Thursday, July 2, 2009

Prototypecast

If you want to stay relevant in today's fast-moving world, you have to keep changing. Gone are the days where a company could keep pumping out the same exact frame year after year after year and keep selling. (Wait, did those days ever exist?) Today it's all about lighter and lower, brighter and...dammit, nothing rhymes with 'lower.' Well, this paragraph is going great.

Anyway, it's prototype week in the good ol' US of A. First we have the revised FBM Howler, shown here in all its nekkid Supertherm glory:


Posed here on a peg that weighs roughly a quarter what the frame does, the new Howler has smaller dropouts, removable mounts and guides (well, the production version will anyway), and an added toptube/headtube gusset. If you compare the vital stats to those of the original version, the new Howler is lighter and slightly longer. They've also eliminated the Gyro tab threading for whatever reason. The fact that they have to say "before paint" regarding the weight sort of makes me embarassed for BMX as a whole.

Then there's Standard, who've been pumping out prototypes like it's their job. Which I suppose it is. First up is a new Bullitt, which may or may not still be for the refined rider. Whoever that is. These are full-on custom frames, which means giving the dimensions is pointless:


Both frames seen here have integrated headsets and Euro bottom brackets, which is sort of like having a Prius with an eight-track player. But to each his own. Weight is right around four pounds (gulp), and the classic Standard gusset is optional. The pierced toptube appears to have been left intact, however.

But Standard hasn't stopped there. Continuing on their mission to re-introduce every one of their old frames, a photo appeared on their Twitter feed of a new Trail Boss prototype propped next to the original Trail Boss prototype:


No specifics are available as of yet, but it looks promising (i.e. not squashed). As with the Bullitt, you should be able to order one of these any way you want, so I'm not sure if there's much point in posting specs even if I had them. Put me down for a sea camo 21".

Side note: With all the custom work these days, what's the point of getting someone else's signature frame when you can get your own? Finally, I can get that 20.90210" toptube and 74.20 degree headtube angle I've always dreamed of.

EDIT: For more on Standard, check the interview with Rick Moliterno here.

55 comments:

Stephen said...

i'm holding out for some pleg'd basic silencers.

Anonymous said...

People wanting to know the weight of their $400 frame embarrasses you, but blogging about BMX as a middle aged man from your parent's house doesn't?

Russ said...

Not at all! Weird, huh?

Actually, I blog from Borders. Come by and say hi!

JPR said...

It would be misleading if we didn't point out the weight is before paint as paint can add 5oz. A lot of our customers, you know the ones who keep us in business with their support, want to know the weights of the products they buy. It's more informative than embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

its embarassing that kids care enough about a few ounces of paint, but thats the state of bmx these days.

Anonymous said...

I thought thirties were the new twenties, how is that middle aged? I'm embarassed for the people that have to shit talk a blogger on something as intangible as personal opinion. I do enjoy reading this blog and catching a glimpse at every different angle presented here by Russ and all who comment, but my next frame or part purchase will probably be based less on weight and more on which company cries the least when a new sprfls post hits the web.

Russ said...

Meh. Why even list the "before paint" weight if the production frames are going to be painted? Isn't that number entirely irrelevant? Why not just stack up the cut tubing and list the "before welds" weight?

Anonymous said...

Now that's some funny shit right there.

JPR said...

It's not that big of a deal. More people want to know the weight of our frames than don't, that might be sad or embarrassing, but it's also a matter of fact. If you give a shit about weight, it's probably good to know powder coat does add up to 5oz.

This also something I didn't know until 6 or so months ago because never in my life had I wondered how much powder coat weighed. I'd say thirties could be considered middle aged when your body feels about as awesome as a 75 year old woman.

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

Edit: We do sell raw frames, but rarely un-welded ones. Meh.

aunt becky didnt give it up to rick said...

i still to this day haven't seen one person outside of davenport/iowa area who is riding a new standard (outside of racing). are people actually buying them outside of the 319 and 563 area codes? just curious is all...

Russ said...

BMX 2000 = "Jump off a building!"

BMX 2009 = "Powdercoat weighs five ounces!"

If this is progress, I'm not interested.

Anonymous said...

then leave BMX and do something else more productive with your time

Russ said...

I guess I just hope someone would buy an FBM because it's an FBM. Choosing a BMX frame because of its weight (when they're all roughly the same anyway) is like choosing a malt liquor based on calories. This may be the new reality, but that doesn't mean I have to accept it.

Anonymous said...

Well shit JPR, going by that criteria I'm middle aged as fuck at 33 yrs old damnit. Bubble has burst. I'll add that, though your points about mentioning powdercoat weighing 5oz(more than a pleg!)are valid and well made(hate to be misinformed), it still makes me laugh and shake my head at the very thought of how that conversation would unfold at the skatepark...

JPR said...

I didn't say I didn't think it wasn't mildly absurd, but I will ask why would a 15 year old kid give a shit what I thought? He wouldn't and he shouldn't have to.

It's really, really easy for Russ not to accept it, he doesn't have to and it has no bearing on his life whatsoever. Me, I enjoy my job and the fact that I can afford beer, food and lodging doing something I'm stoked on. Kids obsessing about weights of bike parts is way down on the list of things I need to be bothered by.

I live in Binghamton, I've got far worse things weighing on my mind.

Anonymous said...

Crybaby companies should take not, that was very well put and I raise my PBR to JPR for, dare I say, keepin' it real.

Anonymous said...

i remember about 7-8 years ago when my skateboarder friends were concerned about how much their shoes weighed. wait until that hits bmx then that dig caption years ago about ruben not carrying change in his pockets will seem ludicrous.

ryan said...

How could you leave out the shaman?
http://img29.imageshack.us/i/shaman.tif/

Stephen said...

I used to have a shirt that said "Ride Like a Motherfucker".

So I did.

Because of that I am strong enough to have chosen a Terrible One frame based on the fact that it was a Terrible One and I like tossing support the way of Joe Rich. Were it not for that I would probably have an FBM, because I like the dudes. Even though I am pretty sure the powdered donuts add more than 5 oz. to Crandall's frame.

digahole said...

Weight is just another feature of a frame / part. Why buy stuff based only on a brand, rather than it's features?

brien said...

Because youth know no such thing as loyalty.

Grimace said...

JPR: Stop making comments on here and post something on Boxed Wine Fiasco! No seriously, that was an entertaining blog/site thing. And at least the dudes worrying about the weight of paint are buying FBM's and not Killdorados or Eddie frames.

memories of better days said...

i agree its kinda silly to worry about paint or powder adding weight to your frame, but i can say i did strip my new frame raw and it took off like 3 oz i think in powder. then i rattle canned it haha.

its just my opinion but i think the people who obsess over weight the most.. it probably aint gonna make a difference in how they ride or not if their bike weighs 5 oz more.

also they thing is, this is also my opinion, you adjust to the complete weight over time riding, so you stop noticing. for instance when i went form hazard 14mm's with a freewheel, to 3/8 profiles with a ti spokes (haha) i noticed and it felt like riding on air, it was awesome. now im pretty sure my brain is adjusted to the new weight of my bike so its not like every day im blown away by how light it is... it feels normal. just like my heavy ass hazard wheels felt.

when we are talking about dropping pounds... then yea, i can see wanting something lighter. when we are talking 5 oz then its pretty much a non issue.

and yes, my frame weighs over 5 lbs ;)

SpaceBagels said...

Wow. I was just considering buying a custom FBM and the thought that they care more about how much a powdercoat weighs by listing it rather than the tubing thickness of the main tubes, which is a MORE important property for a frame, then FBM has no credibility AND integrity as a BMX freestyle frame manufacturer.

Oh well, Solid is more deserving of money from people who know about what they REALLY want - reliability,credibility, integrity without ANY marketing bollocks.

Russ said...

Boxed Wine Fiasco is/was great.

Anonymous said...

boxed wine fiasco is/was a great blog and a great column in dig. both should continue in some form, especially behind the scenes stuff about faction.

speaking of brand loyalty, my first real bmx was a taj. now i'm on a loyalty i got off sidewall for 70$. i wouldn't know what i'd want in a custom frame but my set up feels amazing right now.


word verification:enstern. almost...

Salty said...

Russ... keep up the good work. NO REMORSE.

gsport george said...

Thing is... when no one gave a toss about weight, and strength was all we wanted because we just couldnt take any more breakages, everything got really heavy really fast. To the point where bikes really were tanks. (And yes I made my share of heavy parts).

It is easy enough to say "they're all roughly the same anyway" but if nobody cared about weight (again) they soon wouldn't be.

4 or 5 ounces for paint is a lot, you cant dismiss it like it is trivial. To get even 1 ounce off a frame without sacrificing some strength is a big achievement and paint adds no strength at all (although arguably a lack of paint could lead to corrosion and weakening obviously). Surely it is more ludicrous that we are making frames with thinner and thinner tubes to save weight when we are still adding 5% extra on top for a decorative coating? Why is it more acceptable to care about the colour of the bike than the weight?

(I assume) FBM posted a weight without paint, because they had a frame without paint, so they weighed it and posted it, you can then compare it to other frames without paint, many of which have been posted in the past by other co's) without any mention that the paint is going to add weight to the finished product...

Anonymous said...

I'm going to raw my frame now. And my forks and bars.

Why do raw FBMs look better than raw frames from other companies?

SeanMurphy said...

Guy worried about stuff in their pockets? These doofey hipsters couldnt fit anything in their pockets, but I would love to see guys riding in flipflops to save weight.

What about monocoque frames? or the one blade fork, on your non peg side? I mean if you painted it pink old ABA style with carbon fiberclip in pedals.

Im going with the new Bullitt, but I am getting it unfinished, no clear coat and I am going to color it black with a sharpie, this should save me less than and ounce, so with carbon fiber pedal spindles, composite loose bearings and nylon bottom bracket like on my 5 year old daughters bike...DOPE!

jeremy said...

people say before paint because paint adds a significant amount of weight, and when you have a weight weenie kid who weighs his frame and it's heavier than claimed, he'll cry.

Anonymous said...

sean, did you just imply ruben was a tight-pantsed, goofy hipster? especially seven years ago when that caption was written?

Anonymous said...

Hey JPR.

Only idiots want to know how much a frame weighs without powdercoat, and only idiots buy an un powdercoated frame because it weighs less.

So FBM is catering for the idiots now. Since US is the majority of America is populated by idiots, you guys will have a bright future.

Anonymous said...

gsport george your Sunday frames and Ratchet hubs are some of the heaviest frames and hubs in the industry, so saying 5 ounce is a lot is being hypocrytical.

Why don't you guys lose the Black MAgic bullshit paint and those shitty chain tensioners, chunky droopouts and gimicky waved downtube on Sundays so they can get a pound lighter, I MIGHT just buy it.

Else STFU

Anonymous said...

^Wow...

Verification: sesse

Beau said...

http://cgi.ebay.com.sg/KINK-EL-GUAPO-BMX-PEGS-NEW_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQitemZ310126256917

Paul said...

No more camo paint jobs from standard unfortunately. I inquired about this when I was considering getting a custom 125r a few months ago.

Pretty soon, companies that produce frames with removable brake mounts/cable guides will be listing the weight of the frame with and without the mounts, uugghh.

SeanMurphy said...

Well I didnt see the photo, read the magazine, or really make a statement directly related to the person in the picture. If you want to call me out, please use your real name and I will gladly retort, "Anonymous".

gsport george said...

Hey Anonymous at 1-13pm, numbers obviously arent your strong suit, but good work on copying the letters into the word verification box simply by mashing yoru face into the keyboard enough times..

Anonymous said...

RE: Wine Fiasco notes.."boxed wine fiasco is/was a great blog and a great column in dig. both should continue in some form, especially behind the scenes stuff about faction." Is that Faction Mag, Faction the 22inch Co, or Faction Steve Cab's band? Just inerested cuz I like all three of em.

Douglas said...

That is funny. Good job George. Anonymous posting sucks, but I guess it is a necessary evil.

Anonymous said...

"but good work on copying the letters into the word verification box simply by mashing your face into the keyboard enough times.."

What does this mean? And George you shouldn't waste your time with trolls.
He was obviously trolling.

gsport george said...

...mmmm pork pie

Super.Chief said...

^^^^^
Wat

Curtis said...

I am more curious as to why the seat in the first Bullit photo has been cloned out.

Are they hiding some sort of amazing new space age technological seat and post? (combo? pfff)

-Macaroni Sandwich

Anonymous said...

more importantly the top bullit has a wall back tire.

Curtis said...

Yeah, yeah. "So street".

Why is the seat and post photoshoped out though?

Just seems odd.

SeanMurphy said...

the photoshop work, not so skillfully done, is to hide a newer prototype fluted anodized seat post option with the machined quick-release clamp adapter. copyright still pending status precludes it from being shown at this time.

JPR said...

"Wow. I was just considering buying a custom FBM and the thought that they care more about how much a powdercoat weighs by listing it rather than the tubing thickness of the main tubes, which is a MORE important property for a frame, then FBM has no credibility AND integrity as a BMX freestyle frame manufacturer.

Oh well, Solid is more deserving of money from people who know about what they REALLY want - reliability,credibility, integrity without ANY marketing bollocks."

Outrageous. The Solid dudes are definitely sweet and certainly deserve some business. So I'm offering to buy you a custom Solid frame. Email me at rogers.johnpaul@gmail and I'll get the ball rolling.

Levi said...

What if the guy wanted a custom NEXT? Or is that out of your league?

wv: hughthe

Anonymous said...

http://joe.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/p4732732reg.jpg

Anonymous said...

Hey JPR if I give a a bj would you give me a free howler? I'm 13 if that matters...

smoovebert said...

even worse, both of those bikes have shitty primo tires on them.