The Process - Jeff Wescott and the Mutiny 'Comb'
As sweet as honey...
16 Dec 2014
Interview by Wes McGrath / Photos by Derrick Riggs / Intro by Fred Murray
Whole colonies of Honey Bees throughout the world are dying; it's a pretty bad situation. Without those stingy little bastards we'd lose 80% of our plants, thus causing our fruit and vegetables to be greatly diminished. I mean, you can't eat Reece's Pieces all day. Apart from giving a big middle finger to pesticides and planting more species like bee balm and stonecrop, there's not a lot we can really do first-hand. Mutiny Bikes rider and all round nice guy, Jeff Wescott is all too aware. He's a keen appreciator of honey and its furry fathers, which explains the appropriate naming of his signature frame, The 'Comb'. We got together with Jeff to see what's up with his frame and the process involved in turning a concept into reality. That last bit has nothing to do with bees...
How long did it take after first becoming a part of Mutiny did you get your signature parts?
I would say probably 6 months or so... (Note: Jeff only started riding for Mutiny In January 2014) I mentioned to GAZ when I first built up a Mutiny that I thought the bars were a bit smaller than I was used to. Then, after the first few projects that I was a part of went really well, GAZ hit me up about doing a set of signature bars. I didn't know what to say!! The even crazier part was only a couple days later out of the blue, he asked me about doing a frame.
Have you ever had any signature parts before this Comb series? Have you had parts with any other companies?
No, and honestly, I never would have thought in a million years that I would have not only a signature bar but a signature frame as well. It's really just such a great honor to have that opportunity.
"I absolutely love it. Couldn't have turned out any better!" - Jeff Wescott
What are the most important traits of your parts that make them your signature line?
I have always been into the classic two-piece bars over the rest. I feel like the only difference between all of the two-piece bars are the box shape and bend. Mutiny already had an awesome two-piece, so the COMB's are essentially just a bit bigger than the existing ones. For being a 9.2-inch rise bar, I am very happy with the balanced overall look of them!
On the frame, I have always been into the look and feel of longer, roomy bikes. I haven't ridden anything under a 21-inch frame for probably 6 plus years now. I've always thought the worst feeling ever was slamming your knee on your stem... When Reed Stark was staying at our house a couple years back, he left me with his purple 21.5 BSD XL frame. Even though Reed stands nearly a whole foot taller than me, I fell in love with the bigger bike. So with the COMB kit, I wanted it to cater all riders tall and small.
I also felt that with a lot of longer trail style frames on the market, they usually come with a backend that is in turn longer, making it harder to manual and hop. Also, with the evolution of street riding today, some of the street frames coming out have what I would describe as “uncomfortably short” rear end lengths. So another key element for the COMB is even though the top tube length is a bit longer, the rear end length compensates which results in a balanced overall feel to the frame. I am on the first prototype right now, and am very impressed with how perfect everything feels!
What came first, the color or the name?
The name. From the moment GAZ asked me about designing a signature part, I knew I really wanted to have the kit themed around honey. GAZ, Rich and myself threw some ideas around and kind of came to a group consensus on the name “COMB”. I fell in love, and couldn't be happier with the outcome! The color of the frame reflects the theme amazingly. When that honey color shines in the sunlight, it glistens like a jar of that sweet raw gold!
Who designed the graphics?
Richard Forne... He has been helping out Mutiny for a while now with our media stuff. He was awesome to work with and did a wonderful job on designing unique graphics that fit the theme perfectly. Thanks so much for doing an amazing job Rich!
This may sound like a stupid question, but we were always said there is no such thing as a stupid question, right?So did you have and intricate roll in the overall design of the bars, frame and stickers?
Very much so... I fully designed all of the frame/bar geometry and got to select most of the available options (wishbone/removable brakes/color/etc.). With the graphics, I collaborated directly with Rich. I threw him ideas on what I envisioned, and he would intertwine mine with his own and just run with it. We both agreed to keep the basic frame graphics simple and clean, but I really wanted the frame to come with something extra to make it stand out. We decided to do hex-shaped stickers that would be themed around honey, and lay out in a honeycomb shape, to include with all the frames. I am beyond happy with the outcome of everything we have done with The COMB project! Huge thanks to both GAZ and Rich for all of your hard work!
Besides all the technicalities, what does it mean to you as a rider to be supported by such a great brand like Mutiny enough to have the honor of signature parts
Honestly as I mentioned earlier, I would have never imagined myself to be a part of such a well-respected brand like Mutiny. Let alone being involved to the point where you get signature product... It still doesn't even seem real to me. Only thing I can say is that it is an unbelievable honor and I am very grateful to be part of the family!
Does this motivate you more to ride, and put in for your sponsor, as opposed to not having an opportunity for signature parts?
Most certainly! I wouldn't say, “as opposed to not having the opportunity for signature parts” though because the way I see it, we would all be doing what we do regardless... But as you get older and the reality of life sets in a little bit more, you realize that time flies by and your opportunity to ride bikes like we do gets less and less. Whether that comes from being hurt, living situation, lifestyle changes, not having access to a vehicle, or working a part time/full time job... Whatever you find yourself doing, it is pretty much preventing you from doing what you're actually passionate about in this world. I really feel life is way too short not to do what you really love, and if you can't do what you love for a living, there needs to be a balance of doing what you love, and doing what you have to do...
This is pretty much where I am at right now. Although, I might not get a chance to go out and film all day every day, but I find joy in just going out and cruising a new area to explore and find new spots. I've been way more in to logging spots and making a list of stuff I want to go to for projects, which is something I had never really done too much before being with Mutiny. So to answer your question, it does make me way more motivated to put more time/thought/energy/passion into riding BMX in general, which is something I feel can positively relate to other aspects of life as well. I'm very appreciative of this opportunity!
Now that you have your new whip all built up and shred ready, how does it feel under your feet? Is it everything that you would have hoped it to be?
Absolutely! From the second I pulled it out of the box in the Arizona sunshine and saw that fresh paint beaming, to building it up and getting used to the feel, I absolutely love it. Couldn't have turned out any better!
Was there any main inspiration that sparked this idea for your Comb frame before it was even drawn up for design?
Well to put it very simply, honey. When I moved down to Arizona, I was having really bad allergies. My good friend and honey fiend, Joey Motta, started sorting me out with this raw, local, unpasteurized and unfiltered honey to help with them. The addiction began... I started adding it to my daily diet and was amazed at how it made me feel, how it virtually eliminated my allergies and also aided with other conditions like inflammation and healing wounds. I started looking into honey more, and became more intrigued by the overall health benefits of this amazing food. Honey has so many “anti-properties” that it can pretty much be considered a cure-all when it comes to most ailments. It's pretty much one of the best things you can put in your body. If you get a minute, search the health benefits of honey, chances are you'll become intrigued as well.
The COMB idea came around trying to find a name for the kit. A couple of names were floating around, but once the “COMB” got brought up the decision to go with that was unanimous. After a bit of research, we discovered that the comb (or stacked hex) is one of the most efficient and structurally sound shapes occurring in nature, which is why the honeybees use them for their combs. At that point it all made sense...
"Also, with the evolution of street riding today, some of the street frames coming out have what I would describe as 'uncomfortably short' rear end lengths." - Jeff Westcott
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