Saturday, May 2, 2009

Cardinal, Official?

So apparently Nate Moroshan has started his own bike company (featuring basically everyone who used to ride for Volume up until recently), and designed his own frame, which has one major difference from your typical BMX frame: Vertical dropouts.


The reasons given for the change are solid—your wheel can't move up (or back) in the dropout, and you can run your chain as tight as you can get it and still get the wheel out. Yet, as always, whenever there's a change that seems too obvious, I wonder why it's never been done before. Vertical dropouts have been around for an awfully long time now. They've even been used in BMX before (I can't remember who it was, but a company used Campy road dropouts way back in the '70s). Someone's had to have thought of this before, right? The only real drawbacks I can think of off the top of my head are a) you can't run really weird gear ratios, and b) you'll probably have to replace your chain more often, because if it stretches, you're fucked. Otherwise, I'm as curious as anyone to see how they work out.

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If you've spent the last couple years dreaming of a frame you could never have—like, say, an FBM Angel of Death with an internal headset, Euro BB, uncapped stays, an angle-cut seattube, and 16" chainstays with room for a 2.3" tire—WAKE THE FUCK UP. All you need is a dollar and a dream—well, or $450 and the patience to wait a couple months—and FBM will make you more or less anything you want. Cool beans. (If you prefer to get your bespoke BMX from the Left Coast, Aaron Huff and Solid got you covered—I'd like to know what the "outlandish weight requirements" are.)

Hey, can you guys do vertical dropouts?

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EDIT: Just felt like bumping this up now that the comments are more open.

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37 comments:

Smitty said...

Dropouts have evolved to be so much the same on every bike. Glad to see somebody try something different. Go Nate.

david said...

My RRS 24" had vertical dropouts in 1982.

Russ said...

RRS! That was it. My overheated brain thanks you.

albieish said...

Solid will do you up a custom bicycle for a lot less than 450 dollars.

John said...

Yeah, but check out the FBM site:it's so user friendly. Solid ought to do a DIY page like THIS....I love it and almost hope my current frame breaks.

PawelB said...

how do you expect someone to tighten their chain? Do you have to run it super loose or super tight? Kinda doesn't make sense???

albieish said...

"Yeah, but check out the FBM site:it's so user friendly. Solid ought to do a DIY page like THIS....I love it and almost hope my current frame breaks."

Granted they do have a nice little system going on there, they still do have limited options; with one huge one being frames under 20.25".

Solid is more word of mouth than anything and many riders know that they are willing to create just about anything within reason and within the customers price range.

brien said...

i'm willing to bet FBM will do a frame smaller than 20.25". not sure why the site is like that but just call.

Mr said...

You can run weird ratios with a fuxed wheel position.

local flavour said...

The vertical dropout - how can that be a good idea? You have about a 1 in 10 chance that your chain tension will be right. And if you're lucky and it is, as soon as your chain stretches it wont be. I'd say this is dumber than the 2 Hip fork-stem-bar thing.

Russ said...

I'm not sure whether it's dumber, but it certainly seems to be in the same ballpark.

G.S.GUCCILIFE said...

Well,if they complain about potential hang ups,why not making it upside down?

newrider3 said...

^^^^
LULZ.

Jerrid said...

Does Cardinal Official still rap these days?

Russ said...

Incidentally, this was the first and last time I'll use Kanye lyrics as a tag. Apologies, but the "Dropout" connection was just too good to pass up. Even if no one noticed (or cared).

Lettusdude said...

Wait...On that Solid interview, he said that they can do custom drop outs, but when I emailed them a while back about getting a custom frame, I was told that they don't do custom drop outs.

Weird.

Either way, if I had the money I'd get a custom frame. Pretty much an older T-1 Ruben with a 74.5hta and a tt gusset. I'd probably go for Solid anyways, since it's cheaper, and FBM gets their head tubes(and I think bottom brackets, I'm not sure) from Solid.
As for vertical drop outs...Why? They work great if you're running gears, but single speed? Not so much. You'll have a hard time getting good chain tension unless you run one of those derailleur style tensioners, which is just un-needed. I just can't wrap my head around the reasoning behind horizontal drop outs for BMX...

EvilOlivE said...

Vertical dropouts for single speed frames are not a new idea, just a bad one. The dropouts are “semi vertical” meaning that you put your wheel on, sit on it until the chain tightens, then tighten your axel nuts. Sounds like an ok idea at first but when you really look into it you’ll realize how much that will change the geometry of your bike. Example: I spent a few mins with autocad a couple years ago and found that a frame with normal geometry, (21” TT, 13.75” CS, 74.5 HT, 11.8” BB) changing the tire in the back from a 1.95 to a 2.1 changes the head tube angle a ½ degree. This would also change the BB height, and ST angle. Of course this only changes the geometry when both wheels are on the ground, so its not a substitute for real frame angle differences, but it gives you an idea of how much this would suck. Do you really want a frame that changes angles based on how stretched out your chain is? And the fact that the American frame manufactures are now practically begging for people to order custom frames now because everyone is so picky about what angles they want leads me to believe that most people would not want a frame that feels like a flatland bike when you put a new chain on, and then by the time the chain is stretched feels like a old dirtbike. That analogy is a bit of a “stretch”, but you get my point. Another thing that should be brought to attention is the cut-out. I don’t think that a hole along the entire length of BOTH welds is a very good idea and I really hope they change that before production.

I almost feel bad putting the idea down like this because I’m all for supporting rider owned companies, but I don’t like supporting bad ideas that were obviously not thought all the way through. That’s how kids get hurt. How many people bought a half-link chain because they were told it was “stronger” without any explanation of how, just to smash their knee into their stem when it broke after a month? Half-link chains fail on such a fundamental level its sickening, but I digress.

I don’t see anyone really getting hurt because of a vertical dropout, and they don’t really seem to be making any extraordinary claims so I wish them well and honestly hope they succeed.

Russ said...

I almost feel like I should re-post this since the comments have been unrestricted. Alas.

Anonymous said...

you can't launch a company with a bad idea and expect people to trust your products.

Obviously this hasen't been given much thought

and Nate. If your tired of needing a chainbreaker to remove your wheel, just get a female hub.
Much simpler!

Anonymous said...

cardinal is no more rider owned than lotek or primo. all these run on tip plus money which has very little to do with riding. these are more like signature brand names given to the guys in the public eye by a huge parent company doing it's piss-poor best to squeeze some dollars out of bmx. i would say the correct term for situations like this would be "rider-FRONTED companies".

Anonymous said...

so a wheelchair company with a couple bmx divisions?

Anonymous said...

well, i guess with a regular chain it would be more luck than ability to get a tight chain. so back to halflink. and yeah... fuck that.

bill said...

Vertical dropouts and a single speed drivetrain does NOT work properly without some sort of chain tensioner to take up the slack in the chain. Its a known fact. It is the reason why companies make a bolt on chain tensioner for vertical drops/ss gearing. It is an ongoing issue in the MTB world which is why a few companies have switched to horizontal drops for single speed applications.

This frame is introducing a problem to an already perfect design. why?

This is the product description for the Surly Singleator:
Heads up, singlespeeders! If you're trying to convert any recent model bike into a singlespeed, you've probably realized by now that since the dropouts are vertical, there isn't any way to properly tension the chain. Surly comes to the rescue with the Singleator. This handy device mounts to the derailleur hanger and provides proper chain tension in a simple, lightweight package.

Stephen said...

BMX...if it ain't broke, it will be!

meat said...

Take the bit of dropout at the very top of the cut out pattern, the skinny little bit across the middle and the thinner bit at the bottom and hey presto, you've got an absolute max of 10mm of thin dropout holding your wheel in place on a frame intended for pegs.

A not entirely shit idea ruined by the all important logo. Noobs.

Russ said...

You could also take the rear wheel off entirely and land your bike on an aircraft carrier. So there's that.

EvilOlivE said...

Hypothetical situation: Say you got a brand new chain so the axle is lower in the dropout (remember these are “semi-vertical” dropouts. See my other post above) and your axle nuts become even slightly loose from grinding and whatnot. Now imagine what’s going to happen when you drop down a two step or case a landing even a little bit….SNAP!!! Broken chain.

With horizontal dropouts this is a non-issue, you get a warning in the form of some clunky noises coming from the back of your bike so you just tighten it up. Fixed.

Anonymous said...

why did you edit out the link to standard claiming they practically invented custom bmx fames? sack swinging a little?

Anonymous said...

check out this photo of the next prototype cardinal frame http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2017/2254299810_49af37f72f.jpg

paul said...

update delay, official.

Anonymous said...

Here.

http://outlier.cc/2009/04/merino_hoodie.php

TODAY, JUNIAH!

Skid Mark PDX said...

They are not completely vertical, they have enough of a slant to allow some chain adjustment. I think the idea is that the wheel will always be "slammed" no matter where it is in the dropout, so the whell is ledd likely to scoot forward, and gets rid of the "need" for chain adjusters. Also the slot on horizontal dropouts is not level with the ground so that changes the geometry too, as does mixing tire sizes or using different one than the bike was designed with. Bike geometry is the biggest can of worms you can open.

Anonymous said...

slacker, get soem new stufff up

Anonymous said...

"Deadblog, Official?"

Anonymous said...

Come on!

Helix tubing is asking for SPRFLS to rape it.

Anonymous said...

DEADBLOG

G.S.GUCCILIFE said...

Yo RUss,i would write about how LOTEK should re-issue the throwbacks,i'be coppin two pairs for sure...