../companies/Macneil

Sources: www.macneilbmx.com, Dig, www.fatbmx.com, www.expn.com, ...
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Country: Canada.
Founder: Jay Miron.

Jay Miron, www.macneilbmx.com, 2004: I wish I could say there was one huge reason why l started MacNeil, but there isn't. There's actually a bunch.
1-Frustration- it was 2000 and I'd been riding for Schwinn for five years at the time. It was fun at the beginning because I played a big role in picking the team, designing the products. and just about everything else, but by the third year things started to change. They were listening to the riders less and making way too many suit and tie moves. So I decided to leave. I was laced with a tough decision. ride for another corporate company and risk dealing with the same problems down the road, or start my own company. Why not start my own company, I'd done it all before with Schwinn?
2-Ten Pack- Jamie Mcintosh and I started Up North BMX Supply (Canada's premier mail order bike shop) while l was riding for Schwinn in 1997. We did the shop so riders in Canada could get the same parts as riders everywhere. We soon ran into a big problem. There were no distributors in the country that sold the parts we needed. So out of necessity we started importing our own parts. It was a pain in the ass but we had to do it if we wanted the parts. Then some of the companies we were dealing with asked us to distribute for them as well. Within a year and a half our business became 90% distribution and 10% bike shop. Here I was preaching the classic "rider owned is better" line distributing for all the legit companies and making a salary with Schwinn. Can you say "hypocrite"?
3-Darcy Saccucci- As Ten Pack grew so did our workload and with me traveling all over the world most of the time we needed to hire someone to help Jamie. Darcy was already a good friend of Jamie's and mine. He had a lot of experience since he was one of the founders of Basic Bikes. Basic was an innovative small bike company that was around from 1993 to about 1997. Darcy left the company in 96 due to differences of opinion with his partner and it soon fell apart. So when Darcy started to work for us in 98 he was hungry to make up for his lost time with Basic. Holy Shit he was smart! He had so many great ideas for making new bike parts that I couldn't believe it. Darcy's a genius. He's already changed the way we look at bikes. The guard sprocket, the pegs. and seat/ seat post combo are great examples of that. Numerous companies out there have already copied them. Darcy's really the guy who sold me on starting a bike company. He saw the incredible potential we had with the three of us. Jamie, with his business education could handle the money, I could put the team together and he'd design the parts.
4-Canada's a huge country on the map but population wise it's a small country. Add the fact that most of the country is covered by snow six months of the year and Ten Pack wasn't going to make enough to pay all three of us after I quit riding. By starting a bike company we could stay busy and sell bikes all year around.
5-Fun- yeah I wine once and a while about how hard it is (it really is a lot of hard work) but it's also the most fun job I could ever think of. Everything from designing new parts to laying out catalogs and ads to flying around the world. I love it all. I had one big dream growing up, and that was to become a pro rider and travel around the world. While I was living that dream, I also started to dream of owning my own company. I can honestly say that it's as much fun as I hoped it would be. Now I can be a part of the sport forever.
6-Make better bike parts- we knew we could make better parts then everyone else. Why should I give all my good ideas to a corporation who already proved I don't matter to them?
2000 Macneil was founded by Jay Miron in 2000.
MacNeil was Jay's mother's maiden name.
Jay Miron, Dig november 2001: I realized I wanted to run my own company after the 100th kid came up to me and gave me hell for his supposed designed by Jay Miron frame that broke. I actually wanted to design one kids could buy.

Jay Miron, www.macneilbmx.com, 2004: The company actually became a reality the day after the X Games in 2000. Schwinn knew that I wasn't resigning for 2001. So they let me out of my contract on August 29. That was really cool of them because it meant that I could show MacNeil at Interbike in two weeks in Las Vegas.
Now came the tough part. Actually pulling it off. There were a number of things we needed to work on if we were going to accomplish anything at all; We had to put together the team, establish our manufacturing, come up with logos, ads, packaging and all that art stuff, and what proved to be the toughest thing for us, we had to start making clothing to back up the hard goods. And then we had to pay for it all.
The first thing that really put MacNeil on the map was the team. We were determined to put together a team of all different kinds of riders, but more importantly riders with original style. We didn't want to have a team where every rider has the same style and does the same tricks. l think that's really boring.
When we sat down to design the first run of products we looked at our bikes and figured out which parts were the best to start with. We came up with frame, forks, bars, stem and sprocket So that's what we started with. We offer lots more now like pegs, bar ends, seats and seat posts, but that's just where we started. Since we knew of a great machine shop right across the street from our offices we got all the stems and sprockets done there. We chose to do all the welding of frames, forks, and bars in Taiwan.
Manufacturing high quality bike parts in Asia is really tough for a small company. There's the language barrier, huge minimums on quantity, the cost of flying over there and the big guys with lots of money always push you around. We had a pretty good head start on some of the other companies since Ten Pack already did business in Taiwan and we knew some people.
In November of 2000 Darcy and I got on a plane and took our first flight to Taiwan. We were excited and scared all at once. To be honest we just didn't know what to expect. Were there going to be 14 year-old kids with three fingers welding sketchy frames in sketchy shops or what? You know we've all heard the stories. The truth is Taiwan is actually a pretty cool country with really cool people. The horror stories that we'd heard were total bullshit. The shops we went to were awesome. They were just like the ones we've seen in America or Canada and the people working there have become our friends. I actually really look forward to going over there now. I have a lot of good friends there and I totally love the food and culture.
The quality of the MacNeil frames speaks for themselves. At first every one kept saying they couldn't believe Jay Miron was going to make "Taiwan shit frames" and I don't really blame them. A lot of the frames built over there are built for the big mountain bike companies that don't care about quality. They just want the cheapest price.
We proved everyone wrong. We made them better. It was pretty funny seeing the expression on the face of the engineer every time we suggested doing something differently. He kept saying, "You don't want to do that, it'll cost more." We kept saying, "That's fine, we'll pay as much as it takes to make it perfect." He'd never heard that before. All anyone ever asked him to do was make it cheaper. We changed the way a lot of companies made their frames and that pretty much lead to the acceptance of Taiwan frames. If you think about it, the computer you're working on right now was probably made in Taiwan, and its a lot harder making a computer than welding a frame together. To say that a Taiwanese welder can't weld as good as a Canadian or American to me is straight up racist.
Now that we've been doing business inTaiwan for several years and have established good relationships over there we've now begun doing all of our machining over there too. MacNeil has never made a new product just to make it. New parts always come from a need for something better. We have two rules that we go by every time we work on something. The first is "no copies." There's no need to make a product that's already out there just to make more money. It's a waste of time and it's insulting to the company you copy. The second is "different to be better not different to be different" If you can't think of something better don't make it at all.
This way of thinking has been our driving inspiration since the beginning and has pushed us to make really good original products. That's the way we're always going to run it.

Jay Miron pro model
3,465kg, top tube (20.25" or 20.75"), headtube (74.5°), chainstay length (14.25")
2001 The Face
Jay Miron, www.macneilbmx.com, 2004: The MacNeil face became well known in BMX super quickly. A lot of it had to do with the high profile of the MacNeil tearn but it's more than that. It doesn't look like anything else. I've heard it called everything from an alien to a bull to the beast. The truth is it's nothing at all. It's just a face. When Dom Mach and I sat down he asked me what exactly I wanted. So I told him, "I didn't care what it was just make something that represents what MacNeil is about and make it original." l wanted for people to know it was MacNeil without actually seeing the word. When Dom showed it to me I said. "it's cool but what is it?" He said, "It's not anything in particular but it's what MacNeil stands for, determination." We thought about calling it the Face of Determination but ended up just calling it the face. Whatever it is. It did what it was supposed to. Everyone knows it's the MacNeil face. We've switched up to the M logo we use now but I'm sure the face will be back soon. I like it too much.

The MacNeil team is now the MacNeil/SoBe team. The SoBe beverage company will be a title sponsor of the MacNeil team throughout 2001.
Jay Miron, www.macneilbmx.com, 2004: The MacNeil I SoBe deal actually came to us through Dave Friemuth. Dave's mother worked for the bottler and her boss knew that her son was in the X Games. The guy said that head office was looking for some BMXers to sponsor and they might want Dave. Dave actually told him that he wasn't too into that X games stuff anymore but could help them find a guy and passed it along to me. This was right at the time that I was talking to Dave about riding for MacNeil. So I called the guy and we talked about sponsoring the whole team. We agreed that I should send down a resume and proposal. After they got the package I got a call back from three different guys on speakerphone. They seemed really interested. So I called my friend at Schwinn who handled team sponsorship stuff and told him the story. He said that if three guys got on the phone they're really interested. I was stoked. After another week SoBe flew me down to New York City for a meeting. Things went really well and it looked like we were ready to sign a contract. Then a wrench got thrown in our plan: Pepsi bought out SoBe. All promotions in the company were frozen until the sale was finalized. Right when it looked like it was final, the government stepped in to make sure that the Pepsi/SoBe deal was legit. I guess they do that when a deal this big goes down. It eventually took three months to finalize. It was the worst just waiting when things were completely out of my control. But in the end the sale went through and the deal got signed.

MacNeil had Ruben Alcantara's new signature frame, handlebars, and stem on hand at the Interbike tradeshow. Ruben's frame weighs in just over six pounds (2,9kg), has a 20.75" top tube, a 14.25" rear end, and a 74-degree head tube. The Ruben frame retails for $300. Ruben's stem and handlebars were designed to be lightweight, just like his frame. The bars are made with fluted tubing and retail for $72. Ruben's stem has 53mm of reach and retails for $70.

MacNeil also had its prototype sprocket on hand, and it had a lot of people talking. The chainwheel and grind plate are machined out of one solid block of aluminum so you never have to worry about bolts falling out. This design also saves a lot of weight; in fact, a lot of people were surprised at how light it was.
MACNEIL

plastic bb
2002 John Heaton frame from Macneil
John's designed his signature frame specifically for smaller riders and the spec looks perfect: Top tube: 20", Chain stay length: 13.75", Head tube: 74.5 degrees, Seat tube: 71 degrees, Seamless tubing, 5 mm thick dropouts, Weighs in at 6.28lbs, available in black, midnight blue and burgundy. Micro drive only.

If you liked the Ruben frame but the geometry wasn't quite right for you, then you should definitely check the new Macneil.
The Heaton frame is out now at £239.95 RRP

Product manager: Darcy Saccucci.

July 2002, the MacNeil guys are on tour.
2003 March 2003, Dave Freimuth's Frame
Dave has been riding the first prototype of his frame, which is due out shortly. If you've seen Alistair lately, he's on one too. Both Dave and Alistair love it.
Top Tube: 21”, Chain Stay Length: 14.25”, Head Tube: 74.5°, Seat Tube: 71°, Seamless Tubing, 5mm Thick Dropouts (Small Shape), 14mm Axle Slots, Weight 6.2 lbs, Colours: Black, Red, and White, The decals come as a sheet for you to apply.

June 2003, the new Ruben frame features a lower wishbone to accommodate smaller gearing, no Gyro tabs and a new colour, grey. It comes with a custom sticker sheet for you to fire on yourself.

MacNeil is no longer sponsored by SoBe.

MacNeil video.

Heaton Limited Edition
We now have a limited edition of the Heaton frame with a Euro bottom bracket, available in black or burnt orange. It weighs in at 6.1 lbs and has an increased strength over the 2003 model.

www.macneilbmx.com, november 2003: The big news that you’ve probably already heard is that Ruben Alcantara has left the MacNeil team. This has been a big bummer for all of us here, and he’ll really be missed. It’s a huge compliment anytime the best rider in the world agrees to represent your company. All of us here wish him the best of luck. Many of you may be wondering what will happen to the Ruben line of parts now that Ruben isn’t riding for MacNeil. For now, shops and distributors will still have the last remaining frames, stems, bars and forks with Ruben’s name on them until all the current stock is gone. We’ve already heard of a few people snapping up Ruben frames as collector’s items.

Combo selle/tige de selle
www.agoride.com, november 2003: La marque canadienne a présenté au Salon de Las Vegas un combo selle/tige de selle des plus innovants, c'est même, d'après Mac Neil, la plus importante évolution du bmx depuis ces 10 dernières années ! 526gr (1.16lbs) au lieu de 1 kg minimum que pesaient une selle et une tige classiques de bmx, notamment dû au fait que la fixation de selle est en plastique et que la tige est en alu, donc léger, ça oui mais résistant aussi d'après la marque de Jay Miron. Une vis seulement pour le combo complet, les éléments seront également vendus séparément et à un prix raisonnable nous dit-on, que demande le peuple ?
seatpost
2004 Jay Miron pro model.
Seamless Japanese tubing. Top tube: 20.5", bases 14.25''. Boîtier Euro ou US. Poids: 2720 grammes. Pattes, direction et boîtier de pédalier traités thermiquement. Dispo en tan, black et vert. 375 Euros ttc (2459 Frs)
Jay Miron: This new frame of mine was a long time in the making. Every detail from weight and strength, to graphics and design was considered. We didn't miss a thing. This frame is the best frame I've ever ridden. It's perfect.
Bibi aka Romuald Noirot, www.agoride.com, april 2004: Ce cadre est une merveille...bien rigide comme il faut, moi ce que j'adore par dessus tout , c'est la taille des tubes du hauban , il sont petits comme j'aime... et la taille des pattes aussi, une petite merveille. Pas de renfort a l'avant, et ça bronche pas, la finition est terrible sur les protos. Pour ce qui est de la taille, il est terrible, il est parfait pour moi, car avant le Heaton etait terrible, mais trop court de l'avant pour le trail, le Ruben était bien aussi, mais vu que celui la est un poil plus court, il est très maniable en park et reste stable en dirt, ce que je préfère... Je n'ai pas changé la taille de ma chaîne, car sur le Heaton où on pouvait la monter court, ça tournait trop vite en 3.6 ou pour les flips, c'est bien, mais trop dangereux....lol... voila. Sinon, les freins en haut, la chaîne déglingue plus dessus, il est simple, léger, tu sens qu'il est rigide et bien solide.

www.agoride.com, november 2004: La tige de selle en alu 7075 est maintenant dispo en plusieurs diametres (25.4, 27, 27.2, 30.9, 31.6) et deux nouvelles selles viennent compléter la gamme du maintenant célèbre combo tige + selle de Mac Neil: la Capital (cette nouvelle selle ressemble plus à une selle traditionnelle, avec un peu plus de coussin sur le dessus. Le support en Kevlar protège contre les déchirures), la Super Light (C'est la selle la plus fine de la gamme, inspirée des selles de race pour être le plus light possible) et la O.G. seat (La première et la plus petite selle de Mac Neil). Couleur: noir only. Poids: 516 gr. Prix: 69 euros. Une seule vis pour tout serrer, pas de rail qui se tord ou s'écrase...Le concept original et innovant de la marque canadienne a encore de beaux jours devant lui.
2005 MacNeil will be traveling from San Diego on April 23rd to Vancouver on May 8th. We’ll be doing demos during the trip. During, and in between the demos we’ll also be filming for a MacNeil road trip video, set for release this summer. This will be the second video for MacNeil and we’re really excited about it. The video will be edited by Seattle area rider Andrew Mcmullen and MacNeil’s art director Harrison Boyce. To make sure we get a great video we’re flying in ten MacNeil team riders; Ali Whitton, Dave Freimuth, John Heaton, Jay Miron, Gary Young, Nick Halsey, Adam Perez, Harrison Boyce, Josh Nendza and Robin Fenlon. sprocket
2006 Silencer Bars.
www.macneilbmx.com, february 2006: Here's a new product that we've been working on for a while now, and have had some of the guys running them for a few months. Take our normal 9-Butted Light bars, add a few more butted sections (for a total of 13), and drill out 12 holes on each side where the grips go – and you've got our new Silencer bars. The main reason for doing this is that the rubber from your grips catches the edges of the holes, locking your grips in place, so no more throttle grip. Combine the holes with the extra butting, and you've just made some light bars even lighter. Total weight of the 13-Butted Silencer bars is 1.38 lbs (0.62 Kg). We used our regular hydraulic load testing to see what effect the holes might have on the stength, and we found there's no difference between these bars and our existing bars. You can expect to see them going into production pretty soon, and be out later in the spring.

Macneil Bibi frame.
www.cream-bmx.com, mars 2006: Romuald Noirot, notre Bibi national travaille actuellement sur son cadre signature pour Macneil. Le premier proto arrivera dans ses petits bras fébriles à la fin du mois d'avril. La taille sera de 20,75", et 13,80" à l'arrière.
Press release, september 2006: Macneil's lightest frame to date and designed for trail riding the Bibi frame has inverted seat stay brake mounts, externally machined integrated headtube with removable gyro tabs, double butted down tube, externally butted seat tube with relief holes at the top, a tight rear end length, a Spanish bottom bracket shell and 5mm thick 14mm axle slots. Weight: 4.8lbs. Top tube - 20.75” top tube, 13.5” chainstay. Head tube 74.5°, seat tube 71°. Small dropouts. Seat stay brake mounts. Removable Oryg tabs. Double-butted seat tube and down tube. Spanish BB/Integrated Headset only. Weight: lightest frame we've ever made. Colours: Black or Blue.
Silencer Bars 2006

macneil bibi frame 2006
2009 No More Flat Parts for MacNeil.
www.macneilbmx.com, november 2009: It’s been 3 great years since we first brought Travis Collier onto the MacNeil team and started to make flatland products. The intent from the beginning was to have fun and collaborate with Travis on a creative level and maybe even help bridge a bit of the gap between flatland and the rest of BMX world. Even thought Travis is still riding for MacNeil and very much a part of the team, we will not be continuing to make flatland products in 2010. We had a blast creating a unique line of parts with Travis, but we feel at this time it’s best to let the flatland world move in the direction it wants to go, while we move in ours. Our relationship with Travis will otherwise remain the same, he’s still on our team and will be riding one-offs of his frame design. We have some other projects lined up with Travis for this year and are as stoked as ever to continue working with him! A little note for Collier fans. There are still some of his frames available, but production has ended, so if you want to pick it up, get one now before they are all gone…
MACNEIL Team
Jay Miron, www.macneilbmx.com, 2004: The first thing that really put MacNeil on the map was the team. We were determined to put together a team of all different kinds of riders, but more importantly riders with original style. We didn't want to have a team where every rider has the same style and does the same tricks. l think that's really boring.
The first rider was Dom Mach. I liked how he was all sketchy and out of control but somehow in control. Dom had already helped us with Logos and was willing to help us with MacNeil Stuff. The Face is a Dom Mach original. Next was the tech god Dave Friemuth. I really liked Dave's riding and always had fun hanging out with him. Dave was up vacationing in Vancouver when I told him my plans. At first it seemed like just talk but the more we talked the more it seemed like it could happen. The SoBe deal actually came to us through Dave but I'll talk about that later. John Heaton was next. Johnny really impressed me with his smooth style and the fact that he was Canadian was really cool for us. I didn't know much about him at first but one thing I remember was hanging with him and all his boys in Louisville Kentucky at an ESPN contest and he was really cool. So I checked up on him with some of the Ontario guys I know and they said he was cool. Skills were never an issue with Johnny, but I wanted to make sure he was cool. Since he was so young we wanted to make sure he was a guy we could sponsor for a long time and build the company with him. The next rider was Ruben Alcantara. Not many people know this but I actually rode with Ruben when he was completely unknown in Spain. I was over there with Dave Osato filming for the Schwinn video with a few of my Spanish friends and Ruben was also hanging out. It's going to sound kind of funny now but Dave and I actually thought he was a bit of a click. It seemed like every time we did something Ruben would do it right after us. It felt like he was trying to show us up at all of his spots. So I asked one of the guys, "What's up with him always doing our shit right after us?" He then told me that Ruben was from a town eight hundred kilometers from there and he'd never seen half of our tricks before. He was so stoked to see all this new stuff that he was learning our tricks as he saw them in parks he wasn't local to. He was doing some of our hardest stuff in only one or two tries most of the time!!! I couldn't believe it. After seeing that I knew Ruben was going to be a great rider. A few years later he showed up in America and proved me right. Signing Ruben to the team was a big decision for us. He was such a good rider but he was also used to riding for big companies like Huffy and Mongoose and held out for a lot of money. Then when the SoBe deal was signed we knew we could afford him. I'm really glad we did. It was great getting to ride with him so much and even just hang out with him. Ruben left the team in October of 2003 but I'll never forget the good times we had and the incredible sessions. One big surprise to us was Alistair Whitton. When I was setting up our deal with Seventies Distribution we needed a UK rider. Ian brought up Alistair's name. I rode with Alistair a few years earlier when he was a camper at Woodward and had lots of fun. I had to pull some strings to get Alistair into his first ESPN contest in Anahiem. Then he showed up and got fifth place. That same year he finished second at the X Games. I knew he was good but what the hell?
That's pretty much how the team got together. Sometimes I still can't believe it. We've added new riders all over the world since then but those are the guys that have been with us since the beginning.
Ruben Alcantara february 2001 - november 2003
Travis Collier 2006 - ....
Dave Freimuth junuary 2001 - .... Jay Miron asked me to ride for his company, and I could'nt say no to Jay Miron.
John Heaton december 2000 - january 2006
Wade Lajlar Jay Miron july 2009: I’d like to personally thank Wade for his amazing dedication to MacNeil over the last four years. It’s been a pleasure to not only ride with him, but get to know him as a person and call him a good friend. There’s no beef or anything between us. We just both realized it was time for a switch. Wade has already had a few calls from other companies regarding his riding future. So I’m sure he’ll have something new lined up real soon. All the best man, and thanks again.
Romuald bibi Noirot summer 2000 - .... Jay m'a demandé de rouler pour lui en été 2000, mais ça fait que depuis avril 2001 que je roule avec leurs pièces.
Allistair Whitton They wanted an English rider, and Ian Morris and Stu Dawkins from Seventies Distribution said my name. The Beast phoned me up and I said yes. It's great; I love it.
Gary Young may 2004 - ....