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Author Topic: Hello all, hoping you can give me some advice...  (Read 331 times)

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Offline rmwesley

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Hello all, hoping you can give me some advice...
« on: October 05, 2020, 07:53 PM »
Hi,
 
Just joined the forum with pretty much zero experience of BMX. I'm in my late 40s now and never really discovered BMX in my younger days. I'm fairly handy with bikes though and love stripping down & building road and MTB bikes and wheels. 
 
I've got a 10yo daughter and we're looking for a hands-on project to do together. She is into the idea of getting a BMX to cruise around on, then maybe learn a few tricks over time. Plus I wouldn't mind having a crack at it either. I love restoring and building bikes ...so here I am  :)

The plan would be to find something needing a bit of love and attention, strip it all down, repaint / re-chrome if required, rebuild the wheels (or build new) then put it all back together & restore it to its former glory. Not fussed whether I buy a bare frame & source all the components separately, or a complete bike.
 
I've done a bit of research but it looks to be a minefield so was hoping the good natured folk on the forum could give some advice.
 
We both like the look of 80s / 90s bikes plus I'd like to go for something from this era anyway, so...
 
- just to narrow down the search a bit are there any "go to" 80s / 90s brands and models which won't have people pointing at us in the street laughing? I'd like to end up with something we're both proud of so don't mind splashing out a bit. I remember mates riding Mongoose, Diamondback and GT back in the day. Would these be a good place to start?
 
- my daughter is tall for her age & the bike can be something she can grow into, but is it realistic I'll find something we can both ride? The frames I've been looking at on eBay don't give any frame sizes, so is it just one-size-fits-all?
 
- is eBay the best hunting ground?
 
I realize I'm asking a lot for someone with only one post, so many thanks in advance if anyone has the time to reply.
 
Cheers,
Richard

Offline Retrodan72

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Re: Hello all, hoping you can give me some advice...
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2020, 08:56 PM »
Hi Richard,  :welcome to  :radbmxsmilie:

If you ask me, you should go down the Mk2 Raleigh Burner route. They had loads of different models with different specs meeting the various requirements and budgets of most Parents? back in the day.

Although the Mk2 has really bad geometry, there are loads of frame sets still knocking about and they are pretty affordable, unless you're aiming for a Cromo, Aero Pro, Team Aero Pro or Pro (if you can find one).

If you're planning on doing a resto yourself, they're pretty easy to strip and paint, as there's not much detail such as gussets, platforms or any other add-one's to contend with.

Loads of people had Burners in the 80's, some models are regarded as iconic.

You certainly won't get pointed at or laughed at in the street on a nicely restored Burner.....











.....on here though, you may want to keep it on the down low  :LolLolLolLol: :LolLolLolLol:


GO FORWARD TO THE PAST, WITH NRP'S

Offline burnerboy

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Re: Hello all, hoping you can give me some advice...
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2020, 09:44 PM »
Everybody remembers a Burner!

As suggested head down the mk2 route, the mk1 frames seem smaller and even harder to ride!

Keep us posted on what you get.

Offline bobafett

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Re: Hello all, hoping you can give me some advice...
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2020, 09:52 PM »
Hi Richard.... welcome to RAD mate  :daumenhoch:

Please ignore Dan's burner advice.... he's doing sober October for Macmillan's at the moment so he's not himself and isn't thinking straight  :2funny: :LolLolLolLol:

Get yourself and your daughter an 80s mongoose mate.....  :coolsmiley:

Both my daughter's had a minigoose (too small for you to ride though). My eldest has moved on to a 1984 mongoose Californian now and I ride a 1982 supergoose  8)

But seriously mate, look at those brands you mentioned, check in the museum section on here and check Google images (be sure to add a year in the search on Google because those brands you mentioned still exist today... mongoose GT etc.) and once you find something you like the look of start the hunt  >:D

There's some great guys on here that do powder /paint, anodising, decals, pad sets etc. and a whole wealth of restoration threads and knowledge.

Good luck and have fun !

 :welcome to  :radbmxsmilie:  fistblump 8)

mongoositis - an expensive disease......

Offline Picklez

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Re: Hello all, hoping you can give me some advice...
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2020, 09:57 PM »
Hi Richard,  :welcome to Rad, sounds like your at the start of a fun journey.

Dan's given some really sound advise already. But then Bobafett's also jut given you insight to the 'Raleigh stigma on here too  :LolLolLolLol: :LolLolLolLol: :daumenhoch:

But if wanting something else, non-raleigh, and with a bit more room (frame size wise) you'll probably have to consider mid- to late 80's frame/fork type builds.

Most early-mid 80's frames were relatively small, with top tube lengths of between 18"-19.5", and to give a little idea most modern BMX' are between 20-22" in that department nowadays. There were a few early-mid 80's exceptions, I can think of one or two CW's and other US made options (not so popular over this side of the pond, like Powerlite etc.), but on the whole that's about it. However, it's not top tube length alone that will define "how big a frame feels" as you have to consider that in conjunction with seat tube and head tube angle. i.e. you can get a decent top tube length with a 'lazy' seat tube angle that can feel smaller than a shorter top tube'd bike with a more upright seat tube angle. It's all a bit of a mind field, but a bit of research, and a good few evenings readings and you'll start to feel more confident in having a better understanding, and probably also a clearer idea of what you and your daughter like the look of, and most importantly, what your budget can afford.

There was a good thread on a popular american forum on this exact topic a few months back, that will probably help as a starter, but bare in mind those strange US folk have a preference for (some of the same but also) some different manufacturers to the most popular that we remember.

https://bmxmuseum.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=824418&p=1

and check the 11th entry on this thread which does a pretty good job at explaining the importance of the geometry of the frame as a whole

https://bmxmuseum.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=609649

Of the brands you mention, and if wanted to stay early-mid 80's then Diamondback will probably be slightly cheaper to build from your list, many still love their older 'geese, so that keeps the prices of the Mongoose' relatively up there, and the desire for GT's seems to have exploded just this year, along with the associated prices recently but DB's seem to still be reasonable on the whole, and I believe they made a relative good sized frame BITD, a senior or large pro ran a 19" top tube length. But start to stray into the later 80's even more options open up, if you want highly desirable, sexy, and money's not an object you could think of building a tricked out Redline RL20ii, good sized frame, high-end, well respected, but will run you out considerable coin. Slightly cheaper (probably), but a great frame something along the lines of a Freeagent Lima, or into the early to mid 90's and there are loads of choices, but others, someone like member MidSchoolJohn (or many others) would be better suited on providing options for that date range.

Sorry it's not an easy answer. At the end of the day, ask more questions, start reading a bit, check some of the great builds out from the ME & My Bikes and Museum sections, figure your rough budget out, and hopefully you'll start to get a better picture. But most to all cherish the time the project gives you with your girl, it's finite, she'll be grown up and off on her own adventurers before you know it .

Have fun  :daumenhoch:
**** WANTED: Early black Comp ST's, Mint Black Shotgun 2 or OG Suede Kashi Aero, Titrons, Black-White/White-Black RadKaps. Thank You ****

Offline brettypeeps

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Re: Hello all, hoping you can give me some advice...
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2020, 10:51 PM »
A GT Pro performer is quite long and nice to ride. 

I would get something you remember an wanted as a Kid.  explosion

Offline Spen69

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Re: Hello all, hoping you can give me some advice...
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2020, 12:35 AM »
Hi Richard, welcome to the world of BMX. Like a lot of guys on here, I've built plenty of bikes over the years but more recently, riding with my 10yr old son has taken greater priority than building and tinkering ever did.

If it could offer a bit of advice it would be to buy a complete bike that needs a bit of love, so you have all the basics but can replace simple things like brake cables, grips and tyres and then strip, clean and paint if needed before rebuilding.

Try not to spend a load of cash on your first bike. Although a bit newer than you said, one thing that screams of old-school is a bike with twin top-tubes and Haro did a few in the mid 90's called a Revo and Zippo. They are a bit roomier than early 80's bikes and the geometry is better. If you go down the 80's rabbit-hole your wallet will empty really quickly, so choose something a bit less scary first!

This would have been ideal as a starting point
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Haro-Freestyler-Zippo-Master-Old-School-TOTALY-ORIGINAL-CONDITION-Needs-TLC/224101112447?hash=item342d779a7f:g:wnEAAOSwzddfJGoY#vi__app-cvip-panel

Here's what they look like

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Haro-Zippo-Old-School-BMX-1997-Model-Yellow/373131839357?hash=item56e064077d:g:~ScAAOSwEqlfIoO7#vi__app-cvip-panel

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Haro-Revo-Freestyler-Zippo-Master-Old-School-Bmx-TOTALY-ORIGINAL-CONDITION/154006377044?hash=item23db7ed254:g:sGIAAOSw0c9fGpbg#vi__app-cvip-panel

There were some early 90's GT framesets that might also fit the bill as well.

Oh, try and avoid chrome bikes, it will break your wallet to re-chrome them and you can't strip & spray them like a painted frame  :-\
Still limping......

Offline rmwesley

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Re: Hello all, hoping you can give me some advice...
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2020, 07:20 AM »
What can I say! Thanks very much for the replies. You are scholars and gentlemen. I'm on forums for a couple of other hobbies and I've got to admit I was a bit apprehensive about sticking my post up. The other forums I'd have got short shrift. Refreshing change over here.

I've got a great headstart to do some research. Hopefully you could humour me if I've got a couple more questions or your opinion if I see any possibles on eBay. In return hopefully I can repay my debt by sticking up a load of pics & a restoration thread.

Cheers, Richard

Offline BMX1973

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Re: Hello all, hoping you can give me some advice...
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2020, 08:02 PM »
 :welcome to  :radbmxsmilie:  :daumenhoch:

If you buy a frame that has a longer Top Tube, you can always fit smaller handlebars to start. For example 23" wide and move up to Pro Bars 28" wide.

Offline rmwesley

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Re: Hello all, hoping you can give me some advice...
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2020, 02:24 PM »
Thanks for the advice BMX1973 !

I put a speculative bid in on the Mongoose Decade which went on eBay at lunchtime today. Went for more money than I was prepared to pay, but a lovely looking bike though. Would have been perfect for my project. I'll keep looking...

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