News / aaron ross

Custom Skatedecks for a good cause November 16, 2015

bunches O skates

Some of the Fairdale family and a whole lot of our friends have taken part in The Project Loop 50/50 for Taylor project. The non-profit sends out 100’s of blank skatedecks to artists and Fairdale employees to paint, draw or design on. The finished decks are being auctioned online right now until December 5. There is so many great decks to check out on the site… if nothing else it’s rad inspiration to see so many interpretations of what you can do with a skateboard. Our team rider Sandy Carson meticulously deconstructed his first SLR camera, Tim Kerr honors Jeff Phillips with his deck (Tim was once a hobo in one of our videos), Michael Sieben’s work is always awesome (and he once designed the Roger Bike for us), Jeremy Hrabal helped us out many times building Texas Toast and did this beautiful inlaid board, Jim Bauer is the art director for our mother company Odyssey BMX, is a big part of Fairdale, and put together this rad core sampled board, Steve Crandal helped us out as the announcer for TX Toast and painted a rad board, Aaron Ross  has a couple Fairdales and came up with this giant skateboard/ cell phone thing. I drew the bat on a bike one here. Search around and find decks from Mat Hoffman and loads of other legends of skate and BMX. Also, tons of great artists contributed too. -Taj


A customers custom Daybird October 29, 2015


Aaron Ross just got hitched. As a wedding present for his new wife Bethany he built this one of a kind custom painted Daybird. We love seeing folks take the time to customize our bikes. This one’s pretty over the top with even custom graphics, new rims, Aaron Ross Signature Odyssey grips, Brooks saddle, new bars and shorter stem. Thanks Aaron and congrats!


1995 vs 2011 August 18, 2011

Before I started working at Odyssey or getting to work on Fairdale designs, and before my time as an owner of T-1 I got to design a bike for my then sponsor Hoffman Bikes. At the time the “Taj” frame represented everything I wanted in a bike. We got the geometry right and we made it STRONG. That was all that mattered… something that wasn’t going to break. I was looking at that old frame today and thinking about the differences between old school bikes (thats mid-school if you are legitimate “Old-school” collector) and modern BMX bikes.

To the untrained eye this old Taj frame doesn’t really look all that different from a modern bike. Considering that some of todays top riders weren’t even born when this frame was built what has 16 years of BMX technology brought us?

There was a new Sunday Aaron Ross frame laying around the office so I thought it would make a good baseline to compare to my old Hoffman. One of the most obvious differences is the weight. The Aaron frame is 2.6lbs lighter then the Taj yet its arguably stronger. Where we simply thickened tubing to make bikes stronger now we can use heat treating and custom butted and extruded tubing.

The beastly dropouts on the Taj account for a large part of the weight difference. The internally supported hollow dropouts on the Sunday are WAY stronger and much much lighter.

The precision of modern BMX bikes is light years beyond what we were able to do in yesteryear. Gone are the days of using a car jack to squish tubing into oval shapes. And gone are the days when your only tubing option was straight gauge tubing in a extremely limiting number of sizes and thicknesses. Now we can spec tubing to be thicker and thinner at precise points and extrude almost any shape.

The headtube on that Taj frame was NOT going to break off without a fight. This is a bit before Aheadsets were used in BMX and the answer to the dangerously weak quill stem was the Hoffman Bikes Superfork. The steer tube on that fork was virtually solid and you better believe it put some heavy stress on a frame.

Thank goodness we did away with those old pressed in headset cups and threaded headsets. Man that was a drag breaking the cups all the time, feeling them shift about, and having to devise ways to keep the damn thing tight.  Integrated headsets are so amazingly simple to install… drop them in and go.

What a design dilemma it was on rear ends of bikes in the old days. We were starting to figure out we wanted shorter backends, but the cassette style rear hub wasn’t in use. How do you shorten the backend but leave room for a fat tire, huge 7/8″ tubing and still fit cranks and a 46 tooth sprocket?

I rode the backend on this bike at about 14.5 inches. I remember it feeling amazing after riding bikes with 15 inch chainstays for so long. Not really all that different then some modern trails style bikes that can be run as long as 14.25″, but seems like even the smallest differences in the chainstay length makes a big difference in how a bike feels.


I am so grateful for all the refinements BMX bikes have gone through. Bottom brackets you don’t have to hammer into the frame, headsets you can install with perfection in minutes, geometry not limited by huge gearing, and frames that are extremely trustworthy and strong without being heavy.

Still, I don’t want anyone to think I’m bashing on these old bikes (and don’t worry, these old bikes can take a bashing!). The truth is, this old Hoffman is still here and still perfectly rideable. With very limited resources and technology Mat’s crew built bikes that were suited perfectly to the riding of the day… and able to stand up to almost anything!




A Ross Painting March 29, 2011

So one day Aaron Ross strolled into the OTX office and asked if I would paint a picture of what I thought was going on in his brain. Keep in mind this was like 2 days after he walked in the office and said he wanted to jump down a set of stairs with 50 gallon drums of orange soda exploding underneath him. It was too good to pass up.

The soda thing actually happened. And so eventually I got working on the painting.