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90's GT Designer saying hey, Old Memories I just found
Souch
post Apr 22 2012, 01:39 PM
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Hi Guys,
My first post here and honestly I am not a big forum guy, so sorry if I mess up on some of the rules.

What got me here was a flashback of memories of my days at GT after cleaning out my closet and finding a box full of old GT stuff from when I worked there from 92 as an Industrial Designer, till 99 when I left as the Senior Design Engineer. I did a quick search for Mid School BMX and found this site.

I was the first of the new generation at GT while Gary, Dan and Buzz were still running the manufacturing of the Steel shop and Gilbert was running the Alloy frames on Gothard Street HB. I started soon after the move from Container lane.

So much was changing back then as we transitioned from steel to alloy, quill stems the A-head and pit-bull brakes to cantis. I was defiantly fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time. Being able to work on all the lines from GT, Powerlite, Robinson, Auburn, Dyno, components, frames ect... was great and never a boring moment. Come on, how many people can actually say Gary Turner taught them how to weld?

So to make a super long story short for now, I found a bunch of old magazines, pictures, slides, of some of the early projects I worked on, even some of my original pencil sketches of the Powerlite monocoque frame.

I will try to make some scans of it all and post it up for you guys to check out.

Also if you have any GT 90's behind the scene questions you want the blanks filled in then let me know, and I will do my best to kick the memories back in gear.
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bmxism
post Apr 22 2012, 02:27 PM
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Welcome to the site. You can be sure I'll be picking your brain at some point soon.
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Bro78
post Apr 22 2012, 02:54 PM
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QUOTE (bmxism @ Apr 22 2012, 03:27 PM) *
Welcome to the site. You can be sure I'll be picking your brain at some point soon.


Very Cool, Thanks for posting.
As an industrial designer (toy industry) I would love to get a feel for the reality of working for a bike company, especially 90's Gt.
What where the challenges?
What are you up to now?
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Souch
post Apr 22 2012, 03:44 PM
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QUOTE (Bro78 @ Apr 22 2012, 01:54 PM) *
Very Cool, Thanks for posting.
As an industrial designer (toy industry) I would love to get a feel for the reality of working for a bike company, especially 90's Gt.
What where the challenges?
What are you up to now?


It was a bit of a tough time at first to be a degreed Designer and thrown into the old school mix of characters GT had working then. Gary originally worked for a musical instrument company and used the shop after hours to build bikes for his son, Dan was an ex hardcore biker who transformed himself into an extremely talented self taught fabricator. Buzz was salty as could be and ran the production for a long time. Gilbert was a aluminum master and responsible for the PK Ripper and other early Alloy BMX frames before going to GT and building the Powerlite frames. So here comes this young kid who they thought was going to tell them how to do things. Well I was smart enough to know I was not so smart, so I listened and learned the ways and whys they did things like they did. I remember building one of my first prototype frames I designed, it looked pretty crappy and the guys had a good time watching me fumble around the shop. I remember Buzz saying, "you going to ride that thing" I said Hell no I wouldn't trust anything I made... That finally broke the ice and they knew I wasn't some a-hole kid who thought he knew it all. From then on I was able to use what I learned in school and mix it with their "old school" way of doing things. So it made for some good stuff, and the guys taught me so much.

At first I did sketches and hand built models like an Industrial designer would have been taught, but eventually just made stuff in the shop when I had an idea. Later on I transitioned from sketches, models and prototypes to Auto-Cad to Pro-Engineer and CNC, my job became much more Engineering based than just design.

GT R&D was just a few people at this time in the early 90's, eventually there were about 30 people in R&D when I left. Big changes in a short period of time. It was defiantly the golden years under Richard.

Again the experience was great not only with the guys in manufacturing but Marketing as well, Big E, Woody, Pete as well as all the sponsored riders gave me much of the challenges that needed to be addressed. I always felt the product from GT was not just one person doing designs, but a true group effort to make the best bike in the business. So please keep in mind when I say my bikes I worked on, do take it so direct. I could not have done anything without the great team at GT during this time. I may have put the pen to paper, but the guys told me what needed to be done and why, we all worked on it together. This is what makes a company great, a good team.

I am still in the bike business working for a manufacture of mostly high end bikes. I direct the R&D department and work mostly with the carbon frames structures and manufacturing of carbon bikes.
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JordanJR
post Apr 22 2012, 05:05 PM
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GT happens to be a huge-force right now. I've always, always liked them & when I caught a story about Brian lopes as a Mtn. Bike rider for GT a long-time ago, it was all I needed to make the decision to get back riding. He had his HT Slalom, full DH, and a 20" BMX with a rear-disk and a couple gears hanging off it. How could anyone not want to ride again after seeing this, coming from BMX as I had? Lopes had moved on, but nowa rider named Kyle Strait is filling in Lopes' shoes with Dual Slalom ripping runs; GT's DH is stellar with the Atherton Family. Dan Atherton does not do much DH, but instead is great at 4-Cross and Slalom. Kyle goes for Slopestyle (that nutty jumping stuff) and will charge DH. He loves to pedal though, Lopes-reference right there! The rest of the Atherton's, Rachel and Gee, swallow DH runs and are awesome.


Where GT is in BMX today may not just crush the sport and dominate, GT Bikes have been lasting memories of the Sport and likely will continue just-so. Eric Rupe is a Hero from my day, so GT keeps an image to be proud of. Seeing Kyle win Sea Otter over the weekend made me want a GT. Yeah, it looked that fun!! Who knows, I may just leave Vermonster for racing BMX someday. Just no-way right now though. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/to_take_umbrage.gif)
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Souch
post Apr 23 2012, 09:28 PM
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I stated scanning the pics and I will try to remember some details

More to come

This is a add page with some of the first parts I worked on.

I remember I sculpted the Drop nosesaddle out of clay and fiberglass. One day Richard comes up to the shop to see what's going on. He takes a look at the saddle and laughs, says it looks like a d*ck.

The Buzz Saw sprocket was pretty cool with the scroll work from a ball endmill and the anodized then machined finish.

The seat post with the guts that slipped, and scary Big Man pedals that were actually designed by a old time machinist named Ken Ferrel

The AA pro tire was an attempt to change the mind of every pro away from comp III

Misc. quill stems and the first A-head stem - I think GT was the first to do a threadless fork?

This post has been edited by Souch: Apr 23 2012, 09:29 PM
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freshmale
post Apr 24 2012, 03:21 AM
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QUOTE (Souch @ Apr 24 2012, 03:28 AM) *
I stated scanning the pics and I will try to remember some details

More to come

This is a add page with some of the first parts I worked on.

I remember I sculpted the Drop nosesaddle out of clay and fiberglass. One day Richard comes up to the shop to see what's going on. He takes a look at the saddle and laughs, says it looks like a d*ck.

The Buzz Saw sprocket was pretty cool with the scroll work from a ball endmill and the anodized then machined finish.

The seat post with the guts that slipped, and scary Big Man pedals that were actually designed by a old time machinist named Ken Ferrel

The AA pro tire was an attempt to change the mind of every pro away from comp III

Misc. quill stems and the first A-head stem - I think GT was the first to do a threadless fork?


Welcome to the site, you will be a very popular member on here. I have sent you PM regarding a model of BMX that is very hard to find out about. Look forward to your reply.

This post has been edited by freshmale: Apr 24 2012, 03:22 AM
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mainbiker
post Apr 24 2012, 06:17 AM
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Souch,

Sounds like you may know my brother BW.
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Souch
post Apr 24 2012, 09:19 AM
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QUOTE (mainbiker @ Apr 24 2012, 05:17 AM) *
Souch,

Sounds like you may know my brother BW.


Yep, whats up KW
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freshmale
post Apr 24 2012, 07:43 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Do you know anyone, who was still at GT when they had that clean out?
Just wondering if you could help me find that frame i messaged you about. I am hoping it wants tossed out. I don't think it would have been.

Josh
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