our first patent-worthy projects, but certainly not the last. Most BMX companies hold no patents at all, or only a handful at best. Odyssey has close to sixty US and foreign patents that have been approved or are still pending. Why? Because we're interested in pursuing and protecting new concepts so that we can continue to try to make better products a reality, instead of being forced to rely on ordinary designs that are already available from dozens of brands.
Some people are surprised to learn that many of BMX's presumably "generic" designs are actually ideas that originated at Odyssey, only to gain widespread acceptance later on. The Gyro is an obvious one, but something simple like the one-piece cassette driver is not as well known. This type of cassette driver (with a sub 12-T permanent cog) was an Odyssey first. After our 11-T driver was introduced, 10's, 9's and even 8's soon followed across the board and the "micro-gearing" standard was firmly set in place. The demise of the "dinner plate" sprocket started with a quick technical drawing and was universally adopted in less than two years. The introduction of our 13-T freewheel around the same time also meant that new riders would never have to use a sprocket larger than 36-T.
Another example of this widespread acceptance (and numerous attempts at industry assimilation) is the Linear Slic-Kable. The term "linear cable" is now used to describe virtually every brake cable intended to allow barspins. However, we were the first company to design a better (and affordable) "linear" based cable-housing and ferrule that was durable enough for spinning the bars, and this is where the now commonplace "linear" name comes from - our original (and still benchmark) Linear Slic-Kable.
41-Thermal is the 4130 chromoly manufacturing process that we introduced back in 1999. This process ultimately starts at the design stage, carries on throughout manufacturing and is only completed when we get to the finishing steps. Every action along the way counts and matters. The process could be considered similar to a literal cooking recipe in that there are an endless number of variables to hone in on and fine-tune. We've been working with this process for close to a decade, and it continues to evolve and change along with the products that proudly carry this famously trademarked name. Other companies have attempted to write the process off as a "gimmick" or they over simplistically try to label it as "just heat-treating", but nothing has revolutionized the manufacturing of chromoly forks, bars, cranks and frames in the last 20 years like 41-Thermal has. We pioneered it, developed it and continue to perfect it, never at the mercy of feebly asking manufacturers to do "whatever the next guy is doing". Our lab and ride testing is methodical, constantly striving to make the process better through continuous experimentation and true engineering. 41-Thermal products are backed by years of research and development, and they have always been fully supported by a lifetime warranty. Since 1999 - nobody else can make that claim, or even comes close to it.
Through the nineties, Odyssey meandered through a few mountain bike parts and shifted more toward BMX racing products, since these were the interests of most of the design staff. However, significant company-rattling changes happened at Odyssey when we began to reshuffle our employees in 1998 and moved our office to Cerritos, California a year later. Since then we've directed our focus back to our freestyle roots, and we've made it our mission to work with the best possible people both in our office and on our sponsored teams. This has also allowed us to branch off and combine forces with engineering-driven and highly respected smaller companies like G-Sport. Thanks to influential product design and direction, today we have a small group of dedicated employees and a long list of respected distributors worldwide. The result has yielded instantly recognizable names like; Hazard Lite, Seven-KA, Race Fork, Dirt Fork, Director, Evolver, Evo 2, Monolever, Slic-Kable, Linear Slic-Kable, Gyro, GTX, Jim Cielencki Pedal, Trailmix, JC-PC, Twisted PC, Wombolt, Twombolt, Ribcage, 41-Thermal, Vandero, Marmoset, Ratchet, G-Coaster, J-peg, Pleg, G.L.A.N.D., Elementary, Civilian, Lumberjack, Vermont, M.D.S., Intac, 99er, Junior, Senior, Aitken Seat, Aitken Tire, Frequency-G and Path.
BMX has gone through so many phases since 1985 that we are proud to say that we're still here and motivated to do what we do best. We believe in making products that are functional, practical, light and strong, all while placing a distinct emphasis on affordability. We know that's out of sync with the infamous cycling mantra, "light, strong, cheap - pick two", but we strongly believe that it's possible to have "all three" with the technology that's available today, and we think that it's important. Riding BMX shouldn't be a dollar hurdle that's out of reach for the average rider. After all, we were there at one point too, and we haven't forgotten what it was like to scrape money together just to buy a new tire or a brake cable.
Today, our entire product line is driven by technology and innovation. Odyssey has won design awards and accolades both inside and outside of the bicycle industry, but the most fulfilling thing for us is when we look at most of the bikes in use today. With our comprehensive product line, it's hard to find a bike without at least one Odyssey part on it, and many bikes are now being built around our products alone.
We are honored and truly pleased that so many people enjoy our products as much as we do. We will do our best to continue to provide you with quality, innovation, reasonable prices and unparalleled customer service both now and for the years to come.
Through the ups and downs, highs and lows, we sincerely thank you for your continued support.