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Full Version: whos got the "real" old-skool builds ?? > VintageBMX Talk > Freestyle BMX
Wondering if anyone out there has done any builds that pre-date the freestyle craze that began in 84 ? Lets see some of the early stuff that peeps would have been riding in the really early days "78-83" before Potts mod, Rotors and all that techy stuff...I cant see enough 1st gen Haros, so post'em if your lucky enough to have one, but I'm really looking for race bikes that would have been used as trick bikes...of course some pics from some of the old zines would be cool too, I'm just curious how they were setting there bikes up, and what kinds of parts were popular in the early days, I didnt get into freestyle till bout 86 and by then we had an entire industry catering to that nitch market. Homemade pegs and any other custom mods that people were doing, what frames and parts if any were prefered...just wonderin !
Maurice Meyer
Awesome idea. Although I wasn't riding from '78 to about 1982 what I saw '82 to '85 was people riding on anything they had. Like anything else, there was an evolution going on and it didn't just change over night. I had a used Haro Gen 1, broke it and went back to my Kuwahara before Freestylin' came out.

Around here in Golden Gate Park, it wasn't originally all about the classic freestyle - flatland and ramps. Most of the riders in the park were racers. The sessions in the park pre-Freestylin' were kind of like meet up, hangout, do some flatland, hit one jump closeby, hit another jump, raid McDonald's, take a street ride to the Presidio for another jump, go down to Fisherman's Wharf do some tricks for the tourists and maybe pass the hat.

The Freestylin' article brought in a whole group of people from a little further out and who came just for the sake of freestyle. Also, contests were happening so people started to focus on freestyle, working on tricks especially for their next contest.

So, while the people were starting to specialize, the bikes were too. But, it didn't happen overnight. Even though a few freestyle bikes came out in 1984, the established brands were still on everyone's mind and not everyone ran out and bought a new bike every year.

Let's talk about the timeline a little. We went to Europe in late 1984 and at that time I was on a TA. The only things that made it a "freestyle" bike were the Skyway EZ bars (1st gen), knee bumpers, a long front cable and some grip tape. Skyway also made up some straight rake forks. We didn't get pegs until we were actually in Europe. By that time, the first Venice and Huntington contests had already happened and pretty much everyone was pegless. 1985 was when things really started to change bike-wise.

As far as mods and preferences/fads go, some of the main things I remember happening to frestylify your race bike were:

1. Coaster brake. Since most of the people around here were racers, not a lot of people actually rode coaster here.

2. Tuffs. Same for tuffs. Only a few people in GG park were on Tuffs until the real freestyle boom hit. I just happened to have them.

3. Front brake. Front brakes were a pretty obvious first mod to make a freestyle bike. You had to get the thing to clear your frame though which usually meant getting rid of the auto adjuster and getting a long front brake cable.

4. Seat. Most people I knew weren't into the Aero seats for freestyle. Bob Haro put chainring bolts in his for grip but I never saw anyone get into that.

5. Seat to handlebar alignment. Around here eveyone wanted to do track stands and we all thought you had to have your seat come close enough to your bar end to be able to hold both.

6. Tires. Stadium tires pretty much said you were a freestyler but I personally liked Snake Bellies since they were pretty good all around.

7. Grip tape. Grip tape helped a lot with all the frame crawling and standing. We did get a little silly with it but I still will always grip tape the top of a platform.

8. Knee bumpers. We all put ten speed foam grips on our handlebars for padding.

Other fads around here were:

1. CW bars. That high crossbar certainly didn't make sense for freestyle but we were all breaking bars and those things looked buffed. They broke too though. Ha.

2. Boss frames. Damon Frost rode a custom Boss so everyone wanted a Boss around here. I had a Patterson for a while. There was some thinking that the low top tube gave you more room for tricks.

3. TA frames. More than a few people around here will tell you that the TA XL was the best ramp/jumping bike they ever had. These were being freestyled on into the late 80's then the Dirt Brothers bought Skyway's old stick and re-branded them.

Darcy Langlois and myself doing some backhops. My bros Tommy Guerrero and Art Liboon in the background. Darcy and Art are on Redline MXII's, Tommy's on a polished Race Inc and I'm on my Kwi with GT bars and forks.

Damon Frost and Vander. Damon on his custom Boss and Vander's on a Schwinn Sting.

A better look at Damon's bike.
i,m currently building a old school t/a with skyway acessories platform and pegs/mags and coaster kinda like petersons.............kinda what you guys are talking about hey maurice....its nice to hear your stories!!!!!!!!!i enjoy reading them!!!!
does this count?

yup my photo and scan taking skills stink!
Bedlam Bikes
I dont have any real old school builds ready to display - yet...

However, here's a pic of me from 1982 on my Hutch race bike. I remember doing framestands like this was much tougher without any platforms!

Here ya go, my 1st Gen US '84 Sport. The serail # is TEE 0083HS. This is one of two known to exist! No Potts Mod, pegs or anything on this bike.

thats it? thats all you could come up with dan
does anyone have any skate -pool bikes from the early '80's to show?

I remember the articles showing Torkers, Kuwaharas, etc riding the early parks and ramps.
I think it was Lou who suggested a special class for these types of bikes.

Really love the transition from race converted bikes to freestyle specific framesets. Today, seems so odd that all you needed were front brakes, grip tape, coaster brake and knobless tires. Can we get more pics of bikes and old school pics of "trick riding"
Brian P
maurice, thanks for that run down, its always cool to hear how it happened

and BTW, is that tommy guerrero from team powell?
Maurice, thanks for the history lesson! Very cool info indeed. Regarding those TA's you mentioned ridden by The Dirt Bros, here's an image i found from Plus! 1991, Vic Murphy:

In some weird way i always liked the somewhat trashy look of the early 90s bikes using "leftover" stock from the 80s.

I guess I had that comming, huh Lee! LOL!
I remember modifying my Predator. It was the fad to have a number plate on the bike, with or without a number, but with as many stickers on it as possible. Also At one point, before there were really any pegs on the market, my buddy and I fabricated our own pegs out of pipe, welded to a big nut that fit our axle. They were covered with grip tape as well and painted green and purple. They didn't last too long, but served the purpose. Also, all stock decals were removed and checkered decals installed in place of them. Once in awhile we also fit the old gooseneck pads over the lower corners of our bars to save our knees. I'll post pics osme day of that bike and some others that show what was typical.
yeah Dan we're even.. you know you have some of the rarest builds out there no kidding around.
Excellent post, Maurice--thanks for that.

Here's a shot of my brother "Iceman" in '83

...and a few months later with different parts

He used the mags specifically for FS and race wheels the rest of the time. White Tuff IIs and front brakes were added shortly after these pics.

Backwards frame stand

Surfin' the dirt on his '85 Cyclecraft

He never owned a freestyle specific bike or even pegs, but still kicked bazoonies in the local flatland comps! He still has the Cyclecraft and recently did a replica of the quad
Heres my bro's Redline he used to race. I know this is alittle later probly 85? The bike will date itself. What is it by the way? 500a,600a. Decked out with front, and back pegs. Front brake. A little grip tape on the chainstays. Supposedly this bikes still floating around close by, but I haven't been able to track it down.
I love the pre 84 freestyle. I had a Team Murray decked out like Osborns Murray. There should be a class at Rockford for these. Like the Taco Bell PK Ripper Buff bike. That bike was in the racing catagory but had more attention from the freestylers.
Heres a few pre-stylers......
Eddie Fiola: Quadangle, Torker, Kuwahara
RL Osborn: Kuwahara, Team Murray
MikeBuff: Quadangle, PK Ripper
Pat Romano: Mongoose
Maurice Meyers: Kuwahara (famous Curb Dog # plate)
Woody Itson: Basset
Matt Hoffman: Skyway T/A (post 84)
Maurice Meyer
Wow, thanks for including me in that pack. Yeah, Eddie's Kuwi would be a really nice build. Also, Hugo on the MCS:

I forgot to mention that Hugo and his buddies from San Jose were the first freestyle team I ever met. They were all on MCS bikes and ripping big time. One of my most memorable days riding back then was when they showed up at the park. We tore up the city then did a big bike pile at the Pizza place.

Those were the wonder years for me. Didn't have a car yet and hadn't really seen a lot of riding out of the city yet so any riders coming around - especially rippers like these guys - was like a fresh transfusion or something. Like riding adrenaline for weeks to come.

The only tricks I remember were the wind surfer and some huge tabled bunny hops off curbs.

Who can forget that Curb Dog machine. Now thats a trick build. Finding those acordian lever covers would be a serious hunt. I`d build it if I had a better and side look at it. Somebody post some pics of rides like those, not just the magazine ones but personal ones too.
That pic of Maurice doing the endo on the Kuwi is pure old school freestyle. I have thought about trying to replicate that build myself. Like lou said those lever covers would be tough.
eric hestermann
1983 mike buff taco bell special, as featured in the april 83 issue of bmxa, bike was set up for trick riding, note the suntour coasterbrake,and thanks lou, this bike does need to be in the freestyle catagory at rockford.
top thread!!

around mid 1984, there was a guy near to where i lived who made a massive batch of screw on "trick nuts". i think he was an engineer, or fabricator or something like that. anyway we all bought some (they were £1 a pair) and that made our lowly supermarket/catalogue bikes into freestyle machines. it was backhops galore, on the pegs

there was one "crazy" guy who even fitted them to the front wheel of his bike! however none of us had the first idea what to do with them on the front.

before we could buy pegs in the shops, we would also make them by getting a mate's dad to weld bits of seatpost tube to wheel nuts. god only knows how we got them to hold the wheel tight enough.

one time i made a platform for my bike - in the same style as the se platform - out of plywood, held on with zip ties

great days

[ November 30, 2006, 02:45 AM: Message edited by: theRuler ]
Well this thread is me all over. I loved the skatepark and needed a bike to handle the punishment. All built from brand new parts from the shop that sponsored me.
I still have it too.
The second bike was my street thrasher.
1st up
Supergoose frame
Bottema Skatepark forks (real ones lol)
GT Santa Ana pre knurled Pro bars
MX 2 stem.
Flight cranks (pinchless)
Alloy hubbed front tuff II (sometimes I used a graphite)
Rear is a steel hubbed Tuff II
Mongoose SS post (I busted the DX post)

my next build is going to be to the style of one the bikes sitting in the that pool!

should be done when I get the bottemas back from chroming!

[ December 01, 2006, 10:22 AM: Message edited by: hemidart1 ]
Smokin Endo
I know you have seen this before but I guess it fits in on this thread

My 1983 Diamond Back Silver Streak Freestyler

And my 85 GT performer (not really what your asking for but defiantly built with that old school flavor that this thread has going

I like this angle LOL

my camera sucks
LOL...your camera might suck, but your builds rule

Buffs Taco Bell Spc, is a all time classic, one of my fave bikes ever...

Very cool to hear some of the stories from the guyz who lived it, must have been great times.

the "skatepark" pic pretty much represents the era, I wish I was there...notice a bunch of those bikes are running "Tuff 1s"...

this turned out to be a pretty Rad thread...keep the bikes, pics, and stories coming
..I've wanted to do a RL replica Murray for a while...
bmx joe
I remember back in 84 and down when I was living in Hawaii guys were riding race bikes like:
Takara's (top of the line race frames)
Mongoose line like
Super Goose
Pro Class
and pretty much of 83-79 Team,Calif, and Mongoose nickle frames.
Those of us that were not that fortunete were on the old Mongoose,Redlines,Huffy etc.

Freestyle add ons or what made your race bike a Freestyle bike was:

Skyway Tuffs. Sometimes it was a Tuff in the front and alloy rim in the back or viseversa. Some guys just sported alloys.
Laid back seat post
Tuff Neck aluminum axle nuts. they had anodized ones and were almost larger enough to some what stand on.
Number plate with a bunch of stickers on it. Mainly Haro number plates.
Flite donuts
Flite or Cal lite Pad set.
Front brakes- but I remember using the Shimano Tourney brakes because it had more clearance then the Dia Compe MX line. That was before the Potts mod.
Shimano DX or SX pedels
Suntour pedals
one piece cranks with Tioga sealed bottom bracket.
aluminum power disc.

Then when I moved to California the race bikes I seen turned to Freestyle bikes were:

PK Rippers
Diamond Backs

When Freestyle frames came out it was pretty much

GT Performers and Hutch Trick Stars along with Dyno.
Boss Race bikes and Patterson's were popular at
the same time.
Popular bars were Mike Dominguez and Woody Itson Hutch bars.

Thats all that I jog from my memorie for now!
Endo, those 2 bikes are SICK!!!!!!
Smokin Endo
Thanks I plan to build a few more bikes along those lines before I hang it up. I love that era and how it was all left to the imagination. Nothing really to go on because it was the start of it all.. Ya Know

I like Coastvl's bikes
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