No it wasn't a bazooka, no it wasn't GT bringing back the Show flatland frame in thermal plastic, the picture posted last week of the different looking flatland frame is a one-off made by Dutchman Joep van Helden. We fired some questions in his direction to find out more.FATBMX: How come you made your own frame?
I made this frame for a school project. I always wanted to fabricate a BMX-frame for myself. I wanted to make it special, it had to be an eye-catcher.
FATBMX: What materials did you use?
I did use carbonfibre with epoxy. It is a synthetic material to be more accurate, it is a reinforced plastic. The fabrication is like glassfiber, but it is stronger and stiffer.
FATBMX: How much does the frame weigh?
This is my weak point. The frame weighs almost three kilos. I've got a seatstay and dropout's from steel. The seatstay and the dropout's together weigh one kilo, a third of my whole frame. If the steel parts were of carbonfibre, the frame weighs just two kilos.
FATBMX: Do you have plans to make a production run of this frame? No, the production of this carbon frame is very expensive, but if anyone has enough money, I am pleased to fabricate a frame for him/her.
FATBMX: Have you given it a name?
Yes, I named it "Sigma" (σ). The Greek letter Sigma stands for tensile. The tensile strenght of carbon fibre is very high.
FATBMX: Do you believe in the material?
Off course, it is stronger and lighter than steel. Carbonfibre is used in car-, flight- and space-engineering. People have even built bridges of carbonfibre, a bicycle is only a small thing. One of the problems is the production cost. It takes a lot of time to make a proper frame. I've worked at least 100 hours on my frame.
FATBMX: Would it be expensive to produce with the carbon fibre material?
Yes, the material is very expensive and it costs a lot of time.
FATBMX: How does it feel when you ride it?
I didn't ride it often yet, but it is very stiff, because I just finished the project. There is a lot space for scuffing and the pinky squeaker.
FATBMX: Anything to say?
Thanks for the interview and thanks to Paul who had gave me the steel parts for my frame.
FATBMX: Thanks Joep!