1996/1997 got Profile’s gears turning to start churning out a gamut of up-to-date freestyle parts.
Although those two years were pivotal for re-initiation, 1998 saw one part that we can safely say changed the course of freestyle bmx: the LHD Cassette Hub.
Years prior to this, ACS made a LHD freewheel. So, having that drive option did exist. And the advantages were:
— If your main grinding side was on the right, LHD allowed for a lot less broken chains.
–If you tailwhipped to the left, it’s nice to have your sprocket not bash into your right ankle.
These small advantages listed above would expand and play into even bigger changes in the near future, revealing the progression of even more iconic bmx componentry…but we’ll get to that in due time.
The High Flange, Profile LHD hub was prototyped quickly and was released in 1998. Corey Alley took the standard, High Flange 36 hole Cassette Hub shell (made in 1996), drilled 12 more spoke holes into it (making it a freestyle standard, 48 hole hub for that time period) and created a 14mm stud to adapt and replace the current 3/8’s studs that threaded into the inner 3/8 internal axle.
For the driver/free-hub body mechanism, it was as simple as reversing the direction of the internal ratchet ring threaded inside the hub shell, as well as reversing the spring and pawl pockets on the inside of the driver.
All the other hub components were exactly the same.
To accompany the RHD and LHD High Flange Rear Cassette Hub, we made a front to match.
At this point, the options were 36 and 48 hole, RHD or LHD, and color options of polished or black.
With this in Mind, Profile’s unique campaign to “Build your own Hub” was conceived.
Besides the Profile Imperial in 1996, 1998 saw the second (if not the most iconic) sprocket produced by Profile Racing.
Paying a homage to TJ Lavin and his roots in Las Vegas, the BlackJack was conceived.
Made from a 1/4″ 6061 Aluminum plate, the BlackJack was the first Profile sprocket to go through three segments of production:
–Machining of the 4 triangular quadrants
–Sent out for anodizing
–Post machining of teeth, tiers, card suits and logos.
On production of the 44t, we immediately made a version in 36t to accompany the newer, 36/13t gear ratio.
Soon to follow was the Flywheel reduction to 36t as well.
The BlackJack was only ever available in black and was one of the BEST moving Profile sprockets of all time.