Photos: Kai Kuusisto, Martti Kuoppa, Viki Gomez.
The KGB Soulrider frame has just dropped, it was time to catch up with two of the best flatlander riders of all time, Martti Kuoppa and Viki Gomez and talk about the new bike, and the return of Kuoppa Gomez Bikes. Hope you all enjoy the interview.
The new Soulrider frame is dropping, premiered at Flatark 2015. Tell me firstly how with you both having two different styles how did you agreed on one design? That can’t have been easy?
Martti:Actually, from my perspective it is quite simple: Both of us have history with KGB and back then we spend´t a lot of time into making an ultimate frame that would fulfill both of our needs. Then, once we took our own ways for few years, we still had similar ideas of what the ultimate frame should be like.
And now that we got back together on designing frame again, our ideas were pretty much same. Me and Viki have this connection when it comes to riding and designing frames.
Viki: We might have different styles, but our riding have been always focused on digging in all the styles, so it is always easier to adapt having this mindset. Besides, we want a strong frame so we can try whatever and it wouldn’t break. The geometry of the Soulrider frame is ultimate! I have tested about 50 different frames in my life and I can tell you right now that the frame is amazing!
KGB round for the second time, what’s different for you both this time round?
Martti: I would say that these days we are focusing highly on making a very strong frame. That is possible because of the double diamond design. And also, we are planning to stick to the frames only. Last time we had so many parts that it was bit difficult to have a good overall control over things.
Viki: I guess we have more experience in life and business and it is easier for us to make something better happening. Also with the new technologies we can be 100% independent when it comes to design, web page, etc etc. It was mean to be for us to make a new clean start and bring back to Flatland a real core company.
The double diamond design is far removed from KGB the first time round? Can you tell me about the difference in aesthetics…
Martti: Times change and trends change. Double diamond design is much stronger than what our designs were before. Also, these days the double diamond seems to be the norm and the trend so we don´t want to go away from that trend because at the end, if we want to run a frame company we need someone to buy our frames too!
Viki: We made the KGB designs in order to change the game of Flatland and give room when it was not available. We did good job and we changed the game! Nowadays the bikes are much lighter and easy to handle with the double diamond. Times have changed and we have adapted as always.
I know you guys think a lot about the angles and there’s a reason for everything you do. Firstly the head tube is shorter than the average frame, can you explain why?
Martti: To be honest, I am not too picky about the angles and the smallest details like that. I am okay to ride my bike this way or that way. Of course there are few things that I like having like they are today but it´s not a big deal if they are not like that tomorrow. But one thing I must say that I really like about this frame is the short headtube. I have my stem all the way slammed as low as possible and with high handlebars it kind of changes the whole overall feeling on the bike and it actually gives WAY more control on my movement as a whole! Highly recommended!
Viki: The geometry is ultimate! The shorter HT gives so much room in the TT area for front wheel tricks! Also I have been working in all the sides of the bike from front to back wheel and the Soulrider frames delivers at any demand. If any side was not tested, then Martti for sure did the test in crazy places! Like the stemlashes or his amazing new trick positions! So the frame has passed a good test.
What are the specs of the frame?
S (TT 18.5″ – CS 12.6″),
M (TT 18.9″ – CS 12.8″),
L (TT 19.5″ – CS 13.0″)
Head Tube: 75°
Seat Tube: 71°
BB Height: 15.72°
Weight: 1.950 Kg
Talk about the lengths of frames, what are the reasons for the length you have chosen?
Viki: 3 sizes are great so every rider from every continent can feel they can find their size! We choosed numbers that made sense for TT and CS in order to keep the balance of the original Soulrider frame size of 19,5″-13″
What colours will be the frame available in?
Martti & Viki: Matte Black, Matte Gold and Clear coated.
When is the frame going into production, and how much will it be retail?
Viki: Production is done and frames are on the way right now! They have arrived already in Japan and the Philippines! Soon in Europe and America! The final price is about 350€.
Martti: It should be available any day now. I am not sure how much the retail will be. We will also have our own stock in europe and will sell directly to the customers for a good price. email@example.com
Who is distributing the frame for you worldwide?
Any final words on your new frame design you wish to let people know?
Martti: It´s by far the most reactive frame I have ever ridden. And I haven´t been able to break it and the tubes aren´t flexing yet either. It´s also the most stylish frame out there + if you buy this frame I can guarantee you will ride better than ever and learn many many new tricks, tricks that have never been done before, because that´s the magic of this design
Viki: Please be open minded in Flatland! The new SoulRider frame is amazing!! The best KGB frame I ever rode. So trust me and test it! You will get new tricks, no regrets and a strong bad ass frame!
Thanks for your time guys! Head over to www.kuoppagomezbikes.com and check the new website out!