Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Motorcycles inspire new lifestyle in the early 1970's

If you've ever seen On Any Sunday, you'll notice a group of kids riding chopped Schwinn Stingray bicycles during the opening scene. Those kids would buy a stock bike store bike, remove a bunch of un-cool parts, like reflectors and chain guards, slap on some knobby tires, and seek out a dirt track that they could imitate their motorcycle heroes on. The sport of BMX was born.

California was the hotbed of early BMX, originally known as BX, or Bicycle Cross. As the underground sport grew in popularity, people in the motorcycle and hot rod industry took note. Bicycle design started to evolve. People started custom manufacturing parts, and later complete bikes. One of the first companies to evolve into a serious and innovative BMX manufacturer was Redline. Redline was started in 1970 by Linn Kastan and Mike Konle. Mike was a speedway racer, crane operator, and occasionally machined parts for a high-end frame company called Trackmaster. Linn was a welder for Trackmaster. They partnered up and began to manufacture light weight frames for TT, Speedway, Flattrack and Motocross. In 1974, Redline's most popular part was replacement motorcycle swingarms. Enter Pedaler's West bike shop. They challenged Redline to design a replacement fork that would take the abuse these kids were showing their bikes. Redline was equal to the task, and that year, Redline created the first chromoly fork of a tubular design. Nickle plating added that competition look the kids were after. It was an instant hit. In 1975, Redline developed their first frame. Using competition motorcycles as their model, they created a frame with square tubing in the rear triangle portion, a round top tube, and down tube, and a gusset to strengthen the neck. Coupled with the Redline Chromoly fork, and nickle plated to perfection, they set the industry standard for what was to come.


  1. duder's check out joe kid on a stingray.... super badical...

  2. Joe Kids On A Stingray is an awesome documentary. I own it. Working on getting Lucas a copy too.

  3. I meant "Kid", not "Kids". Too bad you can't edit your own comment.