Introduction and answers by Brian Lewis, Create Originals co-founder
Questions provided by members of the Be-Mag msgboard 

ty : Can you publish photos of prototypes, design sketches, schematics, maybe even photos of your manufacturers/production line etc? I love this “behind the scenes” sort of stuff.

All of the photographs on Kickstarter are of the prototype and very available for viewing. They were not designed on paper. I did it in my head. Then explained it to Hakeem and he took it straight to 3D.

I love those kinds of photos as well. I actually requested them from the manufacturer of the prototype. However, they were unable to provide photos of the frames and parts being manufactured. We very much wanted to have them to show all of you.

*ROYALwithCHEESE*: With Fiziks going out of business and Kizer stopping their production of suspension frames, what made you and your company decide to pursue these types of frames in light of their financial/sales failings in the past?

We were fans of the way Fiziks suspension functioned. So when they went out of business we theorized on why. What we came up with was this: They had to license the patent from Sprung which adds expense, there were many parts some of which are difficult to manufacture and is also expensive, the additional parts added significant weight, they were also not ideal for anti-rocker or freestyle which is the chosen set-up for many of you.

That being said, although they failed as a business the product itself was not a 100% failure. Despite all of the issues I mentioned they still rode great. Especially for flat. So we recognized that there was something to suspension. It just needed to be done differently. We knew that we needed to design our own patentable design and find a methodology for simplifying it in order to bring the costs even lower. Also, since their technology was designed for roller hockey not Blading, it also did not take the full abuse we as bladers put on the products. The rocker arms would often break. The best way to stop something from breaking is to get rid of it.

So for all of those reasons we believed we could find the solution to bring suspension back and in a way that made it customizable, lower cost, stronger and suited better for all styles of set-up. CRS solves all of those issues. Just recently Hakeem found an old interview from Tom Hyser that reiterated what we believed were the issues and what it would take to solve them.

marshun: Will be there a need for grease in the slots so there isnt any unwanted binding?

No. There is not significant binding. Also, the movement is relatively small and not at a very high speed.

Alex Coe: Are you going to instate a warranty on the frames? It might be the worst business decision you could make, but it would show a lot of confidence in your product!

We stand behind all of our products. When we had the issues with our graphic frame we replaced all of them and at a very hefty cost to us. That is a large part of why we needed to go to Kickstarter this time. Thankfully, we are not new to this anymore and will be able to side step those issues and not repeat them. Plus we have better manufacturers now and better materials as well.

flea: When can we expect a CRS powerblade frame?

“Powerblading” is a term coined by The Conference and used for marketing large wheel frames. So in order for there to be a CRS “Powerblading” frame, The Conference would have to license our technology for their frames. So I can’t fully answer as I do not know if they would want to do that. We have done several OEM deals with them so it isn’t outside of the realm of possibility.

Create Originals Custom Ride System (CRS) Inline Skate Frame, Version 1 Prototype

Makio: Will the CRS frames include a slot for graphics?

They will not when first released. However, we may visit that in the future. Our feeling is that the CRS frame should’nt have graphics in order to concentrate on the performance of them. We would have to remove a lot of material to incorporate graphics. That is not something we want to risk at this point.

s.: If I asked you to send me a free pair of CRS frames, would the answer to that question be the same as the answer to this question?

Maybe, you would have to ask that question in order to find out the answer to it. Nice try though.

toe-bee: Will the urethane spacer sliders wear down? If so, how long until the wheels become too fragile?

That has actually been covered in the Kickstarter. They will. To what extent and to what time frame we do not fully know as we only have prototypes, not final parts. It will also depend on what durometer you use, your weight, riding ability and frequency.

DnEhThEnD: Can the sliders handle extreme heat without warping or being prone to tearing or deforming? I keep my skates in the trunk of my car and sometimes the carbon fiber material gets soft enough to bend and I have to wait for my skates to cool down before I can use them. When you do that, do your wheels have the same problem? If not then the answer is no.

The Rusted Gun: There has not been a nice brown colored frame since the old non-ufs 50/50′s. Do you think you could find it in your heart to make some brown CO’s?

We would love to. It is really a matter of how much inventory we can bring in. All manufacturers have MOQs (minimum order quantities). We would need to be able to purchase enough to make it possible. As our buying power increases you will see more and more colors.

Matthew Shannon: Can the urethane spacers come with color technology? Will there be different designs, i.e. pros get their own design on the aesthetic grooves in the sidewalls for pro frames?

Yes, the urethane can and will come with color technology. Maybe not right at first but we will have colored urethane.

Create Originals CRS Frame Urethane Suspension Frame Spacer Sliders

Matthew Shannon: After these come out, will there be a price reduction for the Graphics frames? Or will each frame line simply fill a different market segment?

It is an interesting thing with the PRO frames. Because the frames can and will come as the specific PRO rides them. Which is a level of detail that has yet to be introduced. We would like to be able to make the frames with their names in the plastic, but we are still accepting quotes so we will have to wait and see how it plays out.

The price of the Graphic frame will be adjusted based on the amounts we can purchase at one time. If we buy more we can get a better price and pass the savings on. We would love to have the frames lower in price and make them more attainable to everyone.

Matthew Shannon: Have you guys thought about expanding your business past frames and clothing?

We have considered that. However, it is something that needs to be built towards. For now we are concentrated on frames and clothing. We will have to see how sales go. If we continue to grow and we see something of interest to us to also manufacture, who knows we may go for it.

Alex Coe: What do you think are the most important factors that skaters consider when buying a frame?

I think it is different depending on the blader. For me I think the most important is performance, appearance and price.

Sirosis: How will you go forward if the Kickstarter doesn’t reach the $ 30K target?

To be honest I don’t know. Hakeem and I do not spend time thinking about what to do if our plan doesnt work. We rather spend 100 % effort on the task at hand. If it should not meet the goal we will figure it out then. That being said we are 75 % funded and we have half the time to go. So we have a good shot at it.


alabamakilla: How many different ideas for the suspension did you go through before deciding on this one? Were there problems with the first prototypes? And if so, what mods were made to solve them? I think the testing process is fascinating. I would really love to know how the design evolved into the final product.

I went through several different ideas and possible solutions until coming to this solution. I have a tendency to fixate on things so that is what I did. We did not prototype any of the other embodiments. I am pretty good at conceptualizing ideas in my head and seeing the flaws. So with the previous embodiments I knew they were failures without needing to prototype them. When it came time to prototype the current embodiment we were fairly certain it was going to work. Hakeem never worries so he was much more calm then I was.

To be honest the prototyping process is so expensive I dont think we could have afforded to manufacture more then one embodiment. We did have a slight problem that delayed us a bit. We had the first metal parts come made from the wrong material and thinner than designed. So they were easily bent. That however, did not stop Mark Wojda from jumping the 14 stair that is in the Kickstarter video.

alabamakilla: With your suspension spacers being urethane, do you see having a dual durometer spacer having any advantages or faults?

I would think that a dual durometer would have some issues. First as the urethane compresses it becomes harder to compress by its very nature. Second it would be more expensive and I do not think it would impact the performance in a way that would warrant the extra costs. That being said who knows. That is tough to conceptualize.

BasementN3k0: I don’t think anyone’s made “marbled” or swirl color ways for frames.

That is actually something we have been talking about for a while. It would look cool for sure. We are just not sure to how it would be structurally. We do not need another inconsistent material issue again. That was hell.

Create Originals CRS Frame Initial Patent Filing Drawings & First Prototype Sample Design

john doe: Back when Fiziks first came out I had damn near the same idea as your CRS frames. I threw the idea out almost right away because my concern of wheel deflection. I can see that the large flat part of the spacer would help this but how much deflection is there? Do you think the deflection in the wheel could cause premature wheel or bearing failure?

I guess you were on the right track but you gave up to soon. When you are talking about deflection you have to see past it to the cause. The best way to do that is to simplify it and then move outward in your thinking. So take the suspension out and think about just a wheel with bearings and an axle being hand held. If there was a force applied diagonally onto the wheel there would only be a slight amount of deflection based on the tolerance between the inner circle of the bearing and the axle being so small. If the force was great enough it could damage the bearings. This happens with a regular frame from time to time although it is not a very frequent issue, it does happen. That is from a direct force with no energy loss. Now if you put it into the CRS spacers the impact is the same. So in theory why would it then cause additional deflection? The answer is it wouldn’t. The only difference is now there is a dampener in place that can actually absorb some of the force on impact. I believe this is why we have not seen any harm to the bearings as of yet nor do I expect to.

If you are now going to look at the axle and wheel going off of axis that is another story. You have to realize that first the urethane is for the most part in the harder levels of durometer. So that plus the inner large flat metal that buts up agains the inner wall of the frame both stop that from happening to the point of failure. We have not noticed the wheels going off axis as of yet. That being said even if they did, that is common in many types of suspension in other fields and in some cases is designed to intentionally do that in order to increase grip while turning.

For example race cars. So if the wheels were to go off axis I don’t see it causing damage to bearings or wheels only possibly gaining grip through a turn. It could lead to failure if it went so far off of axis as to rub the wheel against the inner wall of the frame causing rubbing but that is not possible due to the early mentioned reasons.

bobb: Brian, first of all I’m loving what I’m seeing with these frames and am extremely excited. Now riddle me this brother: How much of a step up will these be from Featherlites? I used to do huge gaps and jump off roofs in the late 90s but this old timers feet just can’t take it anymore. I’m hoping these frames will let me show these newbies how we used to do it.

Thanks for the kind words. I hear you. Being 35 and still blading has some different challenges then it used to.

I don’t think it is even fair to compare our CRS frames to the Featherlites. The Featherlite is a low cost entry level frame. It is basically a disguised Razors stock frame. They don’t even have metal frame spacers. Where as the CRS frame has a unique patent pending system of suspension that is completely customizable to meet the needs of the more serious bladers.

Because of my age, knee and back issues, I do not jump gaps any longer either. 22 years of blading and working at a moving company have taken their toll on me. So I differ to Mark Wojda. He jumped the 14 stair in the Kickstarter video and said that he couldn’t believe how his heels that are always bruised didn’t hurt when he landed the gap. Also, when he grinded the large rail he couldn’t believe that when he landed it he didn’t hurt his heels. He said that usually when he comes off that rail it shoots him into the ground and always bothers his heels. He was shocked that the frames corrected that problem.

I can’t be sure that they will fix all of your issues since I don’t even know you but I am sure they will help to a certain level. Plus, as an old school blader you will definitely have fun trying all the different ways you can set them up and feel the differences. It is a lot of fun.

salomonskater: Hi, what are the lenghts from middle of axle one to middle of axle four of the different sizes? Also, since the suspension makes turns much easier, do you plan on making a longer frame – at least 273mm wheelbase – that provides extra stability?

We do not have a final design yet. We are still fine tuning it. I would think that they will be similar if not the same to the graphics frame as we are happy with those dimensions.

tomanizzle: First off I’d like to say this is a step in the right direction and I can not wait to see the final product. My question is, I am wondering how significant the suspension is going to be for someone with a very light body weight? For example I am 5.0 ft at a whopping 105lbs, and if the first available set of spacers only go as low as 80a I’m hoping it’s not going to feel like I’m riding on a regular pair of frames.

Thanks for the kind words. Well, you also have to take into account how you ride. Do you ride anti-rocker? If so that will increase the force per wheel. Also, if you do gaps and larger tricks it will have more effect then if you only grind ledges. That being said we will also be coming out with softer and harder durometer spacers as time goes on.

Create Originals CRS Frame, Version 1 Prototype

DanielBond: The frames look great and I am very excited on the impact they might have on Blading. Just having something new to test is fun, even if it’s not something that directly affects everyones personal enjoyment of skating. Have you guys ever thought of making bigger wheeled frames? For example, something to accommodate 60-65mm wheels, like Kaltics etc? Why have you gone for suspension over that?

We are excited for everyone to try them, too. Despite certain companies making a push for larger wheel frames we believe in doing things our way. We are all so experienced with Blading that we have already ready ridden wheels as large as 72mm all the way down to even riding flat 52s. We generally feel that 58mm flat is ideal. The increase of wheel size of 2-7mm is not so significant as to make some huge impact on Blading. I have yet to have a real problem getting or maintaining the speed I need for the tricks I do, nor have I ever really had one of our team say they can’t do something due to a lack of speed. So the question for me is what then is the purpose of the larger wheel sizes? Especially, when the core wheel companies do not even make those wheel sizes. So we do not see manufacturing a larger wheel frame to be very progressive. After all we as an industry moved away from that for a reason.

So for all of those reasons that is why we are more into doing a customizable suspension frame for what we believe to be ideal wheel sizes for the serious bladers. The CRS is a step forward and in a unique direction. It adds something to the market that isn’t there. To simply make a frame that just has larger wheel sizes is easy and doesn’t make the same impact or provide something to the consumer that they couldn’t otherwise get. While some companies are happy to take the easy road and redesign and rebrand what is already there we at Create Originals believe in putting forth the effort to make something new and exciting that adds to the evolution of blading.

That being said if you want to ride large wheel frames you go a head and have a great time doing it. If you are having fun that is all that should matter to you.

Imagination: The overall idea looks goods, but i’m a little bit skeptic about the frame spacers. Are they soft enough to feel absorption on the impacts, but also solid enough to don’t crack or don’t core too fast? Also, and just for example… sometimes when a gap is landed and the feet are not straight vertically, one side of the frame spacers will receive more impact that the other, so there’s a big a possibility of wheels bending and touch the side of the frame?

You have every right to be skeptical. It was my idea and even I was skeptical until riding and testing them. First, they can’t core because there is no core to the spacers. By the nature of the design cores are not needed. Now as far as feeling it you 100 % do. We have yet to sustain any damage to the urethane even with Mark Wojda pounding on them. Tomorrow we will be doing another day of filming with him and hopefully have an edit up soon for you all to see them in action. I already covered the issue of wheel refraction in one of the previous answered questions. Basically it has not been an issue. For more detail please read the other answer. I go into depth about it. Thank you for the well wishes and the question!

Thank you all so much for the support! Hakeem and I don’t make any money doing this and work extremely hard with photography, videography and mostly at a moving company to keep afloat and keep things moving forward. So the support means so much to us. We have wanted this for so long and have always felt like we had to do it ourselves. It feels now like we don’t have to do it ourselves anymore. The support has been so overwhelming. You dudes rule. Now that the Kickstarter looks like it will be successful it makes it realistic for us to do even more development and introduce more products even if we don’t have all of the funds.

Links:

Create Originals’ Custom Ride System Frame on Kickstarter
Create Originals website 

Check out the original In the Know: Create Originals’ Custom Ride System Frame post on the Be-Mag Msgboard here

The Kickstarter for the Create Originals Custom Ride System Frame has been funded on April 16th 2013. This means the product will be produced! You can still make a pledge to get your hands on the frames as well as various other goodies here.

Find more In the Know articles on Be-Mag here.

Create Originals CRS User Weight Ratio & Urethane Durometer Suggestions Chart

About The Author

Be-Mag

Back in 1997 we started with our first e-mail newsletter which soon turned into a website. In 2001 we launched the first issue of Be-mag Print. Besides that we're producing fashion and have released 4 DVDs.