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1985 to 1990... post some bikes

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I want to see bikes from this period... race, freestyle -- whatever BMX you have from the era. I'm interested in evolution... both in frame sets as well as in components. Please post up your examples. Don't feel obligated to say anything about the features if you don't want to, but if you do feel like rambling... by all means, lay it on us.



This end of the 80's period was interesting as the BMX industry was coming off it's all time high and by the very end of the 80's was in a world of hurt.





I'll start.



1985 Andy Patterson signature model JMC. As most of you know, the AP was available in the 84 and 85 model year, the chain stay brace behind the bottom bracket was dropped for the 85's. Within months the legendary pillar of old school bmx, the JMC bike company, would close down. A lot of the big brand names were either completely overseas with their production or partially so by that point. Clearly, it was getting hard to make ends meet where US production was concerned.


With total production numbers in the mid to low 3 digits... the Andy Patterson model was a swan song of sorts for JMC.


It's typical old school for the most part, the frame might have been marginally longer than some others from the early 80's, but generally it was within the norm despite the fact that Andy Patterson himself is a big dude. JMC was JMC though... so there were features like integrated seat clamp, and an overall nimble geometry that did sort of put them on the leading edge of innovation. Also, the AP bars are big... as broad and tall as any available then it seems, but I've yet to see any bar comparisons that included the AP bars. I'd like to see a table comparing the AP's with top bars of the era in terms of size and sweep.








1989 S&M Dirt Bike

As bmx companies were dropping like flies, or moving production over seas... a few brands dug in and survived and even thrived through the end of the 80's. S&M is one of the very few that came up in that tough period that are still going. They are one of fewer still that have always been made in the USA. It's amazing!


This bike still has a lot of the familiar features like an american bottom bracket and 1 inch threaded headtube set up... but signs of the future are there as well... thick heavy duty dropouts, longer (marginally) top tubes,




technology was evolving for brakes... they still had a flat brake bridge, but there was also the option of mounting the caliper on the brace behind the bottom bracket.



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Some goofy things that came around and faded away pretty quick.


Rotors that made you move your stem way up so they could work. Then the slanted stems so your bars wouldn't feel 9 feet high.


CW California Free mine 1986 02.jpg


Pool tires. Maybe a good idea, I never rode a pool growing up in IL, so I can't really say.


CW California Free mine 1986 03.jpg


Locking levers, good for some no handed balance moves. Once rolling tricks got so popular in the late 80's not much need for these anymore. I did actually use Dia-Compe ones myself for a while with the button you push in rather than these Odyssey ones where you pushed it sideways.


CW California Free mine 1986 05.jpg

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Interesting stuff, Don.


There was so much happening in this time period... a lot of valid stuff, a lot of gimmicky stuff too.


I like the lockable brake levers and the variety of types. That's one of the things I'm interested in seeing... how companies adapted to bmx changes and also tried to influence and shape the evolution of products.


But also... just really interested in seeing stuff from the era just for the sake of spotlighting the time period.

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I built my Trickstar with some of the cool parts I wish I had during my freestyle days of the mid to late 80s. The f/f is a 1985 US set.


Trickstar garage.jpg


Dia Compe Nippon brakes, these are dated 1986. GT BMX freestyle tread tires from 1987.

Trickstar Nippon.jpg


Peregrine Super Pro HP-48 wheels, I believe these are from 87-88.

Trickstar Peregrine.jpg


Redline Tecmatic bottom bracket from 1985.

Trickstar Redline.jpg


Japanese Hutch seat clamp from 1986.

Trickstar Clamp.jpg


Hutch freestyle stem from 1986.

Trickstar stem.jpg

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This is an '88 ESP.


Could we get a parts breakdown, on this one?


Such an interesting bike. Did the pads come with it, or did you somehow track them down?

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Yeah, the parts are ESP frame, forks, and pads. Tioga 175 cranks, MCS chain wheel, Shimano DX pedals, Cycle Pro seat clamp, Kashimax Aero seat, Dia Compe brakes, bell chain (from hardware store), DK stem, Uni Hand Grenade grips, unknown bars, seat post, and wheels.


I got really lucky with this bike, I already had most of the parts for it, so it came together quick. The pads went up on ebay the same week I bought this frame and fork. It was starting to become a back and forth bidding competition between me and someone else, so I set my clock for 6:30 am on New Year's Day and had the last bid in for the win at 7:00 am. I figured it was going to be awhile before I got another chance to buy a set of pads and they really are the finishing touch this bike needed. I've also added some stickers that I got from a buddy that used to race for ESP in the late 80's.

esp3 001.JPG

esp3 002.JPG

esp3 003.JPG

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