Chad Johnston talks about his S&M signature frame and bars!!

Hey Chad, the new frame and bars about to drop, tell me about it?
Yeah, the handlebars have dropped, they’re called “intrikat” bars. Specs are: 8.5” (at the ends) 27” wide, 6 degrees back sweep, 3 degrees upsweep, .625 crossbar, 4130 Chromoly, post-weld heat treat, powder coated flat black with gloss black graphics. 1.85 lbs.
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How many prototypes did you go through to get what you want?
Three, in just over a year. Moeller is heavy into testing; we discussed each prototype in detail. I didn’t realize how much goes into designing a handlebar until after working with these guys.

Must be easier working with S&M, your up in Long Beach and S&M is in Santa Ana, not too far, that must be a big help? What’s the turn around time in getting prototypes to you?
It’s very convenient, for sure. On a good day it takes about 30 minutes to drive, during rush hour it could take hours. Turn around time varies, sometimes next day, sometimes weeks, sometimes… There are many variables that go into getting something made and any issue in one department affects the next. S&M makes a lot of products and keeping them flowing out is most important.  Timing is essential when adding new products, and it isn’t always as simple as it seems.

What did you look for in terms of your frame? Any special details?
A classic looking BMX, function is as important as styling though. I believe it’s possible to blend the two. I like a bike that’s solid, no flexing, responsive, but not twitchy. Real clean, minimal.

Nice touch to bring a lil Sabbath influence back into the scene…
Haha, thanks for that. McKinney got the gussett right long ago, I just asked the guys to trim it up.

You rode the Ronin Big E bars I gave you for a while, did those bars have any influence at all in the new bar design, what did you seek to improve if anything?
Yeah, for sure. When I started riding for S&M I put those Ronin bars on my LAF. At the time they were the only minimal sweep bars other than Bizhouse that I could find in 8”. The multi-piece design didn’t fit the LAF so I rode your bars. They were great, I rode them for a year then had a slightly different set made by S&M. They were .25” taller, heat treated and powder coated black. We tried another prototype similar to those but taller, a wider crossbar, more grip width and tighter lower bends. We experimented with different wall thicknesses, crossbar sizes and placement. A few friends have helped test different pairs along the way, thanks Ryan and Bill. Thanks to you for giving me the Big E bars years ago. The legend of Ronin will never die, haha. Alfred aka SIN has those now; he’ll keep them safe.

Its rad S&M are supporting you now, I know you and McKinney go way back, pretty much family for you right?
Stoked for sure. McKinney is a brother and he’s introduced me to the rest of the family. I feel comfortable with the people at the Building, they’re all cool.

Do you see this frame crossing over in street sales as well?
Possibly. I don’t want to limit this frame to just flatland, but that’s what I ride most of the time so this bike reflects that. Flatland tech with street beef merged together nicely. I ride to my spot and hit some stuff along the way, so I want a bike that handles all that.

When will the frame be available?
There’s no date set yet and I know Moeller wants it tested thoroughly, so we’re probably months away. I rode a LAF for a year in 08 and a LTF for a year in 09 and didn’t break or tweak either one. This frame feels sturdier than those so far.  I doubt we’ll have to strengthen it, but there may be changes, not sure yet. Sorry I can’t give you a more specific answer now.

Whats next for intrikat?
Always something going on. We’re still working on archiving VHS to digital. Working on TRIKology in my free time. Mostly focused on healing to get back to pushing my limits in riding. My sessions are slowly growing back to 2 hours or so. I’ll ride this frame as hard as I can and see what happens next.

Any shoutouts?
Yeah, for sure, thanks to you Effraim and Flatmatters, Amy, McKinney, Moeller, Jason, Jay and all the other bad asses at The Building. Thanks to Fano, Joel, Nate, Barney, John and Rich at Primo/Lotek. Thank you for keeping me rollin.

5 thoughts on “Chad Johnston talks about his S&M signature frame and bars!!

  1. Stoked on Chad getting some recognition, been in the game for so long! And gives back to the flatland community consistently, think this project will blow up! Seems perfect time for this kind of frame and bar! And nice to know I had some influence in that, however small! Big ups Chad!

  2. S & M has also the potential for a big crossover, could see street riders trying the bars for example. Really stoked how this interview turned out! Glad to cover what your doing Chad! Seems kinda surreal looking back ordering Reality Tv part one all those years ago. And we are still here doing our thing! Intrikat matters!

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