You know you're in trouble when there's news of a 'new' bike on both RideBMX and Hypebeast. If a bike appears on Hypebeast, you can automatically assume the following: a) it's a collaboration of some sort, b) it's going to be 'limited edition' in this case, less than 500) and c) the whole is going to cost more than the sum of its parts. Probably a lot more. (Hypebeast really did their homework on the project, too: "DC Shoe and SE Bikes will once again join hands to release a new Bike called the Quadangle." Just shoot me.)
Meet the DC x SE Quadangle 24. (The "x" is really important amongst streetwear/hypebeast types. Without that, they'd need to knock off a couple hundred bucks off the retail price. But DC? Do hypebeasts wear DC? In fact, who DOES wear DC?)
This is a bike that never was. There was a looptail Quadangle, but never a 24. Not an official one, anyway. (There was a "skunkworks" Quad cruiser knockoff a couple years ago, but it wasn't an SE product.) SE Racing was the brainchild of Scot Breithaupt (the SE stands for "Scot Enterprises"), an early BMX brand that brought us the Landing Gear fork and the "PK Ripper" as well as the Quadangle, the Floval Flyer 24" and the OM Flyer 26". Seminal BMX products all. It's now a division of Fuji that sells cheap cookie-cutter single-speed flatbar roadbikes by the metric ton.
What they're selling here is nostalgia. Well, pseudo nostalgia. And shockingly, I have a couple of problems with it.
1) Why not go all-out and make the 24" Quad with a 1" threaded headset and a quill stem? Was it that important to make it race-worthy? It's a collaboration, for God's sake. People are just going to buy them in order to re-sell them on eBay, or stash them in their attic for 25 years to pay for their kid's college education. I'm sure a few of them will be ridden, but not by people who will care whether it has an Aheadset or not.
2) This could be 1)a, I suppose, but the v-brake ruins the whole bike, IMO. Doesn't anyone make calipers anymore?
3) Flat black? Great for a modern street bike, not so much for a retro project. The frameset—baby blue with a brown fork—is much better. Those are classic SE colors. Do the complete in those colors with chrome rims, bars, cranks and seatpost—and a camo padset—and you'd have something. Oh well, at least they got the skinwalls right. (Also, a retro-style number plate would have added a HUGE space for more branding. Fail.)
4) Actually, the whole parts kit just looks booty. Sweet generic Taiwanese stuff, fellas. Way to make things special.
5) It would have been nice if the collaboration was with Vans, who actually sponsored SE riders back in the day, rather than DC, who remains primarily a skate shoe company. Vans would have brought a better historical perspective to the project, I'd think (and they probably wouldn't have spelled Stu Thomsen's name wrong on the official history page). But I shouldn't be so critical. At least DC stepped to the plate (this is their second collaboration with SE following last year's looptail PK retro). I guess Vans is too busy courting other, more appropriate partners like geriatric British metal bands and obscure Japanese streetwear brands.
Oh well. Anything that gets hipsters off fixed gears is a good thing, I suppose.