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Ransom
Ransom UberDork
12/23/13 12:08 p.m.

Okay, for better or worse I was fixated on a Dyno (Compe II?) when I was... Fourteenish? And then there were a bunch of other bikes I drooled on, of course.

Fast forward to now. I have no rational need of this bike. The cheapie CL trials bike already spends more time on the ceiling hook than it should. But I can't shake the desire for a 20" wheel, '80s-tastic ride.

Wheels: Tuff IIs. Which raises a question: Was there ever a brake that worked with these things? This is also one of the items that brought the term "resto-mod" to mind. Just as you can Megasquirt an MGB, you can put V-brake bosses on anything... How about discs? Teh Googles say it's been done. Skyway even makes their utility wheels set up for discs. I just emailed them about 20" Tuff II availability of such a feature (oddly, their site has almost no product details, just "contact us" links...)

Of course, I thought Peregrines were even cooler at the time, but I've settled on the Tuff IIs.

That's probably the fiddliest bit. But what about the basics? What frame to start with? I don't need all the flatland add-ons that I was so enamored of in '85. I might use pegs on the axles if the frame and fork work with them, but at this point I'd probably just be jumping curbs, trying to learn that endo and front wheel hop, and maybe taking it to The Lumberyard (where I'd lame around on the "bunny slope" stuff...)

What are the geometric differences between an old "race" bike, a freestyle bike, and a modern street/jump BMX bike? Are there any? What comes closest to general-riding useful for a 6', 190lb 42-year-old? EDIT: So do I try to find some random (or specific) old CL frame, or start with one of the retro-repro Skyway or similar?

Anyhow, just curious whether anybody has any thoughts, or to hear whatever tangents this brings to mind...

mndsm
mndsm UltimaDork
12/23/13 1:06 p.m.

I owned the clone of this bike at one point, save for mine had 4pc kneesavers and bear traps instead of the standard GT flats- I miss that bike. Heavy and awesome.

Ransom
Ransom UberDork
12/23/13 1:11 p.m.

More fodder:

Ransom
Ransom UberDork
12/23/13 1:14 p.m.

I shouldn't have sold my Bontrager. It may not have been everything I wanted it to be, but I'd totally take it back for the piddling amount I sold it for...

mndsm
mndsm UltimaDork
12/23/13 1:21 p.m.

The second bike in, in pink- is the holy grail as far as I'm concerned..... Check out the early Diamonback Mike Dominguez's as well.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury MegaDork
12/23/13 1:40 p.m.

For a resto mod version of a late 80s/early 90s BMX bike, Id look at a set of real double wall 48 spoke wheels. Superpros are the best of the early 90s stuff. For a more modern wheel, look at some BFRs or the like.

Cranks are pretty much wide open. Profiles are my favorite. Primo Hollowbites are decent as well. Either can be had on the cheap off the local C-list.

Brakes? V brake adapters can be had for cheap. U brakes would be more freestyle-genre correct. Tektro Linear spring U brakes are my favorite.

Pegs? Well, I dunno...3/8 axles and thin gauge dropouts are a bad combo for pegs that will support body weight.

Frame? I got into BMX a year or 3 before the Xgames began. Maybe 96? So the frames were already starting to beef up by then...Standard STA was the bike to get. Sturdy frame, small gussets, decent strength/weight ratio. Standard had the Bicycle Motocross frameset that was popular with racers. Other big hitters of that day were GT Fueler, S&M Holmes, redline was still doing things back then too. A Dyno VFR was real common as a hand me down at that time when you couldnt afford one of those I mentioned above. Everybody had an older brother or neighborhood kid that had one, and could be had pretty cheap.

As far as geometry, BMX freestyle bikes have gotten steeper and steeper top tubes, shorter seat tubes, and much shorter chain and seat stays...this translates into a front end that feels higher, and a CG that feels more under your knees instead of out in front of them. Makes it easier to pull up/manual, and gives you more control/stability in the air.

The latest arms race in BMX has been weight/minimalism. Bikes have smaller and smaller sprokets, less brake accoutrements on the frame (cable routers etc), and overall thinner tubing. OEM freeheels are all but a thing of the past, as well as American Bottom Brackets. Euro bottom brackets and cassette wheels are lighter, and allow for a smaller gearset while keeping gear ratios almost the same.

Its been about 2 years since I rode my BMX in earnest...kinda missing it these days. A mod trials bike has been piquing my interests lately!

PHeller
PHeller UberDork
12/23/13 2:05 p.m.

A good question would be, "why?"

If your looking to ride something that looks old but acts new, the geometry of the old bike is what makes it look old, so it will always ride like the old bike, regardless of the new parts.

IF the goal is to make the old bike ride better, and now you've got an adult's salary to pay for those improvements, then feel free to buy an overpriced old bike and attempt to add newer lighters parts to it.

If you want to ride a bike that has all the agility of a BMX bike but is a little more comfortable, you can do pretty the same stuff just as cheaply and more comfortably on a $500 MTB-BMX.

Ransom
Ransom UberDork
12/23/13 2:18 p.m.

In reply to PHeller:

It's a fair question, and like most resto-mod stuff, the answer doesn't come down neatly to one thing, or neatly at all.

Some of it is down to my limited experience with newer BMX bikes (and by this time, those are old now, as well. My '98ish Bontrager was an anomaly, but my other friends with DKs and so forth, their bikes just felt harsh and heavy to me). So from that standpoint, I almost feel like I want something that rides more like an old bike. OTOH, there have been hints in this thread that BMX bikes have gotten lighter again in the last decade?

So with no other real frame of reference, I go back to the bikes that imprinted on more, but with the desire for things like working brakes. I will not be doing any giant air, and don't need a super heavily-built bike meant to take big landings...

Of course, at the end, you've lost me with terminology... MTB-BMX? Are you referring to the hardtail, 26" wheel dirt jumper type bikes that basically look like overgrown BMX bikes? They rent those at the Lumberyard, and they're neat, but with the 26" wheels they feel unwieldy compared to my recollections of BMX bikes.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/23/13 2:47 p.m.

If you're actually going to ride it, I'd go with a modern frame. The ones I grew up with are just too wimpy and small for the 2013 version of me. One day I'll finish my Kappa, too--vintage looks but with modern geometry. Somewhere I have some graphite Tuffs for it, too.

Or, what about a cruiser? I looooove my SE Floval Flyer. Vintage looks but a modern feel. That one probably needs some Tuffs, too.

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 HalfDork
12/23/13 4:02 p.m.

David read my mind here.

I had a CW California Freestyle with Tuff II's and Dia Compe 990's- I had a TERRIBLE time getting the brakes to bite on the wheels. I had to keep them very clean, and periodically scuff the pad surface on the rim and the pad itself with light sand paper. It did the trick but was a PITA.

Plus, they were heavy. Like real heavy. Had I not been so stuck on the looks a 48 spoke rim would have worked better.

I last bought a 20" BMX bike in 2002 or so. Those frames, as well as the vintage ones are short- too short for me (I'm 6' 190#). I went with an XL sized frame and it made a huge difference. That bike was a K2 Shovel.

You could go back and look at what frames the pros rode back in the day, and focus on the larger riders like Gary "the Lumberjack" Ellis.

An SE cruiser in on my all time want list to this day. Vintage looks, good geometry and quality.

Currently I ride a Trek Mamba 29er. It is a ton of fun!

I want to say GT, Robinson, Auburn and Redline all made XL sized frames.

PHeller
PHeller UberDork
12/23/13 4:05 p.m.
Ransom wrote: Of course, at the end, you've lost me with terminology... MTB-BMX? Are you referring to the hardtail, 26" wheel dirt jumper type bikes that basically look like overgrown BMX bikes? They rent those at the Lumberyard, and they're neat, but with the 26" wheels they feel unwieldy compared to my recollections of BMX bikes.

Otherwise known at as a "Dirt Jumper" in the MTB world.

They "feel" unwieldy, but if you watch many of the best riders in the world these days they can pull the exact same stuff on a 26" as they can only a 20".

Perhaps you're looking to hop back on an old bike and suddenly regain all the skills you've lost, and if anything I think getting used to such a small bike will be harder and more uncomfortable than attempting to grow accustom to a newer, 26" bike.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/23/13 4:13 p.m.

And if I were to buy a new one today, this is so tempting: http://www.planetbmx.com/shop/complete-bikes/24-bmx/2014-se-racing-floval-flyer-retro-looptail-bike/prod_1665.html

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
12/23/13 4:56 p.m.

I'll also recommend going with a modern frame. Unlike many, I still have my old BMX bike from 30 years ago and it's maybe an hour or so from being rideable. As much as I can't bear to part with it, I know I can never really ride again - at 5' 10" I simply don't fit on it anymore - the bb to stem length is too short. I have a '98 Gary Fisher "Lush Rush" (more of a race bike) with a few upgrades (Profile cranks & DX/Mavic wheels), but most importantly, the frame can actually be ridden by an adult.

Ransom
Ransom UberDork
12/23/13 5:06 p.m.
PHeller wrote: They "feel" unwieldy, but if you watch many of the best riders in the world these days they can pull the exact same stuff on a 26" as they can only a 20".

I learned a long time ago not to use the best riders in the world as a yardstick They and I are playing in different stadiums located on different planets. Also, I'm pretty sure gravity's stronger on mine.

PHeller wrote: Perhaps you're looking to hop back on an old bike and suddenly regain all the skills you've lost, and if anything I think getting used to such a small bike will be harder and more uncomfortable than attempting to grow accustom to a newer, 26" bike.

My skills sucked to start with, and I doubt they'll come rushing back... I have a 26" cross country mountain bike and a 24" trials bike now, and still feel like something more compact could be fun... Again, in much the same way that a resto-mod '64 Valiant doesn't make nearly as much sense as a E36 M3 in terms of $/function, that's not the whole picture. There is totally an illogical, possibly stupid, desire to have a bike that at least references the aesthetics of the bikes I was so fascinated with.

All that said, I'm just explaining my tendency toward some questionable choices. I'm a some unknown way from acting on any of this, and I very much appreciate the feedback and will be considering everything anybody says on here. The idea is not just to have something to hang on the wall and look at, so I do need to enjoy riding it, whatever that takes.

David's Floval Flyer link is certainly intriguing, though I have to say I'm pretty put off by the tan...

Ransom
Ransom UberDork
12/23/13 5:14 p.m.

Damn. Last year's Floval Flyer is red with Tuffs...

http://www.planetbmx.com/shop/complete-bikes/24-bmx/2013-se-racing-floval-flyer-retro-looptail-bike/prod_1433.html

The 7-spoke 24" Tuffs look pretty wrong to me, though...

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
12/23/13 5:45 p.m.

Now if I were going retro, I always wanted one of these:

http://www.planetbmx.com/shop/complete-bikes/20-bmx-retro/2014-se-racing-quadangle-retro-looptail-bike/prod_1664.html

Ian F
Ian F UltimaDork
12/23/13 5:49 p.m.

Or one of these if there was a track to race on around here:

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/23/13 5:59 p.m.

Mine is more brown than tan.

(This isn't mine, but mine is identical except now has chrome handlebars.)

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 HalfDork
12/23/13 6:10 p.m.

I highly approve of all the SE's listed here.

The Quad Angle blew my mind when I first saw it.

This was my dream bike, but I don't know if it came in an XL frame:

20130421_174830_zps4cb85a99.jpg (1024×768)

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/23/13 6:22 p.m.

I used to ride with a friend who had an all-white Quad--white Z-Rims, even.

Rusnak_322
Rusnak_322 HalfDork
12/23/13 11:02 p.m.

I raced that exact chrome Hutch Pro Racer back in the early 1980s. Also had a freestyler in white.

I want another bike. My full suspension mountain bike is getting beat up, and I don't know if it is worth putting money into. I saw a few 24" bmx bikes on Craig's, but have no experience with them.

I don't think I could live with jump bike and the low seat height. I mostly ride with my kids in the development and show off to neighbors (I can do 1/4 mile plus long wheelies).

Anyone know how a 24" bike will work for a 5'10" 200 lb guy doing tricks?

Travis_K
Travis_K UltraDork
12/24/13 2:04 a.m.

Skyway mags are really pretty awful compared to normal spoked wheels from what I remember, although it looks like they make a 14mm cassette hub version now, so running them with a modern frame and gearing setup would be possible.

If something that looks more 90s than 80s is ok, I would say a Standard Trailboss would be a good choice. Most of the 80s frames are pretty short for someone 6 feet tall. Don't forget the tall bars and hard plastic seat too.

http://shopstandardbyke.bigcartel.com/product/trailboss

http://www.odysseybmx.com/catalog/handlebars/lumberjack-xl/

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DOMINATOR-BMX-SEAT-NOS-OLD-SCHOOL-/171201676634?pt=US_Saddles_Seats&hash=item27dc6a455a

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 HalfDork
12/24/13 3:57 a.m.

If you want a modern take on a vintage BMX name, I was surprised to find out some of them are still in business!

http://elfbicycle.com/Elfracingframe.html

http://www.powerlitebicycles.com/Products.html

http://www.crupibmxracing.com/

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/26/13 11:09 p.m.

I rode an MCS while in high school--it's hanging in my attic right now--and that company is still around, too: http://mcsbicycles.com

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/26/13 11:13 p.m.

And other old name, Cyclecraft, is still around. When I moved to Florida 20 years ago, I picked up one of their cruisers. It's also hanging in the attic.

Linky: http://www.cyclecraftbmx.com

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