Hello newcomers! Welcome to bike polo. You enjoyed your first sessions but you feel now it’s time to get your own gear and to know more about your new hobby? This post is just for you.
- Gear & Equipment:
For newbies, we usually recommend coming out few times and using our loaner bikes and mallets before investing. Once you’re more comfortable on the bike and hitting the ball around (sometimes before then even!) you’ll realize the need to make some adjustments to your setup. Here are some basics and links to find them.
Bike parts and sporting equipment can be expensive, so good used stuff goes quickly. Stay updated on Facebook to see what other polo players are selling.
If you’re not sure about something, ask anyone in the club!
- The Bike:
A good place to start is a single speed with a low ratio (around 1.7 / 1.8) with a front break (either V-brake or disk). 26” or 700cc wheels are common. You can use whatever bike frame but a short wheelbase will be more suitable. Track bike frames are usually good. Nowadays, you can also buy polo specific framesets. Here are 2 solid brands we recommend that sell polo frame + fork for about $500:
For the wheels, the more spokes you have the better. It will keep your rim stronger and will save few goals by blocking the ball better. Some players use wheel covers to prevent that.
If you use a disc break you will need to buy a “disc guard” for safety reasons. There are lots of good options there. Facebook is the best place to look for those.
The components are mostly mountain bike parts that you can find everywhere. Stem, bar, seatpost, crankset, etc.
The Bicycle Collective is also a great option to find used parts for cheap! Find them in Salt Lake, Ogden, and Provo.
Again, ask if you have questions – and we know you will!
- The Mallet:
A bike polo mallet has 3 parts: head + shaft + grip.
- Head: it can have different lengths depending on what you like. Shapes can also vary slightly. Almost always heads have one capped end and one open end.
- Shaft: it can be light and more fragile or a little bit heavier and more durable. You will cut it at your favorite length. 40”/ 1m is about the average.
- Grips: you can wrap the handle with hockey tape, bar tape, tennis racket tape, or use a golf grip. It is very important to plug the end of the shaft with a plug or a quarter and tape.
For mallets but also for other bike polo specifics items – our friend Jordan from Portland owns HECKLERS ALLEY. He sells bike polo stuff from different brands.
He distributes many brands but here are some of the major ones:
- Fixcraft : The biggest name in bike polo and for good reason. The’ve pioneered a lot, if not most, bike polo equipment. Heads, shafts, balls, and some bike parts are the main staples.
- Roger Bike Polo: the new French brand that sells mostly mallet heads but also grips and a few accessories. David is the North American ambassador and he says the “Simone” head is loved by our club and beyond. Ask him about it!
- Perro del Mallet : Owned by our friend from Spain Alejandro Carrillo. Shafts, heads, wheels, etc.!
- You can find some stuff on Amazon but stay away from the eighthinch stuff. Pretty old tech, we have much better equipment now (see above).
As you will have seen on these websites – the price will be about $50 for a complete mallet. It’ll last you for about 6 months to 1 year depending on often you play.
Finally, you can still make your own with ski poles and gas pipe (old school!), that will be the cheapest option. But they won’t be as light and as durable as the manufactured ones.
- The Protective Gear:
Helmets are pretty much mandatory. In tournaments they are, and highly recommended during pickup. It can be a basic bike, hockey or hurling helmet. You can find these online pretty easily but you can also check out Play It Again Sports on 700E 2100S for used stuff. We recommend protecting your face – hockey and hurling helmets can come with face-mask while bike helmets need a DIY process – ask Jimmy and Tina for any advice.
Gloves are not mandatory but highly recommended. 2 kinds:
- Lacrosse/Hockey – here is the cheapest option and here for a large choice!
- Mountain bike/tactical – here a solid option
Then this is up to you but as you start we also recommend knee pads and elbow pads.
- The Community
The Bike Polo community is really solid. We are probably about 300 players in the U.S., about the same in Europe and a bit less in South America, Asia and Oceania. Not sure about Africa.
So yes – we love play bike polo! But we also hang out together in SLC and almost anywhere else bike polo happens. We mostly use social media as far communication. Facebook is the major channel. Our club has a few:
- The official Facebook page to talk about the sport in general, the major events, some news, etc.
- The Facebook group where organization takes place
- The insta is lit fam @beehivebikepolo
- The Organization
There is no world organizing body so far. However, in North America, Bike Polo is supported and led by the North American Hardcourt (NAH). Alias, a friend and player from D.C. is our current president. He works with 5 other players from all over the country as a team with objectives such as growing the sport in NAM, helping with the North American championships organization, improving the ruleset, etc.
You will find the official ruleset here but for now stick with the basic rules. A lot of these are mostly used for tournaments. Also you will learn them step by step by coming to pickup.
Finally – Beehive Bike Polo Club is part of the South West region. And our Frenchie David is the region rep. You can like that group for regional info:
- The Tournaments
You’ll find all kinds of events all around the country and all over the world. From a newbie tournament in California to World championships in New-Zealand.
We’ve organized a few local tourneys in SLC, usually on a Saturday or a Sunday, so stay tuned if you want to play or just hang out. We are also planning a bigger event for the polo courts are ready. No matter your experience level – you can participate!
Playing tournaments is one of the best way to improve your skills since you play new people all weekend. However, you will have to travel. But this is not bad, right? The closest tourneys for us happen in California (SW region) and Denver (South Central Region).
Here are 2 pages to follow to know more about tournaments:
A good thing about tournaments is also the travel aspect. This is unique to bike polo. You can register for a tourney in Puerto Rico (next Feb.), buy your tickets and get a couch at a local player’s place. Take few days off and go explore the surroundings. You can do that in NYC, Chicago, Portland or even further in France, Germany, Australia, NZ, etc. Our community is pretty small but it is the most welcoming one!
If you want to push a little further you can get ready for next Regionals in spring 2018 – open to everyone. Then will follow Nationals and Worlds but only accessible through the qualification process (or Wildcards).
- Be the real polo geek
– If you like Instagram you can follow players, teams, clubs, etc.:
- Beehive Bike Polo account + individual players
- NYC Bike Polo Club
- Houston Bike Polo
- Madison Bike Polo
- Call Me Daddy
- Mosquito Bike Polo
- Mohawks Bike Polo
- Roger Bike Polo
- Hecklers Alley
– If you want to check good videos:
And again – feel free to ask us any questions you may have.
Welcome to our community – we hope you will love it!