SE Racing’s Aluminum Quadangle

Snap November, 1997

“Don’t judge a book by its cover¿the Quadangle is pretty good.”¿Tim Strelecki/Official Snap Test Rider

SE’s new aluminum Quadangle is heavily influenced from their old classic, the chromoly Quadangle. The unique cro-mo frame has been around since the days of sidehacks, moto-mags, and “wing-things” and has stood the test of time pretty well. When the guys in blue and brown at SE decided they wanted to make a new frame, they began playing around with different designs and concepts for it. They loved the old chromoly Quad design and many riders throughout the years have loved it as well, but it was a little outdated. The main problem was that it’s really short. Why then can’t they just make a longer chromoly Quad? Well, it has to do with the design. The old Quadangle has two down tubes instead of one. Both of these tubes start at the head tube and go around the top tube on their way to the bottom bracket. By making this frame relatively short they were able to keep the dual down tubes fairly small in diameter. If they were to make the frame any longer it would start to flex and lose stiffness and strength, so they would have to go with larger diameter tubing which would look pretty bad and somehow get in the way. So for years they’ve kind of been stuck with a cool design, but a short bike¿until now.

They finally decided that they wanted to make a longer Quadangle and that they could do it using aluminum. Their next questions were, “How can we make it stiff? and How can we make it strong?” This is when they figured out that by piercing a single down tube with the top tube and adding a second top tube this could be possible. They also went with the wrap-around seat stay design where both of the seat stays come up around the seat tube and are welded under the top tube forming what they call the top tube brace. Since they started using that design years ago, to this day, they haven’t had one front end break off. Obviously a strong feature. With all of this talk about tubes piercing one another and wrapping around other tubes you’re probably getting confused, so I’ll get right down to the important stuff¿how our test went.

After giving the bike to Tim, the first two things he did were cut a 1/2″ off each side of the bars and tighten up the spider bolts on the sprocket. Last month Tim managed to fold a sprocket on the BADD test bike because the bolts came loose, so he wanted to make sure that didn’t happen this time. The SE Pro bars that come stock on the Quad are 27″ wide with an 8″ rise. The height was right for Tim, but he wanted them a little narrower. The test bike that SE provided us came with one-piece 180mm chromoly cranks on it¿a very risky move on SE’s part. To send a high-end race bike with one-piece cranks for a test could be a kiss of death. (Luckily it wasn’t, read on). The complete bike sells for around $569 (painted), ($599 ball burnished) with the one-piece cranks. This is great for someone who’s just starting out and might not be able to dish out the big bucks for a good three-piece set, but what about you hardcore guys out there that are going to really give this bike a workout? Well, SE’s got you covered, too. For $130 more you can get the Quadangle complete with three-piece 180mm chromoly Profiles. Satisfied? Good. On with the test.

We hooked up with SE’s AA Pro Chris Sanchez and went to the Temecula BMX track. Chris has been racing on one of the first of these frames since the NBL Big Bear nationals last May, and just finished up a summer tour that had him on that same bike racing nationals and doing clinics for a couple of months. We were glad to have him along with us so Tim had someone to ride with while I shot photos. Once at the track, Tim went to work. Temecula has a really good layout with a newly face-lifted assortment of jumps. It was Tim’s first time there, but he quickly found some good lines and jumps that he like One jump in particular that Tim set his sights on wasn’t actually on a straightaway, but over a straightaway. There’s a line at Temecula where if you eye things up right and get a good amount of speed you can jump from the second berm over the fourth straight and land in the last turn. Tim and Chris took turns for almost twenty minutes before they finally started to clear the distance. I’d say that 90% of the time during those twenty minutes Tim was coming up short and landing fairly hard on the bike. Surprisingly, he didn’t bend the rims at all, and not one problem arose with the cranks. Tim and Chris also engaged in a little berm warfare and worked on their elbow and hip-check techniques. This proved to be a really good exercise for the test because we found out that the Comp III-style tires that come on the bike are basically garbage. Each time Tim went into a turn he was fighting to stay up. The tread pattern of the tires was perfect, but the compound was just no good. Chris had real Comp III’s on and he wasn’t having any problems, so we knew ours were bogus. Another thing that Tim found out was that the steering on the Quadangle is pretty quick. The head tube angle is a steep 75 degrees which makes turning on the bike happen fast. Tim easily got used to it, but he did find it weird at first (he’s used to something a few degrees slower). After getting the necessary shots and working up a sweat in the dry desert heat, we took a lunch break and headed to the “Front Yard” (see this issue’s scene report). There Tim put in a good hour or two of hardcore trail riding on the Quad. Lots of variations and zero problems to report. After running out of film and watching Tim run out of steam, I called it a day and we packed up and headed home. Another Snap test done for the books.

Generally what we found with the aluminum Quadangle is that it looks a little different, but rides really well. Size-wise, it probably best fits someone around the ages of fifteen or sixteen and up. Besides the quick steering, the bike felt pretty normal (which is a good thing). It was light, fast and responsive. Component-wise the only major problem was with the tires. By the time we were done testing the bike the tread was so worn out that there were almost smooth spots on the tire. We would definitely recommend putting authentic Comp III tires on it. The Dia-Compe V-brakes stopped better than what we needed, and the padded Velo seat brought a smile to Tim’s face throughout the day. We were definitely impressed with the fact that the one-piece cranks held together without one problem all day, but we still feel that anyone who seriously wants to race this bike should try to buy the Pro Kit which has the Profile cranks on it, other than that you’re good to go with this one. Look over the specs for a full listing of the components, and as always, see it for yourself at your local SE dealer¿I think you’ll be impressed.

Miscellaneous Quadangle Quotes: “This bike is our welder’s nightmare.”¿Perry Kramer/The original “Ripper”
“Wow, this thing’s pretty rad, huh?”¿Brad McDonald/Publishing guy
“I’ve ridden tires for months before they’ve looked like this¿and this is just after one day.”¿Tim Strelecki/Test Lab member
“The main reason behind the Quadangle in the first place is just the fact that there’s strength in triangles.”¿Perry
“I’ve always liked the Landing Gear forks.”¿Tim
“It’s like the design and originality of the old Quadangle meets the new and more modern, faster, and aggressive design of the Assassin Pro XL.”¿Perry
“The only thing that was a little goofy to me was that the steering of the bike was quite quick¿it’s different than what I’m used to.”¿Tim
“It definitely rides better than it looks¿it looks pretty funny, but it’s definitely a good bike.”¿Tim

Price, Specs & Info:

Complete Bike Price: $569 painted, $599 ball burnished (suggested retail)
Finishes Available: Powdercoat red, black, yellow, white, ball burnished
Frame Weight: 4-1/2 lbs.
Fork Weight: 2 lbs.
Head Tube Length: 4-1/4″
Head Tube Angle: 75°
Seat Tube Angle: 72°
Steerer Tube Size: 1-1/8″
Handlebar Rise: 8″
Handlebar Width: 27″
Top Tube Length: 21-1/2″
Top Tube O.D.: 1-3/8″, top tube brace is 7/8″
Down Tube O.D.: 2″
Fork Leg O.D.: 1-1/4″
Seat Tube Inside Diameter: 26.8mm
Seat Stay O.D.: 1-1/4″
Chainstay O.D.: 7/8″
B.B. Height: 1-3/4″
Chainstay Length: 15-5/8″
Wheelbase: 38-3/4″¿39-1/2″ (center of rear dropout to center of front axle)

Components:

Frame: SE Racing Quadangle Aluminum
Fork: SE Racing Landing Gear
Handlebar: SE 8″ Pro bars
Stem: Alloy XL clamp-on
Grips: ATI Lynx
Headset: Dia-Compe SE-1
Rims: Alex double-wall
Hubs: Formula sealed mechanism
Tires: Comp III style
Brake: Dia-Compe V-brake
Brake Pads: Dia-Compe
Brake Lever: Dia-Compe Direct Pull 7
Pedals: Wellgo platform with removable pins
Cranks: Chromoly 180mm one-piece
Bottom Bracket Set: Sealed mechanism
Sprocket: Pro Neck 44 T
Freewheel: Dicta 16 T chrome plated
Chain: KMC 1/2×3/32 chrome
Seat: Velo 283 padded with 8mm rails
Seat Post: Kalloy UNOP
Seat Post Clamp: Kalloy 31.8mm
Warranty: Lifetime warranty to the original owner. Covers defects in material and workmanship.
Company: SE Racing/Cycle Science Inc.
190 Bosstick Blvd.
San Marcos, CA 92056
Phone: (760) 598-4270
Internet: www.SE-RACING.com
Price: $569 painted, $599 ball burnished (suggested retail)
Finishes Available: Powdercoat red, black, yellow, white, ball burnished
Frame Weight: 4-1/2 lbs.
Fork Weight: 2 lbs.
Head Tube Length: 4-1/4″
Head Tube Angle: 75°
Seat Tube Angle: 72°
Steerer Tube Size: 1-1/8″
Handlebar Rise: 8″
Handlebar Width: 27″
Top Tube Length: 21-1/2″
Top Tube O.D.: 1-3/8″, top tube brace is 7/8″
Down Tube O.D.: 2″
Fork Leg O.D.: 1-1/4″
Seat Tube Inside Diameter: 26.8mm
Seat Stay O.D.: 1-1/4″
Chainstay O.D.: 7/8″
B.B. Height: 1-3/4″
Chainstay Length: 15-5/8″
Wheelbase: 38-3/4″¿39-1/2″ (center of rear dropout to center of front axle)

Components:

Frame: SE Racing Quadangle Aluminum
Fork: SE Racing Landing Gear
Handlebar: SE 8″ Pro bars
Stem: Alloy XL clamp-on
Grips: ATI Lynx
Headset: Dia-Compe SE-1
Rims: Alex double-wall
Hubs: Formula sealed mechanism
Tires: Comp III style
Brake: Dia-Compe V-brake
Brake Pads: Dia-Compe
Brake Lever: Dia-Compe Direct Pull 7
Pedals: Wellgo platform with removable pins
Cranks: Chromoly 180mm one-piece
Bottom Bracket Set: Sealed mechanism
Sprocket: Pro Neck 44 T
Freewheel: Dicta 16 T chrome plated
Chain: KMC 1/2×3/32 chrome
Seat: Velo 283 padded with 8mm rails
Seat Post: Kalloy UNOP
Seat Post Clamp: Kalloy 31.8mm
Warranty: Lifetime warranty to the original owner. Covers defects in material and workmanship.
Company: SE Racing/Cycle Science Inc.
190 Bosstick Blvd.
San Marcos, CA 92056
Phone: (760) 598-4270
Internet: www.SE-RACING.com