2009 Quamen Race Prototype
One of three prototype race frames from the defunct flatland brand.
Some of you may have seen this before - a prototype race frame made by Quamen, the now defunct Californian flatland brand. Still sporting a raw, factory finish, it was made in or around 2009 but never released or put into production. The frame was ridden by team members until 2013 when it was auctioned off on eBay, apparently by someone at Quamen clearing out a bunch of their stuff. It was bought by “FatGuy” who built it up in several guises before selling it in 2019. Thanks to “MoonBootlover”, it then made its way across the Pacific to Japan.
Speaking of Japan, not only is there a Japanese connection with Quamen owner Zenta Sugimura, there’s also a cool Japanese tie-in with this frame. Or at least one like it. I found pics online of another prototype race frame that was sent over to Quamen Japan in late 2009/early 2010 and tested over here by one of their team riders. According to the Quamen Japan blog, the Japanese prototype frame was “RF-3”, namely Race Frame #3, which followed on from “RF-1” and “RF-2”. I haven’t yet been able to find out anything else but at the very least, I think I am safe in saying that my frame is one of the first 2 of the 3 prototypes made. Maybe! Probably!!
The frame’s main design feature is the seat tube, which is offset by 5/8”, as Quamen were experimenting with different ideas for rear-end stiffness. Another thing I discovered when I received the frame was that the stamping on the tubing can still be seen and that included the word ProMoly, which was a new one for me. Turns out that ProMoly is made by Plymouth Tubing Company out of Illinois and according to the factory blurb, is “seamless alloy 4130 that exceeds industry specs and is the preferred choice for various chassis builders including rally cars and dragsters”. Not sure how that translates for the humble BMX frame but it’s another interesting feature of this one.
After a few aborted attempts and changes of mind on parts, I finally built-up the frame for the 2020 COVID/Spring build-off!! I went for the industrial look, choosing raw parts wherever possible, in keeping with the frame's finish and still-visable stamping. Since then it’s been on the race track and regularly gets ridden around my local ride paddies. I love how it rides and looks, though there may well be a few more changes of parts down the line. Isn’t there always!! Thanks to all the members who sold me parts for the build, including FatGuy, who kept in contact with his old frame by selling me the Profile cranks and Supercross spider. And a final, BIG thanks to "Moonbootlover" for giving me the chance to own this rare bird! Here's the parts rundown:-
Frame: Quamen prototype race frame made from ProMoly tubing with a 21" top tube, seat tube offset 5/8" to the rear of the BB, 13.75-14.75” chainstays, 3/8 axle dropouts and Euro BB.
Fork: Odyssey Pro Race
Headset: FSA integrated 1 1/8th"
Stem: Tribute Bikes
Handlebars: Standard Strip (28” x 7.75”)
Grips: Cult Vans (now Lizard Skins Northshore)
Brake lever: Avid
Brake caliper: Shimano Deore V-brake
Brake pads: Promax
Seatpost Clamp: Salt
Seat/Seatpost: Eclat plastic combo for racing / Selle San Marco with alloy post for cruising
Cranks: Profile Racing 3-piece with raw, 180mm arms, solid spindle and Ti bolts
Bottom Bracket: Profile sealed (Euro)
Chainring: Profile Elite chainring (43T) with Supercross spider
Pedals: VP platforms
Chain: KMC Z
Chain tensioners: Box Components (modified)
Freewheel: Halo Clickster 16T
Wheelset: Generic alloy rims (20" x 1.75" x 36H) with rear flip-flop hub
Tyres: Maxxis Holy Rollers (20” x 1.75")
Tubes: Ares Bikes (1.50” - 1.75”)
Weight: Approx. 10kg/22lbs (as at 23rd Aug 2021).