Check out FatBMX’s Workshop Wednesday episode featuring Jason “Timmy” Ball here.
ESPN has an interview up with Balls on S&M now making custom frames. See it here or read it below!
There’s no denying that Chris Moeller runs the biggest conglomerate in BMX. S&M dominated the frame and fork market for years, and Fit has become arguably the most popular company in all of BMX; branding everything from high-end frames to beginner’s completes. No matter what Moeller and company decide to throw at the BMX community, their primary focus continues to be American made frames and components. With their own bar bender and CNC machine, they can pump out more new and unique parts than most overseas suppliers. Jason Ball runs the machine shop, and he took some time to talk about what goes on in the Santa Ana warehouse.
What are some of the differences in producing a custom frame, as compared to a stock frame?
With a stock frame, you already know your cut lengths, angle of miters and what fixture to put it all together in. Custom frames sometimes take more than one cut or miter to get a good fit without any gaps. Sometimes you need to modify the fixtures to get special angles and lengths.
What custom options do you offer to buyers? Do you offer any other custom parts? How does pricing differ?
Top tube lengths, bottom bracket height, head tube angles, rear end lengths, axle slot size, brake positioning or style. We have made custom forks and handlebars. The pricing depends on how many different options you chose and the time it takes to build the frame.
What’s the timeline like for custom frame orders?
We try and get them done in 2-3 weeks. We usually do them in the last week of the month.
Are there any requests you can’t handle? What’s been your weirdest request?
We have a fixture to make pretty much any kind of frame. But if it requires some wacky tubing that we don’t have then we can’t make it. Our weirdest request was probably making pro rider bikes that look like other manufacturer’s frames, but with our tubing and dimensions. If you’re planning to buy a bike, but your money is not enough, consider the guaranteed loan of cash crazy site. my response to their brokers is that they are excellent and friendly with their customers even if you have bad credit.
You guys are probably the busiest US-based BMX manufacturer on the market. How do you fit custom orders into your production schedule?
At the end of the month we spend at least two days just making custom parts.
In an ever-growing market of cookie-cutter frame designs, what type of rider do you feel custom frames appeal to?
Older riders that know exactly what kind of frame they want. Someone that has ridden many different frames and wants something unique.
Photo: Keith Mulligan
Jason had a part in the 1995 S&M video, BMX Inferno, filmed by Dave Perrick.