While there are certain frame designs on the BMX market today that are shorter and tighter than ever, the availability of traditional style frames is still very much there and is very necessary for a trail rider these days. Jumps are bigger and faster than ever and the demands of a frame are high. You’re not going to see too many (if any at all) riders jumping big sets on a bike with a 13″ rear end and no brake mounts–jumps these days require a more relaxed headtube angle, a roomy top tube, and a backend in the high end of the 13 inch range–perhaps even into the 14 inch realm. Fortunately, there are plenty of options out there in the BMX world these days and we’re going to take a look at some of them.
Fit Inman Frame
Justin Inman’s signature frame from Fit is built for big riders riding big jumps. With top tube options of either 21″ or 21.5″ inches and a 14.25″-14.75″ backend, this thing is built for the woods, floating through the tree tops. The head tube angle is pretty average (74.5 degrees) and the back end has clearance for tires as wide as 2.3″. Plus, it’s made in the S&M warehouse in Santa Ana–what more could you ask for?
S&M’s Credence Frames
Credence has taken over the dirt position in S&M’s line of frames. There are two options from the American made company–the CCR and Mod frames. The CCR is all trails from front to back: 21″, 21.25″, and 21.5″ top tube sizes, a 13.9″ rear end, 74.25 headtube angle and 3/8″ dropouts. The Mod is a big more contemporary, coming in sizes between 20.75″ and 21.5″, with 14mm dropouts and a 74.5 degree headtube. In true trails fashion, the frames come with a Credence stencil and twine to spray and represent Credence everywhere.
FBM’s Steadfast 2 and Gypsy 2 Frames
FBM’s got two frames that are perfect for the woods–the Gypsy 2 and Steadfast 2. The Gypsy 2 is a pretty average BMX frame geometry wise while the Steadfast 2 is the meant for the more diehard trails rider of the FBM group. Besides being the frame that FBM based the Anthem II frames off of, the Steadfast also has a 3/8″ axle option on special orders. And, in true FBM fashion, these are hand crafted in New York.
Deluxe’s PA Frame
Mark Potoczny made a name for himself riding everything–and he is damn good at riding pretty much anything you can put in front of him. But, Mark’s true love is in the woods and he made a commitment to riding trails a couple of years back and has been killing it harder than ever since. Given the chance to design a signature frame with Deluxe, Mark’s thought process all lies behind making it as good as it can be for the jumps. It’s awesome to see a rider like Mark get recognition from a company like Deluxe, despite not necessarily being in the BMX limelight.
It should probably also be mentioned that Deluxe’s entire brand is based off trails riding and more can be seen on their website.
Sunday’s Rooster Frame
Sunday’s third incarnation of their trails frame is my personal favorite, from the “Dr. Pepper” color to the rooster head tube graphic and refined geometry. Sunday is known for their strength, and when you’re sailing over a 25 foot double, do you really want to worry about your back end blowing up if you case? On top of the strength, there frames are also super stiff due to the 41Thermal process, which seems to be pretty important to many trail riders out there.
Mutiny’s Robbo x Sekt Frame
A super mellow head tube angle, super tall stand over and three big top tube sizes scream trails–and that’s exactly what the Mutiny Robbo x Sekt frame is all about.
Verde Yeagle Cartel Frame
For going higher than damn near anyone on the planet, Brian Yeagle’s signature Cartel frame from Verde is of a pretty average geometry–good for all sorts of riding.
Subrosa Silva Frame
Mark Mulville’s signature frame from Subrosa is available in some pretty large sizes (21.5″TT/14.25″CS), has a chrome option for that classic BMX look and a 9 inch stand over to stay true to the Trail Boss look.
United x Bicycle Union Collab
The United x Union collaboration frame gives a nod to the classic frame design with modern technology. The Union collab frame has a tall stand over, lack of an integrated seat tube clamp, and micro dropouts–perfect for pegless riding (though pegs do work in the dropouts).
Macneil Deuce Frame
It’s kind of crazy to me that Macneil still makes the Deuce frame. It certainly sticks out compared to their current frame line (all the other frames on the Macneil website have short backends) but has been modernized a bit over the year. True to its name, the Deuce has a 22″ top tube with a 13.75″ backend that has clearance for today’s larger tires. It also weighs in at just under 5 pounds–not bad for such a large frame.
Diamondback Seahawk Frame
Darin Read has his own signature frame from Diamondback, appropriately called the Seahawk. It has a pretty average, all around geometry that’s good for the trails or the park and weighs in at four and a half pounds. Best of all, it’s all northwest.
Fit BF Frame
Fit couldn’t have nailed it any better in their description of their BF frame:
Brian Foster is the ultimate trail boss; anyone who’s been in the game long enough can tell you that. He wanted a frame that could flow through trails but still shred parks. A longer back end, 74° head tube angle and welded-on brake mounts make this the perfect trail frame. No joke.