The new Supercross ENVY BLK V2 carbon BMX race frame is just days away from it’s official release. We’ve all read the marketing, and the super frame of BMX has just become more super than ever before. I don’t know about you, but I want to know more about the V2, and what drives the mad scientist/bmx nerd to create the ultimate race bike using jet fighter and formula 1 technology and manufacturing processes.
Bill Ryan, owner of Supercross BMX, is key to product and brand development over at Supercross. We stole a little of his time to answer some questions about his latest creation.
bmxultra.com: It must be pretty exciting for you as a self confessed BMX nerd to see the ENVY BLK evolve?
Bill Ryan: Shane, it has been crazy watching the way technology has changed over the years. When I look at the old Mild Steel FMF Breithaupt Replica that sits in my office window and then the ENVY BLK 2 that Anthony and the team are riding, I am blown away. You go from a single thickness straight gauge MIG welded tubing to the Infinite Butting Hand Layed Pre-Preg Carbon Fiber and it is like they are from 2 different worlds, and they are actually less than 50 years apart. And as we are researching newer materials, manufacturing techniques, the way things are changing leaps and bounds daily. It is an amazing thing to see.
bmxultra.com: What are the most significant changes in the ENVY BLK frame in this evolutionary step?
Bill Ryan: The changes on this step are basic, two things, the material and the lay up. That’s it, the same high compaction mold, it is one of those things where using a better grade material allows you to build a stronger and lighter frame, we have also done more computer modulation, machine testing and real world testing to see how the asymmetrical forces are applied on the frame, to give a bit of extra material here and a little less there, to optimize the frame for speed and strength. It is crazy, in tubing we used to geek out about double butting, then triple butting, some tubes were quad butted, but now with the carbon you can go infinite butting, we can changed the material thickness and make up along the entire chassis to really optimize it. I know it is way overkill for a BMX frame, but that’s the way we do it. Full throttle or nothing, we only want to build the best so you have to really throw yourself into it.
bmxultra.com: How long have you been working with the new Toray T1100-KS material?
Bill Ryan: We have been blessed to be able to play with the material for the last 2 1/2 – 3 years now. Just like the guys at Easton® used to be, Torray has been real cool with things to allow us to really test and innovate before we do the full production. And they are mad genius crazy with Nano Carbon technology. No wonder they are making the best carbon on the planet.
bmxultra.com: How will the new “choose your own adventure” style colour way selection change the way we purchase the frame?
Bill Ryan: That is still proving to be a work in progress, we have been working with our decal manufacturer for the last year to get a special transfer process done that bonds into the clear coat. And the first samples we tested were AMAZING, but we found that it works best with the powder coat clears, not the liquid clears, so we may have jumped the gun on it a little bit with that feature, but it is coming. And with it, it will be cool as we stock the frames in a clear coated version, then apply the decals with the special solvent, and then cure it into the clear coat, and it is like having it under the clear, but without the huge cost increase for a custom paint job. A few people have asked if it is going to be limitless on the colors, and we have to reiterate, that no, it is limited to the colors we are stocking on the paint and the decals. But we can see it being a real cool customization feature in the future. Similar to how now you can order any custom color ENVY v5 or ENVY RS7 decal kit from Stasis Racing, except this is more durable and will not peel with time.
bmxultra.com: Do you expect to be doing a lot of variations in the colours and styles in the future?
Bill Ryan: No, again that is a question we have had a lot of people ask, but the decals themselves only have a shelf life of 6 weeks or so, and we have to buy a few hundred at a time per color way. So there is going to be a lot of wasted decals that won’t be able to be used for anything, so we are going to try to limit the color of the decals we will be doing, I think the 8 we are doing already is too many, but we can do different runs of the frame color to offer other things in the future. But we think that the Gloss and Matte Carbon will be the #1 choice for most people as you get to see the nice carbon weave.
bmxultra.com: Do you think anyone who has a Version 1 of the ENVY BLK should run out and buy the Version 2?
Bill Ryan: If you already have a ENVY BLK, you are already ahead of the curve. You really don’t need the ENVY BLK V2, but if you take your BMX racing seriously, you train, you ride, and you want to be performing at your best, then this frame is for you. Again, it’s not for everyone, and with the carbon restrictions for export, we couldn’t make the ENVY BLK V2 a frame for everyone if we wanted too. We are only allowed to import enough material for a total of just under 1000 frames a year, that’s it. And when it is gone, we have to wait for the next year. So there will be less than a thousand available per year world wide. And that is all sizes combined, so with the current 8 sizes it works out to only 122 or so per size per year that we can even get the material to make. So you are going to have to be one of the lucky few to get one. So no, it is not for everyone.
bmxultra.com: Do you find the euro bottom brackets limiting in comparison to other BB shell options?
Bill Ryan: Hmm, limiting, I think the traditional euro offers more options than any and all of the other BB styles. Try finding a PF30 – BSA19 conversion kit, or a BB86 to BSA19, it is not going to happen. There is a ton of hype about a lot of the other BB styles. And we have examined them, and there are some cool things with the 30mm spindle of a BB30 or PF30, but the BSA30 takes all those advantages in and allows you to have a threaded creak free BB engagement. The threaded EURO is still king of the BB market. Which type of crank do you want to run that won’t work with an available euro BB option?
bmxultra.com: What type of rider will benefit most from an ENVY BLK V2 frame?
Bill Ryan: The rider that demands the best. As we mentioned above, this frame is not for everyone, just for those few that really take their BMX, and their fun, seriously.
bmxultra.com: Is there a recommended life span for a carbon race frame?
Bill Ryan: With Carbon the 1/2 life is crazy. As long as you treat it well, keep it from getting “chunked out” but having axles hit it, smacking it on coping, etc… you can run it indefinitely. Where a material like Aluminum or Cro-moly works hardens and fatigues, carbon doesn’t. Randy Roberts our 36x is on his 4th year on his ENVY BLK frame, it’s time we give him a new one just so he doesn’t think we forgot about him, not because he needs a new one. That’s where I get frustrated with some riders where they think because the paint is scratched that the frame is damaged. It’s not. It is a lot stronger than you think. Now I know this is opposite of the market trend to try to get people on new equipment, I would rather we build you something that is going to last and you can enjoy. Just use common sense watch for the chips, and very important as well, we use a UV protective clear on the frames, but if you see chips in the paint, use a good UV clear coat and fill in where the clear may of come off to keep the carbon protected and you should be good for a nice long while.
bmxultra.com: What do you think will be the next step in the evolution of the ENVY BLK?
Bill Ryan: Loaded question, I wish the technological advancements in Graphene would hurry up. 150 times stronger than steel….. Yeah, that’s some stuff I want to play with. But I think proper advancements in Graphene are decades away.
bmxultra.com: When will you be rolling out the ENVY BLK V2 to the masses?
Bill Ryan: The first few will be shipping out to customers in the next few weeks…. Full scale production will be end of May, but as we said, it is a limited supply. So we may be sold out quick. And demand will dictate which sizes we do, so we may end up doing 300 of the Expert XL, and 25 of the Junior for instance, not every size will get the 122 pieces or so.
For now you can get more information from www.supercrossbmx.com.
Supercross BMX is distributed in Australia by www.bmxcompound.com.au
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