While certainly not the first foray into carbon fiber BMX, Redline is hoping their Project 79 will stand the test of time better than the Mongoose Carbon SL. Arguably, the Mongoose was way ahead of both its and carbon fiber’s time, so it’s not really surprising it didn’t catch on.
Most recently, GT took the BMX world by storm in 2009 with the introduction of their Power Series UB2 carbon frameset. While garnering lots of press and talk, the details are still sketchy as to when or if it will be available. GT has it in the archives as a 2009 model, and then it disappears.
If Project 79 succeeds, it would certainly be one of the more successful carbon BMXs to date, and to my knowledge the only one with a thru axle rear hub!
More on the Flight Carbon after the jump!
Obviously, BMX companies aren’t going to be ditching steel in favor of carbon for street and DJ applications, but in terms of racing, it is the next logical step. To BMX racers stiffness out of corners, snap from the gates, and the ability to easily maneuver the bike in the air are all critical to performance. While a lighter bike may improve flickability on the ground and in the air, lighter weight at the sacrifice of stiffness is no good. This is where the benefits of carbon are apparent, as Redline was able to create an incredibly light bike that still satisfies Pro riders need for a stiff, durable bike. According to Redline, the most common reaction to the new bike is something along the lines of, “You can whip it in the air any way you want…”
Part of creating that stiffness, was the integration of a specific rear hub that features a 15mm thru axle that bolts in place which is supposedly 20% Stiffer then a standard 3/8″ axle. After the axle is inserted through the frame, the chain tension can then be adjusted via the integrated chain tensioners before being bolted into place. Aluminum faced dropouts are encapsulated into the full carbon rear end to ensure that repeated clamping doesn’t damage the carbon.
If you’ve ever squeezed the brake on a bike with weak seat stays, then you know the other area of concern on a carbon BMX bike would be the brake/seat stay junction. In order to guarantee a stiff, flex free braking experience, stiffeners were added to the seat stays with the addition of the brake posts being pierced through the stays to prevent post breakage.
Both the bottom bracket and head tube receive bonded aluminum cups, with the bottom bracket being threaded to accept standard English bottom brackets. The surrounding bottom bracket junction is well oversized to keep the rear end as stiff as possible.
Overall, the claim is for a frame that is 25% lighter than the current Flight R6 alloy frames. The Flight Carbon will initially be available in 2 sizes, PRO XL, and PRO XXL with an approximate MSRP of $2,799.99 for the complete bike, and the frame system with a retail MSRP of $999.99.