Setups: Pete Sawyer
And His Wethepeople Sterling
24 Jan 2017
Photos by Nick Wotton
Pete Sawyer has been a rider / riding for a very long time now. He may not know it but from the point he burst not the scene seen through the lens of Will Evans many moons ago he has been consistently 'on it'. His riding has evolved ever so slightly, going down different avenues, searching for style over technical riff raff and always coming through with something original. We tracked him down after New Year to see what's up with him and his setup. Just don't believe everything he says...
Frame: WETHEPEOPLE Sterling 21.2”
Forks: WETHEPEOPLE Sterling 32mm offset
Bars: WETHEPEOPLE Sterling 2pc 9.2”
Grips: Merritt Sawyer Grips
Stem: Merritt Inaugural
Headset: éclat Cargo, slammed cap
Seat/post: éclat Complex combo
Cranks: éclat Maverick alloy cranks 170mm
Pedals: Merritt P1
Sprocket: Merritt Mighty 28t
Wheels: Merritt Battle wheels. Non-Stop front hub and Final Drive Freecoaster to Battle rims.
Pegs: No thanks
Tires: Merritt Brian Foster FT1, 2.35” front, 2.25” rear
Tubes: KHE Twiggy
Brakes: Saltplus Geo XL
Lever: éclat Sniper
Cable: éclat Core
My favourite part is for sure my signature Wethepeople Sterling frame. I was involved with the design so heavily and I can’t ever imagine running anything else ever.
The seat, it’s a 3 year old éclat sample
My wheels. I'm riding the Merritt Battle wheels. These things are amazing. It’s so great that good wheels come fully built now, I hate building wheels.
Most of the modifications I do to my bike are actually to my signature Sterling frame and fork. I angle grind the dropouts on the frame and fork so they don’t catch on pegless grinds. I also grind off my rear axle on my non-grind side to make the axle as flush as possible to avoid getting hurt by it when I crash. On top of that I also run an old KHE Geisha tophat spacer on my Merritt freecoaster so I can grind better pegless. Oh I also run KHE lightweight inner tubes, I love those things.
Every rider has that one part they just love; if you had to pick one part you’d never change, what would it be?
I couldn’t live without a freecoaster. Specifically the hub I have now which is the Merritt Final Drive freecoaster (with my modifications).
Why do you like white bikes so much?
They look fucking awesome. Baz Keep always used to have a White Hoffman and I loved that as a kid.
Explain your current peg situation.
Despite riding pegs for a good while, I’ve always been pegless on and off for years. Being pegless just makes your bike feel so much better. Shout out to Lotek Mixtape, Ian Schwartz, Eddie Cleveland, and Bruce Crissman for making BMX look good. At the moment (and for the past x2 years) I’m fully pegless. I have an extra two washers on my front bolt, and on the rear an extra two washers and a backwards bolt, just to give me a little more surface area to grind on. But other than that I’m pegless, no scooter pegs!
You installed a rear wheel motion stopping cable device on your new bike. Tell us more about this.
FUFANUS. The only reason anyone should have a brake on his or her bike.
What do you normally like riding these days?
Due to the harsh reality of the UK weather and my work schedule, I’m riding indoor skateparks mostly these days. You can’t fault it this time of year, it’s guaranteed to be dry, and when Wales is wet and dark 90% of the year it’s the one place you can ride without worrying about weather forecasts. I did ride a lot of trails in the summer though.
Riders you’re really stoked on right now?
Nigel Sylvester, true innovator. That guy is changing the game. [sic]
What are 5 things you’re stoked on in BMX right now?
1. People are starting to steer away from only freecoasters / four pegs and are being more creative. It’s rad that more people started riding coasters, but I think a lot of people just put them on as part of the “four peg street uniform”. It seems that of late there are more riders looking at BMX more creatively, outside of the realm of “add a smith grind or a halfcab crank flip” and I like that.
2. There is a lot of young blood in BMX who shred. Plenty of new talent emerging everywhere right now and it's exciting to watch.
3. Brakes are coming back. Slowly, but if you look hard enough you’ll see it’s happening.
4. The DIG Jam. Events like this are good for BMX, and I wish more grass roots like this would happen in 2017, they are just so much fun.
5. One last thing that got me stoked recently was when Clint Reynolds and his mates built that big ass bowl in the woods, that’s sick! That stuff keeps BMX alive and makes you proud to be a BMX rider.
Ok so at the risk of you sounding like a salty washed up pegless guy, what are 5 things you’re aren’t stoked on in BMX right now?
1. Vlogging. I hate it. I hate the persona that if you want to be successful you have to post it all on social media. It’s a business tactic, a certified way to get publicity.
2. Crankflips. Look shit.
3. When park riders do a trick on a quarter, then do a manual 180 on the flat bottom. Looks horrible, this isn’t Tony Hawks.
4. Rocker mini bikes. Say no more. Worse than scooters. (Insert clip from The Simspons of Homer riding the mini bike at clown college).
5. I hate that BMX has made me cynical. Anything sets me off.
You have a full section in the upcoming Wethepeople video “Foundation”. How was it filming for a full part?
Me and Callum (Earnshaw) actually filmed the whole thing in a few days. We basically had an excursion up north to Leeds, which was very productive. I would have liked to go on the other trips, but I was really busy last year with work and college, so finding the time was difficult but we made it work. I’m happy with it.
What are your plans for 2017.
NEW YEAR - NEW ME. I’ll be delivering pizzas for some of it and working on cars for the rest of it, along with a healthy dash of bike riding.