My old friend Rick has been talking about compiling pictures of all these awful bike parts he bought over the years and writing a little something about each one. Since he has grow up through the “dark ages” of BMX I figured it would be entertaining to see what he came up with for a list. I’m pretty sure anyone over 30 that has been riding for sometime can relate to this and probably come up with a list of their own. The following is Rick’s list and I have to say I agree with him on more than one of these being pretty bad. Here goes:
For some reason whenever I got some spare $$, I would buy any freestyle bike part available from Easton Bike Shop..It was way further than I would let my own kids ride a bike, but this was a different era, plus I was the youngest of 4 kids and nobody knew where I was half the time. .The guy who ran the place was named Irwin, and he always had some sort of cut on his face..Maybe he was always getting hit with wrenches or something…Many years later he closed up shop and ended up liquidating a ton of stuff to Maul’s.
Anyway, he sold me my first “real” bike, a 1987 Mongoose Decade. I soon covered it with pink griptape, fork standers and frame platforms…but I eventually cracked the seat tube footplanting off of ledges or something, and he was real cool and hooked me up with a 1988 model plus tons of extra parts. and STILL only a year after that, my bike was way different!!
So, in wondering why I constantly changed parts, I came up with “The Worst Bike Parts I Ever Had”
ACS Locking Levers…I’m pretty sure (just judging by the size of them) these were some re-packaged motorcyle levers. My 13 year-old hand was not about to use 4 fingers on back wheel pogos…and those clamps were more burly than my stem! That massive locking button ripped off a lot of flesh, too.
A’me/GT Grips..Big, bulbous, and those little triangles would become tiny sweat reservoirs…awful feeling grips, way too thick and hard, nasty colors…just stupid!
Kashimax “Handler” seat..I didn’t even do Miami Hoppers, but if I did, there would be a death-grip like you wouldn’t believe! The underside had some decent finger nubs, though. But it was about a mile long. The rails totally collapsed after a month like every other crap seat.
Peregrine Q2 or Pro II bars, whatever they were called…Designed by Craig Lepage…he was this freakin’ monster-sized flat rider from NJ, and only he would need 2 crossbars! They still bent right at the grip tube though..
Skyway Spinmaster II – This actually wasn’t bad…it had these nylon bearings inside that were WAY smoother than an ACS rotor, but it was sort of “worst of both worlds”..you had to use their special cable, which was insanely long, and “ding ding dinged” on your bars until it drove you nuts…plus it forced you raise your stem to a downright dangerous height! And the aluminum cable adjusters stripped out in a friggin’ instant.
Tioga Freestyle stem. I think the reach on this was like 70mm….or at least it felt that way. Back then, the specs of bike parts were a friggin’ mystery. Nobody knew or cared what a part might feel or perform like, they just wanted to buy it! I liked it because it was pre-drilled for a Rotor, but it was too narrow to even clamp anything, and the 4 tiny inverted bolts actually “blossomed” away from each other when I tightened them. I never left the driveway with this piece of shit.
Peregrine tires…if the topic of tires ever comes up at Maul’s I am the first to point out to younger riders…there was a time when NOBODY made tires for street bmx. It’s not like today where every model has it own tread pattern, width, sidewall color, etc. There were some real lean years when the pickings were shockingly slim! Irwin sold me a few of these things and I had them on my bike for exactly 1 afternoon. The side walls on them were paper thin and almost translucent…slowing down on a big hill (completely across town from my house, mind you), I guess my DiaCompe “Bulldog” front brake** was so loose, the pad rocked forward and just buzzed the sidewall enough to explode it. It was soon after this I started using generic wheelbarrow tires from the hardware store…which were not too bad actually!!
**Yes, those sidepull brakes were held together with 2 thin 9mm jam nuts. For 5 minutes, if you were lucky!
Pictured below are all said parts. If your younger be glad you never had to use some of these thing!