Clint Millar and the Prody x Colony frame
Clint Millar is one busy dude. Not only running his own brands and taking on the world, he’s still riding at 100% and killing it, something that he’s done for as long as I can remember. Early comps I ventured to at Beenleigh saw him running a locally built platform sporting frame under the name Prody. Come 2014, he’s rebirthed the original into todays geometry and weight and it’s so good. The crew at Colony justifiably dropped a little flip book showcasing the bike which you can check above. This had me thinking you might want to read up on the history of the frame so here’s the interview we did with Clint that ran in issue 50.
On a recent trip to Queensland, I was lucky enough to spend a day with long time rider and friend Clint Millar. Aside kicking back and reminiscing about many an old comp or session, I planned to get a few shots of him in his natural habitat, on his backyard mini ramp. Out came the bike for a session and I could have been back in 1993 at Beenleigh on the old mini/spine minus knee and elbow pads and the full face helmet. Clint’s new platform sporting Colony frame and his riding were as dialled now as I remember back then. So here’s a little history on this very special frame that is making it’s way back into the BMX world.
So Clint, this amazing Colony built Prody frame you’re riding, it’s a remake of a frame you had made around 20 years ago and a far cry from ‘lets jump on the retro bandwagon’. Whats the story?
Yeah with Colony proving itself as Australia’s premiere legitimate brand in the worldwide market place I wanted to celebrate this for our ten year anniversary. I had always thought to do something special like doing a modern Prody frame. I couldn’t wait another 2 years and then when I thought about it, it made more sense to release the Prody frame this year since it would mark 20 years since the original four4 frames were made.
Who was involved in the design and build of the OG model? And when did this all happen?
It was all done during a time when getting a bike that would not fall apart in a month was impossible. This was the early ‘90’s, about 1993. Michael Canfield and I were tired of bikes breaking so we hooked up with G&J Cycles in Capalaba, QLD to make the Prody frame. Mine was the first frame made. It would’ve been made 12 months earlier but I had a car accident and had some big bills to pay for from it. Once they were taken care of, around early in 1994 I threw down the cash to have the frame made. Later that year we had the first frame made and I was so stoked. We originally had the brake mounts on the chain stays but sprocket clearance was an issue so we relocated them to underneath the seat stays. This was all back in the day before the internet and we only had magazines for news from around the world. Come later 1994 we saw news of a new company called Standard Byke Co. Their frames and ours were rather similar, I guess great minds think alike hey?
Finding a frame maker that could understand the ideas you were throwing on the table must have been hard, I mean most builders might tackle a road frame, but the Prody was a lot of pieces of metal!?
Yeah we were lucky enough to hear about Gavin from G&J Cycles. He had made some other small run BMX frames for guys like the infamous Fakie. It worked out pretty easy. At the time though he could only bend certain sized tubing so we were limited with that. But his workmanship was second to none. So refreshing to see given the time we were in and the badly made frames we had to ride previously.
The sleeving on the seat tube was something pretty damn cool, who came up with that?
Not sure how exactly that came about? But it was a way to tackle the problem of all frames of the time cracking around the seat tube area. Till this day, no Prody frame ever cracked there. The prototype samples did feature this but for production a slimmed down version will exist to keep the theme alive.
Those were the days of everything being so overbuilt, thick tube walls, intersected tubes, massive dropouts… Do you think the riding has changed for the better now things are lighter?
Oh yeah, I look back at the Prody frame now and almost laugh. I mean if we had the materials and technology that are available now, oh things would be different. The bikes that kids get to ride now are a huge part of the reason riding has come so far and continues to do so.
On weight, hows the new one stack up against the old one. And more importantly, hows it sit against say one of your Teddy frames weight wise?
The Original Prody was 2.97 kgs or 6.54 lbs and the new one is 2.60 kgs or 5.73 lbs. A current 2014 Teddy frame weighs in at 2.37 kgs or 5.22 lbs
How much has the geo of your new frame changed since the 90’s?
Yeah it’s changed plenty. Top tubes have grown from 19.5” to 20.6”. The chain stays have shrunk from 14.75” to 13.75” slammed. I kept the stand over height the same as the original which worked out pretty much spot on. The current one is much more adaptive to all terrain and styles of riding for today’s world.
Is the design process the same for you as it was back then?
Haha, not quite. The old frames were made from a crude hand drawing and the new ones are drawn using CAD. But essentially we start with a hand drawing, so in a way it still is rather the same.
It was pretty cool to see you pull your bike out to ride your backyard mini, I swear I could have been back in the 90’s, your new bike looks identical to your old one if my hazy memory still works! Only thing missing was four piece bars, knee and elbow pads plus a full face!
Haha, yeah every time I ride the Prody I feel a little special. I love it, I have since then got a set of prototype Hardy Bars. They are our new 4-piece bars to compliment the Prody frames. Gotta love the classic look of gloss black and chrome.
Now you’re onboard one of the frames, will you be rocking a platform forever now? Have you got decade tail taps or something coming?
Yes, I can see no reason now to step back from riding a platform frame. I just love looking down and having one there. I want to build a 19.0” version up for my flatland bike and get back into that for sure. Decade tail taps…. yes, I do want to get them back again. Time will tell!
So come 2014, you’re rereleasing a limited number of Colony Prody frames yeah? Just how limited are these going to be?
There will only be 100 frames made in this first batch. 21 x 19.0” versions and 79 x 20.6” versions. They will be offered in Gloss Black, Chrome Plate and ED Red. ED Red is basically a form of anodise for CrMo. They will all be numbered 1 of 100 etc. Depending on how these go, we may offer them as a staple frame within the Colony range. But for now I am just so excited to get this first 100 frames out there. So far, feedback has been amazing. You can expect to see these very limited frames in Australian stores come mid April this year.
You can get your hands on the print version of this and whole bunch more in issue 50 available here.