If you were in Birmingham last weekend you might have seen the first outing of the new race frame from Gate 8 BMX. The pre-production KW01 prototype is in the final stages of testing before the design is finalised.
The pearl white frame hasn’t yet had decals added so the unmarked frame gathered a lot of curiosity during its first on track test. Under designer Kyle’s watchful eye, testing duties were handed over to current British Champion Miguel Gaboleiro and Masters racer Jey Rojas.
What do we know so far?
It looks like the frame has an enclosed rear dropout system with an integrated (if a little industrial looking) disc adaptor and what looks like quite a lot of adjustment. It also has brake mounts, so should be universally compatible with traditional and modern brakes.
There is a beefy looking seat tube flared where it meets the bottom bracket for additional stiffness during power transfer. Though the chain stay bridge looked a little on the small side.
The overall geometry looks really aggressive with a low slung side profile. There’s a tapered head-tube that connects to a profiled top tube and an oversized down-tube that looks particularly cool. The welds all look really clean.
With the rear triangle the KW01 has stayed away from the straight tubes you see on many other frames and gone with curves that wrap tightly around the rear wheel. The result is an aesthetically pleasing backend.
What really blew us away though was the weight. Whilst this prototype is a smaller model and kitted out with the Gate8 3Sixty carbon rims and full carbon forks, it was still super light. We’re told it’s tipping the scales at a little over 8.5kg. For an aluminium complete, that’s very light.
What did the riders think?
Nice looking and comfortable. Most important though, good size, stiffness and geometry.
Best frame I have ridden in my BMX journey.
What changes are planned?
Since the on track test, there have been some CAD design modifications to the integrated chain tensioner and drop out plates to make them more user friendly and give a wider range of adjustment. The disc adapter is also getting some refinement to reduce the overall weight and improve its aesthetics.
We’re also told the bottom bracket area is getting some additional stiffness and the rear triangle is gaining a little length.
After testing both configurations, the production frame will be getting integrated cable routing for clean lines on the top tube and underside external guides on the seat stay to give riders the option of traditional or hydraulic braking with optimum routing.
We look forward to seeing the refinements on track soon.