Snap June, 1998
It’s been in the works for a while¿sort of like a top secret government airforce project. There’s been many rumors, and a few sightings, but until now nothing’s gone public. Now the time has come. Schwinn has unveiled and released their newest BMX weapon, the Blue Falcon¿Brian Foster’s signature bike. To tell you the truth, it’s actually been out in the public’s eye for a while¿just take a look at last issue’s cover. Brian has been on one for months now proving its performance in races and jumping contests throughout the country.
The Blue Falcon is a USA-made 4130 chromoly workhorse. Designed both by Schwinn engineers and Brian himself, this bike was made to take Brian to podium victories on the track, as well as in jumping contests¿and it already has.
To take a closer look for ourselves at what the Blue Falcon was capable of, we handed over a completely dialed-in model to Snap’s newest test rider Josh Stricker. Josh is known as one of Southern California’s finest trail riders and has ridden a Blue Falcon frame before (one of the first prototype models). Wouldn’t he have a biased opinion then, you might ask? Well, yes he probably would. But since he’s ridden one on his own that should already tell you something.
Josh adjusted well to the bike and basically went off when riding it. Take a look at the opening sequence¿that turndown is over a huge downhill set of doubles that were kind of shady. The lip was crumbling away each time he hit it. Commitment and confidence. After watching Josh ride the bike for two days and seeing Brian perform on his own bike numerous times, we had our minds made up. The Blue Falcon is dope.
Right now the Blue Falcon is available as a frame and fork set for around $399. Soon it will also be available as a complete bike. With a 21-1/4″ top tube it’s not really geared towards the smaller rider. It would fit someone from about 5′ 6″ and up. With it’s design and construction it can easily win races and take care of you at the trails. Stop by your nearest Schwinn dealer and see for yourself.
Josh on the Blue Falcon
You’ve ridden this exact frame occasionally on your own, what do you like about it?
I like the way it rides. It feels good for riding trails¿I don’t ride tracks, but it feels good all around. You can do anything on it.
How’s it feel jumping?
It feels totally solid. It just feels great.
What do you think about how it looks?
It looks great! It’s got some little special tones to it. Nothing overkill, but there’s a couple of little specialties added to it.
What about the rider’s size? Who’s good for this bike?
No little kids. It seems like it would be good for a taller person because it’s got quite a long front end. The back end is pretty short so it’s good for manuals and stuff. Probably a taller person, definitely.
Brian Foster on the Blue Falcon
What went into the design of the Blue Falcon? How much input did you have?
As far as the geometry, me and my brother Alan did the aluminum bikes three years ago, that’s what I’ve been riding since. As far as the geometry, it’s the same as that bike. Schwinn was in charge of designing a lot of it, I just wanted to worry about weight. I wanted it light enough to where you can race it, sturdy enough to where y can jump it.
Why did you choose chromoly over aluminum? Is it making a comeback?
Chromoly is durable. Aluminum is great if you get a new bike every six months, but for the people that buy a new bike and need it for three years, chromoly is the way to go. I definitely think chromoly is making a comeback. Aluminum has its good points, but it just doesn’t last. Aluminum has been popular for a year or two now, but people are starting to realize that it doesn’t last. Everyone’s starting to go back to chromoly.
The Blue Falcon is a limited edition signature bike. How many are being made?
I have no idea. For the first batch they made 350 and I think they got rid of those pretty easily. They’ll make a couple of batches. Each one has got a little tag on the side that says which number it is. I would imagine if they’re selling really good that they’ll keep making them.
The rear dropouts, the chainstay and seatstay wishbones, and the pierced top tube and pretty unique. Were these Schwinn’s ideas or yours?
I’ve always been a fan of wishbones, so that’s where those came from. The engineers were into the dropouts. I was psyched when they popped it up on the computer and showed it to me. The pierced top tube is kind of a Schwinn trademark. And the oversized down tube I was kind of into. Schwinn wanted it to look like a Schwinn so that’s where the top tube comes from. Between me, the engineers, and everyone else at Schwinn it got thrown together. It wasn’t a hundred percent me, everyone put in and this is what we came up with.
There’s a couple of good features that aren’t exactly noticeable. The seat tube is butted and the down tube starts out slightly bigger.
The first one they made was right on except it weighed a lot. They double-butted the seat tube¿it’s thicker at the bottom and thinner towards the top. The top tube is double-butted to where it’s thinner in the middle. The down tube goes all the way up to the head tube and the top tube just kind of lays on top of it¿that’s from the aluminum bikes. The bottom bracket shell starts as a big hunk of metal and then the inside of it is ground out. That’s to save weight. They made the first bike and we just worked on shaving weight here and there while keeping the strength.
Since you race on the same bike that you ride at the trails everyday, have you done anything to make it lighter?
Profile gave me a titanium spindle, and I have a seat with titanium rails, other than that you can’t really cut corners. Go thinner on the bars and they start flexing, go thinner on the forks and they bend. You can’t skimp on wheels. My bike’s probably a half pound heavier than most of the other racers and it’s probably a pound lighter than most of the jumpers. It’s the best of both worlds.
Schwinn Blue Falcon
Price, specs, & info.
Frame and fork price: $399.00
Finishes Available: Blue Falcon Blue
Frame and fork weight: 8 lbs
Head tube length: 4″
Head tube angle: 73.5°
Steerer tube size: 1-1/8″
Seat tube angle: 71°
Seat tube inside diameter: 26.8 mm
Seat tube outer diameter: 1-1/8″
Top tube length: 21-1/4″
Top tube outer diameter: 1-1/2″ tapered oval
Down tube outer diameter: 2″
Fork leg outer diameter: 1-1/4″
Bottom bracket height: 11-1/2″
Chainstay length: 15-1/2″ center to center
Chainstay outer diameter: 3/4″
Warranty: Limited lifetime
For information contact: Schwinn Cycling and Fitness, 1690 38th Street, Boulder, CO 80301. Phone: (303) 939-0100. Internet: www.schwinn.com
information contact: Schwinn Cycling and Fitness, 1690 38th Street, Boulder, CO 80301. Phone: (303) 939-0100. Internet: www.schwinn.com