Reference / Frames

1998 Kink Bike Co. Empire

Kink Bike Co.

United States


1998 Kink Bicycles Empire frame. First generation. 20.5" top tube, 13.5" - 15.5" rear triangle. 7.25lbs of 4130 chromoly.

Kink's first frame in the company history after producing softgoods and aftermarket hardware for a handful of years previous to this. Only 100 (possibly fewer but no more) made. The decals on this are reproduction items. Based from the surviving decals that were on it when I acquired it along with the generous help of fellow Empire owners and their assistance  with photos and measurements of their own decals. The first generation Empire was also available with another style of decal design that can be seen here on the Museum. I chose the style you see here because it was the style that was on this frame when new. I wanted it to be as authentic as possible.

The colour is also true to the original colour of this particular frame. During the stripping, I found no hint or sign of it being any of the other colours that it was available in. Those being black, blue and off-white. During my research, I found a bike check in an issue of Ride BMX (US) that suggested it would be available in blue, black and red. This is the only red example that I have ever seen either here on the Museum, in marketing images or magazine reviews.

This particular frame was in a really bad way when I picked it up. A huge hole in the seat stay that was caused by chain rub (no doubt a Kink fat chain!), a small hole had been drilled into the seat tube for cable routing with the seat post still in, causing the tube and post to burr together. Add in corrosion and the removal of the post was extremely difficult. It had massive wear to both dropouts and of course, they'd been opened up to 14mm from 10mm. There were several dents all around the frame but thankfully not severe.

Submitted by sycmatt (View all 11 posts)

  • Posted 8/11/2018
  • Updated 9/11/2018 by Hobbes12

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