Monday, July 27, 2009

Scottish Football Association

I've left the page open in my browser for over a week now, and I'm still not sure exactly how I feel about the new T1 SFA.


The way I see it, there are two options.

1) It's awful.

2) It's great.

I suppose one could argue that there's a middle ground between those two, but I've never been much for compromise. Grey doesn't interest me. And compelling arguments can be made for either side:

1) It's awful. T1 has gone from making recognizable, niche-filling frames to joining the masses in the sub-five-pound, Supertherm, skinny-tubed dune buggy category. The new GB has a lot in common with the new FBM Howler, which is all well and good, except why not just get a Howler? Also, someone at Solid forgot to remove the mockup chainstays and put in the capped ones. Those things are so—wait, those are real? Um, not to nitpick, but it seems odd when a pegless pedal grinder's signature frame has a sketchier chainstay/dropout junction than an old Skyway T/A. And the uncapped/capped style, blech. It just looks unfinished.



2) It's great. About time T1 joined the party. Making unique frames that are worshipped by old kooks is a cool concept and all, but it's not a sound business plan, especially when the BMX pie is getting smaller and smaller and being sliced into more and more pieces every day. Romanticize T1 all you want—long live the Barcode!—but the reality is that if you don't offer a sub-five frame these days, fond memories are all you'll have left. And hey, at least it has chainstay brakes and takes a seatpost clamp. Small victories. Plus, if Garrett likes it, who the fuck are you to hate on it?

I suppose if I'm gonna be realistic, I have to lean towards the latter. I want T1 to survive, and if doing a four-pound, five-ounce frame helps them do it, more power to 'em. (Putting out the goddamn stem someday would help, too.) But I still hate those chainstays.

34 comments:

Stephen said...

This post sums up perfectly how I felt when I saw this frame. At first I balked, grabbing my "heavy" previous generation SFA and holding it close to me...whispering that I would ride it forever and ever. Then I started looking at it a little more and decided that the only way I would ever get a sub 5 frame would be if T-1 made it...and they have. So...away I go, ferreting money away to make sure I have enough to buy this new beauty. So long as they cap those stays. That is my only beef.

Mexican John said...

I think it looks great. I'm waiting on that damn cyclops step too!

Anonymous said...

that stem is the best thing since internal headsets

Russ said...

I e-mailed Phil and Joe about the stem a couple of days ago. No word yet.

Anonymous said...

Older kooks (like me)who most likely buy T1 are probably not doin quad whips or monster gaps that would neccesitate a super strong frame.

digahole said...

They've probably ditched that wedge stem. Those wedges and bolt are pretty small and even with the Elementary you've got to tighten the shit out of it to stop it slipping.

Anonymous said...

"Then I started looking at it a little more and decided that the only way I would ever get a sub 5 frame would be if T-1 made it...and they have."

T1 doesn't make anything, they get it subcontracted.

totally anonymos jumper said...

Anon. 5:11,

really? you didn't know what was meant by that? i think you did and you're just being a nitpick dick.

Anonymous said...

Giant modem knuff said....

bill said...

this frame looks homemade. lIke some dude took a welding class, bought some tubing and welded a frame together. The gusset looks like poop, and the dropouts look very amateur. and why a cap on the seat stay but not the chain stay? again, it just looks amateur. I understand it's just a prototype, but I really hope they put some more time into maybe using a visually appealing machined drop out. It's just aesthetics I know, but what I see doesn't look good to me.

Ras said...

"this frame looks homemade. lIke some dude took a welding class, bought some tubing and welded a frame together. The gusset looks like poop, and the dropouts look very amateur"

Amateur?
did you really just call Aaron Huff an "amateur"? Aaron has been putting out quality AMERICAN MADE products for almost 15 years now, and you have the testicles to call him amateur?!? wow, stop the acid kid, your killin too many brain cells.

acid kid said...

Acid? I did mushrooms a few times back in high school in the early 90s but never acid. And god forbid I voice an opinion. I have been riding and participating in this industry for over 20 years and still ride today and simply voiced my honest opinion on the aesthetics of a prototype frame. Is Aaron Huff an amateur? No way! Not even close, but them drop outs look bad. Just a point and again an opinion.

lay off the coffee.

block said...

caps or no caps, at least the brakes are in the right place (and, at least it can stop)!

Nate Johansen said...

I do think they should do one or the other, capped or un-capped. Unless capping the stays on a frame add strength, I say leave them un-capped. Save time any money and even a little weight for those who care. I do agree with Russ on wishing T-1 wouldn't take this route, but it seems there is no other route to take these days. Though I'm really just a jaded and aging rider who dislikes pretty much anything made these days, so fuck it.

memories of better days said...

i think the stem looks rad but im going back to regular old technology. i had a v3 but i had to crank it so hard and then put an old seat post over the allen key for more leverage AND IT STILL SLIPPEd and came loose after awile. i think it fucked my bars up too, but it would never stop slipping since i got it. i traded it out for a shadow attack topload instead.

bman said...

why do people masturbate over chainstay lugs?

I mean because its T1 we all automatically have to blow it for the one detail that makes it stand out. most people use seastay lugs

but that being said, whenever Ive decided to slap the brake on, its infinitely easier to put it on with seastay lugs.

can someone enlighten me why chainstay lugs are better?

Anonymous said...

digahole: "Oh yeah, the final (fingers crossed) Cyclops sample is at the anodizers." - Joe Rich, July 13 2009

jesboogie said...

CS Brakes look so much cleaner than the seat stay version. Still riding my sunday I bought on sale tho JD

Joe Ain't So Rich said...

shouldn't a picture of a prototype (of anything, not just BMX parts) make the viewer want to buy the product when it's released? the company shouldn't be floating a picture of a half-assed mock up and disclaimer-ing it with "the final product will be much better, honest". if it's in a more raw prototype stages then why even leak the photo, it could come back in the form of negative press and speculation of the final result also being sub-par, as in this case.

White/Light said...

Brakes are cleaner on c.s. IMO. Also, and more importantly, unless it's a super low tailwhip machine, you get a more direct pull on the brake arms on c.s. mounts, giving you better working brakes.

EvilOlivE said...

bman, because seatstay brakes were a quick and cheap work-around for people that wanted to run small gearing. now that small gearing is the norm and people are more willing to spend more money on a frame that is more suited for them i see no reason to have seatstay brakes anymore. i will always see them as a cheap workaround that has become obsolete. just my opinion.

of course chainstay brakes are harder to adjust than seatstay brakes, just take two seconds to loosen your wheel and move your chain so you can get to them easier. once you have them set up correctly how many times do you actually have to re-adjust them?

aside from all these reasons, chainstay brakes work better because when braking going forward it applies the pressure more toward the frame than opposed to the bolt, this also makes them feel more solid too = better feel. chainstay brakes place the weight lower on the bike making it a bit less top heavy = stability. and of course the most important point, they just plain look better. they are more tucked away and flow with the frame better = aesthetics = matter of opinion i suppose. i would guess that post people would agree with this though since the most common reason i hear for people being brakeless is that "it just makes the bike look so much cleaner."

all these reasons for chainstay brakes, id be curious if someone can come up with one good reason of why seatstay brakes are better other than them being a little harder to adjust.

trask said...

yeah, what he said.

Russ said...

Chainstay brakes are probably rough with 25/9 (let alone 23/8), but it seems kind of silly to go below 28/10 in the first place. Or 30/11, for that matter.

EvilOlivE said...

^why?

Anonymous said...

30/9 please!

Anonymous said...

http://fbmbmx.com/news.php?newsid=1820

Joe has to be bummed the FBM guys aren't making the SFA. Look at the difference between the Solid SFA prototype and the FBM Exodus prototype. No comparison.

Anonymous said...

Now that looks like a high quality professionally built prototype. Just look at the dropouts alone. way to go FBM!

Verskis said...

I do like seatstay mounts more, because all the crap doesn't get thrown straight to the brakes (try riding in slushy snow with chainstay brakes, soon you'll have a snowball around your brakes). I also hate the sound of chain hitting the brakes, which is almost impossible to happen with seatstay brakes. Plus it's much easier to replace brake pads etc.

bman said...

good answers. cheers.

im brakeless anyways though. hen ce why never really thought about it.

i do run 30 9 so clearance aint a problem :)

the rattling is a point though.

bman said...

....nice to have options i suppose...

g. edward jones, jr. said...

Evil,

I always end up kicking the brake cables on chainstay mounted brakes, which is annoying as hell. That's why I like seatstay mounted ones. Otherwise I wouldn't care.

EvilOlivE said...

haha ok i can see chain slap and kicking the cables since they're closer to your feet and all, but snowballs Verskis? lol really?

Verskis said...

EvilOlive, try to ride to indoor skatepark in snow, and you'll see the problem. Usually the snow just melts away quickly, but our local ramp is in unwarmed hall, so the brakes might begin to work at the end of the session, if your lucky.
In the summer the situation is not the same, but still the chainstay brakes collect more crap than seatstay brakes.

EvilOlivE said...

no i believe you that it happens, i just wasn't sure if you were joking about riding in the snow or not. and the thought of a snowball around my brakes made me laugh. i ride mostly park and street in a dry climate so my bike stays pretty clean without even trying to baby it. if you're riding through snow and mud then you probably have a entirely different list of priorities when choosing and setting up your bike than others. good point then, just not entirely applicable to everyone.