Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fixed Gears and Mag Wheels: The 1980s BMX Craze

When I was a kid I loved bikes. Really, what kid doesn't? Afterall, a boy's first wheels are his ticket to the world. I received my first Schwinn on my fifth birthday (training wheels and all) and it still stands as the greatest gift of all time. So much so that I have it to this day. It may be a little dinged up, rusty, and missing the chrome fenders, but I'm never letting it go.

Let's be honest though. I grew out of that first bike pretty quickly. As the Bicycle MotoCross (BMX) sport became increasingly popular during the early to mid 1980s, kids around the country were putting their regular bikes through hell trying to pull off that perfect wheelie, pogo, bunny hop, and curb endo. You'd find makeshift ramps popping up in every cul-de-sac with kids launching themselves all over the damn neighborhood. It became a boy's right of passage if he could pull off any number of these street skills; even more so if it were performed on a shiny new chromed-out BMX bike with fixed gears and mag wheels. I had two of them.

I couldn't tell you any of the popular riders back in the day. I didn't watch the events or read the mags. All I know is that I can think of no better way to spend a Saturday than curb hopping my way across town, racing friends, and laughing all the way.


  1. I coveted my neighbor's Mongoose so, so still stirs envy now that I think about it. Trick pegs!

  2. Mongoose made me sweat. Something about the blue frame and the yellow mag wheels set my heart on fire. I was also a huge Diamondback fan. I had a red Huffy with the wheel covers but it wasn't the Sigma that I coveted.

    I watched Rad last night on YouTube and wanted to go outside after the movie and bunny hop. haha