Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Don't Stop Believing

Lots of new frames popping up this week. Had to check my calendar to make sure it wasn't Interbike time. It's not. Still, it seems like nearly every company introduced a new frame, including Eastern:


At a glance, it looks relatively normal, by which I mean it doesn't have all sorts of slots and holes drilled in it. Perhaps Eastern has moved beyond NASCAR technology. But look closer and you'll find a few, um, eccentricities. Like a proprietary (and seemingly arbitrary) bottom bracket width, and an offset-butted headtube.

Start with the wider bottom bracket. Eastern went from the 'standard' 68mm width to 82mm. Which makes some degree of sense, for the reasons they give:
"The BB is 82mm wide verses [sic] the standard BB that is 68mm wide. This spreads the bearings out to increase the strength on the spindle and bearings by putting the load closer to the bearing. The wider BB also allows the stays to be welded further apart to increase the strength and to allow for straighter chain stays and clearance for a 2.3 tire."
The traditional 68mm width always made more sense for road bikes with their skinnier tires, and even they went wider with outboard bearings (although the BB30 system represents an attempt to bring it back to 68mm—and you thought BMX was confusing). Meanwhile quite a few downhill bikes already use 83mm bottom bracket shells.

That said, there's a couple other things to take into consideration. Number one, you're gonna need a whole new (presumably Eastern) bottom bracket setup. Not the bearings themselves—those'll be of the standard mid variety—but a new, wider tube spacer and some thinner washers to go in between the arms and the bearings. And even with all that (consideration number two) I wonder what this'll do to your chainline? I'm sure it's been tested—after all, Josh Perry pulled a 720 tailwhip on one!—and it's only 7.5mm per side, but my drive side washer is pretty thin as it is.

The offset headtube shouldn't provide any problems. It could if you still had to hammer cups into it, but those days are long gone, and companies are doing far worse things to headtubes these days. If Eastern wants to save a few grams by making a simple headtube more complicated, that's their problem. Besides, it sort of goes with the similarly offset-butted Lightning Rod downtube.

Everything else is pretty normal for a late-'00s frame: Japanese (presumably Sanko) tubing, removable mounts and guides, machined dropouts, built-in chain tensioners. But I'm most excited about a holdover from the late '90s: an ovalized (at the bottom bracket juncture) seat tube. Again, this should make the frame somewhat stiffer, but it's also a homage of sorts to this. Which is never a bad thing.

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24 comments:

Maxime Rousseau said...

14mm increase... in my case that would mean going totally washerless. If anything I'm not even sure my cranks would fit in there... and good luck finding a longer axle for a set of Wombolts.

Wouldn't have wider yet thinner stays have made the trick? Don't most frames already give enough clearance for enormous tires like the Fit FAF 2.3? Are we gearing ourselves towards three inch tires?

Russ said...

Yeah, you'd be SOL with Wombolts, let alone any kind of cheaper three-piece that uses a threaded BB.

Anonymous said...

wow, wow, wow. We need some more Rick Ross, Slim Thug and Mike Jones up in this beast.

Anonymous said...

Maxime Rousseau

'Thinner' if you mean smaller O.D. stays equals to decreased stiffness.

A rear ticker walled wishbone should be ideal, then again "ooooh it's not going to be light so I can't do my flipwhips omglolz"

Nick Ferreira said...

"I'm sure it's been tested—after all, Josh Perry pulled a 720 tailwhip on one!" hahahaha

SpaceBagels said...

What happened to Xhelix tubing? Have Eastern conceded it's just a bunch of bullshit after all?

Steven said...

rear wheels are 110mm wide
most rear cogs are 13mm in from that, meaning the centre of the cog is 42mm from the centre of the bike.

now this bb is 82mm, meaning the edge of the bearing is 41mm from the centre, and because even the thinnest sprockets are more than 2mmthick, this shit aint gonna work

fuckheads

Steven said...

also, how un-eastern of them to not post a weight!

zack said...

Hate all you want, but it works. I've been riding mine for several months now with no problems. The wider B.B. shell requires no crank spacers and still gives a perfect chainline, and I run a thick-ass Tree sprocket as well.

Anonymous said...

DH MTN Bikes that run a 83mm BB shells run a 150mm rear spacing to assure proper chain-line.

Russ said...

Dude. If you think that post was "hate," you need to get out—er, stay in and read the internet—more.

Anonymous said...

Jon Byers needs to be publicly executed for the future good of all BMX.

Anonymous said...

Standard Mid BB Width is 74mm not 68...

Anonymous said...

If "Fit" made this frame all you little fucktards would be impregnating tissue boxes, with Daks face on them, right about now

DBZ said...

^^ Wrong website, you stupid motherfucker.

Anonymous said...

"Standard Mid BB Width is 74mm not 68..."

The majority of completes use 68mm width, US frames use 74mm.

Anonymous said...

82mm BB shells will become the norm, guaranteed...not sure how long it will take.

jon@easternbikes.com said...

wow, the best part of this thread is the public execution threat on my life! that's a first for me. I know it's sad, but this frame wasn't meant for wombolts (I'm not sure of their specs to be honest). Anyway, to sort out some facts we left off the website. Prototype frames weighed 4lbs 3oz (20.5t/t). Normal cranks will fit (profile, fly, etc. ) We will provide a special internal spacer(22mm needs a special request).

Anonymous said...

when did Eastern start to care about strength?

Anonymous said...

jon@easternbikes.com get the fuck off BMX! We don't need queer BMX companies like you. Pbbbbhhhtt!! *sticks out tongue*

Anonymous said...

hey jon, the best part was your public threats towards all your critics. get out of bmx.

Jon Byers said...

I'm gonna teach all you Internetz shit talking kidz how to eat a knuckle sammich!!!

Anonymous said...

I like eastern. Light, strong and not too expensive. Seems like they're doing some good for us all.

Anonymous said...

Shittty shitty graphics on the Eastern frmae.