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CONDOR FRAMES

NOTE: The information below is an old batch of info that was written a number of years ago. This page is waiting to be re-written with all new photos and information that has been learned since this was originally done! Stay tuned!

DISCLAIMER ABOUT YEARS: The years that these bikes were released weren’t really designed to work in the standard format that people might be used to when it comes to organising bike releases. They were made and updated when they were done, it wasn’t really done to any schedule to have the bikes ready for a specific yearly release. The years have been loosely organised by collectors to make it easier for identification.

1991 KASTAN MADE PROTOTYPE CONDOR

matt hoffman riding 1991 kastan made hoffman condor

There were 5 prototype Condor frames made by Kastan for Hoffman Bikes in 1991. Here’s Mat’s quote from his book about how this came about.

With the sport continuing its downward spiral, withering and shrinking, there were hardly any events or competitions left to attend. The thriving scene of the ’80s was gone. But freestyle was far from dead -it was just underground. From my perspective, I didn’t really have a choice. I needed a bike, I needed contests, I needed a community. In short, I needed to get off my ass and make it happen. The companies that still made freestyle bikes didn’t seem particularly committed to, or even interested in freestyle as a sport. They saw it as a number, and with the bike industry sales in decline, that number did not command much respect.

In the past, I’d been offered a chance to have my own signature bike on Haro. I should have been stoked, but my question everything mind-set was provoking me to do a lot of soul searching. If I was going to put my name on a bike, I didn’t want it to be at the mercy of bean counters. I didn’t want somebody’s lacklustre bike sale stats to control who I wanted to be. My lifestyle revolved around a sport of self-control, mastering the ability to adapt to weird environments. If there’s one thing I knew how to do, it was ride transitions.

I didn’t know dick about building bicycles I just knew how I wanted mine to ride. I ransacked my Rolodex, making calls and asking questions of some of the manufacturers in the industry, researching how stuff got built, and how to translate my ideas as a rider into bent and welded steel. I got a hold of Linn Kastan, one of the greats in BMX history. Linn is the guy who basically invented the BMX racing bike. He was in charge of the first awesome BMX bike company, Redline (who also had the first great BMX team). To his credit he had the creation of the first tubular forks, handlebars with a crossbar, and high performance Flight cranks. It was an honour to have him help show me the ropes.

I started planning the way any kid with a dream does by scribbling my frame designs on paper. I went to Linn’s house where my crude drawings became intense technical discussions. We tuned the geometry in the drawing and discussed the dilemma of weight versus strength. I wanted a bulletproof bike, but it had to fly. There were incidents in the past where I’d broken three brand-new bikes in one day and was sick of that crap. I wanted top quality, which meant using American made 4130 aircraft grade chrome-moly tubing, the best money can buy. I was also stoked that it was going to be built in America, which was a rarity for freestyle bikes. A couple of weeks later Linn’s machine shop had built me five prototype Condor frames, one for Steve Swope, Rick Thorne, Dave Mirra, Davin Hallford, and me. Our mission was to try and break them. The Condor was good. It was quick, it was stiff, it had clean angles, but more than anything, it was built to last. (Rode my prototype frame and fork set for seven months, trying everything in my power to bring it to its knees. The bike held up to flat bottom landings, rooftop drops, handrails, gaps, dirt, street, ditches, extreme weather conditions, name-calling, and giant ramps. I caused my body way more harm than my bike, and the rest of the prototypes held up, too. Midway through the testing phase, I made a couple of minor improvements and declared the design phase done.

The difference you can see with these frames is that the chain stays come out much wider from the bottom bracket compared to the production 92 frames and they have no peg bosses on the frames. The forks also have no peg bosses and the dropouts extended out further to accommodate a peg. I’ve been told that Rick Thorne still has his 91 Condor prototype frame so at least 1 survived. There may have been more differences but I’m unaware of them.

dave mirra riding 1991 kastan made hoffman condor
Dave Mirra riding a Kastan made 1991 Hoffman Condor prototype.
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