Sunday, December 09, 2007

16" GT Pro Tour

On a tip from Sailor this past week, Simon and I went to check out a 16" GT BMX. Excited about the prospect of a proper mini BMX like my Haro but from a different period, we arranged to meet up on a cold December evening. I got there first, and was totally blown away by the bike; if Simon didn't buy it, I would. It's a mostly-original 16" GT Pro Tour, which at this point I would estimate at early-to-mid-'90s vintage.

Locking Dia Compe Tech-77 levers - when was the last time you saw a pair of these? It should be mentioned that these hinged-clamp levers (in non-locking form) are still sold in the modern BMX world.

4130 Cro-Moly, Huntington Beach, CA - the real deal. Apart from some surface rust, the finish and original decals are in great shape.

Freestyle. Pink and Blue. Though the Compact Disc chainring is cool, I think it deserves one of my NOS GT 43T rings for a bit higher gear.

Pantographing, American BMX style. Check out the seat stays, which were carried through the entire GT line at the time.

Plastic wings logo saddle on a layback post which protrudes from that ever-so-period decade platform.

Doesn't it just make you want to get out and ride? This will be a great bike for Simon to learn tricks for Brakes while looking super stylish at the same time.

Though the bike is not immediately as aesthetically pleasing as the proportionally-correct 3/4 scale Haro, the shape does grow on you. More and more I am being reminded of looking through catalogues and watching videos from that period of BMX - in fact, I may actually have a GT "4130" video that I scored from a contest I organized in 1998.

In terms of its rideability, the first thing that needs attention is the brakes. The Dia Compe MX calipers were weak when new, and definitely don't work after years of sitting. A period-correct Bulldog caliper would probably provide more power, but would be hard to find (though who knows what Don's got hanging around).

Realistically, some new pads would do it well for now, and possibly a removal of the front caliper. In the future, I think a 990 plate would be great; with its aluminum rims, this thing would stop on a dime with modern brakes.

Next, the tires. Though the 16x1.75" Panaracer knobbies are rad, they don't deserve to be skidded out at Brakes practice. 1.95" width Maxxis Hookworms would be unobtrusive and therefore appropriate.

The bars are the widest I've seen on a 16" bike. Though it felt odd when I first jumped on, I'm now almost thinking they aren't that bad. In terms of period-correctness, they have a nice bend, and would be more comfortable than the Haro's 3/4 scale bars for riding any significant distance.

Overall, this bike was an awesome score. With a some cleaning, repacking, and a few new parts, Simon will want to ride it wherever he goes - including at this year's Mini Bike Winter Olympics in Portland. Hello, Zoobomb!

1 comment:

((lyledriver)) said...

Hookworms are not period, but will be fine.

990 plate is going on my CHEETAH!