May 16, 2022 6 min read
What started off as another day in the office, quickly changed after receiving a rather interesting email. Now what could possibly be interesting about a BMX company receiving emails? We get 100s of those a day, and is basically how everyday business goes for us. But as you'll soon learn, this one was different!
A long-time customer was reaching out to ask about inventory stock on some Carbon hoops and Carbon frames. He just built up a carbon frame for his son and after a quick test ride, he needed one himself! All seems normal enough right?
Things got interesting when he sent a pic of his current race build (Which is the bike you’re seeing in the thumbnail). Before we go any further, who here can you guess the model? NO cheating! Are you able to distinguish this rare machine?
If so, I applaud your Supercross product knowledge as I had to ask for backup on this one. This particular model is an ENVY V1 from 2009, but there's another twist we'll tell you about later that makes this machine even cooler!
Keep scrolling for all the details!
I feel that before we can even start talking about this frame, it's important to layout a bit of company history here. If you already know the story of the ENVY, you can keep scrolling. But I urge you to read through as this lays the groundwork for why this model is so freaking cool!
The ENVY name is seemingly attached to every high-end frame in our line, so one could safely assume that we just really like that name. However, you shouldn't jump to conclusions. In reality, 'ENVY' represents a long linage of frames over the past two decades! Every time you see the ENVY name, it's because that specific frame is another refinement of its predecessor. Originally the ENVY was going to be a single model to replace the Supercoss S7, but as you will read below. The ENVY has done much more than that.
Today, the ENVY stands as our premier line of Alloy and Carbon Fiber Frames. It's only to be out done by the latest innovation, the VISION F1. However, the VISION F1 is still an ENVY at heart because much of its foundation is built off of the successful ENVY BLK 2.
But that's a topic for another time. For now, let's look back at the genesis of the ENVY line!
The year was 2009 and the S7 was one of the hottest selling frames on the market. It was proclaimed to be the lightest Pro-Sized frame and was seemingly ahead of its time. The S7 was perfect in nearly every aspect of performance, but there was a real logistical problem holding it back.
Scandium was the primary material use to produce the S7. But with material cost on the rise, the S7 was starting to become too expensive to produce. We had to start looking towards other material alternatives. And with the S7's great success and buzz the expectation for the next frame was high!
We needed to find a more affordable material that still maintained the same level of quality and performance of Scandium. After some research and late nights we eventually decided upon the 7005 ULR Taperwall material. It was light, stiff, and fulfilled most of our performance needs. The best part was that we could produce frames with 7005 ULR at a fraction of the cost of scandium.
And so from that material discovery, we gave birth to the very first ENVY frame! The ENVY V1, the same frame you viewed at the start of this article.
Sometimes you really don't realize the significance of your decisions until after you make them. That one change in material has lead to two decades of refinement and 7 'Bike of the Year' awards.
Variations of the ENVY frame continue to serve as flagship offerings to this day! The ENVY's lineage marks a turning point in our company’s history and has led to much success!
Some honorable ENVY mentions would include:
THE ENVY BLK
Our first shot at a carbon fiber frame! We showcased to the industry that ‘not all carbon was created equal’ with this model. We learned a lot with the BLK ( Pronounced BLACK ) as it helped establish us as a top-shelf Carbon frame producer. The BLK would eventually spur later iterations with the ENVY BLK 2 and our latest innovation the VISION F1!
THE ENVY V3
This model saw major tubing adjustments, such as tapered head tube, flared seat mast and more. All improvements that produced a stiffer frame without gaining weight. The V3 also received re-designed dropouts that optimized cantilever braking performance. So out of the box, the V3 was a pretty big leap forward in Alloy frame performance!
Our fastest alloy frame to date with major advancements in tubing producing an ultra-stiff chassis with the closest 'launch' feel to carbon fiber. The RS7 is a result of over 3 generations of ENVY refinement and decades of learning. Safe to say, it’s our best yet in terms of Alloy!
There are many more ENVYs to mention but we already wrote an article on The evolution of Supercross Frames right here…
As you can see, the ENVY is very dear to our heart. That one seemingly small decision made in 2009 lead to the popular frames you know and love today. But the question still remains, what makes this particular ENVY V1 so special?
We we’re buzzing in the office after receiving this email!
Yes... this is a first generation ENVY which is pretty rad. But it gets even better as this is actually a prototype model of the ENVY V1!
We spent almost half of this article explaining why the ENVY was so influential, So to see one of the first frames still ripping today makes it extra special. And for it to be a special edition variant is just icing on the cake!
Robert (the owner of the bike) picked up this rare machine in 2011 from VintageBMX.com! Instead of us telling you the story, let’s hear it from Robert himself!
SupercrossBMX: How did you acquire this frame?
Robert: I found this frame for sale on Vintagebmx.com back in 2011. I contacted the seller and made the deal. When I opened the box I was shocked at how new the frame looked! I had no idea it was a prototype at the time. I proceeded to source New parts to try and build the lightest Pro that I could. The only thing I cheated on were the 80’s chromoly handlebars. Once all built up, this bike tipped the scales at 16 lbs.
SupercrossBMX: How long have you been riding / racing this bike?
Robert: I raced it a few times at a small track in Upstate NY back in 2011 then it sat for a bit. Since February I have been racing down here in Florida racing the State Series.
As we mentioned earlier, this particular frame is a special edition prototype of the ENVY V1 designed specifically for one of our Factory Pro rider at the time. ( Mikey Brabandt , or Mike Swearengen as he is called now ) You see Mikey has been with us in one form or another for over 12 years and got a top 10 ABA #1 Pro Title on our Supercross BOLT Cro-mo Race Frame (hence the BOLT sticker on this frames head tube) Mikey really wanted to stick with Cro-mo, but we wanted him to go aluminum and increase his speed. Oh the stories that could be told. That particular bike was raced by one of USA BMX's finest and hung around the Supercross BMX warehouses. It truly has Supercross BMX history in its aluminum! not to mention it’s 1 of 2 of these special edition frames ever produced.
When we made the switch from Scandium to 7005, the frames were light but also pretty rigid. To accommodate the needs of our pro Mikey B, we produced this prototype model with narrower chain stays. The intent was to reduce the rear-end rigidity with more rear-wheel compliance and comfort.
We've said it multiple times throughout this article, but it's so cool to see an older generation frame still doing what it's designed to do: Having fun at the track!
With the start of the ENVY, we were leading the charge in lightweight alloy frames. At the time, the industry thinking was that you had to choose between lightweight or durability. Most people rode alloy frames for a season or two and then ditched the frame shortly after. To see this ENVY still rolling after all this time is a testament to the ENVY's durability and build quality!
The Envy will always have a special place in our heart as it's a staple within our history. We saw this email as a unique opportunity to specifically highlight the ENVY's history while also showing off a rad bike. With 33 years in the game there's so many stories to tell. Stay tuned for another chapter within the story we're continually writing!
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