Picture from Arena Bike Polo
It seems that Arena Bike Polo is doing a little update to their mallet offerings, and the first peek looks like a lovely black UHMW mallet head. Chris has indicated that he’s looking to aim for a 90 gram weight before any drilling, and if this mallet head is anywhere close to the wear and pop-ability of the MILK mallets, we’re in for a treat.
You’ll recall that I love the Creamy mallets, and having a US offering of the black UHMW that is machined for bike polo needs is very exciting to me. I’ll be sure to pick on of these up once they are available and do a full review – for right now they are still in the prototype phase.
image from Arena Bike Polo
Image from Arena Bike polo
Just saw this over on the LoBP (ALL HAIL) boards: A British bike polo cohort (wonderfully named Magic) is planning to release these nifty green UHMW mallet heads later today.
They use the metric system for measurements, but understanding that we poor Americans think of that as witch speak, they also included good old makes-no-sense- inches in their specs:
- 4 6/8 inches long
- 2 3/8 inches in diameter
- single capped
- 78 grams
No word on cost quite yet, but Magic’s previous mallet heads cost 6.00 Pounds (which, when converted to U.S. Dollars, comes out to about 12 yellow chevron checkboxes or 19 purring kittens, I think).
Anyway – something to check out if you’re across the pond and maybe even something to investigate if you’re just looking for that perfect Luck o’ the Irish themed mallet.
Worth a look and worth consideration – it’s great that we keep getting more companies and more variations of products to choose from.
Click here to visit Magic’s web page and check out those sexy looking shafts, too.
The folks over at Portlandbikepolo.com have had this little beauty out fora little while now, but I haven’t been able to get my little paws on it until just recently.
The design comes from Sasha Friedman who, as a mechanical engineering student, wanted to use some classroom know how in the real world. The result was this mallet head.
A few little details before I get on to the mallet itself: I reached out to the makers via email and they were quick to respond and super fast on shipping, so if you’re living on the East Coast (or, as I shall now refer to it, the Beast Coast), you needn’t worry about waiting around
for it to arrive (or poor communication via the seller).
How it Came.
The Mallet head itself comes by itself without any stickers, hardware, or packaging. I appreciate this. The website claims the mallet head weighs about 95 grams undrilled,
and as you can see from my own weight measurements, they are pretty close to the mark (I can’t say as though I 100% trust my scale, either, so give or take 10 grams and I’ll call it fair.
It has a thicker lip on the open end and a band about an inch wide in the middle for better securing of the mallet head to a shaft.
If you want the backstory to the mallet, peek over here.
How it Built. Read more
Mallet head designs are pretty much all headed in the same direction. You’re seeing +-5” long heads with a diameter around 2.25-2.5”, and a capped end. Milk hasn’t done anything revolutionary with their new Ninja Cap Head.
What they have done is gone a long way towards perfecting what is already out there. Measuring 4.9” with a 2.375” diameter, the head is exactly what I’m used to size wise. However, the 80 gram weight is a good bit less than I’m used to. The head is made out of UHMW Solid Rod and then CNC’d down to the desired shape similar to the other UHMW capped heads on the market. The machining is precise, and super clean, both inside and out. Both the capped end and open end feature a beefed up wall diameter and rounded corners. This gives the head a really nice look. The build is super clean all around.
Being that its UMHW, wear is what you’d expect from similar heads on the market. Slow, even, and predictable. Milk recommends that you avoid drilling extra holes in the mallet, and I see no need with its stock weight. The wall thickness at the 3rd lines (between cap and shaft, shaft and open end) is thin, but the ends and middle section are more robust. It also comes with pre-tapped pilot markers for rotating the head once you wear it down a bit on one side. You could rotate this head to a total of 3 positions before you’ve used all the pilot markers. (8 if you abandon their mounting system, more on that later). Read more
There are a thousand ways to build a polo mallet (and, if you believe that enormous hyperbole, bully on you), but that doesn’t mean there are a thousand good ways to do it. While at the Carolina Classic Polo Hoedown Throwdown Showdown Clown Frown Charlie Brown II tourney, we Eastside kids noticed the Southeast crew rocking a rather unusual mallet shape. A mallet shape that you might very well attribute to a small group of ragtag vagabonds in the 13th century trying to defend their lands or a post-apocalyptic zombie killing apparatus:
I’m all for inventiveness in the sport. Furthermore, I’m all for creating goofy things just for the sake of creating them and seeing how they work. How else are we to breed innovation and the next level of blah blah blah.
I also want to specify here that I’m not pulling the guy who made this mallet over the carpet. He saw a problem and tried to solve it – and I appreciate that kinda mindset.
But – there are some dogs that just won’t hunt, and I count the vampire slayer (my name, not theirs) as one of them. I’m not going to get into the particulars of why foam is a bad idea in a mallet – I think that’s a different conversation all together.
The reason behind the design, from what I can gather, is that it helps provide a bit of lift/scoop when you shoot and pass. While I suppose could be true – hell, probably is – there are a few factors that negate any advantage by giving your mallet an underbite. Read more
Eight Inch Mallet Head pictured before and after the drill.
I don’t know why everyone likes to talk shit on the Eighth Inch Bicycle Polo Mallet Head. I rather like it.
Let’s start with the facts:
1. It’s heavy. 160 grams capped (Fixcraft Ultralites are 113 grams).
2. It’s nylon like your toothbrush (not UHMW, HDPE, ABS or HPV).
3. It sells for $14.50 (50 cents cheaper than St. Cago and a paycheck less than Fixcraft).
4. It comes with mounting hardware (no more scratching your head at Home Depot).
5. The sides are curved to cup the ball (a potential legal concern for tournament play).
Let’s consider what the haters have to say:
1. I don’t like anything Eighth Inch because their mail-order bikes get more compliments than my custom build and I am awesome and original (I wish I was better at polo).
2. My girlfriend moved out after I cheated on her and now I hate Eighth Inch mallet heads (I wish I was better at polo).
3. I’ve never tried an Eighth Inch mallet head but all the better players say they’re dumb so I agree (I wish I was better at polo).
Let’s listen to the story of my Eighth Inch mallet head: Read more
Bike polo is getting bigger. Oh yes! Even between last year and this year, I can say “I’m a bike polo player” and people don’t think I said “bolo slayer” and just have a speech impediment. The growth of polo is going to lead to a great expansion of courts, equipment, and players. And that reminds me of a few stories.
Way back in the early 1900’s (when Lumberjack was a spry 67 years old), medicine was just beginning to get into radiation as a treatment for Godknowswhat. Drinking radiation water, wearing uranium blankets and shooting yourself in the face (why not, you’re already growing a second one on your shoulder) was all the rage. The rapid expansion of medical science made this possible: folks with little knowledge but silver tongues could convince other folks that what they had to sell was the gen-u-wine article for whatever they needed.
Now think about where bike polo is right now: it’s gaining traction, the equipment we use is rapidly being revolutionized/customized/optimized for the sport, and people are just holding open their wallets for whatever comes next.
This is a great time to be a flim-flam man. Everyone wants something, but nobody knows how to tell what is good or bad. Just look at the expansion of the bike polo mallet as your paradigm: Read more