Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Revolution Calling

Here's something I should have posted about a long time ago—before the Hell Stallion, even. John Pang wrote about it on the ever-excellent Pijin blog way back in May, jeff brought it up in yesterday's comments, and I'm just getting to it now. For shame. I present to you the UnKnown (UK) BikeCo Revolution:



Here's what I can gather about the frame:

  • It's lower than a Fly Tierra, which means you can use your seat as an e-brake/lock.
  • It will retail for £269.99, which is roughly $540US.
  • It's made from heat-treated chromoly.
  • It has a lifetime warranty.
  • It has what looks suspiciously like a Superstar internal clamp.
  • The initial production run will be 200 frames (up from the original 100 due to demand).
  • It doesn't have any crazy holes drilled in it.
  • It weighs 3.5 pounds.

Yes, 3.5 pounds. Which is only a half-pound more than an old Solid fork, and means it will cost roughly 71 pounds an, um, pound (roughly the same as Kobe beef). I'm guessing the tubes are translucent.

In the little writeup he did upon seeing the frame, Pang said "My first impression of the frame was that it's just too light and the tubing on the rear triangle looks way too skinny." I would tend to agree with that assessment.

But he goes on to say that, since it's a signature frame of a tailwhip-happy shredder (Kane Hennessy) it should be fine for anyone. That's a leap I'm not ready to take. Ditto this well-intentioned statement: "They are putting a lifetime guarantee on the frame so it must be solid!" Maybe. Maybe not.

One has to wonder how some virtually (and literally) unknown bike company in the UK managed to produce a frame that's so absurdly light? I can't find anything online, but I seem to recall there was something in the new Ride UK as well as Ride US that referred to top secret heat-treating methods that could not be revealed under penalty of death. I guess that's fine—Odyssey doesn't seem to be in any rush to explain the 41Thermal process.

But when a little company puts out a frame that's somewhat comparable to the Tierra in dimensions yet weighs a FULL POUND (Fly lists it at 4.65 pounds) less, I can't help but think, where the heck is all that weight loss coming from? It ain't just the seatpost clamp. I think the Revolution weighs less than the Killorado, for God's sake.

Who knows, the Revolution might hold up fine, ushering in a whole new era in BMX history where four-pound frames are seen as heavy and outdated.

But I doubt it.

•••••••••••••••••••••


Also from the Pijin blog, I haven't posted one of these shots in a while:


Running plastic pedals is fine. If you're weighing them, you may need to admit you have a problem.

43 comments:

Russ said...

I don't know what the hell is going on with the fonts, but I give up.

Shea said...

frame looks shit, that kid looks weird

your entry really should have been an apology to Sir Jason Enns for daring to insult his frame.

may the great Enns take pitty on you and not crush your girly face with a stern look.

Anonymous said...

http://www.defgrip.net/v3/questions/eddie_cleveland5/


Russ GO Here

Shea said...

yo moany chops you made the big time

http://www.defgrip.net/v3/questions/eddie_cleveland5/

maybe you could do an entry on how stupid pro rider top fives are.

Shea said...

oh look some other internet looser beat me to it, dang.

Anonymous said...

Ha HA balll bag dan is on sprfls blog.

The guy in the pi is ball bag and is now sponserd by them !
Ethhan

Russ said...

Can't say I expected Eddie Cleveland to like this blog anyway. No real surprise.

The funny thing is that I kind of like his frame. Not enough to ride one, but I sort of get it at least.

Anonymous said...

Rode One the other day and i will say it is very nice! However if you sat down you are more likly to sit on the pedal ! And it is also possible to hit the seat with the cranks if there are no spacers or the sprocket is chunky.

Anonymous said...

if you want to see what kind of "abuse" thhis frame can take, youtube "kane hennessey bmx". might need a bit more testing first....

hatehouse said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYuWVrqyuE4

good lord how has this dude got a sig frame??!!!

todd from albe's said...

those are the skills that get signature frames these days? yep. in a time when most of the up start kids are more concerned with how much their bike weighs, having the latest limited edition plastic pedal color, talking smack on the internet and telling other people how "gay" they are all it really takes is a decent turn down over a hip to get noticed at your local park. combine that with the fact that every local scene has someone that's starting his own company and you're gonna get signature parts for people that no one outside of that hometown gives two shits about. moderate skill? yes...deserves endorsement? not in my opinion. but what the hell do i know about BMX, huh?

Russ said...

That's the last time I screw with the fonts on this blog. Suppose that's what I get for cutting and pasting quotes. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

How does the lifetime warranty work if all the frames break and they go out of business?

wds said...

Ask DBI.

Ty said...

Any bets on how long till companies start listing grip weights?

But what do I know, the only plastic part on my bike is a Gsport hub guard.

todd from albe's said...

gripless is the latest, keep up.

Stephen said...

We are obviously missing the point here...

The Brits are just too weak to ride a 4 pound frame.

USA USA USA USA

Chris said...

This price thing doesn't really compare exactly like that, everything in the UK costs more due to taxes and exchange rates. For example, a Fit Hawk frame in the UK, £215 or $428:
http://www.alansbmx.com/product_info.php?cPath=24&products_id=4495

In the US, $289.95 or £145:
http://empirebmx.com/catalog/showdetail2.aspx?id=1093102&ret=catalog.aspx

russel jones said...

Hey,
could you post some thoughts about those new macneil cranks.

http://3ride.com/v2/detail/?itemID=6125

I seems that BMX is taking a mtn bike perspective to new products where they fetishize ligh bikes which shatter like glass whenever you case.

james said...

haha i know that guy

pijin and pang for the win

Jeff said...

I know this is completely off topic but I found a rasta Sunday that missed your rasta round up post a while ago.

http://www.sundaybikes.com/uploaded_images/MikeTaylor-728000.JPG

Russ said...

^^ I ended up adding Mike's Sunday to that post late last week. Couldn't believe I missed it. Thanks, though.

As for the price, yes, maybe it doesn't transfer quite like that. But that'll depend whether any of those frames even wind up in US shops/mailorders to begin with.

Anonymous said...

You are cooler than eddie Russ. Well you make me laugh anyway.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how Eddie Cleveland could hate this blog legitimately. Surely it's a good thing to call BMX out on a lot of the hype?

Moving right along, if you paste quotes into Notepad or Editplus or whatever then copy them out, it'll remove any formatting.

Mark Westlake said...

Hey Russ, glad you like the PijinBlog. It's cool knowing people are lurking there.

Just to clarify, I think what John may have been getting at when he said it should be fine for people is that a lot of the local riders at Southampton tend to be park dudes, which is the sort of riding Kane Hennessey does (Incidentally, rode with Kane at the latest P5 jams and the kid's ridiculously good). He's been riding that proto frame for a while, so for nibbly park stuff I reckon it might actually be alright. I wouldn't really want to be sending it down double-figure stair sets, but I'm pretty sure UKBikeCo wouldn't say it was...

robbiemoralesmoustache said...

bikes are looking more and more like citicats these days. when is someone going to start reviving jad and/or auburn features? imagine that, a frame with a monotube front end and a bolt on rear end. sweet jesus, it could be aluminum in the front and steel in the back. where is my whiskey bottle?

Michael said...

those look like a rip off of the shadow pedals

Russ said...

Those ARE Shadow pedals. I probably should have mentioned that.

And Mark, thanks for stopping by and throwing in a couple cents. Appreciated. I can believe that, but it's amazing how a lot of people think every frame should be good for every rider, no matter how or what they ride.

Mark Westlake said...

Truth. I think the usual BMX company mantra of "We've made it lighter, without making it weaker" probably means that what might have previously been considered pure park frames are now "park/street/dirt", despite not really being suitable for it.

The Shadow Nostra 'PC' pedals were purely 'cos Eli Platt was in the store, and Carlos wanted to put a comparison up in case people wanted to see it. No-one in Southampton runs them...



...yet.

Alan said...

The picture you posted didnt make me want to buy the frame, but I have the weirdest urge to check out We The People and Shimano..

Anonymous said...

"so for nibbly park stuff I reckon it might actually be alright"....a lifetime warranty against nibbly park riding then. Awesome.

g. edward jones, jr. said...

The worst thing about this blog is that I was going to use something off Operation:mindcrime as a title to a post on mystic negro.

crap.

Darren H said...

Dammit. George beat me to Operation:Mindcrime reference.....
: )

todd from albe's said...

i forgot to bring up the fact that the frame was "limited to 100 then upped to 200 because of demand"...isn't the idea of a limited edition to make it something special and not to alter the number because more people want them? could you imagine spending a thousand dollars on a signed and numbered print at an art gallery then finding out that the artist decided to sign a few hundred more because of demand? isn't the limited status what creates the demand? it seems like "limited edition" in BMX means "limited to the number we can sell"

Loop said...

could you imagine spending a thousand dollars on a signed and numbered print at an art gallery then finding out that the artist decided to sign a few hundred more because of demand?

This does actually happen. Quite a lot.

A print from the original edition should still be worth more because individual print runs should be indentifiable.. but yeah, the overall value should decrease with each extra edition.

todd from albe's said...

so if i have a print that's signed with "9/100" there may be someone else out there with the same print and the same number? each and every day i find out another way that i'm being scammed by society which brings me, each and every day, one step closer to going Uni-bomber. fuck. (attention any and all Government officials that may be reading this: that Uni-bomber reference was for entertainment purposes only. i have no real intention of blowing up anyone or anything)

Shea said...

get todd on the sprfls writing staff

Loop said...

Kind of but I'm not sure whether the numbering system would revert back to zero with each new edition.

Ie the guy who buys the ninth print in the second run of 100 might have 9/200

Colby said...

this is the greatest blog i have ever read. when it seems like everyone has a blog, yet no one has anything to actually say on them, this one gives me a smile from ear to ear. if this kid holding a 3.5 pound frame is the new bmx, then i think its time for me to start calling what i do on my 2nd batch barcode, complete with solid headset and american bb, something else. maybe i could call it something like... bicycle MOTOCROSS? maybe let the tierra riding, plastic part using, i-look-like-a-teenage-girls-clothing-model crowd take bmx for a few years until they realize throwing yourself over a 30 foot double is way better than going the sped of smell at some 12 stair. but im old and cranky so hey.

Anonymous said...

if this is the greatest blog you have ever read you need to broaden your horizons. but i see by your sentiments on bmx that's beyond your metal capabilities.

Anonymous said...

not everyone can be METAL!

Dr.Robotnik said...

Heat treating is just heating a part in an oven to a certain temperature for a certain time and then cooling it at a defined rate. This changes the materials properties. 41thermal and other 'brand names' for these processes are just a marketing gimmick.

Russ if I could just put in a request that you expose the sealed bearing/unsealed bearing pedal scam I'd appreciate it. Bearings cost comparitively nothing sealed or otherwise, so where is the $30 or £30 difference coming from?

x

rolley said...

3.5 pound bike is something i'd refuse to ride due to concern for my own safety. gimmicks aside, heat treating processes still run off the same basic chemistry, the more you heat treat it, the less the metal bends before it fails. so you end up with a frame that snaps without warning.

and that's too low. i own a tierra, and don't get me wrong i like it a lot, i've ridden it for a year and not even dented it yet, but even the tierra is a bit low for me.

fuck if i ever own a company, i'll make bikes that actually weigh something and that you don't have to be scared of breaking everytime you case. i'll even go out of my way to go against trends hahaha! bring back the good old days...