Bombtrack is the title of a song by rap metal band Rage Against the Machine, and in urban musicology the word means a song track that starts quietly and then booms. Bombtrack is also the name of a German bike brand with a hard steel edge and roots in BMX and fixed-gear street culture.
Located in Cologne, Bombtrack Bicycle Company specializes in steel frame bikes for competitive riding: fixed-gear criterium and velodrome racing, rugged bikepacking, singlespeed cyclocross and gravel racing. For 2017, the brand is expanding its urban line with a new flat-bar street bike, the Outlaw.
Created by product designer Richard Shaw, the Outlaw has a stripped-down style and matte black finish. A two-speed Automatix auto shifter and rear coaster brake from SRAM eliminates the need for a shifter on the bars, and also does away with rear shifting and brake cables. Eliminating those cables provides a clean SS aesthetic–but with an overdrive gear and a 136 percent range. The front disc brake adds stopping power, while meaty WTB tires mounted on 27.5 rims provide control on rough streets or gravel. The Outlaw uses a Gates S300 crankset, 55×22 sprockets and a 118-tooth CDX belt for low-maintenance durability. “The raked top tube and short back end give the Outlaw a distinctive stripped-out café racer silhouette,” Bombtrack says on its Outlaw product page.
Just five years old, Bombtrack evolved from BMX brand WeThePeople and is part of the We Make Things portfolio of bike brands and products. “Stemming from that background it was natural to focus on steel and its advantages as the material of choice throughout our model range,” says the company’s Manuel Schuerholz. The name Bombtrack has many inspirations including the Rage song, but it also alludes to the brand’s track bike roots and hints at the idea of bombing or speeding down a racetrack, Schuerholz says. It was also the name of a legendary 26-inch-wheel fixed-gear trick bike that, due to distribution problems, was produced in limited quantities and is today a collector’s item. The buzz for that bike led We Make Things to create the Bombtrack brand and its distinctive product line.
The rider pictured atop and at the bottom of this post is Stefan “Fish” Vis of Amsterdam, a Bombtrack badassador and team rider who races in the Red Hook fixed gear crit series. The shots were taken during Bombtrack’s yearly ride camp for employees, distributors and media held outside of Cologne, a great cycling city. Its relatively flat terrain makes Köln ideal for urban commuting. For longer road rides and off-road adventures, the Bombtrack crew heads for the hills and woodlands of Bergisches Land to the East of the city, or the flatter farm fields and rolling plains to the West. “The area’s riding is as diverse as our bike range,” Schuerholz says. For model year 2018, Bombtrack plans to expand the Outlaw line with a singlespeed and a bigger geared hub version. Right on track. bombtrack.com