To be honest, nothing much in BMX surprises me anymore. The riding? When you have guys doing flairs entirely backwards and 360ing off rooftops, it's apparent that anything goes. And productwise, well, I think I've made myself quite clear. Let's just say I generally hope for the best and expect the worst.
Sometimes, it seems, my expectations are still too high.
Take Hitman Bikes. Their new street frame is a low-slung, drilled-out, Sanko-tubed creation that looks like an Eastern on a crash diet or a Tierra that was used for target practice (the three holes in the headtube beg to be converted into a working traffic light). According to the accompanying release, which is up on Ride but, oddly enough, not on Hitman's own site, it weighs four pounds, six ounces, which honestly seems kind of heavy given all the drilling. The prototype was sub-four, and is apparently still being ridden, which doesn't really explain why the production frame is 12 ounces heavier.
(I'm not entirely sure, based on the photo and the diagram below, where all 21 holes are. It looks like 10 in the seattube, three in the headtube, and four in the capped stays. Where else? Maybe the gyro tab ones count?)
As you can see on info sheet, they named the frame the "Sir Han," and used images of pistols and a silencer-wielding gunman. Which is all well and good, I suppose—the company is named "Hitman," and their last frame, the Ruby, was a nod to Jack, who sent Lee Harvey Oswald on his way.
But "Sir Han" is a whole other matter. Sirhan Sirhan was the nutjob who assassinated Presidential candidate Bobby Kennedy back in '68, paving the way for Dick Nixon and Spiro Agnew and all the ensuing unpleasantness. Not that Jack Ruby was a saint, but naming your 21-holed frame for a guy who put four holes in a future President—and is still very much alive, awaiting his 14th shot at parole—is at best a sick joke. I can't wait for the James Earl Ray and the MDC.
(Hitman is also releasing a drilled-out, sub-four-pound flatland frame that was designed in part by Day Smith and Sean McKinney. It only has 18 holes in it. Hopefully Sean wanted all the holes so the frame could double as a bong.)
Given the 18 holes, they should have called the flat frame the "Tiger," or the "Spackler." Instead they went with the "Judas," who may have betrayed Jesus, but never shot anyone. What a pussy.