"I'm not saying the 22" will become the new standard, but it might help some riders stay on a BMX, rather than switching to MTB."

18 Dec 2023

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Photos by Brendan Boeck

Aussie trails lord Tyson Jones-Peni isn't scared to rock the boat a little. His recent signature frame from Wethepeople is anything but standard, coming with a super long back end and mounts for a disc-brake. It's designed with one purpose - to roast the hell out of trails. As Wethepeople say themselves... "The Chaos Machine is one of the most 'signature' frames we've ever made." Now Tyson has flipped the script once more and built up a 22" version - scroll down for the full story.

TJP WTP 22 snails nov 2023
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Frame: Wethepeople Choas Machine 22.25”, 22” wheel

Fork: Wethepeople Audio 22” Fork, 32mm offset

Bar: Wethepeople Buck Bar 9.15”, 25.4mm clamping

Headset: éclat Wave 6mm

Stem: éclat Metra, 25.4mm Clamping

Grips: éclat Sean Burns

Brakes: Magura MT5, 140mm rotor

Seat: éclat Exile Railed, Tyson edition in Black

Post: éclat Exile Railed

Crank: éclat Spire 170mm

Pedals: éclat Surge XL Samples

Chain: éclat Stroke, hollow link

Sprocket: éclat Exile 30t, 7075 alloy

Rims: Wethepeople Logic 22”, 35mm wide

Front Hub: éclat Exile

Rear Hub: éclat Exile Disc, 9t driver

Tires: Wethepeople Overbite 22” x 2.30”

How do you think the general opinion on 22” bikes has changed, compared to when they first came out? At first it seemed like people were a bit skeptical (including ourselves).
I don't know if the opinion on them has changed - BMXers are a passionate bunch & that means there are those who see BMX through a traditional 'a BMX is a 20 inch bike' lens. The 22" has just been around longer now.. more riders have found the benefits - so the scepticism has no doubt just faded with time. I've always been a fan of the idea of a 22" - I see it as a positive of BMX progression tech. If we were true BMX purists we'd still be running around on modified Schwinn Stingrays with a coaster brake. I'm glad we moved past that & the 22" will just be the next iteration for some. Kind of like when we all realised 7" rise bars was a dumb idea for our backs; 8.75" and taller became the new standard. I'm not saying the 22" will become the new standard, but it might help some riders stay on a BMX, rather than switching to MTB.

In your opinion what are the benefits of a 22” inch? How does it change your riding?
Put it this way.. I find it hard to find a downside. I can do everything on a 22" the same as I would my 20".
Having said this, I've really only ridden the trails on it. I did do a few airs at the park & at first expected to hang up sprocket, but the back end is the same length so it was sweet. Coming off the 22 & back to my 20, I definitely felt a little skittish.. So I can say the biggest benefit is the 22 is more stable. Moving faster without feeling faster is a real confidence boost.

Do you see 22” specifically for the trails, or does it have a place in the street and parks?
In my mind the 20 inch BMX is the perfect tool for the job at the skateparks or street. But I've grown up only riding BMX. For someone who is older, or trying to add BMX riding to their typical MTBing regime, the 22" would be sick at the skatepark or street.
For me though, the 22" makes the most sense at the trails. I have never owned a 'dirt jumper' 26" bike, but I would bet money that most riders who are on those, would feel like the 22" BMX is just as stable, while being more playful.

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Do you still ride 20” or have you made the move completely? What kind of riding would you reserve for a 20”?
I haven't moved to the 22" full time yet. We just had ACT Jam here and the setup we had built was some of the biggest jumps I've ridden in a minute. I tested them on my 22" but rode them over the weekend on my 20" because I had my 20" at the skatepark earlier in the week.. If I'm honest, the main reason why I wasn't on the 22" Chaos Machine is because I only have one set of those prototype Eclat Surge XL pedals and I couldn't be bothered changing them over, haha.

Do you ever get heckled for riding a 22”? If so, what do you go back with?
I had a young kid tell me it looked like a 'dirt jumper' - damn right it looks like a bike for jumping dirt on!
I wanted to make sure my 22" Chaos Machine was a big bike, bigger stand over, with a low BB, to make sure that it looked overall bigger. I think a lot of 22" BMX bikes look a little weird because the frame doesn't get appropriately bigger to suit the wheels - so the bike can look odd. But my one, people have a hard time telling if it's a 22" or a 20".. When I tell them it's a 22" wheel most respond with "yeah I thought something was different, but I couldn't tell."

What’s the future of wheel size in BMX? Will we see more size options? Do you think 22” will increase in popularity?
I think the 22" rise hasn't even begun. It's like what I alluded to at the start, if BMX never evolved we'd all be riding around on modified beach cruisers with coaster brakes. The 22" bike gives riders a chance to stick on a BMX, instead of moving to a MTB.
I actually see a world where BMX bikes get more diverse; at the moment the difference between a frame made for street and a frame made for dirt is only a fraction of a degree here; a fraction of an inch there.. maybe run some brakes. Compare that to MTB and you see all sorts of mods.. a bigger wheel up front, way more travel forks, extremely slack head angles, bigger disc brakes, etc.
Maybe if we applied that same sort of thinking, we could have a bike that was the most capable trails riding bike around - regardless of type. The 22" Chaos Machine frame is a step in that direction & the 22 inch BMX movement ain't going anywhere, except up.


22" Chaos Machine Specs

Colour: Black, Glossy Raw, Matt Moss Green

Top Tube Length: 22.25

Chain Stay Length: 14" - 14.75" / optimised for 14.1"/14.35"/14.7" with 30-9 gearing (same chainstay length as 20" frame)

Head Tube Angle: 74.25°

Seat Tube Angle: 71°

BB Height: 12.25

Standover Height: 9.75"

Tubing: Butted, Japanese seamless 4130 crmo tubing

Bottom Bracket: 74mm mid size

Head Tube: 127mm cnc machined and heat-treated, integ. h/set, badge

Dropouts: Minimal size, not suitable for pegs, 6mm cnc machined heat-treated crmo, integrated chain tensioners

Brakes: Disc mount for 140-160mm rotors, frame comes with repl. brake hardware pivot - 3 removable brake mounts, frame comes with repl. brake hardware

Weight: 2.54kg (5.6lbs)

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