Thursday, January 29, 2009

Potassium Helium

Depending on how you look at it, the bar has been either raised or lowered yet again. (We can guess which way the toptube went.) KHE is proud to introduce The Spectre, a 3.814 pound frame that's being ridden by Daniel Dhers. It's got a 20.43" toptube presumably because no one else has made that size yet. Either that, or it's a really subtle tribute to Mat Hoffman. 43!

Judging from the one photo on Fat, KHE was able to save weight by using removable brake mounts and cable guides, and by eliminating the headtube entirely. I'm shocked they left the top of the seat tube that tall—they could have easily shaved off that excess .014 pound there. I'd also like to see a properly angled photo of the bottom bracket—it looks like it's just hanging off the bottom of the seat tube. Elevated chainstays?


Snafu, once again rationalizing their very existence and doing a so-so job of it. Look, just say you're putting out sprockets that look like every other sprocket so no one has to deal with the stigma of running a Snafu product in 2009. Honesty is the best policy.


I don't know if the eBay thing will become any sort of regular occurrence, but I will draw attention to auctions now and then if I feel they're in any way interesting or amusing. Like these forks, which have been on eBay as long as eBay has existed. I'm half-tempted to buy a set just out of pity.



steve said...

how does snafu even pay their team? god i wouldn't miss them.

this frame scares me.

Anonymous said...

First Yes

Anonymous said...

damn you steve we must have gone at the same time cause when i hit comment there was none!

Anonymous said...

they pay their team with hookers and coke. and they pay dave mirra with strawberry flavored protein drinks.

in snafus defense I ran a pair of unsealed concave pedals for like 6 years and they never failed me.

robbosstache said...

i'm in love with mat hoffman. slightly homo.

snafu is like store brand food. it gets bought pretty often, but hardly anyone actually admits to it.

steve said...

how so? in reality...the store bought foood is the only unique ones, where as liptons sidekicks are at every grocery store...
it seems like their 09 line-up is even more watered down and bland than ever.
they have scanned danscomp, and found what they think people usually buy, and copy it so they can increase sales.
Unlike 'store brand' i don't think they would cost less.... and not taste good. i imagine they will cost equally the same, and possibly preform at aprox the same level(maybe?). they aren't trying very fucking hard to break the mold. more following the leaders in the future.

Anonymous said...

I actually bought a pair of those forks to match up with my Joe Rich barcode, you've got some cool old
T-1 stuff, get one!

John said...

Yep, that BB is scary as fuck.

Josh said...

Maybe someone can clear this up for me. I've been riding since '82 so I thought I was pretty up on why a given company sucks or why another hasn't got street cred, etc. So why all the hate towards Snafu? Yeah, their stuff is straight out of a Taiwan parts catalog; yes, their parts blend in with the rest of the stuff out there; yes, Mirra and Wade are a little too clean and couldn't fake edgy, "street," drugged up/drunk/homophobic (hey, it seems to sell) on their best day. And yes, most of their parts are sprfls. So how are they different from 98% of the other companies out there?
I'm truly looking for the answer because I just don't get it. I've ridden about every brand that's existed at one time or another and Snafu's product was about the same as anything else. An if something craps out, their warranty department is great. Are their parts revolutionary? No. But it is bad to the point that they have to "rationalize their existence?" Personally, I don't think so.
You don't hear half of the shit said about companies like Lotek that truly do produce a shit product (I mean really, I ran through a pair of Coastals in 8 days!) in generic designs and have wash-outs and losers on their payroll. Is it because they are "rider-owned?" Their stuff is made in the same sweatshops and tin factories as almost everything else out there.
It just seems that were talking about the popularity game here and I'm just too old for that.

Beau said...

Probably because absolutely everything Snafu makes is garbage, not just almost all of it. They don't add anything to BMX, Lotek comes out with nice webedits and exposes a lot of good riders, Snafu just makes shitty stuff that I can't figure out who buys, maybe it is all bought as birthday presents for 14 year olds.

Benny P said...

I have a snafu seat post clamp.

wade said...

Josh has a point. At least one.

ssnnakebite said...

there are far more worse things out there than snafu

personally they wouldnt be my first round draft pick, but i think they are ok

brien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brien said...

In a market where many companies parts are distinguishable only by logos, and where all the images blend together to make a tight jeaned, rainbow-colored brakeless mess, Snafu has been at the forefront of superfluousness since the beginning. they've never really done anything different than anyone else; not that their parts were always total shit. they were marketed well and weren't very expensive. over the years, the quality has risen, their branding has been indistinguishable, and their team roster has become quite stacked. mcgoo has always done well for the sport, but he's had a few PR gaffes over the past year. still, they continue on.

why the hate? snafu was born during a period where everything was evil; it was rare that bikes weren't spraypainted black; your t-shirts had some type of satanic or beer-related graphic, and Primo was at the top of the component food chain. their logo was simple; their ads were fairly straightforward. the parts were adorned with ironic names, and came in blue and grey. they just didn't fit in. over the years, the cavalcade of colors creeped back onto shop shelves. snafu didn't have a problem adapting. complete bikes from "rider-owned" companies stepped up everyones game, and snafu parts were spec'd on various fleets. Taiwanese manufacturing has become the standard, not the minority, and everything is of comparable quality. factors like these, and putting guys like mirra and wade on the payroll has kept snafu in the game. obviously they're not the belle of the ball in every market segment, but i don't see them dying off before many other faceless brands. like him or not, mcgoo's doesn't have his head completely up his ass. however, as time goes by, everyone starts to lose touch, even if only slightly. blowing a failed plastic peg isn't gonna win new consumers. getting someone involved with youth on their side might not be the worst idea.

Anonymous said...

I've been riding longer than Snafu has existed, and I've never seen a single Snafu part, video, shirt, sticker, banner -- nothing -- in real life.

Yet there's always that one guy who says he had this one part a long time ago and it was good, and, of course, there's ubiquitous "seat post clamp" dude.

My ass.

They've never made anything but ads.

Anonymous said...

Attention everyone: If your comment has 500 words or more, make sure it has multiple paragraphs or else nobody is reading that shit.

Anonymous said...

anonymous is failing out of school

Anonymous said...

Anyone that says all snafu parts are just like everything else out is a complete retard.

The hubs and stuff like that are a given, but snafu pedals, cranks, tires, stems, and those stupid sprockets are impossible to confuse with other companies' products.

Anonymous said...

Apparently you don't get the free Dan's Comp catalog like every other avid BMXer (that I know, anyway). That sprocket is a good look-alike for a few others that existed before it.

The cranks look like Primos and the only good thing about the Morgan Wade stem (beside being the only 10.something ounce frontloader) is that it has the Municipal Waste logo on the front of it.

deezy said...

omg! that stem!, it remides me of that simpsons when homer gets to design a car, ahahaha

Josh said...

If everything that Snafu makes is "garbage," or "junk," or "shit" then please just provide examples. Tell me about a busted/bent crank, or a Snafu pedal that the bearings and spindle blew out in a couple of weeks. If you have never riden their product then how can you make a judgement? That's like the kid who has never seen a basketball game standing in a crowd of people talking about how the Knicks suck, and piping in with, "Yeah man, the Knicks really suck!" Maybe they do, but your voice means nothing if you have nothing to back it up.

In my personal experience I have seen a ton of Animal sprockets and bars either bend or downright snap. Bob bars are notorious for bending. I have a scar on my leg (way too close to my nuts!) as a constant reminder of a bent set of Bobs down a simple four set. And you rarely hear anyone get on Animal. Why? Because they have Edwin or Nigel? Is it because of style or image? Maybe I'm too old but I don't need any purple flannel shirts or t-shirts talking about "Makin' Moves." I won't buy their parts for the simple fact that I don't want a dime going to Hamilton so he can spew out more nonsense on his blog or release more crappy web edits.

On the topic of web edits: I'm not going to buy a product because a company spends an afternoon filming grainy footage to toss on the internet. I'll fall back on quality of product and in my opinion Snafu is no worse than most out there.

steve said...

it almost seems like you came to my birthday party(which is today!) with a chick no one has ever met, she not that good looking and not too skinny, just fits it. would you defend an ugly chick?

Josh said...

Happy birthday. I would rather defend an "ugly chick" who comes to the party, chills out, gets along with everyone and I have a good time with then the insanely attractive girl who I bring to the party, drinks waaaayyy too much and ends up 1) showing off her "vocal talents" by inappropriately hopping up on your kitchen table and schreeching out some Maroon 5 song, falling on the floor and then telling my how the lead singer is "sooooo hot" and how she once gave him a BJ backstage at a concert. 2) Making out with at least 3 of your male friends and calling at least 3 of your female friends "skanks," "bitches," or telling them that "they're just jealous." And 3) Throwing up in my car on the way home and giving me a case of chlamydia.

Again, sometimes something that looks good is and that everyone talks about doesn't turn out all that great in the end (cough... cough...Animal)

brien said...

josh, what you're pointing out is image. the fact that 90% of components are manufactured in the same factories has been driven into our heads for the past 5 years. sometimes your reputation is only as good as your ad copy.

continuing with the female analogies:
just because the belle of the ball isn't a slovenly, drunken mess, doesn't mean there isn't a fresh case of the herp underneath that miniskirt.

Smitty said...

Josh and Brien are both right. It is about image. Snafu has an image problem - with a certain segment of BMX consumers.

With others, I suspect Snafu has no image problem whatsoever.

Product quality issues are often tossed out on message boards as reasons to denigrate companies. But I think that product purchase decisions in BMX primarily relate to brand image.

If the average rider likes and relates to a brand's image, than he'll naturally gloss-over short comings seen in the product. And as long as the company takes care of him via warranties and whatnot, he'll remain in that camp.

The converse is also true. If riders dislike a brand's image, then they will speak negatively about it, even when unwarranted.

I'm not saying that everyone who posts here buys solely based on brand image. But it factors in to our decisions - you can't deny it.

It all has to do with human nature, and brands that ignore their image typically don't last. Brands that are attuned to it and manage it, do better.

wade said...

Brand image is sprfls.

Anonymous said...

That Specter frame is a long flat frame that is being used for ramps. That's it.

Anonymous said...

well done snafu for doing what most other companies are doing anyway without making a song and dance about it. my mate was gonna do probably the biggest barspin ever down a set of stairs, but do you know why he didn't? his snafu cranks broke.

Mirras Bellybutton said...

very well spoken debate with good points from all directions today. bravo to all involved...this is the sort of thing you won't read on any other blog/board. oh, and for the record: the old Snafu Concave pedals were really good but i haven't cared for much else from that brand except for the name's of their tires.

brien said...

here's my track record of snafu parts. my friend got hooked up with them at the very beginning of their existence, so a bunch of us all kind of became guinea pigs until the parts stopped coming.

OG pegs - keyed washer system wasn't a bad idea, but like many other pegs out at the time, they were chrome and plain mild steel. heavy and didn't slide for shit.

bar/stem combo - i never ran these, but i know they had the 1" clamp area which worked with maybe 3 other bars on the market. these were kinda gross looking.

OG pedals - shape was kind of like a slicker meat tenderizer. the pins gripped well, and the concave felt great, but i bent the spindle pretty quick. although i was a fat, unsmooth fuck 8 years ago, so i'll cut 'em a little slack.

cranks - the steel set my friend had bounced around to a few people over the years. i rode them for a couple months and bent the spindle.

rimjob tires - one of the few tires at the time that had that crazy bead that was supposed to stay locked to the rim or prevent flats or something. bitch to get on the rim. compound was kinda soft, which i liked. tread pattern was cool, but i know i blew out a sidewall in about 2 weeks once.

all of their stuff used to come in these nice stamped steel tins. maybe not the most necessary form of packaging, but it was a nice touch and stood out amongst other cardboard boxes on the shelf.

Josh said...

"Herp underneath that miniskirt" = my favorite saying for the rest of the day. I will say it at least a dozen times.

And I agree that much of this has to do with image. I never see Snafu ads in magazines, stickers on bikes, or banners in shop windows. But I don't think that that makes a product "garbage" or less than the next product on the shelf. It simply makes it less known, not as popular, or even "uncool."

I don't take issue with people saying that Snafu (or any other company for that matter) is "uncool." I wouldn't take the time to defend even my favorite brands or products based on image because it is such a subjective argument. But I do believe that if you are going to call a specific part "garbage," "cheap" or any other word relating to quality then you need to back it up with facts.

To say that their parts line-up "sucks" (if by "sucks" you mean is generic and/or uninspired) is fine. To say that their advertising or image "sucks" is again, fine. But, to imply that a part is less functional than the majority of other parts out there without direct experience seems childish.

Just one more argument: Fit is arguably one of the most popular brands out there. Their products are about as good as most of the other frames or components on the market. There's nothing really special or super-impressive, and yet, with the exception of this site, whenever they release anything "new," the majority of the BMX community acts as though it's the second coming. The Dakota frame is nothing more then a re-stickered S3 and yet kids who have S3s are running out to get them. All I'm saying is if we automatically discredit one product that may have decent quality because of popularity or image and then overwhelmingly accept or celebrate another based mostly on popularity or image, then eventually all we will be left with is widely popular, well-marketed shit.

MWM said...

Magoo told me that Snafu got a government bailout. He wouldn't tell me how much they got.

John said...

Josh: I've definitely said before to people that some Animal products are garbage. I told someone his Vinnie Lite sprocket was bound to snap, and it did later on. I know their bars bend/crack way easier than many other bars (due to a lack of heat treating - hopefully the Bob v3s are better), and the pedal spindles bend. But they also have other products that I would swear by. Their stem, seat, tires, etc are all great.

I'm just not a fan of Snafu. Sure, the Astroglide cables are great. But I happen to have a Mobeus, and it doesn't work as nicely as I expected. They just don't seem to put out anything innovative or worth buying over something else. A sprocket with only 1 drive hole is a bad idea...

Beau said...

Just because something is well made doesn't mean it isn't garbage, you are judging on one criteria. I'm sure Gack Cannibals were very well made. Snafu adds nothing to BMX, I don't think bmx is worse off for having Snafu, but it's not any better.

Josh said...

You are right; I am judging primarily on one criteria. But is there a more important criteria then quality? In my opinion, no. I was simply asking why Snafu is the red-headed stepchild of BMX when they haven't created or committed any great atrocity to BMX, it's history, or it's culture. From the experience of several people who have posted, their parts are of decent quality, and they have a decent team that rides for them. So why all the hate? If you say that it's because their parts don't stand-out, then that doesn't make them any different from most BMX companies. Very few make stand-out parts; that's why they're called "stand-out."

It's almost as though someone way back said, "Snafu sucks" and the word just spread from street to street and park to park without anyone ever asking "why?"

I need a new set of bars and those Mayweather cranks look decent. Maybe I'll pick some up and start to run them. I'll even leave all the stickers on so everyone knows that they're Snafu. I guarantee that at some point I'll have a conversation something like this:

Random kid: Hey man, what bars you runnin."
Me: Oh, they're those new ones from Snafu.
Random kid: Man, Snafu sucks!
Me: Why?
Random kid: What? They suck man.
Me: O.k. but why?
Random kid: Well...uhhh. I had a buddy whose brother once broke a Snafu seat post clamp...and uhhh, they suck...they just suck...why are you asking me this shit man? They just suck.

You get the point. Maybe I'll even slap Snafu stickers all over my bike just to invite the questions. Who knows, maybe just one person might start to question what they've been told but have never been bold enough to find out for themselves...or maybe they'll just laugh and go buy a set of Hamilton PC pedals.

Anonymous said...

God you people are a bunch of fucking retards.

Josh said...

And yet you still took the time to contribute your amazingly insightful input into the conversation...anonymously. And you even managed to use the phrase "you people," and the words "fucking" and "retards" in a nine word sentence. You must have actually graduated middle school. Congrats.

bman said...

yeh the animal GLH tyre fucking rules.

might as well call it: uber-tyre that-can-ride-in-a-shanty-warehouse with-needles-on-the-floor-and-not get-punctures-tyre

oh and i hear good things about mayweathers.

but im still busy giving primo a 4 year blowjob because powerbites rule

steve said...

josh, you are too funny. image is everything in the american's eyes