Monday, June 16, 2008

Word to the Wise

Still playing around with a full-length post on the Kevin Robinson high-airstravaganza in Central Park. In the meantime, here's another photo, though. Practice session flair at height:


So for today, here's a couple shots of Rob Wise's new setup featuring his signature Volume frame, the Assault, as seen on 5050 BMX. Hm. Apparently the Eastern influence is spreading.


I love that the frame weighs a "respectable" 4.5 pounds. As opposed to a "disrespectable" five pounds? Personally I don't respect 4.5 pound frames at all—in the morning or otherwise—but maybe that's just me. At least the cutouts are in "non-high-stress areas." Thats a, um, relief.

Never thought I'd see a frame that made the Eastern seattube cutouts look good, but this one does. Can you say "homemade"? What I'd really like to see is a complementary seatpost with spring-loaded studs that pop out through the holes (old-school tent pole style), thus making a seatpost clamp—integrated or not—unnecessary.


Drilling out the caps on the stays is possibly THE dumbest thing I've ever seen in my life. So, of course, this frame's got that, too. (I get it, it's stronger than uncapped stays and lighter than regular capped stays. Still looks stupid.)


Then there's the usual stuff—laser-cut seatstay/chainstay braces—and the unusual—removable chainstay AND seatstay brakemounts. Not sure whether that's just on the prototype or not.


Also, calling a 4.5 pound frame the "Assault" is like naming a poodle "Chopper". I'm sorry, I know Rob Wise is a badass and all (Left/Right is incredible), but a drilled-out, laser-cut, butted frame isn't an "Assault." Given the state affiliation, why not name it the "Jazz"?

UPDATE: Rob talks about the frame, which has apparently been re-named "The Machine" (after this guy?), on Volume.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

GET WITH THE TIMES OLD MAN.

Not everybody wants to fag out with a thousand pound bike doing the same old shit over and over. This is called progression. Hopefully bmx frames will be 3.5 pounds soon, with laser cut external shit ya know? You can ride your STA forever but that shit aint for me.

MaxiBMX said...

YEAH GET WITH THE FUCKING TIMES DUH.

I'm joking. The post above mine is hilarious.

Russ said...

Because there is NO middle ground between an STA and a 4.5-pound frame with a bunch of holes drilled in it. None at all. (And my bike only weighs 800 pounds, so there.)

Anonymous said...

There shouldn't be any middle ground. It's either go forward or move on. Back when STA's were popular during the Clinton administration, you didn't see people thrashing on Pro Performers, and if you did you thought they were a loon. We need to move forward, explore all possibilities.

MaxiBMX said...

Not everyone considers putting holes in tubes in order to decrease weight as "moving forward".

There should be middle ground, and there is. I don't know how "there shouldn't be any middle ground" makes any sense.

Anonymous said...

When bikes started getting heavier back in the early 90's, it was a great idea. Having a bike that you didn't have to worry about the forks snapping at the crown was a huge deal. Then everyone went WAY overboard, with giant rims with 3.5" tall sidewalls, 10 gauge spokes, forks that weighed almost as much as frames do today....it was a mess. This kind of thing is just the pendulum swinging the other direction. Light bikes are great, but.... I just pray these frame builders know what they're doing, because I worry that the race to produce the lightest bike isn't going to end until someone gets really, really hurt. Let's hope it doens't come to that.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm crazy, but the old school tent pole idea actually sounds interesting...

sam said...

this is the best post you have ever made russ.

these previous comments prove how fucked bmx is becoming. kids believe this shit.

all i have to say to anyone who approves of this shit is- get a grip on life.

Anonymous said...

Please tell everyone to watch this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKF0ZW34FRk instead of even bothering to mention the redbull high sack of muscle.

Anonymous said...

With all these new designs of frames, forks, stems, etc with holes here, cutouts there, shaved this, butted the other - i'm wondering how many of these designs actually get passed through the hands of a proper engineer? I know Odyssey have got George French, but what about the rest - is it a case of "we'll machine this bit and drill a hole there and see if it breaks"?

Mexican John said...

frames are already light enough and are the one place that strength should not be compromised. Plus drilling the frame looks shite anyway.

Anonymous said...

If S&M can make the LTF four pounds and change without holes in it.. i dont get it.

(Not to say its not as squishy as a teddy bear)

Anonymous said...

won't these holes just let dirt/water/leaves/stuff into the frame? just think of the weight increase!...

Ben said...

S&M are one of few companies which don't buy the tubes from taiwan catalogues.
so if you have your average frame from asia and start to pretend having some serious engineer skills, this is what remains. a clarinet.

Stephen said...

Seriously, why not just call that thing "The Woodwind" and be done with it? Also, how far are we from spring loaded headtubes to make whips easier?

Anonymous said...

I don't think tubes should have stuff cut into them. I especially don't think logos belong as shapes for holes in head tubes or knobbies on tires or handles on grips. Logos cannot possibly be the engineering equivalent of "optimal". Progress is progress but getting cute with logos seems below a good brand. And about the other holes and slots that Eastern pioneered, wow, that's awful.

Skateboarding didn't accept a lighter deck (carbon baby) because it got away from what it meant to ride a quality deck. I just hope all the brands think before they try to get too progressive. Remember you can't blame Mongoose and Specialized for BMX being stupid anymore. The core brands hold the reigns now so don't get too cute dudes.

todd from albe's said...

the simple fact is this: a lot of kids (and by "kids" i mean new to BMX) walk into our retail shop one of the first things they ask is "do you have any Easterns?" then we ask them "why do you want an Eastern"? and they almost alway respond "because my friend says they're the lightest"...that is the reason every company is "reaper-ing" everything and anything they can get in front of a laser or under a drill bit. it's not so much progression of BMX as much as it's progression of their brand and/or bank accounts. chalk it up to survival of the lightest.

Anonymous said...

the woodwind comment was awesome.

Anonymous said...

apart from the seat tube i think it looks good

Russ said...

Ditto on the woodwind comment. I'd like to propose "The Flute Loop."

bobby p said...

so first of all i dont want to sound like a hypocryte(sp?) because i am currently riding a 4.5 lbs frame (tree frame baby!!!!). but seriously i dont understand why people think they have to drill holes in shit to make it "innovative" or lighter weight. and i also dont think you need an engineer on staff at your bmx company to make your shit. if you know what you are doing you know what you are doing and that is a fact. point in case, sam at tree. he didnt go to college for designing bike parts. but yet he can come up with designs that are some of the best in bmx (my opinion). not trying to rant, but you dont have to "fag out" on a bike with holes drilled in it to be light weight or innovative. go read a book or something kids...jesus christ.

Russ said...

Actually, change that to the "Skin Flute."

Anonymous said...

I'm curious what designs Sam "came up with"? I wasn't aware he invented the sprocket, props to him, that's a huge achievement.

Stephen said...

Ben was all over it with the clarinet comment. Doot deet doot.

All this butted tubing makes my dick hard.

bobby p said...

dick bag. i never said he invented the sprocket. to clear things up to all the dick bags across the globe, sam at tree makes some of the best sprockets in bmx. argue with that and you are the true definition of a bag of dicks.


DICK BAG!

ryan said...

Tree makes aluminum pegs that cost over $40 a pair.

Anonymous said...

i'm asking what designs he came up with that are some of the best? what makes a 25T Tree sprocket made of the same material as any other 25T sprocket better? i'll give you the bars with threads for bar ends is one of the best "inventions" in bmx ever, it revolutionized bar end attachment.

Next you'll say their frames are going to be the best even though they are made at factory XYZ with the same materials, machines and labor as 200 other frame companies.

Anonymous said...

I remember my very first BMX race back in 89' I saw a Redline for sale and it was all drilled out like this Volume, but w/ a bit more holes. I remember asking my dad why someone would want to do that to such a nice race frame and he said "To make it lighter, but they're going to brake that frame with all those holes in it." He then told me to NEVER do that to any of my bikes...Almost 20yrs later here are bikes from companies with holes drilled in them. haha. Oh and my point is that the person who bought that Redline snapped the frame a few weeks later.

Anonymous said...

" i'll give you the bars with threads for bar ends is one of the best "inventions" in bmx ever, it revolutionized bar end attachment."

i hope that is sarcasm. i had that idea in like 2000 when i was a highschool idiot...and there's no way i was the first to think of it.

Smitty said...

Like how skateboards evolved into Popsicle Sticks, I think we all need to accept the fact that we have reached the point of Popsicle Stick sameness in BMX frame design. Frames are more differentiated now by cosmetics than anything else.

The drill holes and the cutouts are really cosmetic touches. There is some engineering behind the decision to put holes in a seat tube...the seat tube is a non-stressed frame member. That is why Trek and Specialized got away with race bikes without seat tubes in the 1990's, that is why old US-made PK Rippers used an extruded seat tube. Now, you would not want to drill holes in your downtube or chainstays. But if a company wants to do it to the seattube as they battle to differentiate their product in a market full of Popsicle Stick Bikes, I can cut them some slack.

If this Volume or the Eastern Reaper collapses under a rider, it will be because of quality control issues with the materials or the fabrication, not because of the cutouts in the seat tube and head tube.

todd from albe's said...

drilling a hole in a seat tube is WAY different than completely eliminating it. those interupted seat tube Specialized race frames flexed like crazy (and a lot of flex is exactly what you want in a race bike, right?) thus leading to serious cracks in the seat stay/seat clamp junction. the bottom bracket sway was just silly in those things but it was totally worth it, right?

Stephen said...

I wonder what Sparks thinks about that?

todd from albe's said...

Sparks doesn't think.

Anonymous said...

This is another example why Russ should shut the fuck-up.

Who cares what you think. If you don’t like it then don’t buy it. If you have an idea to make it better that’s one thing, but to simply bash it doesn’t compute.

I was taught if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything.

And I must ask, why have you taken on this I must shit on everyone that doesn’t conform to my way of thinking role? Were you abused as a kid? Picked on? Beat-up? Well, get over it! You want to save BMX then do so, but I cannot see how this is the way. It makes you appear to be idiotic which you very well may be.

Russ said...

Thank you anonymous! Another country heard from. Hey, my name's on here. And at least these posts (occasionally) spark an interesting dialogue. I don't claim to know everything or to be any sort of authority. My blog, my opinions. Simple, huh? No one's forcing you to read it.

I'd be curious to know exactly how much lighter those holes in the seattube make the frame.

Anonymous said...

if frames ever become normal like this, i am never getting a new frame. my fit series 2 is light enough. if you can't ride a 30 pound bike, i'm sorry, but you are a pussy. i'm just about an average guy, not built by any means. yeah, 30 and up kind of sucks. but a 30 pound bike ain't shit. i learned whips, tucks, turndowns, rails, everything on a bike that weighed anywhere from 27-36 pounds. get over it weight weenies.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 4:45: i love the fact that you were taught to not say anything if you can't say anything nice then spit a bunch of "not nice" stuff there by contradicting yourself. very smooth in deed.

bobby p said...

first to the tree hater- whoever you may be. have you seen the tree lite sprocket? its pretty awesome. and actually this frame is the best frame i have ever rode. and it is made at the same factory as x,y, and z bmx company. but i like the research and design tree puts into their products. and i also like their morals as a bike company and as human beings. if you dont like it dont support them. if you dont like what i have to say then tell me to shut up. tree rules and anonymous sucks.