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HUTCH's Aluminum Framesets October 1986

"It's going to revolutionize the sport." Says Rich "Hutch" Hutchins. What? you ask. Aluminum frames and forks. Hutch Hi-Performance Products is getting ready to introduce a lightweight pro frame-fork set which will lighten a pro BMX race bike by almost two pounds. Rich Moliterno is currently testing an aluminium pro frame that weighs two pounds, three ounces, and an aluminium fork weighing 17 ounces. By comparison, a standart chromoly  Hutch Pro frame weighs three pounds, eight ounces, while the matching fork weighs one pound, ten ounces.
If the new aluminium frame-and-fork prototypes test okay, their combined weight of three pounds, four ounces will be a full

one pound,14 ounces lighter than the current chromoly versions. The new technology will not come cheap. Hutch will probably put a retail price of over $250 on the frame and fork alone. Aluminum is not new to the BMX industry. SE Racing aluminium P.K. Rippers have been around for years. What is new, according to Hutch, is the type of aluminium used in the frames,and the procces of heat treated them. The new Hutch framesets will use what is known as an "atmospheric-free heat-treating procces" which is used in the space industry, takes 14 hours to complete and costs $24 per bike. The procces supposedly eliminates the problem of metal fatique that plaqued aluminium bikes of old. The new technology is already used in the production of Hutch's new $250 Junior and Mini framesets. 

      Read here the test of the aluminum JR frameset           Read here the interview with the Hutch Lil' Squad

alu Hutches out
Haney's collection

Some interesting words concerning the aluminum framesets

The final nail in the coffin came when Hutch designed a new aluminum racing frame. It was extremely light. (The frame weighed 1lb 9 oz.) However it didn't hold up well. A kid was seriously hurt on one when the frame broke. Hutch was sued. The frame was recalled. The company was handed over to the investor, a man named Richard Bellis. I assume he was also referred to as Bill Bellis since I've heard many people call him that as well.
(from: history of Hutch,www.hutch-bikes.com)

PART OF THE INTERVIEW WITH JEFF HANEY (from: www.hutch-bikes.com)
Why did Hutch sell to Bellis in the first place? I have heard it was regarding legal problems due to a broken prototype frame. Is that true? If so what kind of frame was this and what happened?
I really don't think he wanted to purchase it but he had money in the company and when it went up he got the inventory to make up for his loss as an investor and I really don't know when this happened though. As for the Hutch prototype frame that broke it was a Hutch aluminum frame and fork. Although they didn't make many Hutch did make a few. They had just started to market them and a young kid was hurt badly on one. The frame broke for no reason and to my knowledge amazingly Hutch did not have any liability insurance. They were sued for quite a sum and for a company that was already in the red this just simply put them over. All of the aluminum Hutch bikes were then recalled and destroyed. They were only produced for around 4 months and were absolutely beautiful! I do have a few and they are absolutely the lightest frame and fork combo I have ever felt! The frame dials in at an unbelievable 1lb 9 oz!

Great to see that my parents made a piece in history. You guys have really done your homework, but there is still a couple of un answered questions you guys have. How many 24kt gold bikes were made? there was 3. Plus we still have all the plans (blueprints) to the bikes. Also the information you have on the aluminum bike breaking & Hutch being sued is false. The frames did break, but we were never sued as a result of that. Keep doing a great job on this sight & keep HUTCH alive.

Broken and repaired aluminum Hutch frames


(BMX Plus! Freestyle Spectacular Februari 1987) By now, you've probably heard rumors about the problems at Hutch. People have been calling and writing over the past month, asking the same question: "What's the stoty on Hutch?" Everyone says: "Oh, I thought Hutch was going out of business." To put a stop to this rumor once and for all, I'm telling you that Hutch is going to be around forever.
They're not going belly up. What they have done is filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Act. Translated into English, they ran into some cash probs, lost big bucks on theit aluminum race bike project and needed help getting out of debt. Big Hutch himself tells us that Hutch (the company) will be around as long as there's BMX and freestyle bikes to be sold. He tells us that the sales of Hutch bikes are great, and the company is on its way to recovery. Chapter 11 is a simple reorganization precess that thousand of companies go through every year in the USA. Hutch is here to stay!


(BMX Action July 1987) Hutch has been sold...or been bought,depending on which way you look at it. The new owner is William Bellis,Sr.,a very well-off businessman who flies all over the U.S. in his personal Lear jet and owns 25 different companies--some of them bicycle related.
Richard Hutchins,who will still be running the company,says Bellis has owned Louisville Cycle for quite a while and just purchased Columbus Cycles last year. Hutch (the company) is now considered to be a division of Columbus Cycle,having distribution centers in Columbus,Ohio,Atlanta,Georgia,Chicago,Illinois,and now...Baltimore,Maryland.
Hutch describes the deal as being « Good for us,good for them,and good for everyone. »  He also says that what is going on with the BMX industry right now is simular to what happened in the car industry. « People have always bought their competition. Pretty soon,I'd expect to see five major manufacturers. »
So far,that seems to be the way the things are going--Service Cycle bought Mongoose,West Coast bought Haro,Seattle Bike Supply worked out a deal with Red Line,and now Columbus Cycle purchases Hutch. What'll be next?

1987 Eric Carter's bad feeling

Here is a part out Eric Carter's interview that was published in BMX ACTON December 1987.
« On Hutch,we were out of control! I felt bad at what we did. I mean,I feel bad thinking that we might have had something to do with Hutch having financial difficulties. But look at Woody Itson… I'm not sure,but I heard while they were on tour, the engine in the van ran out of oil and blew up! Hutch asked him,'When was the last time you checked the oil? Why didn't you check the oil?' and Woody said,'You don't pay me to.' I mean we weren't that bad. »

« At the NBL Grands,me,Chris Backus,and Charles went to a restaurant and ate like,75 to 100 dollars worth of food. It was RAD! We had steak,lobster,strawberry daiquiris… At the end of the weekend, Richie just left--he didn't check out. He never did. So my mom and I went to check out and the bill was like, eleven hundred dollars. 'WHOA!' She wigged, full-on! »

« I used to call home all the time on Hutch's credit card,too. On CW we've got to call collect. You have to pay for your own food,too. »