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COMPLETE: 1984 Race Tech

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American Bicycle Manufacturing , founded by Fred Schilplin was located in St. Cloud Minnesota. Early on, ABM was known for well fabricated aluminum mountain bike frames and their patented adjustable head tubes.

 

The head cups were eccentric and held in place by pinch bolts. By loosening the bolts and realigning the headset cups you could change the head angle from 67.75 through 74.25 degrees.

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Somewhere in the timeframe of 1983-1984, ABM decided to offer a BMX frame under their “Race Tech” division. It was a brief endeavor that was quickly discontinued.

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Shawn Sheeley worked for American Bicycle Manufacturing during the developmental stages of the BMX frame. He offers his comments (via e-mail) twenty-six years later: "The headset uses loose ball bearings and requires a beveled (convex) race on both the top and bottom. Rubber O-rings seal things up nicely. The headsets were prone to crack and break. If I remember correctly the convex nuts had a very tight tolerance. I remember having to clean the chrome from threads with a wire wheel just to get things to fit – and it was still difficult. The TPI is correct, but the tightness of the fit was always a problem."

 

"The race frames were made in 1984, but they cracked. There were only about 50 or 60 frames made. Our manufacturing department didn't want a gusset, despite my advice. Rumor has it the frames were all dumpstered in 1989 - but some may have survived."

 

"Another interesting fact, the engineers who I worked with on this frame were Mike Lindorfer and Mike Andersen - they were custom race car builders located here in Minneapolis."

 

 

The Bike:

First, a bit of background: A couple months ago my dad stopped at a local yardsale and tipped me off to the Redline PL-20 that was for sale. I bought it and posted pics of it here. On that day, the seller of the bike and I were BSing after the sale and his father said, "Hell, come back tomorrow and we can drag more stuff down from the attic". When I returned the next day this Race Tech frame was one of the items I bought.

 

Regarding the history of the frame itself: It was given to the original owner by a representative of American Bicycle Manufacturing in 1984. He was asked to ‘try it, race it, we want you on our factory team’. He tried it, raced it and even raced for Factory Race Tech for a brief period of time, but never cared for the relatively short top tube length or the overall feel of the bike. He disassembled the bike completely and the frame went into the attic from 1985 until 2010.

 

The frame, being a gift to a factory rider shows some a slight decal variation from any other picture of a Race Tech frame I have been able to find: The head tube decals do not show the rider above the word ADJUSTABLE. Perhaps it’s a variation for a gift frame? No sure and the original owner does not remember.

 

Frame is 100% original and shows normal, light wear from being raced. Every piece of this bike is original finish.

 

PART BREAKDOWN IS AS FOLLOWS:

  • FRAME: American Bicycle Manufacturing Race Tech
  • FORK: Hutch Pro (U.S. made, un-drilled)
  • HEADSET: Race Tech eccentric
  • HEAD LOCK: Tange
  • STEM: ESP
  • HANDLEBARS: JMC Darrell Young bars
  • GRIPS: Oakley B-2
  • BRAKE LEVER: Dia Compe Tech 3
  • BRAKE CABLE: Terrycable
  • CABLE TIES: Velcro from a big Velcro ‘ball’ he gave me
  • REAR BRAKE: Dia Compe MX900
  • BRAKE PADS: Kool Stop
  • SEATPOST: Redline (it’s actually a 7/8” post)
  • SEAT: Kashimax MX
  • SEAT CLAMP: Tuf Neck
  • RIMS: Araya 7X chrome
  • SPOKES: .080 stainless
  • HUBS: 1st Gen Phil Wood
  • TUBES: Original 1984 tubes
  • TIRES: Comp 3 20x1.75 2nd Gen blu/green label
  • BOTTOM BRACKET: Hadley sealed
  • CRANKSET: Redline Flight 401 single pinch 180mm (arm decals from Redline sheet)
  • SPIDER: Sugino
  • CHAINRING: Pro Neck 43T
  • PEDALS: Shimano DX
  • CHAIN: Izumi
  • PADSET: California Lite ‘grid’ pads (originally, he ran ZAP! Grid pads)

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Tom,

you never cease to amaze!!!!! Great work as always!

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WOW....

That bike is super unique Tom.

 

All the parts - top notch too.

Love the Dy bars, with the Hutch Pro fork - framing the front end in quality chrome.

Phil hubs and black oakleys - very nice touch.

:)

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dope bike KIW,

very cool rare bird right there!!!! 15_8_200v[1].gif

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Unreal! Amazing bike. Great job.

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Wowzers, that is so obscure and yet so cool. All I can say is, DAMN!

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Just to be a little more clear about what you are looking at....a huge majority of the parts on this bike are original to this bike. They are his parts.

 

It's pretty amazing....I thanked my dad again today. He just happened to stop at that one random yardsale.

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very cool tom!! :ThumbsUp: so it takes a 7/8 afterall. LOL I really like it. unique to say the least.

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Awesome! What a great and unique build. I've been after one of the American built Breezer mountain bikes for a while.

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Amazing!

 

It looks like Aomething Jay Stark would've tried to build .....however this is 99% survivor.

 

 

Supreme!

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The guy gave me a couple actual pictures of the bike built up as he had raced it. If I can get them scanned somehow, I will post them.

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Very cool.Nice to see something completely different.

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Super cool, and from my own backyard here in Hooterville. Fifty to 60 frames produced would make my chances slim to none, but you know I'll be huntin' for one of these in the future.

 

Bad ass ride and thanks for all the additional info.

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wow... that is so sweet, totally stacked component wise too. Incredible as usual, Tom. The adjustable head angle is quite a concept. Pretty interesting approach to the frame geometry issue for sure.

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very cool and thanks for sharing...never seen one of these before cool history aswell

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Tom, I hooked you up with the test for that didn't I?

 

Yes, you sure did Trevor.

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That's a very interesting piece of history and well built as well. Congrats Tom!

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Never even heard of it. Extremely cool bike Tom.

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