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October 11, 2018

Profile Racing’s Legacy: Week 39, 2007.

Just when you think we’d have a lull in our history, 2007 sits on the podium for both product, promotional concepts and the forces behind them.

2007 saw three major movements…let’s get into it:

1. The inception of Madera Bmx

Jim Alley called a shop meeting at the beginning of 2007. What everyone thought was going to be a general production meeting turned into the master plan for a subsidiary components brand. The thought, going back into bmx history, was to have a sister brand like Powerlite was to GT. We wanted to maintain the quality of the parts we offered, but keep the aesthetics to a minimum so as to keep the pricing down. It was a way to offer Profile’s quality for those who are on a budget.

Jim finished the meeting with a pitch: He needed help naming the brand. Our Sales/TM (Matt Coplon) threw out the idea of associating the product with the beach our factory is adjacent to. After all, the beach (Madeira Beach) was one of the reasons the family moved to Florida in the first place.

A week later, Madera bmx was born.

Soon after, our first product was launched: The Madera Protocal Cranks.

The crank filled several categories, making a universal, stock crank: 175 or 180mm, bosses on both arms (for RHD and LHD), Matte Black finish, lifetime warranty. This crank, 11 years later, is still a staple product in our inventory.

Accompanying the Protocal cranks, Madera made Seat Post Clamps, the original “Pilot” front hub, and the Madera Meridian Sprocket.

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The original version on Madera’s “Pilot” front hub.

And, two unique components represented the brand as well:

The Dexter Hub: Offered a hub shell that took a flower shaped ratchet ring insert that could be flip-flopped by hand. Accompanying that piece was a driver that used reversible springs and pawls. This unique combination offered a hub that could either be RHD or LHD. It was a perfect stock item for shops, covering both drive side options.

The Dexter Hub was available in black only, 36 or 48 hole, and came with a 14mm solid axle.

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The Madera Dexter hub’s logo was made into a palindrome.

Lastly, a project that never saw the light of day was the first Madera Prototype front load stem. It had a unique (and light design) that offered compression bolts in front of the steer tube (instead of behind it) to give a clean finish and to potentially save your knees if you slipped a pedal. Unfortunately, the position of the compression bolts never offered enough clamping power, so the project was shelved.

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The cap of the Original Madera Prototype Front Load Stem used on our shop bike.

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Pinch bolts in front of the steer tube on the Madera prototype front load stem.

Besides the product, Mike Hinkens was brought on board as our first rider for Madera’s freestyle team. 11 years later, he serves as our TM (and rider) and is an important player in our Social Media strategies and general promo. The brand moves forward weekly, and will eventually bring such Iconic lines as the “Celestial” and “Party Paint,” as well as the Madera V-2 rear cassette hub, which is one of our most staple products here in the shop.

“Madera is as straightforward as you think it is and almost everything we do can be summed up in the following two statements: 1. We want to make simple and high quality parts that we and you would like to put on our bikes. 2. We want to spend the rest of our time and energy doing what this is all about: riding bikes and getting other people hyped on riding bikes through the creation of fun, high quality, and badass media.”

– Mike Hinkens

2. Adi Gilbert finds a new home

Through the course of Profile Racing’s history, we’ve used several different graphic artists for advertising. Although we heavily appreciate what they’ve done, we could never find a long term home for any of them. But, in 2007, we got an inquiry from across the pond care of our UK Distributor (PRE).

Adi Gilbert had been doing dialed work through his earlier brand, “2 and 8,” as well as print adverts for Crucial Bmx (one of our core shops out of Bristol, UK). We began conversing in early 2007, and by mid year, we worked out a plan for him to come on board as our graphic artist. As his art achievements grew in numbers, we’re happy to say that our adverts only got better and better. We’re eternally grateful for what he’s done…

We asked Adi was his 3 most favorite designs were for Profile over the past 11 years. We’re stoked to present them here:

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1) Mike Saavedra by Justin Kosman. Dig 2008. I loved this photo of Mike. Diggin the nature and the mystery of the photo and how the trick has come about. Where’s he taken off from, where’s he landing, did he pop out of a flower? I put the surrounding graphics together using some scans of an old Hotrod magazine Jim (Alley, Profile Owner) sent me. I cut up elements from the scans to make the border and type. Those 1968-2008 ads were real fun.

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2) Craig Stevens by Schogn Lee. Ride UK #164. 2012. I think the photo of Craig at height says it all. And check out the wind as shown by the tree. Craig’s wild. I love him. It was good to combine the photo with bright gold hubs.

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3) Florida Gold. Instagram 2016. Because you guys let me draw a Florida native Hammerhead Shark searching for Profile Racing Trophies in the sand thats why! Super fun to draw.

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3.5 (My back up in case you’d rather have photographic ads). ) Lima by Eisa Bakos for the Source Catalogue. 2015. Such a rad simple photo of Lima, pure style. I just framed it.

3. Chad Degroot comes on board

What we didn’t expect in 2007, was the fact that someone we looked up to in bmx would approach us about joining our ranks.

“I remember getting a call during a road trip from a mutual friend, hinting that Degroot was interested in riding for us. To say that conversation didn’t make the road trip even more incredible was an understatement.”

-Matt Coplon

By Spring of 2007, Chad Degroot came on board with Profile. His universal riding style (Flat, ramp, street) as well as his retail knowledge (owner of both Mission and Mesh skateparks, as well as Mr. Bike and Board–currently–) was/is a huge asset within our product R and D. Chad continues to push the envelope in his mid 40’s, and continues to play one of the most important parts within our team.

“Like peanut butter and jelly, being a part of Profile was organic and as natural as it gets. The look and feel was, and still is, like being part of a family. Florida based companies are so easy to support and grow with. Very much an honor with over 10 years together and many, many more. Enjoy where you are and where your going. I do. Thank you Profile Racing. (insert hug and kiss emoji here).”

-Chad Degroot

After his initiation in Spring of 2007, we began working on his signature seat and took him along on our annual team road trip to Tulsa, Ok.

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Tulsa road trip DVD rendered by Mark Mulville.

Thanks to Chad for all he has done for us.


On top of our major directional changes/additions, two of our three most iconic stems were released in late 2007 (for interbike).

First, the Acoustic front load stem was released. Based off of the early GT mallet-head stem from the early 90’s, the Acoustic stem offered a new aesthetic by having the sides of the stem body cut with a “1 inch ball end-mill.” Instead of having squared off sides, the Acoustic’s body has a 3-dimensional “scooped” finish.

Offered in several colors (including brown and orange), the Acoustic stem came in both 48 and 53mm, and still remains today as one of our staple stems in inventory.

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The Acoustic stem, still a staple.

Second, the “40 Load” stem came soon after. The 40 load was a slanted, top load stem that was actually the pre-cursor to the Mulville Push Stem. It offered a similar rise as the Acoustic, but with a top load aesthetic.

Unlike the Acoustic, the 40 Load was offered in 4 total sizes (and all of our colors): 46mm, 53mm, 58mm, and 63mm. The two longer sizes catered to bmx race.

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One of the last 40 load stems left for our museum.

2007 was the catalyst, projecting us into the next 4 years of some of our most productive times both with product and with promo. Stay tuned next week for 2008, it’s another one, heavy with influence.

October 11, 2018