The Evolution of Supercross BMX Race Frames
When we formed Supercross BMX, we really weren't looking to start a new company, we were already a small apparel company, TECH BMX and just had an idea on how to build a better race frame.
The story has been told many times before, but we had a great little race team with TECH. Billy Harrison, Brian Lopes, Bogi Givens, Glenn Pavlosky, and couldn't get anyone to sponsor them with frames. So we had the idea to make our own, but we didn't want to just do a frame, to do a frame, there had to be a reason, it had to be better, it had to be the best.
So one night when we were doing gate practice behind the shop, we were watching how much the frames of the day were flexing in the gate. I mean we were getting over a 1/2" of chain droop and the rear ends were pulling hard.
So Bill went in and drew up the first Supercross BMX frame, it was a basic front triangle, but using the triangulation theory came up with the secondary seat stay design that made the original Supercross frames legendary.
So what we present to you is a general timeline and history of the Supercross BMX frames thru the years.
1989 - The Original Supercross SX250 Pro XL Race Frame. The very first frame was a Pro XL. 21.25" Top Tube, 15.25" Rear End, 74º Headtube Angle. It was made out of Full 4130 Patco Seamless Cro-mo. The Secondary Seatstay design was designed to use existing tubing sizes and wall thickness to stiffen up the rear end and make the frame launch and accelerate faster than any other current BMX race frame. The Dropouts were extra thick. It used a 1" threaded headtube and fork and had the large American BB shell. Traditional Brake Style, 1" seat clamp and 7/8" post. Top Tube was 1 1/4" , Down Tube was 1 3/8", rear stays were 3/4". The Original decal sets were die cut rub on's as we couldn't afford to do a full 4 color Silk Screen run. Originally we wanted to do all the frames in a two/tone color combo. Black/Neon Green, Black/Cyan Blue, Black/Neon Yellow and Black/Red. Due to cost that never went in to production. All of the first Frames and Forks were Chrome. And occasionally if a frames chrome was rejected, we would powdercoat it, Black, Red or Blue. The Decal colors were Yellow, Red and Cyan Blue with White and Black. Retail was $139.95 for a frame and fork as they were sold as a set.
1990 - No changes from the 1989 model. Except for the addition of the SX125 Pro Size. Same colors, 90% of the Frames and Forks were Chrome. With occasional Black, Red or Blue frames.
1991 - For 1991 we finally could afford to do Silk Screened Decals. Frames were still chrome. We started work on the SX500 Supercross Pro Cruiser Frame. This was designed specifically for Todd Steen who was our Pro at the time.
1992 - Still the same frame and fork as the Original 1989 models. But we started tinkering around with some new TANGE Ultrastrong tubing, We also started developing our first Mini/Junior Frame.
1993 - The "LWR" model Mini / Jr. frame was introduced. We started adding Canti mounts as an option on our frames. And we built a few 1" Threadless Fork / Stem combo kits and started playing around with 1 1/8" threadless steertubes.
1994 - Canti mounts are now stock on all Supercross BMX Pro Frames. We build our first carbon fiber frames. It is a Cro-mo Rear End, Cro-mo Headtube and has a Carbon Top and Town Tube. Decals and logos get a refresh. By mid year all Pro Frames and Larger have 1 1/8" threadless headsets as stock. We built our first Signature Frame, the "Supergas", for A Pro/ Superclass racer Ronnie Gaska. It was a SX250 Frame with all Tange Prestige Tubing, and double thick dropouts.
1995 - 1 1/8" threadless is stock, Canti Mounts are stock, and we start experimenting with Aluminum. The first Aluminum prototype frame we build is the new XXL size for our AA Pro Eric Jones. The new size is called the Moto Monster. Eric Prefers cro-mo and we continue doing Cro-mo frames and introduce the MOTO Monster as a Cro-mo Frame. The Frame sizes now include, SX50 Mini, SX60 Junior, SX80 Expert, SX125 Pro, SX250 Pro XL, the Moto Monster XXL and the SX500 Cruiser.
1996 - This was the first year of our AMX line of Aluminum frames. While most companies were doing a straight 6061 T-6 Aluminum, we stepped it up a bit and used a special high ceramic 6013 Aluminum which is a higher strength and better yield material. It costs a bit more, but it is a superior material to the 6061 Aluminum. And our goal has always been to build the best. And this was the step in the right direction as we knew Aluminum was the future at the time for BMX race frames, but we wanted to make it lighter, stronger, faster than the other aluminum frames. So this was our first full year of having the SX 4130 Cro-mo Series of Frames and the AMX ( Aluminum MotoCross ) Series of frames.
1997 - With having the 2 series of Race Frames going, we just kept refining the wall thickness and tube diameters to keep the evolution going. At this point we were doing 500 frames a month and BMX was going great. We started work on the new EVOLUTION series of Race Frames, which were based off of the AMX Aluminum frames, but we did a special Monocoque rear stay that eliminated the Secondary Seatstay design. Due to a MFG issue, there were only 3 of the prototypes of this frame ever produced.
2002 - We introduced a full new line in 2002, the UL series Air Hardened Triple Butted Cro-mo Race Frame, the EVO 6061 T-6 Aluminum Race Frame and the DEVO 4130 Cro-mo Race Frame. The UL was one of the first race frames to use an Intergrated Headtube on the race scene. Originally we had been working with Cane Creek for the Integrated headset and found there to be too many different sizes, so in an effort to make things more compatable with the market, production versions used a traditional 1 1/8" headtube. It also used a Euro BB shell and an Integrated seatpost clamp. A lot of people wondered what we were doing by having our Cro-mo Race frame be the high end while most other companies were putting Aluminum frames at the high end.
2003 - We added the Euro BB shell to all the EVO frames, Randy Roberts got the first one, a nice Anodized Blue one. Transworld did a nice write up on him and it, and the link is still live, you can click here to see. The rest of the Frame line up remained the same.
2004 - The EVO got updated to a traditional rear end from the 6 bar rear end design. It also featured rectangular rear stays to add to the stiffness on the rear triangle. We introduced our new MX and MXP Park and Trails Frames with input from Ben Snowden. The UL Series got a refined headtube and new smaller dropouts, but for the first time, our Aluminum frame sales out sold the Cro-mo. Mid way thru the year the EVO lost the built in seatpost clamp and went to a more traditional seatpost size. This was also the year we introduced our first MTB frame the MX26, a Dirt Jump / Pump track cro-mo frame.
2005 - The EVO was completely gone over and we introduced the lightest Pro XL Aluminum frame on the market, the EVO G6 . At 3lbs 3 oz, BMX Plus! Magazine called it a wonder bike. Everyone wondered how we got an Aluminum frame, that light and still that strong. The UL continued on, but sales kept slowing down on Cro-mo so they were starting to become limited.
2006 - EVO G6 sales were going crazy, it was becoming our most popular frame yet. This year we re-imagined the UL and it became the R-CR complete with the Integrated Headtube it should of had from the begining. We also did a short run of MX Frames that were a Ben Snowden Signature model, the Disciple. It was a $199 Heat Treated Cro-mo frame imported from Taiwan.
2007 - Things were starting to get heated up for the 2008 Olympics, and we knew that we wanted to up the game from the EVO G6 to make sure we were building the absolute best BMX race frame in the world. This meant we did a lot of testing on Carbon, Titanium and Scandium, Scandium was the material we ended up going with to build the lightest production BMX race frame ever. It was based off of our G6 but used a special Easton® Scandium Tubeset. We also started back side CNC'ng the dropouts, anything to save precious grams and still maintain strength and stiffness. Our Pro XL Supercross S7 weighed in at 2.65lbs. That was 22% lighter than the EVO G6. And had undergone torture testing from Randy Roberts, for 2 years before we brought it to market. Also new for 2007 was the introduction of our EVO iS series of Aluminum race frames. It was a Taiwan version of our popular EVO G6 and was at a lower price point of $279. The R-CR remained the same as did the MX, and MXP Dirt Jump and Park Frames.
2008 - This was a big year for BMX with it's introduction into the Olympic games and a huge year for Supercross as well. We were still making the EVO S7 and had back orders galore, and in our constant pursuit of perfection, we continued working with Easton® to refine the tube shapes and started doing the custom formed and shaped Scandium tubes on the 2008 models. This year we also introduced the new G6e series of Easton High Ceramic EA6X race frames. Something in between the Imported EVO iS and the High End Scandium S7. We were trying to make sure that everyone could ride a Supercross regardless of price point, while still pursuing the best BMX frames in the world. This was also the year of our Icon complete bikes. Our first full production of a line of completes, based off of our EVO iS race Frames. The R-CR, and MX remained the same.
2009 - The year of the ENVY, this was our first year for the ENVY, when the ENVY was introduced it replaced the S7 and the G6E. It allowed us to bring the performance of the S7 down to a lower price point. The ENVY has been the cutting edge of BMX racing performance and was the first BMX race frame to use a custom Easton® ULR 7005 Triple Butted Tubeset. The EVO iS continued, the R-CR was replaced with the new BOLT LT , the MX was replaced by the Passion and we were dabbling with more Mountain Bikes and started to develop the new SHINE and started work on a few other MTB Frames.
Disclaimer. This is written from Bill's Memory. Some exact dates and specs may be a little off, but we are trying to make this as accurate as possible. If you think we mentioned something incorrectly, please e-mail us where you think we screwed up.