Product Spotlight: Oakley B1-B Guidance System
Recently on a trip to Northern California, I stopped by the Fatlace Paddock to see Mark Arcenal and crew. Sitting in Marks office, surrounded by mountains of cool shit, I mentioned something about a few boxes of Oakley grips next to me. “Whoa, they actually sell those?” Last year, I did some searching for these but came up short. I remember them being on Highsnobiety and that Oakley was going to be re-releasing the iconic Guidance System. Mark, who is friends with the people over at Oakley graciously offered for me to pick a color. Wanting to mimic one of my old cars (white, black rims/hood, red seats), I’ve been in search of a red accent for my bike.
THE DETAILS: You may have thought Oakley started in eyewear, but the truth is they started in Motorcyle grips. They developed a material, revolutionary at the time, in 1975 called Unobtanium. This material enabled a high level of adhesion to the handlebars and the rider’s hands. Also unique to the B-1B were neoprene/lycra flanges that aided in blister prevention. It’s all about the details. With 5 unique colorways these things can turn any bike from boring to BLAMO!
PRICE: $100-$200 on ebay
WHERE TO BUY: Good question. A quick google search yields tons of results of these on hype websites, but nowhere to buy ‘em. ebay seems to have a decent selection.
MY THOUGHTS: These things feel great, are supposed to last a long time and have style for days. If you can find ‘em, get ‘em.
I thought these bad boys deserved some new bars. After some ebayin’ I found a cheap set that looked to do the trip. The Eighthinch Freestyle Riserbars seemed perfect.
THE DETAILS: 50 MM rise, 660mm width (way too big out of the box IMHO) and they come in raw, white or black.
PRICE: $44.50 or $35 on ebay.
WHERE TO BUY: Cyclecloseouts, or ebay like I did.
MY THOUGHTS: The bars feel great, though the chromoly construction makes them a bit on the heavy side. I went with these because of the cross-bar constructions and low-rise. I figured they fit the BMX grips well. I also thought the raw finish, with the welds showing, gave in kind of a rat-rod look. Out of the box these were monstrous. A few rounds with the pipe cutter and I was in business. Do I recommend ‘em? So far, heck yeah.