Mark Potoczny is a rad dude. There’s plenty of good times that I’ve had because of him and his brother, and I’m sure a lot of other people can say the same. When I found out he was working on a signature frame from Deluxe, I hit up Mark to see if he would be into talking a little bit about the frame and the process for creating his first signature frame with Deluxe. Check out what he had to say along with some photos that I shot during the Welcome Jam this past summer, then let him know what you think in the comments!
So let’s start this off from the beginning. You made the switch from long time sponsor Hoffman Bikes over to Deluxe earlier this year. I can imagine the trails background and a few other things helped with the decision. What were the things that helped you with your decision?
I just liked what Deluxe was doing. The brand is clearly into trails with clean graphics and design. Last year I was roommates with Mark Mullville who was riding for them at the time and took a liking to the brand. When Mark moved on, he kind of suggested I ride for them, but I was hesitant, but it eventually happened and I’m psyched on it. As for HB there were no bad vibes leaving, for me it was more a matter of growing a bit older and my riding evolving. I don’t really compete anymore and I ride ramp and street less and less. Deluxe is just exactly what I am into right now and that is trails.
Photos: Kurt Hohberger
How have things been going so far? I know Deluxe is on a smaller scale still, and really focuses on trails so I’d imagine your needs are pretty well taken care of?
Things are going really well. Last summer my brother and I took a trip over seas and rode with most of the guys on the team. The team riders aren’t just trail riders but the very back bone of their respective scenes. It’s awesome, if I meet up with any of the other team guys it means I get to ride amazing trails.
You have been working on your signature frame for a few months now. How has the POTOtype been coming along? Is that the real name of the frame or is it still undecided?
I’m really excited and honored to be part of designing a frame. The Pototype is one of the possibilities but I’m not sure yet. All the names kind of came about as a joke. I just want it to be something that makes me laugh a bit when I ride it. I have never been good at making something sound totally bad ass. Another name we have thrown around is the PA Model. It would be named after my home state and if it was written out PAModel, it would say Pam which is my mom’s name. I know that sounds kinda funny to name it after your mom and that is the point, and if she didn’t let me dig up the yard I doubt anyone would be reading my words right now.
You just got your hands on the first prototype a few months back. What are some of the changes you are going to make for the second round?
I have been riding the first prototype since shortly after Interbike. So far is feels great. The only thing that will be done is the back end will be 14” on a 21.25″ tt frame. The prototype had a 13.75 back end, which worked ok for me, I simply kept my old chain on and the axle was hanging on the back end. But the next one the back end will be longer and the gusset will be trimmed down a bit.
What kind of dimensions are you planning on going with for the frame? I’d imagine you will try and keep it fairly all around since you spend a fair amount of time riding street and park still.
To be honest, I don’t ride park and street half as much as I used to. I really want to design this thing with trails in mind first. That is one reason the next sample I am getting is a 21.5 top tube. Some of my close friends ride that size, and I have wanted to try it for a while. Once you have a bike that big, I think you are fully committed to the trails.
Were there any frames you had used as guides for what you wanted in a frame?
This is really just going to be an updated version of the Tech 2 frame. When I was offered the chance to make a signature frame my original plan was to go back to the 74.5 head tube. But I loved the original Deluxe frame after a few sessions so this going to be more of a revision of that frame.
What kind of special features will the frame have? Removable mounts, tapered tubing, heat treating, butting, gussets, or anything like that? I know Deluxe has been using some real clean head tube and bottom brackets lately.
Two features I really like are the machined head tube and bottom bracket. Mine and Max’s frames will come with removable mounts which is a first for Deluxe. My frame will also have a down tube gusset which is new for a Deluxe frame.
A lot of brands have been going the way of the spanish bottom bracket. Was that something you considered or are you sticking to a mid bottom bracket?
I’m going to go with the mid. I just always felt that the Spanish bearing wore out quicker than the mid.
What kind of graphics will the frame have? Anything special, or just the stock Deluxe logos?
We need to get the names figured out then we can go to town with the graphics. I definitely want it to be inspired by my home city of Pittsburgh, PA.
How about color options? Any Aaron Ross neon action? What about top tube lengths?
Colors haven’t been decided yet, but I like to stay with more dark or earthy tones brown, greens, black, blue, etc. As for top tubes, I’m going to try the 21.5″ and that will probably be the length I run. We haven’t decided on the smaller sizes but I’m sure there will be a 21″ option.
Alright, it’s time to sell yourself. Why should somebody consider picking up your frame over another frame?
If you want something clean and simple with trails in mind check it out. It doesn’t have all the new angles most frames have for street with twitchy front ends and it will have a bit of extra room up front for the taller trail rider as well.
When do you expect the frame to be out? Any guess on the expected cost?
Hopefully it is tried and tested next summer through the trail season and ready before Interbike. The cost is up to boss man, you will have to ask him.
Anything I missed that you want to add?
I just want to thank Mark Noble for giving me this chance and my parents for letting me tear up their yard.
One more…Is the Welcome Jam going on in 2011 or has it been …. fired?
As for new, plans for the Welcome Jam are on hold. It was exactly what I wanted it to be and more. It was a jam that was free to everyone, and all about everyone riding and hanging out together. Not just sitting around and watching 10 pros riding all weekend. But it was too big and too much for my parents to handle this year with around 300 people showing up. It pretty much shut down my Dad’s repair shop for a week. So next year the jam as we know it might have to be on hold. But I’m looking into organizing some kind of competition that can go on with a smaller and more controlled crowd but still enjoy riding for the week end.