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COMPLETE: 1984 Race Tech

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So anyway...as a little follow-up....I still do not have access to a scanner, but the former owner sent me a scan of another picture he had. I've had this one for a few weeks, but forgot.

 

So here is the actual bike...built up in 1984 with the actual same components...right down to the tubes. The pads (ZAP) are impossible to locate(that's why I chose the Cal Lite grid pads - to keep with the original flavor), I also need that numberplate, and I'm not really feelin' the Flite seat cover so I skipped that.. I have the helmet and visor seen in the picture as well.

 

Just thought this picture would be nice to add to this thread.

 

Scan10008.JPG

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Whats up Tom, glad to see you are still building, what have i missed over the last few years, what bikes you got in your stable right now ?????

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So anyway...as a little follow-up....I still do not have access to a scanner, but the former owner sent me a scan of another picture he had. I've had this one for a few weeks, but forgot.

 

So here is the actual bike...built up in 1984 with the actual same components...right down to the tubes. The pads (ZAP) are impossible to locate(that's why I chose the Cal Lite grid pads - to keep with the original flavor), I also need that numberplate, and I'm not really feelin' the Flite seat cover so I skipped that.. I have the helmet and visor seen in the picture as well.

 

Just thought this picture would be nice to add to this thread.

 

Scan10008.JPG

 

 

now thats a stack of doughnuts......I somehow missed this thread....? Awesome build man.

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thats one of the coolest bikes on the face of the planet :bowdownAll:

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So anyway...as a little follow-up....I still do not have access to a scanner, but the former owner sent me a scan of another picture he had. I've had this one for a few weeks, but forgot.

 

So here is the actual bike...built up in 1984 with the actual same components...right down to the tubes. The pads (ZAP) are impossible to locate(that's why I chose the Cal Lite grid pads - to keep with the original flavor), I also need that numberplate, and I'm not really feelin' the Flite seat cover so I skipped that.. I have the helmet and visor seen in the picture as well.

 

Just thought this picture would be nice to add to this thread.

 

Scan10008.JPG

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all you people are wrong! i got number 66 so iam not sure how many made. i got the bmx not the freestyle. i bought it from sheelys wheels, sorry been almost 25 - 30 years since i talk to them. so i hope i got the bike shop name correct.

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Man this thing easily could have ended up in the wrong hands. Good thing you found it! Never heard of a Race Tech, love those decals and yeah, what a trick headtube even if it never caught on. Great build Tom.

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all you people are wrong!


"All you people"?

Read the thread carefully. The owner researched the frame and got the production numbers from Shawn Sheeley who worked for American Bicycle Manufacturing. As you are not sure if you got the bike shop name right, Shawn Sheeley may have been a little off on the numbers. As you point out... it's been a long time.

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How did I miss this??? :oof:

 

That bike is SICK Tom!!! Did you take it for a ride??? I am very curious on how it rides with the headtube adjustments from slow to quick steering angles.

 

Great looking bike!!!! :cheers:

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Wow, this is a bump from nowhere, eh?

 

Jon, I have not ridden the bike. Aluminum frame and my non-aluminum frame-friendly build do not mix. :lol: It's a really cool bike, though.

 

Another small update: I did locate the correct pads (black ZAP! pads w/ red gridlines, like pictured above). The only other thing I would want is a Haro 1B plate like the original owner had.

 

Just to be clear...the bike as I now own it IS THE EXACT BIKE shown above. Actual frame and parts. The only thing not original is the Hutch for and ZAP pads. He didn't have those, so I had to find identical replacements.

 

Here are some pics with the pads the original owner used:

IMG_1572.JPG

IMG_1578.JPG

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Stunning!

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Just got 3 more NOS Race Tech frames. Now have 5 NOS. Amazing. Thanks to a good friend for hooking me up. Headsets and head tube bolts for all. IMG_6804.JPGIMG_6805.JPG

Edited by tim1218

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wow... that's a particular sort of collection depth you don't see everyday!

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I was just doing a little Googling for RaceTech and was happy to find this thread, and thought I would add a little bit to it.

 

I was the first "employee" of ABM (American Bicycle Manufacturing), I was the designer of the BMX frames, and the first factory rider. I was at one time in possession of one of the first two prototype frames (prior to my involvement) - the other one going to the rider who inspired Fred to make frames in the first place, a local to St. Cloud where ABM was based.

 

The story as I recall is that Fred Schilplin was inspired to make frames by a neighbor kid who raced BMX. My prototype #2 was returned to ABM (story to follow), although I still possess my personal racing frame (photo below) - frame #3, a custom prototype with lighter tubing.

 

The prototype frames and jigs were made by Lindorfer Engineering in Roseville Minnesota, Mike Lindorfer and Brien Andersen were well known race car builders, they were building a car for Fred when we asked them to build the prototypes and jigs. For that matter, I'm not sure if the production frames were made in Roseville or St. Cloud but I would lean towards St. Cloud.

 

I helped to refine the BMX frame's design, even had my own frame with slightly tweaked geometry (still not long enough for my tastes) but the production frames followed the previous prototype design - basically a '84 Hutch Pro geometry with very long slots on the dropouts - which allowed for quite a bit of adjustment in chain stay length.

 

My design guidance was to use a gusset on the frames, I had something close to a G-boy type gusset in mind - but Fred was afraid it would make the bikes look heavy, as aluminum had a bad rep at the time due to the bulky look of Race Inc., early failures on PK Rippers (also made by Race Inc btw), and the trend towards lighter looking steel frames without gussets.

 

The lack of gusset may have been the source of the frames ultimate downfall (and the price), but it could have just as easily been a mistake in production, as these would have been the first production frames and likely weren't being welded by the master fabricator who built the prototypes - Brien Andersen.

 

It could have just as easily been a problem with the heat treating.  American was using a fairly new material (6061 T6 Aluminum) and a fairly precise heat treatment and stress relief process (more cost). The frame were actually put back in the jigs after this process and hand straightened as the stress relief process would cause some warping.

 

In addition to the race frame, I designed from scratch the freestyle frame. This was bike was built at my shop (Sheely's Wheels) and test ridden by my Sheely's Ground Control freestyle rider Marty Schlesinger (later factory Mongoose). I'll post pics of this bike later, as their buried on a backup drive.

 

Coming into the 1984 racing season I was riding on the factory Robinson team, but a disagreement between Chuck and I about my desire to turn pro, and the opportunity to work with a local bike company - I was racing for American on the prototype by mid-season as the sole factory rider (Chuck was right BTW, chuck was always right - best spotter of talent in the business)

 

I did a photoshoot at Van Nuys BMX with Super BMX not long after the switch, leveraging the substantial dollars I was spending on full page ads with them to get the press (yes, that's how it works folks), but the story never ran because the SBMX editor still wanted Fred to take an ad (jerks, I was spending $12K or more a year with them) - and Fred refused. BMX plus picked-up a story after I had moved on, and as you can see from those back issues - Fred learned his lesson. There's an ad in that issue.

 

Racing for Fred was a mistake, I was doing all the work - running the frames in my Sheely's Wheels full page ads in 4 magazines, and him not supporting the mags with ads meant no national coverage for me either. Not that Fred held up his end of the deal to send me to nationals either, the only race he sent me to was the '85 UCI Worlds in Memphis (I finished 5th in cruiser, made the semis in 20"). 

 

Ironically, we got a photo in a mag at that race, Boy's Life - but none of the major rags. I even spent time at that race with John Kerr, and I know he got some good shots. Bummer.

 

During this period I designed and spec'd the freestyle frame, and I build 8 or so 20" "mountain bikes" with a 5 speed drive. The bikes were for the kids in the family of Fred's plating partner - Wolkerstorfer Plating. Those bikes are probably collecting dust somewhere here in Minnesota.

 

Fred and I eventually parted ways, not very amicably for that matter - as he wouldn't pay his parts bills with me, and owed me money for races and travel. He was a tough guy to get along with for that matter. He made me give back prototype #2 before he would pay me, but I was able to keep #3 as I'm not sure he even knew that Brian had made if for me.

 

A couple other things that come to mind. We toured the Race Inc. factory one night after a day at Interbike in 1984 (where the bike was first shown to the public - as well as the first ABM mountain bike). We were considering Race Inc. as a contractor for the builds, but the deal fell apart for some reason - probably a quality control issue with the heat treating and stress relieving. 

 

As mentioned earlier in the thread, the rumor is that Fred dumpstered the production run as there were frames breaking in the field. There are some NOS frames out there of course, likely either factory racer frames or some saved from the dumpster after hours by employees.

 

I still have my old Race Tech (Gear) uniforms, and the prototype #3 (in the photo). The frame and uniforms will be going to the Cycling Museum of Minnesota along with prototype road frame that I acquired from a friend in later years.

 

IMG_0839.jpg

Edited by SheelysWheels
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amazing details!   :cheers:

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Agreed - let's see and read more about this beauty! Those headtubes get me every time!

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