Monday, April 1, 2013

First Impression: Haro Zebra Frame

I turned 38 this month. Yesterday, in fact. 

I got birthday cash (yeah, still at my age) - and I bought a new frame with that cash.

I had one of the best BMX rides I've had in a long time, yesterday.

I've been eyeballin' the Subrosa DTT (double top tube) since they announced it - and boy, I really wanted one. In particular - the street frame in size 21". Although I ride mostly flatland, I love street. I can ride flatland on a street frame, but riding street on a flatland frame just plain sucks. I've owned flatland frames in the past; they have extremely short top tubes (18" generally), high bottom brackets with tiny Spanish bearings, twitchy geometry... just a very specific design for a very specific niche of riding.

So, having had my mind set on a 21" street frame, the Subrosa was on my list of "want" items. Well, it is tax time - and I usually pay every year (I've had to pay taxes for the last 10 years). The total birthday cash I got was $270 (yeah, not bad!) and the Subrosa DTT goes for $379. Even Kip at Master Blaster Planet  offered me a great deal on shipping - but I just couldn't justify it. Because with that new frame, I would have to get a new BB (because my GT Pro Performer was an American BB, and this takes a mid-BB), headset, and I also wanted a new stem (Subrosa, of course), pivotal seatpost and a comfy pivotal seat. With the Subrosa DTT frame and all the fixin's - I would be well into the upper $400 range. Going that far away from my birthday cash wouldn't be a prudent decision during tax time.

The other frame I've been looking at was the Haro Zebra frame. Reviewing the specs, it is  full chromoly and the geometry and weight matched the Subrosa DTT street exactly. The difference was the price - $159.99 at DansComp. Other features of the frame were removable brake mounts and gyro tabs. And boy, do I need both! I was able to get the frame, BB, headset, Shadow seatpost, Kink Sexton seat and Subrosa stem for $275, shipped.

After riding my mid-school 2000 GT, I really thought I just sucked. I lost my 360º bunnyhops, high bunnyhops, wall rides, etc. Flatland didn't come easy, and forget about decent street riding. Really, I thought it was just me. And while my BMX skill level isn't that grand by today's standards - I can throw down as good as an old BMX'er does. Not so much on that GT, though.

I left a couple black rainbows.

Well, well, well... the Haro "woke up" my riding. Not only could I hit every flatland trick I know, but street was absolutely flawless. I was able to bunnyhop, jump, fastplant, manual, g-turn, half cab, nose manual, etc. I spun my 360º bunnyhops, and yes, on my birthday, I re-learned bunnyhop wall rides, which I haven't done in years. It was as if I was 16 yrs. old again.

I will be attending the Old School BMX Reunion down in Woodward West this year, and with the new equipment, I feel A LOT more confident going there.

The weight doesn't bother me at 29.66lbs. Yes, I know we live in a world of weight weenies, but hey, I'm no stranger to heavy BMX bikes. You just kinda get used to it... I figure if I stripped it down to one of the brakeless, two pegged, slammed-seat BMX bikes the kids are riding nowadays, it would come in at around 25lbs - but for me, that just wouldn't work.

2013 Haro Zebra

Here's the bike check!
  • Haro Zebra Frame 21"top tube
  • KGB (??) Flatland Fork with adjustable dropouts
  • United Integrated Headset - Campy Spec
  • Odyssey Gyro
  • Odyssey EVO Front and Rear Brakes
  • Kool Stop Pads (rear)
  • E-Clat Clear Pads (front) 
  • Subrosa Hold Tight Stem - 50mm
  • Bone Deth Deadman Bars 9" rise, 28" wide
  • Chang Star brake levers (came off my GT)
  • Animal Hamilton Grips (soon to update to Odyssey Aaron Ross Grips)
  • Shadow Conspiracy 320mm seatpost
  • Kink Sexton seat
  • GT seatpost clamp
  • Sun Big City Lite/Taska U-Free Freecoaster Wheelset (10t driver)
  • Haro 30t sprocket
  • Fit FAF Tires 20 X 2.1
  • Rant Mid BB
  • Colony 8 Spline Crank Spindle
  • Poverty cranks 175mm
  • Odyssey PC Pedals
  • KMC 1/8 Chain (soon to update to Shadow Conspiracy half-link chain)
  • 3 Colony Jam Circle Pegs
  • 1 Generic steel peg (left rear for grinding)


  1. So will this new 20 inch setup be replacing your Saint 24''? I still haven't been able to ride my Saint XLT 24 as much as I'd like but am digging it so far. Also for what it's worth I am 10 years your junior and there is no part of my 20 inch that is less than a decade old.

    1. Luke: I'm more of a low height technical rider. I grew up riding street and flatland - so my tricks aren't high flying or going big - the 20" suits my style VERY well. I like to incorporate flat with street and doing technical things - I even ride a zero offset fork to make the front wheel stuff a little easier.

      The 24" is a little more difficult for real dialed technical riding (for me). So, I'm designating it as a dirt jump bike. I stripped it of the pegs and front brake and I'm upgrading the tires. I've never been really a good dirt jumper, so this is something I'd like to dial in on the 24". Also, without pegs it takes away a "crutch" for me since I use them so much.

      The Bone Deth bars are KILLER! Solid, comfortable, tall, wide - they work. Chrome finish is not the best, but it's a BMX, not a lowrider show bike!

  2. Oh and also your Haro looks great, how do you like the bonedeth bars so far?

  3. I know where you're coming from, I was always a more technical street and park rider, not much for the big showy tricks. I have definitely noticed that compared to a 20 the saint is significantly more unwieldy for the tech stuff but it's so comfortable I'm hoping to get used to it's shortcomings. I can still shred a 20 pretty well but I ride mtb and 700c bikes so much these days the little bike seems so small and twitchy, while the 24 is comfy and stable.