Meant To Be
Meant to be
Relationships between BMX pros and BMX sponsors can be tenuous and short, but for the chosen few, the right chemistry, work ethic and brand identity paves the way for career-long relationships between rider and sponsor. Here's a look at some long-running BMX relationships that were meant to be.
Ruben Alcantara and Etnies
Ruben Alcantara signed on with Etnies in 2000 after leaving JNCO, and for the past 13 years, has remained a valued member of the Etnies BMX pro team. Ruben's legendary sections in Etnies videos over the years earned him a string of signature shoes, the most recent released last year.
Jason Enns and Volume/Demolition
Jason Enns joined Volume Bicycles at the brand's inception in 1999, and 14 years later, he remains the longest-running original member of the Volume pro team. A year later, Enns signed on with Volume's sister component brand Demolition, and today, he's still on the pro roster.
Van Homan and Fit Bike Co.
After leaving a spot on the Schwinn pro team, Van Homan joined the Fit Bike Co. team when the brand started in 2000. And to this day, he remains a respected member of the Fit pro team, with a signature complete bike line, signature frame and occasional team manager-like duties when necessary.
Brian Foster and Fit Bike Co.
Brian Foster jumped off the Schwinn team just prior to the brand declaring bankruptcy in 2000, and signed on with Fit Bike Co., experiencing a second wind as a BMX park, street and dirt rider. To this day, BF retains a signature frame, stem and signature line of complete bikes with Fit, along with a recently released documentary ("BF-It").
Mike Aitken and Fit Bike Co.
Much like Homan and Foster, Mike Aitken joined Fit Bike Co. at the start of the brand in 2000, and remains one of the most respected names on the pro team some 13 years later. Aitken's signature offerings from Fit include the Series 4 frame and a line of complete signature bikes. Respect is due to Fit for making it on this list three times.
Sergio Layos and Fly Bikes
Sergio Layos joined Fly Bikes in 1999, and at the age of 15, began traveling around Europe with the Fly Bikes team for contests and demos. Now 14 years later, Layos remains loyal to his first bike sponsor. For his efforts, Fly Bikes awarded Layos a signature frame, fork and bars set called the Pantera several years ago. The latest version of Layos' signature frame and bars is dubbed the Trueno series.
Edwin De La Rosa and Animal
Edwin De La Rosa joined the Animal Bikes team when the brand started in 2000, and fired out one of the best first sections in a BMX video to date in Animal's first video. For his efforts, Edwin was given one of Animal's first signature products, the Edwin grip, still in production all these years later. A good majority of Animal's team has been in it for the long haul alongside Edwin. The brand is synonymous with loyalty.
Ryan Nyquist and Haro
Ryan Nyquist joined Haro in 1997, and for the past 16 years, he's represented the brand in the X Games, on a signature line of complete bikes, and on more magazine covers than we could count. "Todd Lyons was leaving the team to ride for Huffy, and recommended me as a replacement for him," said Nyquist at the time. Looks like we have the Wildman to thank for one of the longest running rider-sponsor relationships in BMX.
Seth Kimbrough and Hoffman Bikes
Alabama's Seth Kimbrough joined Hoffman Bikes in 2000, and next to Kevin Robinson and Mat Hoffman, he's the longest running member of the pro team, with a signature frame, fork and bars to back it. "Riding for Hoffman Bikes was always my dream. I never thought it would happen, I could not believe it. Those guys are such a blessing," said Kimbrough in 2001.
Matt Beringer and S&M
In 2000, one of the few riders throwing frontflips at the time, Matt Beringer, left a lucrative deal with Redline to ride for the brand of bike he grew up riding: S&M Bikes. S&M offered Beringer signature handlebars (ridden by Dave Mirra), a signature frame (which pushed headset technology) and still retains his name as a respected member of the pro team 13 years later.
Kevin Robinson and Hoffman Bikes
Kevin Robinson has been a member of the Hoffman Bikes team since the start of the brand in 1993. Twenty years later, he's throwing twenty-foot high no-handed one-footed flairs out of the MegaRamp on a Hoffman Condor. "I've been on Hoffman since the start. I know he'll always take care of me and I'll always do my best to support him. To me, it's not about money loyalty is more important."