Martin Knorr's Contraband Review
About the frame:
- the frame has super short 365mm chainstays
- neutral bb height with a 430mm a2c fork
- the only 24" specific frame available in 2 toptube sizes: 21.5" and 22"
- super low seattube for a lot of clearance for tricks: makes the bike easily
turndown-able and gives you more clearance to pull your bike up higher or
gives you more feel clearance for tricks like cancans and tailwhips.
- 2.5kg. It's not extremely light, but it's not heavy aswell. It's a bit heavier
than the latest superlight-trendy frames are, but it's also a lot stronger.
Also a good geometry is way more important than the weight of a frame:
an extremely light frame with a bad geometry will feel heavy while riding,
while a heavy frame with a good geometry will feel light during the ride.
- retail price: 399.99 USD
Some more specs:
The guys at Black Market Bikes definitely had a good thought about every single
small detail in this frame. The integrated headset is light and very easy to install.
The frame has an integrated seatpost, which has some nice features aswell:
First of all the part of the seattube on top is very low, which looks nice,
saves weight, and gives you the opportunity to slam your seat even more.
Second of all they didn't put any thread in it, but you can put a bolt in the other side,
so if the thread dies you don't have to replace your whole frame.
Exactly the same is done at the bb. The frame has a mid bb, which means
you don't have any thread in the bb-shell which could die. Small but clever details
like this prevent your frame from becoming useless.
Next to that there are all the details to create the total 'pimp-factor:'
The gusset underneat the headtube has written 'BLKMRKT' into it,
and the dropouts are very small and clean, and have nice lasercuts in it.
It looks great and it shaves off all unnecessary weight.
First of all I loved how this frame is also available in a 22" toptube length.
It seemed impossible to find a frame with a chainstay length under the
370mm with a longer toptube than 21.5". The possibility of getting this
frame with a longer toptube makes it great for taller riders like me.
The 365mm chainstays are really short and I love it! It makes the bike
so easy to throw around. This makes manuals, hops and spins very easy:
it's really flickable!
But only a flickable frame is nothing special in my opinion. I had several
flickable frames before, but the Contraband has another riding feature I love:
even tho it's really flickable, it still feels stable while going big: airing
quarterpipes and riding dirts feel dialed on this bike. I never owned or rode
a frame before which was good at both: those bikes were flickable and unstable,
or stable and not flickable. This makes the frame great for street AND dirt,
and not only for one of those. I love how the Contraband feels and handles while riding.
Is it strong?
The strength of a frame is very important.
So how is the Black Market Contraband holding out?
For the last three-quarter of a year I have been doing all I can to tear the
hell out of this frame. Not only on the streets (as me being a street rider),
but I took it everywhere: skateparks, dirts, even rode a DH race with it
(..please get yourself a DH bike if you ride DH lol..),
took it to Bikepark Winterberg where the suspension fork died on me,
hit many high drops and big gaps, and had some bad crashes,
but I was unable to break or bend any part of the frame.
So I can confirm that the Contraband frame really is strong.
Long story short:
- The Black Market Contraband feels really flickable for street,
but also still stable in the air for dirt and park.
- The 22" toptube option is perfect for riders over +-183cm
who want to rock a decent 24" bike.
- The frame is definitely strong
- In my honest opinion this is the best (/ my favourite)
24" specific frame on the market.
I actually turned down 2 sponsor offers because I didn't
wanna ride any other frame, I think that says enough :)