Twenty progressive signature BMX frames
The most progressive
From the progression of riding to new tricks to new technologies and everything in between, what follows is a look at twenty of the most progressive signature BMX frames to have graced the BMX world over the past thirty years.
20. Sunday Ian Schwartz
Ian Schwartz's version of the Sunday Second Wave frame was the first to replace the seat tube with a Pivotal-friendly seat mount. Other brands followed suit soon after. "Prior to this frame he took off his seat post clamp and JB Welded a post in. Then he shaved down the seat tube to make it look smooth," said Sunday when this frame was introduced in 2007.
19. S&M Beringer
In 2002, S&M Bikes began experimenting with Campagnolo Hidden headsets, which sat completely on the interior of the headtube. After adding Matt Beringer to the team, S&M worked with Beringer on a Hiddenset friendly frame design which ultimately ushered in the universal switch to integrated headsets in BMX frames. The days of the headset cup are now long gone.
18. WAL Riot
In 1989, Ron Wilkerson walked away from a deal with Haro and started his own brand, Wilkerson Airlines. Their first frame, the Riot, was a massively overbuilt BMX frame. "We basically used the same geometry of the Haro Sport and made a US-made beefed-up version," said Wilkerson. The Riot helped to usher in the first wave of overbuilt BMX frames.
17. Mongoose Hooligan
In 1991, Mongoose signed Dennis McCoy to their team and released his signature bike, the Hooligan. The Hooligan was one of the first frames from the larger BMX manufacturers to address the needs for a stronger BMX frame at the time, utilizing thicker diameter tubing and an ovalized down tube for added strength.
16. Haro Mirra Pro
After joining Haro in the mid '90s, Dave Mirra went on to win more X Games gold medals than any other BMX rider on a signature Haro frame known as the Mirra Pro. The Mirra Pro likely had more television airtime than any other frame in this collection, and saw many incarnations, including a gold version (left) and a T-1 Barcode-inspired version in 2006.
15. Schwinn Blue Falcon
Brian Foster's first signature frame from Schwinn, released in 1998, was hand built in the U.S. for trails and racing. Foster, of course, started riding everything on the Blue Falcon, and eventually went on to win X Games BMX Dirt gold on the Blue Falcon. From there, Foster's divergence into other areas of riding, from skateparks to street, began to flourish.
14. Fit ED
Edwin De La Rosa's American-made frame from Fit Bike Co. (the Fit ED) is responsible for a majority of the modern day street progression currently happening. According to Fit, "Overnight, he changed the way people rode street." The frame he did it on, the Fit ED, was released in the mid '00s and remained in production until his departure from the brand.
13. Terrible One Barcode
Widely considered to be the joint signature frame of Terrible One's Joe Rich and Taj Mihelich (the seat tube junction is inspired by Taj's Hoffman frame), the Terrible One Barcode was designed and released in 1998. Through the years, the frame has kept with the time, losing extra weight and taking the integrated/Mid B/B route, while still maintaining its signature look.
12. SE PK Ripper
Perry Kramer's signature frame from SE Racing, the PK Ripper, was one of the first signature BMX frames to be constructed of aluminum instead of chromoly steel, giving the frame an iconic look. Kramer rode for SE Racing in the '70s and mid '80s, but the legacy of his frame design continues to endure in a retro series from SE (pictured here).
11. Standard Tao
Paul Osicka's Standard Tao frame was the first flatland-designed frame to forgo a standing platform, and its simplistic approach created a revolution in flatland frame design. "The Tao of Ground is a liberation from unnecessary obstructions, gimmicks, useless platforms, and elevated chainstays," read an ad for the Tao upon its release in 1996.
10. Standard Trail Boss
Standard's Trail Boss, developed by Robbie Morales, was one of the first BMX frames to bridge the gap between the overbuilt period of the early '90s and a more refined, trail-friendly approach to bike technology in the later '90s. "It's basically an STA front end, with the rear end of a race frame, with straight gauge tubing and thicker dropouts," said Morales in 1997.
9. Kink Cielencki
When Kink offered Jim Cielencki the chance to design a signature frame in 2001 (see inset), Cielencki opted for a light and simple approach, one that offered two bottom bracket choices (American or Euro). Kink's re-introduction of the Euro B/B helped to spark a period of bottom bracket evaluation in BMX, which ultimately lead to the introduction of the Mid B/B.
8. Hoffman Bikes Big Daddy
Designed by Kevin Jones and built by Hoffman Bikes in Oklahoma City, the Big Daddy frame was HB's first frame devoted to flatland. Shorter and more responsive than the Condor, with a built-in frame platform, the Big Daddy was responsible for the progression of Jones' modern day flatland riding throughout the '90s, as seen in the Dorkin' In York video series.
7. S&M Warpig
S&M Bikes released the Warpig in 1997 as a signature frame for all-around team rider Troy McMurray. Troy originally rode a flatland-inspired S&M frame known as the Sabbath, but switched to a longer version without a platform. The Warpig helped to inspire the first wave of brakeless street riding, and was responsible for the introduction of the tailwhip bunnyhop into street riding.
6. FBM Night Train
"There are plenty of ways to describe Mike Tag -- one of them is straight forward and that came through in Mike's set up. His original pro model frame, the Night Train, was introduced in 2001. It was a simple step forward in a time when frames were over thought," says FBM. After Tag's death in April 2012, the Night Train was reintroduced.
5. MacNeil Ruben
Released in 2001 by MacNeil, Ruben Alcantara's first signature frame with the Canadian-based brand is said to be one of the best selling signature BMX frames of all time. Weighing in just over six pounds, Alcantara's frame was among the first modern BMX frames to equally address the need for strength while keeping the weight down.
4. Haro Freestyler
During a summer tour in 1981, Bob Haro envisioned creating a frame and fork devoted solely for the progression of freestyle riding. Haro spoke with his sponsor at the time (Torker), and a deal was struck to develop the project under the Haro name. That original frame and fork, dubbed the Haro Freestyler, paved the way for the progression of freestyle riding.
3. Hoffman Bikes Taj
In 1995, Taj Mihelich designed a dirt-friendly frame for Hoffman Bikes dubbed the Taj. "The Taj frame represented everything I wanted. We got the geometry right and we made it strong. That was all that mattered, something that wasn't going to break," says Mihelich. Because of Mihelich's simplified approach to bike setups and stylish airs, the frame's popularity soared.
2. S&M Mad Dog/Dirt bike
With the advent of dirt jumping in the late '80s, Chris "Mad Dog" Moeller designed a heavy duty race frame that could withstand the demands of racing and jumping. Moeller took aspects of other frames he rode, combined them and had two frame sets made. Demand grew for more and that original frame morphed into his signature Mad Dog.
1. Hoffman Bikes Condor
First introduced in 1992, the HB Condor was the frame of choice for Mat Hoffman, Jay Miron, Dave Mirra and countless others. The Condor's strength and modern geometry helped to push the boundaries of what was possible on a BMX bike, and countless acts of progression have been documented on the many Condor frames sold since its introduction.