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RADBMX.CO.UK  |  Technical & Reference Section  |  Tech and Restoration  |  Project Q - Prototype Build
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Offline Mikku

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Project Q - Prototype Build
« on: July 25, 2019, 12:04 AM »
A bit of an odd one this. So much so that I wasn't sure whether to post it in the new school section or here, but in the end decided that some of the interesting tech, not to mention the rarity value of this thing deserves a wider audience! So what is it? It's a prototype race frame made by Quamen, the now defunct flatland brand. Still sporting a raw finish, it was made in or around 2010. Made from good ol' 4130 (more on that later), 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. A good or bad idea I'm not sure but it's certainly different! Check out the pics below and judge for yourself. More later! :daumenhoch:
« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 11:15 PM by Mikku »
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: Prototype Build
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2019, 12:25 PM »
When I bought the frame I knew that it was chromoly (that was one of the reasons I wanted it) but when I finally got my hands on the frame I noticed that the stamping can still be seen on the tubing. That confirmed that it’s actually made of ProMoly, which was a new one for me. Turns out that ProMoly is made by Plymouth Tube Company out of Illinois and according to the factory blurb, exceeds industry specs for 4130 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. :daumenhoch:
« Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 12:27 PM by Mikku »
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Avro

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2019, 11:03 AM »
Great to see something different. I know absolutely nothing about bikes like this so I am most definately in to be educated and, hopefully, inspired to try something new.
Wanted: Shimano Aero frame
Wanted: Tange Axeblade frame

Offline Mikku

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2019, 07:47 AM »
Thanks mate - i’ll do my best but...

I know absolutely nothing about bikes like this

...you and me both!! ;D
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2019, 12:15 PM »
One of the other frames I was looking at was Enigma, another now-defunct brand which was originally started by renowned frame-builder Woody Woodruff. I twice nearly bought one of these but it wasn't until yesterday, when I saw another one over on the Museum that I noticed that the seat tube is also setback a bit. Check out the comparison pics below! Obviously the BBs are different so it's difficult to compare them but there's definitely a similarity! I wonder if Quamen was in any way influenced by the Enigma design or possibly another? :D
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 02:16 PM by Mikku »
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2019, 02:05 PM »
I first spotted the Quamen over in the Museum in March 2018. Never released or put into production, it had been ridden by team members until 2013 when it was auctioned off on eBay, apparently by someone at or connected with Quamen, who was clearing out a bunch of their stuff. It was bought by a BMX Museum member who built it up in several guises before hanging it up on the wall. I loved the quirky design and raw finish plus being a prototype added to the attraction. I didn’t think it would ever be for sale but in May this year I saw it advertised then quickly sell before I had time to do anything. I commented on the for sale thread and the buyer said that, like me, he’d coveted the frame and was surprised to see it for sale. A couple of weeks later the new owner messaged me to ask if I was interested in buying it as he didn’t think he’d get round to building it up for some time. Even better, he only wanted the same price that he’d paid for it! Having been on the look out for an interesting, chromoly, race frame for some time, naturally I said yes, plus was also able to buy a few more parts from him including some Profile cranks and a Tribute Bikes stem. I wasn’t so familiar with the stem, so contacted the owner of Tribute to check the bolt size and not only did he send me some replacements for free, he also chucked in a t-shirt! Unbeknown to me, there was also a tie-in with Quamen, who apparently supplied Tribute with headtubes for some of their frames. Some things are just meant to be! :daumenhoch:
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 02:09 PM by Mikku »
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline ED209

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2019, 09:58 AM »
Liking this - reminds me of that Pashley frame I had that looked like a prototype.

I would have liked one of those Hidden Nation Akira frames  :angel:
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Offline oldtired

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2019, 07:42 PM »
yup,  top stuff MIck,    like the lesser known stuff me  :daumenhoch:



yes Ed,   top mention Hidden Nation   8),       did the Azreal frame ever get made , park/trails version  ? 
« Last Edit: July 29, 2019, 07:44 PM by oldtired »

Offline Mikku

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2019, 11:59 PM »
Thanks gents! :daumenhoch:

I seem to remember a nice-looking Hidden Nation popping up on the bay within the last 12 months or so. Did anyone on here pick it up??

Back to things beginning with Q, there’s a cool Japanese tie-in with this frame. Or at least one like it. Thanks to the power of the internet, I found pics 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. Below are some pics of the complete bike. Unfortunately I don't have the forks! :(

According to an old Quamen Japan blog post, the white frame you see in the pics is RF-3, namely Race Frame #3, which followed on from RF-1 and RF-2. That ties in with another internet find - a picture of Quamen owner Zenta Sugimura (yet another Japanese connection) holding a similar-looking frame at Quamen's LA premises. The pic quality isn't great but you can see that the "Zenta frame" has a few differences to mine (including the dropouts and where the top tube meets the seat tube) and given that mine looks more similar to the white frame, I would hazard a guess at mine being RF-2 and the Zenta frame RF-1. This is all just supposition on my part but I'm trying to contact the Japanese test rider (who's still in the bmx scene over here), so will update this thread as and when anything else comes to light. In the meantime I need to crack on and build the bloody thing! :D

Update: Upon closer inspection and looking at other Quamen frames, I think that Zenta Sugimura is holding a Cyphr frame rather than something like mine. I haven’t yet been able to find out anything else but at the very least, I think I am fairly safe in saying that my frame is one of the first 2 of the 3 prototypes made. Maybe! Probably!! ;)
« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 01:18 PM by Mikku »
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline HUTCHMAN

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2019, 07:53 PM »
lovin this stuff  :4_17_5:

Offline Mikku

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2019, 03:21 PM »
Me too! :daumenhoch: As you know well Dave, I'm not the most quickest of decision-makers when it comes to buying BMX (or anything else for that matter) but when I unexpectedly got the chance to buy this, I couldn't resist!! Thereafter it's just got more and more interesting, finding out about this, that and the other. Just hope I can do it some sort of justice, albeit on a fairly limited budget, bearing in mind that I’ve already paid for the additional shipping over to this side of the world! ;)
« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 03:23 PM by Mikku »
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Spen69

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2019, 09:25 PM »
Gotta be said I love a bit of unusual newschool Mick - this looks like a cracker :daumenhoch:

Keep the updates coming mate :coolsmiley:
Still limping......

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2019, 08:06 AM »
Great thread Mick - love it :daumenhoch:

Offline Mikku

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2019, 01:21 PM »
Thanks guys! Below are some pics of where I am at the moment. To make the most of a frame-sized box being shipped over to Japan, I picked up a few other parts from the US. I tried to choose a variety of good quality but interesting parts, all without breaking the bank. This involved posting WTB ads and plenty of to-ing and fro-ing between various Museum members, as I tried to find each piece of the puzzle. I also picked up some cool parts in a trade deal. Here’s a quick run down of what I’ve got so far:-

Odyssey Pro Thermal 41 race forks;
Standard Strip bars;
Tribute Bikes stem;
Profile Racing cranks;
Shimano Saint pedals;
FSA sprocket & headset;
Avid/Shimano Deore brakeset;
Tioga seat and alloy post
Cult/Vans grips

Still need a few more parts but I’m in no particular hurry, so will take my time finishing it off. As posted elsewhere, I'm also thinking about getting some decals made up for the frame, so will be dropping Del a line any time soon. :daumenhoch:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Spen69

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2019, 06:22 PM »
Nice forks, my Directors were made from that Thermal 41 and had a lifetime gaurentee  :smitten:

What's with that scaffold tube length seat-post though :shocked:
Still limping......

Offline Mikku

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2019, 10:50 PM »
Yeah, love the forks. I think these ones are more mid-school than new school but I was after a raw set and these came up at the right time and price. :daumenhoch:

As for the seat post, I'm an old school rider with an old school rider's back, so need a longer post that I can actually use to sit down on! I'll lower it though for photos! ;D
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 11:30 PM by Mikku »
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2019, 12:51 PM »
When I first decided to build up another race bike, I thought I'd use all the spare parts that I've gradually accumulated as part of the continuing upgrade of the Crupi. That includes forks, stem, brakes, grips, seat, clamp, chain, chainwheel, pedals and wheels!!! However, when I snagged the Quamen, most of my parts didn't match the image that I had in mind for the build! One exception is the wheels, which are unbranded alloy rims and hubs that will go well with the black and raw look that I'm going for. These will be upgraded with a Halo Clickster freewheel that I bought and never fitted. Supposedly it's super-loud, as well as having more points of engagement than the generic one that's on there at the moment. I also intend to re-use the KMC chain that was on the Crupi. Aside from a brake cable, that's probably about it. Probably! :daumenhoch:
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 12:52 PM by Mikku »
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2019, 03:15 PM »
For various reasons this build has completely stalled, even though I have most of the parts to get it up and running! ::)

I did, however, pick up a box of race spares recently which included some parts that I can put to good use on this, namely some Maxxis tyres and the pictured Eclat seat/post combo, which should please Spen! :daumenhoch:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2020, 09:54 AM »
New Year's Resolution No.3 - finish this bloody build!!! I'd started the ball rolling with Del but have been having second thoughts about some of the parts, hence the procrastination! I do, however, have some time off work next month, so have vowed to crack on with this then! :daumenhoch:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2020, 09:39 AM »
Following on from last month's post, here's a February update. Actually, that's not a bad idea to keep me focussed - post at least one update a month. I like it! :daumenhoch:

Anyway, I've been changing up a few things with Project Q! Firstly, I've just pulled the trigger on some sweet-looking, rawed out Profile cranks, as pictured below. These will replace the rather long 182mm chrome ones that came with the frame and will look great with the raw forks and bars. Plus I managed to pick up a Supercross spider from the same seller which means that I can use the Renthal chainring that was on my Crupi. I love that thing, so am more than happy to use it again for this build! In a similar move, I've decided to re-use the VP platform peds that were also on my Crupi. A pic of both when mounted on the Crupi is below. The NOS Shimano Saints that I bought for the Quamen are, like the FSA sprocket, very nice but I've decided to keep the amount of new stuff to a minimum, which I think is more in keeping with the frame. That also means I can try to sell those shiny new parts to recoup some funds! :daumenhoch:

In other news, I've also been in touch with Del and hope to have some decals done soon. So no spanner-work to report this month but some progress at least. Or should I say, at last! More next month! :D
« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 01:20 PM by Mikku »
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

In2bmx

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2020, 02:23 PM »
I'm following  fistblump

Offline Mikku

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2020, 10:49 AM »
It's March, so it must be time for an update! Things are finally starting to move with this build. Del has come up trumps again with some frame decals. The frame came to me naked, except for a “QB” on the headtube, as shown below. I decided to add a few decals, more specifically two for the downtube and a third for the seat tube - all in the same silver/grey to match the headtube one. Since this frame seems to use narrower tubing than the downtubes on Quamen’s flatland frames, the decals had to be downsized to fit. As usual, Del did a great job with both the sizing and colour match. I want to apply them now but am going to resist, and wait until the build is finished to see how they look on the bike as a whole.

I also got the Nervar freewheel replaced. I thought this was going to be fairly straightforward until I discovered that the Nervar had no obvious tool fitment, such as the "normal" 4-notch design that I'm used to. I watched a few YouTube vids and was going to have a go at removing aka destroying the bugger myself but thought better of it and took it to a lbs instead. An interesting place in itself, with older mid-school and flatland BMX in there, some of it very cool, the owner removed the Nervar and replaced it with the Halo Clickster that I had picked up from the US a couple of years ago. I also bought an innertube and put on an old Maxxis tyre that I have lying about, so the wheels are about ready to roll! :daumenhoch:

Am still waiting on the cranks to arrive (they've landed in Japan and are now in customs), so to save a bit of time, yesterday I mounted the Vans/Cult grips onto the Standard bars, remembering to put the Avid brake lever on there first! Am getting there. Slowly but surely. ;D
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2020, 11:27 AM »
Some more goodies arrived today. First of all the cranks and spider arrived from the States. Well chuffed with them! :smitten:

Then the rust protector/treatment spray that I ordered yesterday arrived. Have decided to give the inside of the frame and forks a good clean before I start building. Have never done this before on any of my frames but then I've never had a prototype frame before! Also, I live in a big, old Japanese house not far from the coast, so things easily rust away here. Once the Quamen's built, I'm definitely going to give the same treatment to the Laserlite, which was already suffering from corrosion when I bought it.
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2020, 11:38 AM »
Forgot to take any pictures but sprayed the inside of the frame and forks with 3-36 today. I did take a photo though! :daumenhoch:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: Project Q - Prototype Build
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2020, 11:12 AM »
It might help if I mounted the spider the right way round! ::) ;D
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

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