The Fix Bikes Blog

Gravity Mountain Biking Nerds – Downhill, Freeride, Trail and Dirt Jumping

Comparing the 2009 Black Market Riot and 357 Completes

Posted by thefixbikes on January 13, 2009

The Fix worked with Littermag.com to bring you a comparison of the new, 2009 Black Market complete bikes!

Bikes provided by The Fix Bikes – Photographs by Shawn Spomer

Bikes provided by The Fix Bikes - Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge: The Black Market Three57 (left) and Riot (right)

Spring is around the corner which means dirt jump season is too. With the so-called financial crisis going on in the World today, many mountain bikers are looking for ways to cut costs so they can stay on the trail. A custom-built dirt jump hardtail can get spendy in a hurry and there aren’t a lot of choices for pre-packaged complete dirt jumpers out there. The complete bikes that do exist may be lacking in geometry, spec or just plain style. As an answer to all of the above, Black Market Bikes released their first budget bike last year, dubbed the Three57. The bike was succesful and a great way to get into the dirt jump scene without going broke. A new year means a new introduction. The Three57 is out again with a refined look, but Black Market also introduced the 2009 Riot complete which keeps the budget fair, but provides some of those necessities for the serious shredder. Let’s look at the two side by side and see what makes these brothers from the same mother different.

The 2009 Three57 ($1049) vs. The 2009 Riot ($1449)

The Frames

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Everyone knows and loves the Riot frame because of its geometry and refinement. Offered up in a 21.5 or 22-inch top tube, the Riot quickly became the standard frame for riders and other frame manufacturers alike. There are no surprises with the Riot. It is simple, clean and the frames used to make complete bike are the same as the individual frame kits.

The strength of the Three57 complete lies in its frame. The only difference you’ll find in geometry is the chainstay. Instead of 15.5-inches like the Riot, you’ll have to settle for 15.625, a meer 1/8-inch longer. In addition, the tubeset is different and the Three57 doesn’t have the capacity to run gyro tabs (which most of you won’t be doing anyways). Aside from the small weight penalty of the Three57 frame, you could peel off the stickers (which actually look pretty good) and you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between these two frames.

The Forks

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Probably the biggest advantage of the Riot complete over the Three57 complete is the fork and front wheel. The Marzocchi DJ 1 may not be an air-sprung Argyle, but it’ll get the job done, it’s strong enough and most importantly, has a 20mm thru-axle interface. If you plan to upgrade your fork to something nicer, your wheel is ready to go…that’s handy. At 80mm of travel, the fork keeps the geometry aggressive and appropriate. You don’t need a 5-inch travel fork on your jump bike. 80mm is the stock goods.

The DJ 3 fork and standard axle front wheel of the Three57 will keep you happy if you’re new to the game. You’ll notice the flex, but you’ll also have no reason to be concerned about integrity. Just remember, when you upgrade to a nicer fork, you’ll most likely need a new 20mm front wheel, too.

The Drivetrains

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You may not notice it at first, but the Riot excels in this department. The Three57 does have the cool looking Black Market Revolver sprocket, but the gear range is definitely that of a budget bike. The 30-15 of the Three57 will spin out more quickly than the 26-12 of the Riot, but both will be more than appropriate for rhythm and skateparks. These bikes are meant to be pumped and maneuvered more than pedaled. The Riot comes with the Revolver Lite sprocket (which is more svelte than the Revolver) and a 12-tooth one-piece driver on the hub, rather than a cassette hub and cog. The set up is a little nicer and a little more en vogue.

Brakes:
The Riot comes with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes as opposed to mechanical brakes like the Three57. Some of you may like this, some of you may not. Braking is never the biggest concern of most dirt jumpers, so regardless of value and power, the hydraulic brakes may just be more of a headache if you plan on spininng your bars or if you get them snagged on some skateboarder’s face at the park. Neither bike comes with a front brake (but they are ready for one) and the bottomline is that the Tektros will stop your back wheel, skidding you up that immaculate lip, as you bitch out on that double for the 14th time.

The Tires
If nothing else, the Intense Microknobby tires look cool. A jillion little knobs, nice round profile and a 2.25-inch width make the bike look legit.

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You’ll get attention from the tires, and on buffed trails or skateparks, you’ll be fine. If you desire more aggressive cornering potential, the Microknobbies might leave you on the low-side of your turn. Though the Kenda tires on the Three57 are a little skinny, they have a pretty nice tread pattern for dirt riders. Fast down the middle with some side knobs (that aren’t too big) for cornering. If only they were a smidge wider…

Wheels: Identical (basically)
Both bikes use Jalco X350 disc-specific rims and generic hubs. Aside from the axle size of the front wheel and the driver/cog differences, you’re getting the same wheels. Quality is good enough out of the box and the color options on the different models keep the bikes looking unique. As long as you stay on top of your spoke tension the first few times out, the wheels should do you right. They won’t handle punishment like a hand-built wheelset, but chances are you’re buying one of these bikes to make upgrades later on, as you need them.

Cockpit: Identical
The Riot and the Three57 share similarities throughout their spec.

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The highlights are the Black Market parts. Bada Boom bars with a 25.4 clamp size and 2-inch rise are designed well. Their sweep and feel mate well with the bike. You get a Black Market stem that looks like an Underboss, but it’s not quite as refined and little heavier. It does the job and has that ever-so-important Black Market logo on it. Saddle and post are Black Market goods and one of the nicest feeling parts on the bikes are the grips. If you like a thin grip, you’ll be stoked on the S&M logo grips. They’re soft and engaging. I’d rather go through 30 pairs of grips like this than 1 pair of bulky, rough clunkers. Both bikes also come with a stem cap bolt that allow you to run a front brake cable through your steer tube. Way to look into the future for the rider who may opt for the front brake!

If you’re an aspiring dirt jumper or an experienced rider needing a complete bike on a budget, both of the Black Market completes are worth considering. It should be obvious that Littermag encourages you to save up that extra $400 and go for the Riot. If you just can’t wait, the Three57 will get your foot in the hardtail door as you learn to manual, pump and fufanu your way to Crankworx.

Complete Spec and Features

2009 Riot Complete

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Frame: 2009 RIOT frame, 100-percent CrMo
Fork: Marzocchi DJ 1, 80mm travel, 20mm axle
Headset: FSA Impact (integrated)
Cranks: CrMo 3PC, 48 Splined, Sealed Euro BB
Sprocket: Black Market Revolver Lite 26T
Rear Brake: Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc, 160mm rotor
Brake Lever: Tektro Auriga Comp
Rims: Jalco X350 disc specific, 32 hole with eyelets
Front Hub: 20mm Through-Axle with Disc Brake Mount
Rear Hub: Sealed Cassette with 12T one-piece driver
Tires: Intense MicroKobby 26 x 2.25-inches
Stem: Black Market Full CNC
Handlebar: Black Market BADA BOOM 25.4mm x 2-inch
Grips: S&M Logo
Seat Post: Black Market Riot Stick 27.2mm
Seat Clamp: Black Market Seat Clamp 30mm
Saddle: Black Market Brass Knuckles

2009 Three57 Complete

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Frame: 2009 Three57 Frame, 100-percent CrMo
Fork: Marzocchi DJ 3, 80mm travel
Headset: FSA Impact(integrated)
Cranks: CrMo 3PC, 48 Splined, Sealed Euro BB
Sprocket: Black Market Revolver 30T
Rear Brake: Tektro Aquila Mechanical Disc, 160mm rotor
Brake Lever: Tektro
Rims: Jalco X350 disc specific, 32 hole with eyelets
Front Hub: 10mm Axle with Disc Brake Mount
Rear Hub: Cassette with 15T Cog
Tires: KENDA 26 x 2.10-inches
Stem: Black Market Full CNC
Handlebar: Black Market BADA BOOM 25.4mm x 2-inch
Grips: S&M Logo
Seat Post: Black Market Riot Stick 27.2mm
Seat Clamp: Black Market Seat Clamp 30mm
Saddle: Black Market Brass Knuckles

Geometry / Measurements

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All Black Market frames are designed for 1 1/8-inch integrated style headsets (Campagnolo compatible 45/45-degree with 41.8mm O.D. cups), Euro bottom brackets, 10mm rear axles, and 27.2mm seatposts. All dimensions and geometry are based around a 26-inch tire and a 457mm axle to crown fork.

TOP TUBE: 21.5 or 22-inch
CHAINSTAY: 15.5 (Riot), 15.625 (Three57)
HEAD ANGLE: 69-degrees (haha, 69)
SEAT ANGLE: 70-degrees
BB HEIGHT: 12.25-inches
BRAKE TYPE: Disc Only
GYRO TABS: Yes (Riot), No (Three57)
WEIGHT (LBS): 30.00 (Riot), 31.25 (Three57)

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You can buy Black Market Bikes and products at www.thefixbikes.com located in Boulder, Colorado.
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One Response to “Comparing the 2009 Black Market Riot and 357 Completes”

  1. Josh K said

    Would you recommend saving for the riot or just getting the 357?

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