BMX PLUS! Test / June 1986
THE RETURN OF THE
HUTCH PRO RAIDER


IS DIFFERENCE NECESSARILY BETTER?
Hutch first introduced the Pro Raider in late 1984. Ever since, the bike has been a tremendous success It was Hutch's first bike to come out in the under-$250 price bracket and it quickly became his best-selling bike Last summer the Pro Raider became a winner in another way as well. That was when we performed a comparison shootout on the top six BMX bikes priced under $250 (BMX Plus! Aug. 1985) and found the Pro Raider came out on top.
Well, since then Hutch has decided to update the Pro Raider for 1986. How could Hutch improve on its Pro Raider? That was one of the things we wanted to find out. We called Hutch and had them send us one of their '86 Pro Raiders so we could have a look at it.
GETTING IT TOGETHER
The Pro Raider is built overseas, and ours came to us straight from customs. The bike went together well except for one thing. During the assembly we noticed that the paint chipped fairty easily. We're not sure what process is used to bond the paint to the frame and fork, but it might stand some improvement. Last year when we evaluated the '85 Pro Raider for our shootout we used a chrome-plated model. All in all, we think the chromed version is probably still the best bet for those who want their Pro Raiders to continue looking as good as when they first arrive. The biggest change made to the Pro Raider for 1986 is that this year's model has the new Hutch Hi-caliber line of components. They're made to Hutch's specifications by some of the top component companies in Asia. We were most impressed with the new Hi-Caliber pedals. The resemble the infamous
Hutch pedals that revolutionized (no pun intended) the pedal worId. The other Hi-Caliber parts are a donut-style
seatpost clamp, stem, grips, spider, chain, and the bottom bracket/headset bearing systems. All looked good.
MUSHY MOUNDS
We picked a new spot for this month's test, a secret riding spot called "Mounds".It had rained for most of the last week, so the test site was still a bit soggy when we arrived, but the sun was on our site. After a few quick blasts, the raves started coming in. "These pedals are rad," Billy told us, "they feel like the high-digit numbers." The Hi-Caliber pedals are slightly smaller than their $70 big brothers, but otherwise, they are very similar. Billy said he couldn't feel the difference. Getting back to the Pro Raider, we wanted to know just how it handles under "not

We gave the Pro Raider the full torture traetment at the Mounds riding area in Orange County. It looked,handled and jumped great,but as usual,when there are flaws to be found,our guys find them.Guest tester Eric Carter--Hutch factory radster--gave us some good input and some great visuals.

so prime" conditions. Some of the jumps had big puddles after them, so quick rider moves were required to avoid the water. The Pro Raider responded perfectly. Billy never got wet, although he came close a few times. Every time he came away raving about how great the handling was.The stopping power provided by the Cheng Star brakes was exceptional, considering the soggy conditions under which we were testing. The Hutch tires gave good traction in the muck, although the radical knob pattem felt a little bumpy for street use. The Hutch grips were comfortable and stay

ed in place quite well.
RADNESS
What test would be complete without a little jumping ? Well, at BMX Plus!, we don't do anything in a small way and neither does Billy Griggs. The photo's may look rad, but unless you were there, you wouldn't even believe it! Billy jumped the Pro Raider so HIGH, so FAR, and so OFTEN, we thought he was gonna die. After the first few jumps the handlebars had to be retightened, but this is not unusual as the bars seat into the stem. We normally save the really heavy jumping until the last part of a test, due to the fact that this is when any parts failure is likely to occur. Billy was working on some death jumps when he noticed something wrong. The forks were starting to bend. But how could this happen? Was our testing too much for the Pro Raider? We asked Billy what degree of abuse he had been dishing out, and he told us that on a scale of one to ten, it was about an eight. That's usually hot enough to damage a bike as sturdy as a Hutch. When the problem got worse, we decided to head back to the shop and see what the story was.
PROBLEMS
As soon as we got back to the shop,we called Hutch to inform them of what had happened, Meanwhile, we disassembled the bike so we could examine the parts. After removing the stem, we noticed that there was a seam inside the fork stem tube, indicating that the material that was used may not have been chromoly, as 4130 is usually (but not atways) seamless.Our call to Hutch confirmed this suspicion, as they told us that the bike assembled for our test might have received a now discontinued Pro-Street fork, which was mild steel. They sent us another pair of forks the next day. They had no seam. We tested them with Woody Itson and Eric Carter and found they could take much more abuse than the first forks could. As for the other parts, the SR-manufactured Hi-Caliber stem clamped the bars fine, but it partially crushed them.
The tubing could definitely stand to be beefed up here. We also managed to bend the rails of the seat and the seat- post. We attribute this to the radness of Billy's jumping

Woody Itson came out on the second day of our shooting to take a whirl on the Pro Raider.He had no trouble pulling of freestyle moves like this gut lever on a bike that was designed for racing.Woody said he would have liked to put some Woody Itson bars on the bike for both racing and freestyle.We had to agree.The stock bars could stand to be beefed up a little.

and some especially heavy landings. We offer this bit of advice: If you park any bike in the garage, nothing will break, bend, or tweak, but when you ride equipment past conceiv- able limits, things may not last as long - but evaluating them sure is more fun! The upshot of this test is this: We took the '86 Hutch Pro Raider and beat the daylights out of itl For the most part, the bike held up fine, but we did find some things that could stand improvement. As far as comfort and handling ability go, the Pro Raider is excellent. The components are good too. And for most riders the bike should take just about anything they can dish out. It would be a good bet for the entry-level racer, all the way through intermediate racing, but it might not be up to the abuse of a nationally ranked 17 Expert in a major radness session.
SPECS:

Bike: Hutch Pro Raider 20 inch complete bike.
Age range: 13 years and over.
Country of origin: Taiwan
Intended use: Racing and street
Wheelbase: 35-7/8'' to 37''
Bottom bracket height: 11'' (center to ground)
Chain stay lenght: 15'' (center of bottom bracket to midpoint of rear dropout)
Steering head angle: 74
Seat tube angle: 75
Frame: Hutch Pro Raider,4130 chromoly,1-1/8'' O.D. top tube,1-1/4'' O.D. down tube.
Fork: Hutch,4130 chromoly,1'' O.D. legs,leading-axle design.
Rims: Araya 7X,alloy,36-hole.

The SR CRMO Lite crank and new Hi-Caliber pedals got high marks from the test force.We even liked the chain guard.

Spokes: Stainless steel, 14 gauge.
Hubs: Suzue,low-flange,aluminum.
Tires: Hutch (Mitsubishi Silver Star),20''x2.125'' front,20''x1.75'' rear.
Cranks: SR Cr-mo Lite,180mm,chromoly.
Pedals: Hutch Hi-Caliber,aluminum cage,chromoly shaft.
Chain: TYS,1/2'' by 1/8'',silver and black.
Bottom bracket set: Tioga,steel.
Head set: Tioga,steel.
Front sprocket: SR,43T,aluminum chain ring,Hutch aluminum spider.
Freewheel: Shimano,16T,chromoly.
Brakes: Chang Star,front and rear.
Stem: Hutch (by SR),MS-422.
Handlebars: Hutch,28'' width x 8-1/2'' rise,chromoly.
Grips: Hutch,black.
Seat: Hutch black plastic saddle (by Viscount),straight chromoly seat post,Hutch
aluminum seat post clamp.Miscellaneous: CPSC equipment,pads.
Overal weight: 25-1/2 lbs. (minus CPSC equipment).
Approximate retail price: $249.


BACK

The '86 Pro Raider features a number of Hutch Hi-Caliber components,including the stem which is made for Hutch by Sakae Ringyo (SR).