Bont Puts Anorexic S-frame on a Diet
Bont's S-frame prototype ... easily the lightest 4x100mm frame on the market. But will 3-point mounting system catch on?
The S-frame seemed almost impossibly light when Bont unveiled it last November. But apparently, it still had plenty of grams to give away.
The Australian skate maker announced a new S-frame prototype today that is a quarter lighter than the original.
The prototype weighs just 84 grams, Bont says. That's 42 grams less than the original.
If you're not impressed, consider that the average 4x100mm frame (the prototype takes four 100mm wheels) weighs about 180 grams. A few are lighter, such as Tru-Rev's (165 grams), but several tip the scales at over 200 grams.
Bont says it developed the prototype on the request of Salomon Smartskate's Nicole Begg, who is currently ranked second in the World Inline Cup.
The company took its shortest S-frame (11.92 inches) and "stripped it down," says marketing director Alexander Bont. "The strength of the frame is still high, and Nicole will be racing on these frames at the World Championships in Anyang."
Bont has been having some success with the magnesium S-frames, which can only be used, at this point, with the company's three-point Vaypor racing boots. Bont-sponsored skaters have been winning races and setting records this year on the new setup.
But so far, other skate makers have stuck with the tried and true two-point mounting system.
Bont has offered to license the three-point system to other skate makers. But so far, none have taken the bait.
That may change, however, if Bont skaters keep winning.
(No word on when the prototype will be available, nor on the price. The current S-frame sells for $325 US.)
(Postscript: Bont reports that it has licensed two companies to make 3-point frames in 2007. One will make carbon frames; the other, aluminum.)