Street riding has been influenced by flatland since the first day a peg was bolted onto a bicycle, but its influence has never been as apparent as it is today. It's not at all uncommon to see nose wheelies and backwards manuals amongst rail and gap clips from your favorite 4-pegged pro, all of which can be traced back to guys learning pinky squeaks and rolling whiplashes in a parking lot over 30 years ago. Many flatlanders ride all disciplines of BMX, but for many, flatland requires so much time and concentration that their other 20" talents fall to the wayside. Guys like Chad Degroot and Nate Hanson broke the flat-only mold in the 90's, and Sean McKinney’s infamous S&M Sabbath frame was one of the first flatland rigs rugged enough to take to the streets – in turn, influencing a generation of riders with its progressive geometry. Haro's Matthias Dandois has developed a hybrid style of flat and street unlike anyone else in the BMX game, and his new signature frame, the La Bastille, meets the needs of versatile riders looking for one whip for all situations.
Flatland technology, like everything else in BMX, has evolved quite a bit over the last few decades. While it's almost impossible to find a frame these with a huge standing platform or the pretzel-shaped tubing of their predecessors, many flatland frames still featuring some extreme geometry and it's not uncommon when perusing the current flat market to see misshapen downtubes and ankle-high standovers. Sure, these angles might be beneficial for certain tricks, but they don't make a frame any stronger and also kinda make your bike look like a spaceship. With the La Bastille, you probably wouldn’t know it was designed with flat in mind unless someone told you. Built with full 4130 chromoly and featuring double-butted top & down tubes, the La Bastille features geometry in line with modern street frames, albeit on a slightly smaller scale. The 75.5deg head tube is steep and responsive, and the 13.25″ rear end makes manuals a breeze, whether your cruising forward or spinning circles in reverse. The 11.5″ bottom bracket features a unique hourglass-shaped bottom bracket that protrudes out slightly more than your average BB. Being that I can’t perform the most remedial flat move to save my life, so with no personal experience to back it up, I’m going out on a limb and saying this design is helpful for certain moves as many riders use the BB as a spot to stand, and the hourglass shape looks a lot like the infamous Railmaster peg from the 90’s. The La Bastille is available in 3 top tube lengths, which each feature corresponding standover heights – for instance, the 19.5″ TT measures 8″; 20.25″ tops out at 8.25″, and 21″ sizes up at 8.5″. With no bulky standing platform getting in your way or weighing you down, the La Bastille tips the scales at a measly 4.7 pounds.
The Haro La Bastille frame is available now at Dans Comp and anywhere else Haro goods are sold, retailing for $319.99 or less. Take your pick between black, blue or caramel, in the previously stated 19.5″, 20.25″ and 21″ top tube lengths. If you haven’t seen Matthias ride, check out the dynamic Vans edit from 2015 below for a great representation of his hybrid style, and if you want to see how Matthias measures up against flat legend Viki Gomez, check out this Red Bull edit we posted earlier in the week. For more information on team Haro and their products, head over to www.harobikes.com now.
Haro La Bastille Matthias Dandois Signature Frame
-Full 4130nchromoly frame with integrated head tube and "hour glass" mid BB shell
-Double butted top and down tubes
-Butted and tapered seat stays and chain stays
-Heat treated head tube, bottom bracket shell and dropouts
-5mm CNC-machined dropouts
-Welded integrated seat post clamp
-Fully removable brake mounts and cable guides
-19.5″, 20.25″ or 21″ top tube sizes
-75.5 degree head tube angle, 13.25″ RC, 11.5″ BB height.
-Standover height: 19.5" TT/8″; 20.25" TT/8.25"; 21" TT 8.5"
-Weight: 4 lbs 7 oz.
-Colors – Black, Blue or Caramel