Bikes

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Good news – Rick got his bike back. It was found in an apartment across the street from the D’port skatepark. Missing its brakes, but otherwise intact.
Read about it here:
http://www.standardbyke.com/blog/?p=2479

Knight Performer 24? Retro Cruiser Standing Platform

Seat stay/framestand and bologna-cut top tube detail. Photo: George Yang

Looks like there’s already quite a bit of chatter about the Knight Performer – I’ve seen it pop up on a number of the vintage BMX sites over the past couple of days. One thing that’s been discussed is the geometry of the ride, and how it compares, considering it is overall, a pretty modern ride. I hit George at Knight up for some more information, and he sent over pretty much all you might want to know:

Material: 4130 Chromoly
FRAME
Top tube length: 21.5″
BB height: 12″
Chainstay length: 15.25″
Head angle: 73 degree
Seat tube angle: 70.5 degree
Headtube: Integrated
Bottom Bracket: Mid type
Brakes: 990 mounts
Seat post: 25.4mm
Dropouts: 3/16″ thick
Axle type: 3/8 axles
Extras: Coaster Brake plate like the 20″ version

So, there you have it – the top tube length should keep it roomy, yet quick for a cruiser. With the 3/8″ axles, you might need to hookup a set of the Skyway Graphite TuffWheels to go with the frame. Keep a lookout here for shots of the prototype as it gets built-up.

Related: Knight Retro Performer Prototype

One Got Fat, Archive.org Video

I’ve known about the Internet Archive for a long time, and have used it for work and personal research for years. Between the Wayback Machine (a website archive – here, check out RideBMX’s site from Sunday, June 18, 2000), and the Live Music Archive, you can literally spend hours finding hidden gems of all sorts.

The sweet spot, to me, however is the Moving Images archive. Especially the vintage films found in the Prelinger Collection. You say you want a Chevrolet World’s Fair movie? Check. How about some AFL-CIO union worker training films? Sure, no problem.

Well, this being a bicycle/bmx-focused site, and all, you know where I’m going with this. After yesterday’s big industry discussion, I wanted to post something a bit more light-hearted today, so here’s some TRUE vintage for ya.

There is some great bicycle safety film footage from the 50s-60s that is too good. And in the case of “One Got Fat“, the gem above, it features a bunch of kids riding with creepy-as-hell monkey masks and running into steamrollers and other obstacles in suburbia. Seriously, the masks are waaay creepier than anything from Planet of the Apes.

Here are some others to check out. The first one reminds you that you should never be a “showoff”:
You and Your Bicycle
Drive Your Bicycle
Bicycle Safety – shot in Lawrence, KS

Standard 250S

Doesn’t get much more American than the USA-made blue, white and red Standard Bykes S250 that I just built. Yeah, I know, the majority of the parts are imported, but I built this one on the cheap, and American-made components are getting harder and harder to find.

Check the specs over at the BMXMuseum.

My kids and I just dropped about $100 on fireworks, so it should be a looong night of fire, meat and beer. Perfect. I haven’t shot off my own fireworks since about ’95. For the past few years, my boys were still too young and freaked out by the noise. Plus, we’ll be able to see the community fireworks perfectly from my folks’ house.

For those of you in the US, or ex-pats abroad, Happy Independence Day. Oh, and don’t forget about the red, white and blue Skyway T/A wallpaper I posted last week.

Jeremy Schutte, Hang-5

Yours truly, hang-5 in Shawnee, Kansas - 1989. Nice bent seatpost – I always had to run a layback because of my height, and the short top-tubes of the day.

19 years ago, growing up in Shawnee, Kansas, I rode with 3 guys pretty consistently – Scott Haefner, Mike Alexander and Tony Schrag. We met when I moved from Kansas City, KS and searched out anyone I happened to see on another BMX bike. Back then, it didn’t matter if it was a race bike, a freestyle bike, whatever – just seeing someone else on a bike was enough to open up the possibility of cameraderie. We rode flatland, “street”, ramps (though they were few and far between, until Mike got more into skating, and had an amazing 6′ mini ramp), anything was a possibility, and we didn’t see any issue spending hours at the same concrete banks – there were NO skateparks within 200 miles at that point.

Though Scott, Tony and Mike were a few years younger (which for some reason, can seem like a big deal in high school…), we became good friends and rode together consistently from ’87-’91, when I graduated high school and left for college. We would ride off-and-on until about 1994 or so. I’ve kept up with Mike through the local music scene, and Scott occasionally via email, but haven’t spoken to Tony in years (where are you, man?).

Part of the reason I started this site was to share the photos and stories from this time. A time when freestyle, especially, was so raw and still fairly young. My other love was photography, and in fact, we all took photo class in school, and shot photos of each other. Well, I finally got a new scanner, so look for a bunch more of this stuff to come. This first batch is me, Scott and Mike. Tony will be in the next batch.

Discuss these or post some of your own over on the Vital Old School Forum.

Mike Alexander, wallride, Shawnee, KS

Mike Alexander, curb-to-wallride with Johnny Rotten sticker in full-effect.

Scott Haefner - Front Yard

Scott Haefner – spinning frontyard. Adidas high-tops, 2-Hip shirt and a General RL Hustler Pro.

FBM Owners Group Logo

Have a FBM bike? Wanna show it to the rest of the unwashed FBM masses? Then get on over to the new FBM Owners Group site and submit your ride. As the site says, “The FBM Owners Group is for anyone; industry types, pro riders, FBM staff, and kids everywhere. Basically anyone with an FBM they wanna show off.”

This is a great way to get riders involved intimately with the brand – which is especially important with the rider-owned companies. Fit has a similar feature on their site as well, with the Fit Trust. Dig.

New Year, New Bike

Standard 250L

I finally finished my newest bike, a Standard 250L with a 20.75 TT, integrated headset, mid BB and welded-on gyro tabs. I wanted to go with something lighter and with more modern geometry than the Standard 250S I built in October. I picked it up online from Marc at Street Mafia BMX – he’s an old school rider, and a great guy to deal with. I recommend checking out either of their shops, on both coasts, or via their ebay store. Marc custom-ordered this frame from Standard with the unusual top-tube length and gyro tabs.

The bike has been sprayed in a jade/aqua color with a metal-flake clear coat that shows when the light hits it (check the photo below). Really different and I dig it much. The bike rides so well – it is very quick and tight. Though because of the cold-ass weather we’ve been having in Kansas, I’ve only been on it for about 30 minutes since I finished it last weekend. That should change tomorrow, as the weather is supposed to break a bit.

Most of the parts came off the old 250S, but some have been upgraded:

Frame: Standard 250L (Mid BB)
Fork: Hoffman Fat Free with 990 mounts
Bars: S&M Slam XLT
Grips: Odyssey Gedda
Stem: FBM Protect Ya Neck
Headset: FSA Impact
Wheels: Alienation 36H. Black Sheep 14mm with Haro hub and 10T cassette – rear. PBR 3/8″ with Haro Hub – front
Seat, Post, Clamp: Primo seat, Shadow Conspiracy post, Kink clamp
Brakes: Dia-Tech Hombres, Odyssey Monolevers, Odyssey GTX Gyro
Cranks: Primo Hollowbites
Sprocket: Simple Copenhagen 28T
Chain: KMC with halflink
Pedals: S&M one o one
Pegs: 4 of ‘em – Odyssey JPEGs and JPEG lites

Standard 250L Close-up

Standard 250L Close-up Paint

The Bike Man
On Christmas Eve, I saw a great story on ABCNews.com about “The Bike Man”, Lewis H. Davis, a retired maintenance man, who rebuilds bikes for kids in Durham, North Carolina. He does it out of the good of his heart, through donations people make, or bikes he finds – usually rebuilding up to 150 a year. So good to see stories like this, especially when it involves getting kids into riding bikes – regardless of how, or what they ride.

Check out his story here: ABCNews.com (Thanks to FenwayKid over on the BMXMuseum for the link).

Also, I want to say Happy Holidays to all of you. I hope you and yours are enjoying the season and looking forward to 2008.

Lupe Fiasco’s Black/Gold Black Lightning

Black Lightning, the boutique bicycle and clothing company, has done four custom bikes for the release of Chicago hip-hop artist, Lupe Fiasco’s new album, The Cool. This is just the latest in Black Lightning’s promotion of the bmx culture since providing bikes for The Cool Kids’ video “Black Mags“.

It should be no surprise that Fiasco, with his documented love of skateboards/comics/bikes, would hook up with a company like Black Lightning to do something special for his latest album. His first single was “Kick Push“, an ode to skating, that earned him multiple award nominations.

The bikes feature the custom finishes Black Lightning is throwing down, with graphics in the style of the album art. Check out more images on the Black Lightning Blog – look closely at the details, some really detailed touches on these bikes.

SE auction package for Stephen Murray

It has been quite a week for news out of the SE camp, as I just got this little tidbit about another great auction for Stephen Murray. So rad to see the continued support of the BMX Community. Go bid now, you know you want to…

SE Bikes, one of the OG’s of BMX, has put together a one of a kind package to help raise funds to assist Stephen Murray in his fight to “STAY STRONG” and recover from injuries he sustained at the Baltimore AST Dew Tour.

These items are for collectors and serious BMX enthusiasts!

The Bike
This is the FIRST production bike of the 2008 PK Ripper Looptail. It’s the same EXACT bike that was on display at Interbike in Las Vegas. All of the normal production bikes have the serial numbers stamped in numerical order on the inside of the rear dropout. But this bike is unique in the fact that it does not have any serial number stamp. Only 250 of this bike will be available throughout the year in the USA. This was the first one made!

The Shoes
These are a brand new pair of the limited edition DC/PK Ripper DC Shoe. This shoe was also VERY limited worldwide and all stores are completely sold out. Size is 10.5. As a bonus, these shows come with a re-release of the “Joe Kid on a Stingray” video with bonus footage.

The Jersey
The most legendary BMX jersey of all time, the SE retro jersey. Made by Hot Shoppe in the USA. Size large.

Get in on the auction at EBay where you can type in Stephen Murray for the item or the listing information below.
Stephen Murray SE Bikes Collectors Package – 200185371813

Special thanks to Todd Lyons and SE Bikes for making this effort to raise funds! Happy Holidays to all!

Also visit www.stephenmurrayfamilyfund.com & www.myspace.com/murraystrong

There is a second auction package that will be released on EBay soon as well that includes a Quad Angle frame and tons of SE goods.

FBM Header

FBM is having a sale at their online store right now, so if you were thinking of getting into a FBM frame and fork, now’s the time. Choose from any one of their six 2007 frames, like the Autopilot, Bitchin Camaro, or The Joint, for example, and get a free Chopper fork. I’m one Kansas City boy especially tempted by the Phil Wasson signature reissue, the PWMoto, with only 24 of them made, in a rad-looking pearl grey. There are some great deals here, but once they’re gone, the sale is over – so hurry up! The site even gives you a handy updater so you know how many are available.

Also of note on the FBM site are Steve Crandall and team’s constant updates, and their cool behind-the-scenes photos and videos of the manufacturing process. This one is from Props #64, and gives you an idea of what goes into building the pieces of welded art we go out and beat-up.

My new build - Standard 250

So, my posts have been really lacking lately, and I think it has been with good reason – at least to other riders – maybe not so much to my wife. ;-)

I’ve been building a new bike, and I’m really happy with how it has turned out. It is my first non-complete new(er) school ride, and I’m getting ready to take it out on its shakedown ride as soon as I finish this post.

The frame was raw, but the clearcoat was in rough shape. I sanded it down and sprayed a number of coats of clear, so it has protection and a light shine. I dig how the color combination turned out very hand-made looking overall – dare I say almost traditional hot-rod style.

Frame: Standard 250 (American BB)
Fork: S&M Pitchfork with brake bosses (Yeah, I’m a part of the front-brake revolution – heh)
Bars: S&M Slam XLT
Grips: Odyssey Team
Stem: FBM Protect Ya Neck
Wheels: Haro 48s and Haro Directional Tires (From my Retro Sport – will be switching to some Odyssey Hazards, I think)
Seat, Post, Clamp: Haro (I’ve got a Primo Seat and a Shadow Conspiracy Post on the way), Kink Clamp
Brakes: Dia-Tech Hombre Brake, Odyssey Monolever, Odyssey GTX Gyro
Cranks: Primo Hollowbites
Sprocket: Tree
Chain: KMC
Pedals: S&M one o one

I sold my FST and some other vintage parts to fund this build, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. Not to worry, though (I’m talking to you old schoolers), I’ve got a bunch of other builds planned now that old man winter has arrived. Thanks to those over at bmxmuseum.com who sold me parts, and bought other ones, and thanks to eBay for being like a bad addiction…

More photos to come…

Stephen Murray Props Auctions

Props Stephen Murray Bike Auctions. Video from Props.

Just saw this over on Fat BMX Magazine, and felt compelled to put it up as soon as I read it. Stephen Murray’s mom, Cynthia gives an excellent update on his progress. Just awesome to hear about.

“I would just like to share my happiness with you that after 130 days Stephen is vent free, oxygen free and trach free! Last night they took out his trach and so now all we have to wait for his the wound in his throat to heal. The relief of him not being dependant upon the ventilator is unimaginable. It’s better than winning the lottery!

Next step…………movement. If I say so myself I have a remarkable son who will defy all odds and amaze us all.

Thank you to all for your support
Cynthia”

Also, today is the first day of the auctions Props Visual has put together to continue to help raise money for the Stephen Murray Family Fund. Stephen’s accident occurred just as they were going out to film their latest video and they got 11 riders to donate their bikes. Mat Hoffman’s Condor is the first one up, and available today on Ebay. Bid high, and bid often!

As Mat’s signature on his bike says – “Give to the strength of our community”. Much respect to Stew Johnson from Props and all those who have donated. You can see the complete list at the link to Props, above.

Chris Drake’s Schwinn Predators

Chris Drake of Independence, MO brought out a nice collection that included these two Schwinn Predators.

This was the second weekend in a row that I got to take my boys to an event focused on bikes. Never a bad thing. Sunday, we headed over to Independence, MO to go to the Peddler’s bike shop swap meet and show. Traditionally, this has been more of an balloon tire or track-style antique/vintage/collectors show (as with many bike shows), but as BMX collecting gains momentum, these shows have begun to open up. Through the influence of a few riders, including Chris Drake (above photo), there were a few guys who showed up with some nice bikes for sale and for show.

Though I think the rain/drizzle kept some folks away, it was great to meet some of the people I’ve previously only met virtually through the message boards, and meet a couple of new guys as well. At the next of these type of events, we need a ride or a flatland/dirt/street session as well. You can see a few more shots and more info about some of these bikes over on the BMX Museum as well. Check back here for more events like this around the midwest.

Skyway T/A

Jeremy Johnson, of Kansas City, MO, showed this survivor Skyway T/A. It is owned by his uncle, John Hershey, who raced it for years, though this was the “street” setup, with the white mags and skyway pegs. It has been in Johnson’s grandma’s basement and hadn’t seen the light of day for 8 years.

S&M Daily Rider

Johnson’s S&M daily rider – pure street.

S&M Holmes

Jake Gatschet of KCMO brought his S&M daily rider out as well – a meticulously restored 1990 S&M Holmes trail machine. It was recently featured in the news section of the S&M site.

Skyway T/A Frame and Fork

Yeah, you read that right, hot on the heels of the Tuff Love art show, I’ve got some more news about Skyway.

First, at Interbike, there was a Skyway Team 20th anniversary reunion. Xavier Mendez has some great photos and stories over on the Vintage BMX forums. Very cool to see the 1987 Skyway Trick Team together. That team toured constantly, and featured a bunch of diverse riding styles, setting the groundwork for the types of bmx tours still going today.
Check out the post on the Vintagebmx.com forums

Also hot from both the BMXMuseum.com and VintageBMX.com forums is news from coloredtuffs/planetbmx main man, Ed Ferri that there will be 150 Skyway T/A frame and forks made, as well as retro-styled 20″ and 24″ frames in celebration of the T/A’s 25th anniversary. I’m only guessing here, but I assume this will follow the trend of other retro bikes of late, with threadless headsets, modern geometry and vintage-inspired paint/graphics – which is cool enough. Even cooler, the first 150 “originals” will use original True Temper Skyway tubing and have the exact geometry and design of the original ’82 T/A. Rad … The T/A was a badass race and early freestyle frame lusted after by many a kid back in the day (including this one), but it always freaked me out to see someone running it with spokes – never seemed quite right. Pro Maurice Meyer has a great account of rebuilding one to his original specs on his site. A serious freestyle history lesson there.

RideBMX Insight Video

Dakota Roche, wallride to air, grabbed from the Insight Trailer. 

RideBMX Magazine has a full-length trailer of their new video, titled Insight up on BMXOnline.com. Looks like it will be out by Christmas, and this trailer is up just in time for Interbike, which starts today.

The title comes from the overall concept of the video, which, from what I understand, is to give viewers a glimpse into what goes into the making of a video, including the run-ups, misses and hits that go into each rider’s part. The video is shot and edited by Ride’s video guy, Ryan Navazio.

Volume Z06 Ad

Ad courtesy of Volume.

Continuing a long-standing tradition of bicycle companies creating bikes named after cars, (see the Schwinn Corvette or the Mongoose Blue Max) Volume Bike company is releasing a limited edition version of its Sledgehammer 26″ cruiser, called the Z06. I’m assuming the name refrerences both the Corvette Z06 (a badass production car in its own right), as well as the infamous Slegehammer Corvette – a twin turbo monster made by Corvette tuner Callaway in 1988. At 898 Horsepower, it was tweaked in every way possible to make it run like hell.

Now, Volume has taken their self-proclaimed “old man bike”, the Sledgehammer, and tricked it out with a full set of Demolition parts, full 4130 Cromo tubing, and custom Volume/Corvette graphics. This one, they’re calling the “supercharged old man bike”, and man is it clean looking. The Z06 Sledgehammer ad above features Volume/Demoliton main man Brian Castillo boosting high on the big two-six.

The Z06 is a limited edition, available in October via the Volume site or Volume dealers. Check it out here. As I know that many riders are also gearheads of different varieties, seems like a perfect combination.

Volume Bikes Z06 Cruiser

Photo courtesy of Volume.

Aside from all of the other madness in this clip, wait for the end… Scotty Cranmer and a front flip-whip. It looks like a videogame move or something. A couple of years ago, I remember Tony Hawk talking about the up-and-coming skateboarders, and the fact that they have been brought up on “Up, Down, Left, Right”. Hawk was referring to the fact that so many kids have learned skating through their game controllers. Totally what this clip of Cranmer reminds me of, whether or not he actually plays video games is something I cannot comment on.

From the FeltBmx site, Cranmer’s sponsor.


Mat Hoffman’s first 900 – 1990

Last night I was rolling around the driveway with the boys and hitting some old freestyle tricks – building nerve, hopping higher and spinning faster. However, it was the simplest of all tricks that got me – an endo. I was showing my oldest how to do it, and my foot slipped, the freewheel spun and, WHAM, pedal to the shin. It immediately bruised up, started bleeding and hurt like hell. Added to my scar tissue for the first time in a while, and it is throbbing as I type this today.

The night before, the oldest boy had his first big fall on a bmx. He was on his 16″ and got into some trouble with some walnut shells along the sidewalk, after a great hour long session at his school with the whole family. My wife rode my most recent acquisition – the ’86 Haro FST – more to come on that. Anyway, his tires were a bit low as well, so when he hit the walnuts, down he went, hard. He was very upset, and bleeding from his knee. It was just road rash, but his hardest fall on his bike. I don’t know that he’ll remember it, but I’ll remember, for sure.

And I know that if he keeps riding, there will be many, many to come. I just finished Mat Hoffman’s book, The Ride of My Life, and it gives a ton of details into Mat’s career, including major slams and injuries, and how he often had to alter his riding style or actually lost tricks because his body couldn’t move a certain way anymore. Scary stuff, though as the tricks have gotten bigger, the technology of protection has gotten better, with more options for helmets and body armor. Now the trick is to stuff the young riders into helmets at a young age and hope that they keep it on as they roll out of sight…

By the way, Hoffman’s book was co-authored by Freestylin’ Magazine alum Mark Lewman. I definitely picked up on some of his style in the editing.

haro_wallpaper.jpg

To properly welcome you to BMX Roots, I wanted to give you something to remember us by. One of the many objectives with the site will be to do some great photography, and share it with you. Here’s the first in what will be many photos available for your viewing pleasure. Hit the download page, and enjoy.

BMX Roots Downloads

-Jeremy

BMXROOTS

In 1986, I took my first swipe at becoming a bmx publisher. It was the early days of the ‘zine, and I made one of my own, called Motion. At that point, I also had a loose association of bmx and skateboard friends called the Motion Trick Team. We mostly drew logos on our notebooks and talked about what our shows would be like – drawing schematics of the ramps, p.a. setup and music choices. We rode for ourselves, mostly, but man, it was fun to work all of this out. Someday, we hoped, we’d get the gear and make it happen.

Back to the ‘zine: It was pre-computer (at least in my house), so I used a typewriter, the school photocopier, and my 110 Instamatic – I was loaded for bear. I put out 3-4 issues every 6 months or so, getting friends to help produce it, upgrading to an early Mac for typesetting and improving my hand-lettering and illustration, as well as shooting with a 35mm camera. Still, the content mostly covered my friends and our little scene in a suburb of Kansas City. I’ve got plenty of fodder for this site, which I’ll be scanning and uploading over time – trust me, you gotta see some of this stuff.

I kept riding throughout high school and into the beginning of college. I kept shooting photos and learning of this profession called graphic design. I went to school for advertising and photography at first, then switched over to visual communications (design), and as I began working, I stopped riding. My old Haro was in pieces and I found excuses not to ride. Too busy, too lazy, too old, whatever. Hell, I even bought a mountain bike thinking that I would be able to enjoy myself on that – however, when I rode, I missed something. I missed the feelings of throwing the “little bike” around, launching off curbs, and pedaling until you’ve got no more gears.

Last year, I bought my oldest son a Hoffman 16″ bmx for his 4th birthday. And thus it began… Though I had been following the bmx scene via the web, tv coverage and the occasional magazine, I decided that there was no way that I could ride a mountain bike while my oldest was learning on such a cool bike. With the encouragement of my wife (who still doesn’t quite understand what all the fuss is over beat-up parts – “but they’re vintage, honey“), I bought a 24″ Haro cruiser, then a 20″ Haro Retro Sport, and began putting my ’87 Master back together. Buying parts for the Master led me to many sites (bmxmuseum, vintagebmx, os-bmx) and I was amazed to see this community of people building, saving, riding, and racing these “little bikes”. However, I shouldn’t have been surprised. See, there are kids jumping on bmx bikes everyday – more than in years past, even, and there are guys my age and above who never stopped riding.

I became inspired by bmx again, at least that was the simple way to look at it. Yeah, I’m riding a lot more now, and I’ve got a few bikes that I’m restoring, but really, I had been inspired all along. My job is as a creative director for an ad agency, and it was under the influence of Freestylin’ Magazine, BMX Action, and BMX Plus! that I began my design career, and now, I want to bring those influences to the pages of this site. It will be current, yet reflective, and always feature stories that provide a peek behind the curtain – of riders, spots, shops, etc. I want anyone who stumbles on here to add to the stories, and provide ideas for more. I want to inspire others to create, no matter how their creations take shape.

-Jeremy