Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Stranger Than All

The time has finally come to talk of the new Standard STA:

In theory, this is fantastic news—the return of an old favorite that's been tweaked for the modern market. The problem with that concept is you wind up getting a lot of stuff like this.

It's hard to judge whether the new STA works based on just one photo (especially with that navy blue distraction in the background), especially when it's just a bare frame. But after looking at it for a long while over the past several days, I think it does.

At first I couldn't deal with the toptube/seattube junction. It looked way too burly compared to the slim dropouts and chainstays—like the frame was half 2000 and half 2009 (which it is, kind of). But it's growing on me. Then again, it's going to look particularly weird with a tiny little plastic seat sitting right on top of it.

I obviously love the gussett.

I obviously hate the built-in seatpost clamp (and I'm glad to see it's optional).

I absolutely don't understand the idea behind having two different STA frames, a "light" version and a "strong" version. If you want a light Standard, wouldn't you buy a 250L? What's the point of making a 4.5 pound frame with that monster toptube/seattube junction? Isn't that counterproductive? And how the heck can TWO frames be Stronger Than ALL? The STA should be THE strongest frame. And if 4.9 pounds or whatever is too heavy for some, let them ride something else. Think of your roots, Standard!:

(That isn't my bike, but it's a great example of an early STA. I love the way the rear triangle looks tweaked downward (although the whole grinding on the stays thing wasn't much fun), and how they just looked unbreakable. One of my favorite bikes ever was the shit brown one that Rick Moliterno rode for most of "Domination.")

It'll be interesting to see whether the new STA catches on. Back around 2000, damn near every rider in New York had a Standard. Well, everyone everywhere (except for maybe California) had a Standard. Now I couldn't tell you the last time I saw one. In fact, I don't think I've seen an in-house built one yet. Everyone's too caught up in trying to be Chase DeHart (whose frame has also undergone some changes) or Chase Hawk or Chasey Lain these days. It's hard to keep them all straight.

I don't see it happening. I'm sorry. The seattube piercing the toptube is just another gimmick at this point, and just because it's an old one instead of a new one doesn't make it any better. The people checking for the old STA style probably won't be looking for a 4.5 pound frame, and the people looking for 4.5 pound frames probably won't be looking for STAs. All in all, it would have been better to bring back the Trail Boss. Or, given today's economic climate, the Cashius.

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Um, Metal Bikes aren't made by S&M anymore? When did this happen?

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19 comments:

newrider3 said...

S&M is too busy with F-IT, so they're dropping Metal, as well as BlackMarket. Looks like it's time to buy a Rebel Contender before they're made in Taiwan.

Anonymous said...

When I started riding, 7 lb was a pretty light frame. Now 5 lb is considered heavy.

Are any companies even currently producing anything that weighs 7 lb?

Beau said...

Even in California (northern at least) Standard was pretty big, everyone who wasn't riding a Solid had an STA500 or a TRLS250, now if I see a Standard sticker or part I do a double take. The only Standard frame I have ever seen with my own 2 eyes that didn't have an American BB was a Bullitt with a euro BB, and the downtube was folded nearly into the toptube. There are two brand new pairs of 1" strip bars in the bike shop near me to this day, is it time I buy them and ebay these yet? Maybe I will just buy them, cut the bars 2" from the bend, put my brake lever below the crossbar, raise my seat to Ratboy proportions and go shred.

Doobius Maximum said...

I think that frame would look A LOT better with a smaller diameter top tube. I think i would make the seat stay junction look cleaner.

bones said...

"Through the flames, the image of an old beast appears in a new world"

Anonymous said...

You can't deny that they did some cool stuff for BMX in the 90's, but Rick's ads make it seem like we should all be buying his frames from him just because he got the idea to put a mountain bike headset on a BMX bike and make heat treated axles 16 years ago. Standard was totally worth the extra cash bitd because the frames were built so well and you knew you could always get it replaced if you cracked one. There weren't many options. You could clearly see that a Standard was superior to a GT or a Haro.

But now Standards are usually at least $100 more expensive than almost any frame, and to be honest, it doesn't seem like they offer that much more than their competition. How exactly is Standard better than a Sunday? Or a T1? A Fit? 15 years ago the answer would've been "American Made". But Taiwan has come a LONG way in the past 15 years.

If Standard is going to survive, they're going to have to do something else besides produce the world's most expensive BMX products and play up innovations and selling points (we good pegs in 1992!) that they brought out before a lot of their target market was even born.

Stephen said...

The integrated seat clamp on that thing is an affront and abomination to anyone that pedaled a bike in 1996.

There are a myriad of things I could say about how, like GWB, Standard squandered the shit out the their rep equity that they built up,but I won't. That dead horse deserves a little rest.

Dave said...

Does anyone remember the standard d63 team? Which was basically you bought frames at a discount and you 'rode for' them as well as got a shit load of stickers?

Thats the way most standards made their way into Southern Ontario.

I had an sob though.

Jason said...

With the new version of the Dirt Bike, this makes everything seem a-okay in BMX... where's 20 inch Vid Magazine when you need it most...? Now, if only someone would resurrect VG...

It will be interesting to see where Rick is able to take this. Obviously, as mentioned, Sunday, these days, has positioning itself much like a Taiwanese version of the olden day Standard - solid warranty, good image, outstanding products, solid team, an owner that still rides... That's going to be hard to play down...

Then again, this may be the perfect time to for Standard to make its move... Would be fun to see

thad said...

I thought Jim C is the "owner" of Sunday, like Robo is the owner of Fit, like Sher is the owner of Subrosa.

I am pretty fired up to see where Metal goes with Burns as part owner and WTP manufacturing. Moeller seems like a pretty exploitative dood/ good businessman. I have always wondered how much Robbo is making at fit. I doubt more than $50k. Eclat should really make those 2-piece cranks Burns signature. I can't imagine anyone bought them without thinking "welp, they hold up for Burns, must be strong".

BILL said...

My new 125R is hardly a STA, but something must be said about the outstanding craftsmanship of my new frame. It's like a piece of art it is so meticulously hand crafted. Standard knows what they are doing. The STA of course will not appeal to all, but whatever it ends up being, it will be a very well built frame.

Russ said...

Putting an integrated clamp on an STA is like putting a size 8 New Era on Michelangelo's David.

joshw said...

I am not going to lie... I want one.

John Paul said...

"WTP manufacturing"

...? The WTP dudes are pretty badass and they do it right, but they don't manufacture anything.

Chris has a Q&A where he lays down his thoughts on why people give a shit about Big Bob's role in Fit. You doubt he makes more than 50K a year, based on what? That number is about as arbitrary as you can get. And you're wrong. You think the man could live as phat as he's livin' on 50K a year...please.

They'll be joined at the hip until they kill each other, and that will be the end of S&M and Fit and everyone can get on with their lives.

Smitty said...

I agree that offering two versions of the STA is plain wrong. Whether or not the STA is stronger than previous STA's, I will consider to be moot. What an updated STA ought to be is simple: Stronger than anything else in the Standard line up, and probably stronger than every other frame on the market - though we'd never know cause we don't destructively test every frame. We just ride them, and then the rep emerges over time.

If the new STA (or the STA-Lite) proves to be less strong than other frames, then what was the point? You've now sullied the STA name.

Benny P said...

There will only be one S.T.A.
The light frame is just a look-alike and remains unnamed.

And russ, the seat post clamp may have already been ground off!!!

Russ said...

Benny P: That's a good start. Now send me that 125.

Kyle. said...

The guy who owns that Standard is some dude named 'Jeff'. He has a tattoo that says, 'Nancy' and is selling some Odyssey Duralecta rims on BG for 100 bones each. Awesome bike, not so awesome dude.

Anonymous said...

Um... if you read on the standard website, it looks like the new STA will have holes drilled for gyro tabs... Not really thrilled about that. Make it an option at least. I want brakes and no gyro. Better be an option. I have been waiting a while for standard to come out with the new sta, but I've always wondered if it would lose it's purity in being updated for the times. I was also excited for the new Dirtbike as well, until I learned it had holes drilled as well. Rick Moliterno, if you read this, don't drill those headtubes!!