Monday, November 1, 2010

Finding Vintage BMX Treasure in the Trash

Take a look at this vintage BMX bike. It has all the hallmarks of a low-end 1980s ride. A chrome frame that looks like every other chrome frame. "Welds" that make a pile of goose poop look good. One-piece steel cranks to go with the one-piece steel sprocket and one-piece steel seat post clamp. Cheap CW-style knockoff handlebars that are quite obviously bent. I've been told that it might be a Schwinn Predator; I won't argue with that. It does have style. It has "the look". But it is what it is: bottom of the line.

cheap vintage bmx bike with white freestyle tuf neck

However...

Those of you who know BMX history, the ones who have a sharp eye, will know instantly why I bought it (at a metal recycling yard for a whopping five bucks). You will see what I saw and you will say "damn, I wish I'd found that."

cheap vintage bmx bike with white freestyle tuf-neck

What am I talking about? What makes this wobbly mild-steel relic worth pulling out of a pile of discarded tractors, lawnmowers, car fenders and washing machines?

cheap vintage bmx bike with white freestyle tuf-neck

This does.

white freestyle tuf-neck

In case you don't know what that is, it's a white freestyle Tuf-Neck. In pretty good condition. Worth exactly $52.77 on eBay. (Yeah, I sold it; I tend to build race bikes so I didn't really see myself using it for anything.)

Of course, I didn't forget about the white braced lay-back seat post (also, I think, by Tuf-Neck), but unfortunately that's bent. The seat is generic, but it isn't too bad; I can use it on something else.

cheap vintage bmx bike with white freestyle tuf-neck

And if you're really paying attention, you will have noticed that while the front wheel was probably stamped out in a factory in the Midwest, the back wheel is an ACS Z-Rim laced to an ACS Z-Hub. Even the grips were real Mushrooms; unfortunately they'd deteriorated into sticky black goo so I had to cut them off and throw them away.

Here's one more photo of that sweet Tuf-Neck. Not bad for five bucks.

cheap vintage bmx bike with white freestyle tuf-neck