Van Homan's Fit Aitken setup
A look inside Fit Bike Co. pro Van Homan's bike
Van Homan: The name conjures up some of the most influential street photos and video clips of all-time. Incredible diversity on all terrain. Multiple X Games medals. Numerous NORA Cup awards. And a heavy video part for last year's "World of X" Games Real BMX competition. His current ride? A Fit Aitken. Take a look.
Van Homan has been on the Fit Bike Co. team for over 15 years and is still going strong. Here's his latest ride -- a gold Fit Mike Aitken build.
Switching it up
"I ran front-loads for a long time, but I got to the point where I wanted to bring my bars up a little bit," says Homan. Thus, the choice of using Fit's top-load Aitken stem.
Homan ran a detangler for years, but when a recent frame change didn't give the option of tabs, a straight cable was a temporary fix that has stuck. "Everything is simple and cleaner. I don't do as many barspins in the same situations as when I originally started using a Gyro, so honestly, I think I'm going to stick with the straight cable."
Every Pedal Makes Monty Smile. A Taj Mihelich fan, both on and off the bike, Homan loves his Fairdale Monty (Taj's dog) headset. "It's been on quite a few bikes and it's holding up well," says Homan, "It's a good reminder to just enjoy your bike and have fun -- it's got a good vibe to it."
Dirt, pools, ramps, street: Homan's Bell Full Flex helmet is well liked by Van and with him every session. Phone break in between runs.
Respect is due
Van's choice of riding an Aitken frame is two-fold: classic geometry good for all-around riding and meant for speed, and respect for his Fit teammate. "I grew up riding with Mikey, and he has been a part of Fit since the beginning. Anytime I have a chance to rep him, I'm proud to do it." And that headtube sticker? A thank-you to a fellow rider/artist from England who put him up for a few weeks on a recent trip.
Not following trends
My bars have slowly gotten bigger like everyone's, but that's a practical change," says Homan. "I don't see bars getting too much smaller again. I don't think that's a trend, but something I changed over the years. Other than that, my bike has stayed pretty similar to what I've run my whole life."
On the front end
With somewhere around ten years riding for G-Sport, Homan thinks they make some of the best hubs and guards out there. "I'm not a big fan of the plastic hub guard, so to have a nice sturdy guard that I can count on for the long term is a good thing in my mind," says Homan.
Height is right
Homan used to run a slammed seat, but that has changed. "I've sorta snuck it back up over the past few years. I feels comfortable between my knees," says Homan.
Homan prefers the Tripod seating system. Tripod seats do not feature a slot on top like Pivotal seats, but retain a simple and clean design that works efficiently.
Take a seat
"I can't say I'm too picky with my seat, I just look at certain styles. I like the ribs on this new Fit Solo Tripod seat -- it almost looks like that classic motorcycle style," says Homan.
In cranks we trust
"The Fit 24mm Indent cranks are amazing," says Homan. "They have the thicker spindle, but are still designed to be lightweight. To have durable cranks is something that's real important to me -- especially when you're jumping off big stuff or trying to stomp tailwhips on gaps. The last thing you want to do is snap your crank arm."
The Fit Key Guard sprocket has come in handy while saving Homan's Shadow Interlock chain on many occasions.
Gold pedals for Mirra
Homan shows honor and respect for the late and great Dave Mirra. And time for another coat.
In Homan's days as a racer, 180mm crank arms were the preferred choice to take home the trophies. But these days, he prefers 175s. "When your cranks are shorter, it makes your feet closer together for opposite stuff," says Homan.
Modern day classic
"I'd say I have a pretty classic setup," says Homan. "It's just made for all around riding."
Duo Stunner tires bookend Homan's bike, and 85psi is what feels right. "If I'm riding strictly street, I might go a little lower, but I'm definitely nowhere near some of the new-school kids who are running 30 to 40psi. I don't really see that happening for me."
Brake it down
Odyssey Evo2 brakes can be found on the seat stays. Homan will admit he's average at working on brakes, "I get lazy. They're not always perfect, but they're good enough."
Homan's rear wheel core consists of an Odyssey Antigram hub and guard. A super short run-up to a rail made him recently switch from a 28-9 gearing to the "classic" 25-9 he's currently on.
That metal feeling
"I don't really grind that much concrete or flat ledges," says Homan. "Mostly anything I'm grinding is metal to metal coping ramps or metal rails, so my pegs last forever, and I just like that metal-on-metal feel. Even if you run plastic pegs for certain setups, there's always a place for metal pegs in everyone's collection because of the feeling."
Onto the next
Riding is not the only thing that wears down a bike. Packing up a bike for constant world travel can also take its toll. Homan breaks it down and prepares for his next adventure.