Words by Chris Smith…
Throughout 2015 I have been involved in the development of a new street frame by Impurity Bike Co. The initial motivation behind this project was to create a frame that is: A) Robust enough for burly modern day street and ramp riding with; B) Sensible angles and geometry for nose manuals, regular manuals, grinds, airs and; C) To be visually appealing.
As an Impurity rider I was granted the opportunity to influence the geometry of the frame as part of a team consultation process. I pushed for a 75.5 degree headtube angle because I wanted the frame to be reactive for nose manuals and G’turns – to give you a better idea of the rationale behind the 75.5 (HTA) I will tell you that the United ‘Mothership V.3′ is 75.25 (HTA) and the Impurity ‘Femur’ is 76 (HTA) – from personal experience I have ridden both the Mothership(s) and the Femur and I feel that a 75.5 HTA is a happy medium which is very responsive yet still has a sense of stability for ripping around and getting airborne, etc. Other aspects of the frames geometry worth noting are the spacious 21.06″ Top Tube Length and the 13.58″ Rear Triangle – I feel these are quite spacious geometries that are still laser sharp – easily adaptable, sharp and still kinda predictable! Nb. L An Huang (founder of Impurity) was the Design Chief for the overall design phase as he is highly experienced in this field. Myself and Ben Leow filled in some of the blanks during the selection process.
After riding the new Impurity Prototype for a while I was convinced Impurity had hit the nail on the head with the geometry – the only part I personally could lose was the brake lugs and brake kit. After talking more with Impurity we decided it would be possible to do a version of the frame that was further tailored around my riding – in short we decided to lose the brake lugs and have 100% sleek tubing. It’s kinda like what Edwin Delorosa and a few other guys have done; this is just my take! Naturally, we decided to give the frame a unique image – I decided to call it the ‘Glyndwr’ Street Frame – the influence behind the name can be tracked back through Welsh history to the Welsh Ruler ‘Owain Glyndwr’ – we also decided to give it a series: ‘Valleyside X Impurity’ – this recognises the collaboration between two brands and leaves the doors open for further limited edition collaboration products.
Both versions of the frame are being machined, welded, heat-treated and painted at several reputable factories in Taiwan. It was especially useful to be working in collaboration with Impurity on the latter version of the frame because they have done their homework and know the bike industry inside out – I guess this saved me a lot of money and time in researching and communications which I am grateful about!
The final Valleyside X Impurity: ‘Glyndwr’ frame will be available in the following colours: Matt Black, Gloss Black, Prism Green, Matt Coke Red, Trans Blue, Aqua, Cream, Orange and Charcoal. All painting will be undertaken in Taiwan. The original Impurity version of the frame (name not released as yet) will be available in it’s own range of colors. And remember Original Impurity version has removable brake lugs and the revised frame has no brake lugs, etc.
The art direction for the Glyndwr Frame is another area of the project I am psyched on because I have enlisted the masterful help of some very reputable artists and designers – this is something I am very excited about!
Keep your eyes peeled in the early 2016 for both frames to drop! – Chris@VS