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Webco BMX History

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I am really starting to feel the Webco movement, but I am not an expert on the brand by any means. Thought I would start a thread where those in the know could add their knowledge on this BMX pioneer company. Pics are obviously welcome and a timeline story would be ultra cool.

 

I know they started with motorcycles but I am looking for a history lesson here

 

tags: 70's bmx, Webco

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Hi motobmx ask rick the godfather of bmx he knows all about it

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word?

 

:rawks:

RickWebcoTest.jpg

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I know Rick is THE man, was trying to get his attention and come south of the border to give the full story.

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c'mon RICK!!! dont make me bust out the webco tri-fecta!!! show us some OG webco knowledge :)

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:break:

 

O.K BMX'ERS ......... gather round for here is the story i'm puttin' down. it's WEBCO 101 :Liv2ride:

 

ALL RIGHT SETTLE DOWN. YEA you in the third row. whats your name? "ummm my name is jeff utterback" well pay attention and you will understand why you will be following yellow bikes at all the race tracks. :ROTFLMAO:

a long time ago about 1971/1972 RICK TWOMEY

(that's me) gathered up a couple of neighborhood kids and started a bicycle competition team. at one of our first races in Malibu Ca. we met three guys from DOG TOWN. THOM LUND, DOUG TAKAHASHI, AND JOHN "JP" PALFREYMAN JR.. :32: :32: :32:

WAM - BAM THANK YOU MAM ....... the all NEW and

improved RICK'S BIKE SHOP BX TEAM WAS BORN.

YES i said BX. we went from competition team to BX

(bicycle cross) team. from that time on we have been kickin' ass and takin' names.

in those early years we did not have all the bx parts we needed so i had to make them. cut down motorcycle handle bars, with motorcycle grips.

then my friend RUSS OKAWA (from canyon cycle center) and i talked about using longer cranks. i noticed with the longer cranks the guys were going faster but they were digging the pedals into the dirt, so i raised the crank hanger up for more ground clearence. well one thing lead to another and i modified the 20" frame into a total racing frame. straight top and down tubes, raised crank hanger and different head angle. all for a better handling bike. i guess you would call it a RICK'S BIKE SHOP FRAME.

now i know this thread is about webco and their frames and we"re getting there, but a little history never hurt anybody.

O.K. so you all are in a rush so i'll jump forward a little. the team rode the RICK'S frames to victory after victory, until we were the BADDEST TEAM ON THE PLANET. with help from my friend DON KEMP, i hooked up a team sponsorship with webco and was given a title of bmx advisor. naturally i advised them to build my frames. and THAT my friends is when

WEBCO got started into bicycles. they had been around for 15 - 20 years making and sellng motorcycle parts. so this was late 1973 or early 1974

when WEBCO first started the frames. they were the first co. to make production bicycle motocross frames. jere kirtpatric made the frames for WEBCO.

early 1974 i met a guy who said he had a bicycle wheel that would not break like the spoke wheels.

YES it was SKIP HESS and his MOTOMAG wheels.

just about the time of the YAMAHA GOLD CUP FINALS in L.A. THE MOTOMAGS and the WEBCO frames were

ready for their grand unveiling. we did it at that race.

they were both well accepted and even though we did not win the main that day we did set track speed record. thom lund the fastest and john palfreyman

second fastest time.

so the first series WEBCO frames were a straight tube front end frame with a looptail back half.

this frame can be reconized by the small single gusset and the two cigar size tubes between the crank hanger and the rear loop.

the second series went to a double gusset and a cigarette box rectangle box behind the crank hanger.

from there many models were made an i left WEBCO

to work with SKIP HESS at BMX PRODUCTS MOTOMAG. this was before the MONGOOSE FRAMES.

 

i will stop here and let you ask some questions and

i will try to answer them best i can.

REMEMBER WE HAVE SOME REAL WEBCO EXPERTS ON THIS SITE SO CHIME IN. THE WEBCO KID AND

BOTH RANDY C. AND RANDY AND ALL YOU OTHER WEBCO FREAKS.

 

 

:thanks: RICK T.

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Excellent... an exciting tale of history and ass kicking. I know Rick's computer set up prevents him from posting photos, so I'd like to ask other members who may have photos that would illustrate Rick's points (especially pics of the early frames he described) to post them. Please!

 

I might even move this to the main board for a while in order that it receive the attention it deserves.

 

 

(Also... please keep MotoBMX who started this thread in your thoughts and prayers, he has a serious illness and good vibes sent his way will help!)

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Excellent... an exciting tale of history and ass kicking. I know Rick's computer set up prevents him from posting photos, so I'd like to ask other members who may have photos that would illustrate Rick's points (especially pics of the early frames he described) to post them. Please!

 

I might even move this to the main board for a while in order that it receive the attention it deserves.

 

 

(Also... please keep MotoBMX who started this thread in your thoughts and prayers, he has a serious illness and good vibes sent his way will help!)

 

 

I 2nd everything. C'mon, let's see some of those pics.

 

Thanks Rick for the History lesson!

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Very cool...I am learning a new appreciation for Webcos. Keep dropping that knowledge!! I need to learn!!

 

Tony

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First Generation Rick Twomey Designed 1974 Webco Hardtail (Notice the pencil chain stays rather than the more familiar cigarbox )

 

WEBHT.jpg

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:break:

 

 

i am still going through things all the time and finding little treasures. a couple of those frames could show up. :32:

 

what i do have is the very first made WEBCO

MONO-SHOCK frame. has never been painted or put together. will try to get reilley to post some more

pictures. :32:

 

i collect WEBCO everything so if anyone has anything

for sale or trade, let me know.

 

like G-FLASH says WEBCO RULES :24:

 

 

:thanks: RICK T.

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I noticed the 1974 Webco has a brake bridge, and it doesnt look like it has a bracket for the coaster brake. Did they run a freewheel with a side pull brake that early in the bmx days? I know I have seen a wheel with a 1976 ACS hub that was freewheel, it now belongs to Reilley_1.

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Rick,

 

A question or two.

 

1. Did Webco find you or did you find Webco initially?

2. And if Webco found you, had Webco been looking to get into BMX?

3. Did the Webco connection have anything to do with you as "Bicycle MX Editor" of Minicycle magazine?

4. Were you involved at all with the motorcycle side of Webco?

5. Did Palfreymans shop (on 10th and Pico) work with Webco before your involvement?

 

Great history!

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Good questions Curt! :4_1_9: C'mon Godfather and give us the skinny! I'll take notes! :3_3_102[1]:

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:break:

 

 

GOOD QUESTIONS INDEED. :32:

 

hope i can give as good of answers.

66HERBIE from sunny arizona.......... YES there is a brake bridge built on the frame and was not drilled.

not everyone was using a hand brake so let the ones that did drill their own hole. the bridge was there for strength as well. my team never used hand brakes.

tested two speed rear hubs but they were outlawed the first time we ran them. (dreamchild of my good friend RUSS OKAWA). :24:

YES there was no coaster brake lever bracket for same reason as hole not drilled in bridge. not everyone ran coaster brakes so why add a special bracket. my team used bendix 70's coaster brakes and the levers were connected with the old fashion metal brake strap for most guys. we used a special rubber padded loop strap that electricans used to insolate wires and mount to walls in houses. trick little piece.

RMEMBER back in the OLD SKOOL DAYS we couldn't just run down to the bike shop and buy what we needed.

bmx was just geting started. we made what we needed. by the way the electricians strap did not scratch the frame paint. :32:

hope that answered your questions.

 

:thanks: RICK T. rbst

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Thanks for droppin' the knowledge!

It's always good hearing all the tasty little stories about how it all started there in SoCal., and it's cool to hear how it all went down.

Keep those stories coming!

On a personal note, as a little kid back in 77-78 I had a pretty cool Suzuki but I always coveted this bike that this kid was rippin' around the neighborhood on. He had all the latest trick components on it -alloy wheels with freewheel, alloy bars, stem, and cranks etc...... I was so jealous!

It was a WEBCO. :32:

Man, that bike left quite an impression on me. I had to have one. By the time my parents got around to buying me a new bike, WEBCO had pretty much exited BMX and all these other brands had shown up on the scene, so I ended up with a Torker (King Edward made a huge impression on me).

But WEBCOS will always be cool in my book. As a wise man once said to me......"you've got to go back to go forward".

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:break:

 

 

CURT .......... UNDER COVER BROTHER.

 

no last name, like a movie star. not telling us were you are. HEY IT'S ALL COOL.

 

for the answers to your questions i'll do my best, but i get the feeling you know the answers already.

are or were you a dog town boy? :32: COOL

 

1. did i find webco or did webco find me? well it just kind of happened. i was introduced to webco by a friend named don kemp. don kemp and i met at one of the many thrusday B.B.Q.'s at the PALFREYMAN'S house in santa monica. so i guess you would say don kemp brought us together. oh yea don worked at webco.

2. was webco looking to get into bmx when we met?

well they never really said but i think no as i had meetings with all the owners and managers of webco and explained how the sport was growing and the need for special parts etc. that's when i became the bicycle racing advisor for webco. then it was just a natural step to say HEY why don't you guys spend the money and build my frames. we negotiated and the webco frame was on the way.

3. did the webco connection have anything to do with me being the bmx editor for minicycle action. if i understant the question as you ask it. NO webco did NOT get me the job at minicycle action magazine.

this part of my life is another story BUT real quick.

i worked for ted at southern california motocross news motorcycle news paper. i was a contributing editor for bicycle racing - bx editor - bmx -

i met many of the hot dogs in the magazines as well as all the pro motorcycle racers (another story)

i did stories and took photos for several papers and magazines, but like i said all that is another story.

4. was i involved with webco with the motorcycle stuff. well no i never workd with the motorcycles except that i used their parts.

5. before my involvement with webco did john palfreyman sr. and his shop "MOTORCYCLES UNLIMITED" do work for webco. i am not sure. i know that palfreyman sr. and don kemp were friends. there is a connection. john sr. sold - repaired - machined parts etc at his shop. so webco could very well have had john sr. do work for them (webco).

 

hope that was what you were looking for curt.

were any of those trick questions? :ROTFLMAO:

 

 

:thanks: RICK T.

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Rick,

 

I am always intrigued about how things happen and why. And no, I did not know the answers, but I am more educated as a result of your response, thank you!

 

As for me, I think I spoke with you (or your wife) when John Beaver passed. I hung out at his shop unitl he sold to Bruce. Spent way too much time and money there. Although I was only 12-13 (in 77-8) I recognized what a good man John Beaver was, he made a brief but lasting impression on me.

 

I grew up in Woodland Hills, but now (and for the last 9 years) live less than a block from Palfreymans old shop.

 

I started riding motorcycles in 1973 (raced 125s in 81) at Indian Dunes among other places, as a result I still have a few Minicycle Action Mags around. Got into BMX around 75 with a stingray, Raced on and off from 77 to 87. Local races mainly, never made the "big time".

 

I saved most of my bicycle crap from my early years. I Still have a few intersting items laying around. I still ride motorcycles (sport and dirt) as well as ride my last race cruiser (My trusty XL24). I enjoy 2 wheels as much today as when I was 8.

 

This whole interst in the history of BMX is a pretty cool, I enjoy the many points of view from the many who were part of it both then and now. It is nice to know that a lot of people have such good memories of times spent in an emerging sport that involved 2 wheels and dirt.

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Rick's Bike Shop team with original RBS/Webco jersies.

 

WEBCJER2.jpg

 

 

JP piloting an RBS Webco

 

WEBCJER.jpg

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C'mon there Reilley, you get an F in your Rick's history, that's JP, Lund ran # 88......sheesh.

Welllllllll, nice recovery.........lol.

Edited by spike

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Great topic!

 

I have some questions...

 

Who was Kurt Von Epp ?

 

The reason I ask is because I recently purchased a Webco that has his name stamped on it. I really know very little about Webco s and would like to know the history of this person and this bike.

Anything you can tell me about the bike below, I would appreciate.

 

Webco-sale-pics-10.jpg

Edited by JustinHayes

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