What makes a frame a “trails frame”? That’s the question I found myself asking a few weeks back while I was jotting down frames to include in an upcoming trails frame buyers guide. There are a handful of frames that instantly come to mind that I don’t think anyone would disagree on calling trails frames. Deluxe’s PA Model, S&M’s Credence frames, United’s T.R.U, Mutiny’s Villij, FBM’s Steadfast, etc… But what per se is it exactly that makes them trails frames? Geometry was the first thing that popped into my head, but as I really thought about it I came to the conclusion that there’s more to it than just that. Geometry is really just a matter of personal preference. Let’s say Clint wanted the C.C.R. to have a 75.5° head tube and a shorter rear end. Would we stop considering it a trails frame? Absolutely not!
Thinking about it like that is what led me to the criteria that I would use to determine what frames would make it into the buyers guide and what ones wouldn’t. In my opinion, what makes a frame a “trails frame” is the people behind it. Whether that be the rider whose signature frame it is, or the company who makes the frame. While a frame doesn’t need to be a trail riders’s signature frame, it does need to come from a company that supports the trails scene in order for me to consider it a trails frame. That can come in many different forms. Sponsoring trail riders, kicking down product for trail jams, sponsoring a set of trails, etc. Really it just comes down to supporting and being active in the trails scene.
All that said, that brings me to the title of the post, “Wethepeople’s Patrol Line.” What is that you ask; it’s their new range of products that includes, a frame, fork, bars, stem and sprocket that are aimed at trail riders. Being a fan of the thought, design and innovation that WTP put’s into everything they make, I was pretty excited when I first heard that they were coming out with a line of trails oriented products. I did find myself asking one question though. Does WTP even sponsor any trail riders? I couldn’t think of any off the top of my head so I decided to do a little digging around their team page. The only person I could find on there who even rides trails is Dan Foley, and he already has his own line of signature products through WTP. For me that really soured the whole idea of WTP coming out with a trails range. How could it really be taken as anything more than them just trying to make a few bucks off a segment of the BMX market that they haven’t tapped into yet. Making a few bucks is fine, that’s what keeps the world going around, but in my opinion they should at least try to give something back to the riders/scene that they’re trying to make those bucks off of.
Who knows, maybe I’m jumping the gun on this. We are only a week into the new year, so maybe they’re already working on picking someone up or have plans of doing so. Maybe they plan on sponsoring a bunch of trail jams this year. Hell, maybe they plan on helping out with Posh and Catty’s insurance cost. I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out, but for now I’m not seeing anything of substance behind Wethepeople making a range of products aimed at us trail riders. That is unless you consider slack angles, earthy colors, and a few generic trail terms like “roasting” and “big line” sprinkled throughout the line’s description to be of any kind of substance.