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Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

#26 2018-02-14 9:39am

FRESSTYLE FREEK
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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

I started out as most did. On what I was told by friends. were cheap ass department store bike. I loved them and hated them. but now I get it. say a street hawk Mag pro. it looks kinda like a GT sorta. has the bent down tube, 4 pegs, a rotor , front and back brakes, mag wheels yet do to low magazine adds . it could not be sold at bike shops a long side a GT for the same price. so how did they grab sells away from a GT being sold that minuet. put lower cost look alike parts on. IE a aquile rotor. looks and works the same as a ACS. but cost that company less to buy. thus they can sell there bike at a lower cost. works just as god as what GT had. but parents liked this price better.wink so kid got one of these instead of a GT performer. 

I had a couple growing up. but do to friends talking smack. soon as I got a good job. I got what magazines and friends told me was a better bike.roll around 1998 I started seeing lots of these so called department store bikes. free on trash day. nostalgia kicked in. so I started dragging them home. just could not leave them to go to wast. they were trashed or missing parts. so what I sanded and repainted them in a cooler color. some times even add a gusset and weld a crack. then add better parts I saved. from a part out left for dead other bike. my friends thought I was nuts. lol I showed them it road every bit as nice as theirs. well some were clearly better than others tongue

here is some of mine. just like back in the day never left a bike stock long.tongue
http://bmxmuseum.com/image/2ba64b3f-9359-4c9e-8edd-b3e1df075c9d_zpsderfsgzk590b6595d4_lg.jpg

http://bmxmuseum.com/image/dsc00191_copy4_blowup.jpg

this one I left stock do to me haven one modified  already.
http://bmxmuseum.com/image/dans_bikes_for_sale_327_blowup.jpg

Last edited by FRESSTYLE FREEK (2018-02-14 9:39am)


Kindness is like Manure does You No Good unless You spread It around
bikes were made to be pedalled if we don't ride them they get sad:(!
YES I RIDE A PINK BIKE!! WANT TO MAKE SOME THING OUT OF IT!

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#27 2018-02-14 10:58am

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

Here's my own experience with dept store bikes.

I was lucky enough to have a paper route so I was able to buy a really nice used GT PFT as my first BMX bike. My little Brother on the other hand got stuck with a Supercycle Bobkat my parents had cheeped out on.

One day I was jumping off this small ledge(Only about 3 curbs height) in a parking lot then proceeding to bunny hop over the two parking curbs. Well my lil Brother wanted to try and the very second he jumped off the curb the stem on his bike instantly snapped plummeting him into the cement. He broke his arm so bad that the bone was sticking out. There was no cell phones and I had no idea what to do, he was bleeding and screaming. Suddenly this scary shifty guy who looks like a gangster pulls up in his Camero, and says "I saw what happened, I'll drive him to the Hospital"...But honestly this was the scariest dude I had ever saw and I was reluctant to let my Brother in the car because I was worried I wouldn't see him again lol.. The Dude screams at me "This is serious, I'm not gonna F**K him you dumb shit" ... So I reluctantly agreed. That guy really saved my Bro that day And I never got to thank him.

So to me Dept store bikes were never safe to try to do tricks on. Fixing them up is just putting lipstick on a Pig.

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#28 2018-02-14 11:33am

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

I never knew there were so many models. I remember seeing some on the streets as a kid but never really knew the names. Saw some in the stores too. When I worked at Roses I would ride their bikes around and goof off. The guys I worked with thought I was funny and laughed. I would be in the stock room doing a few small tricks and trying to impress the girls who thought I was just a dumb kid and they were only a couple years older than me.

As far as a bike snapping. I have not witnessed that and I know a few guys who rode their bikes hard. I do know of a kid I went to school with was riding his Haro Master and the bottom tube snapped. He had just done a trick on a ramp and everything seemed okay. He was riding down the street when the bottom half of the bike broke. He did get a new bike out of the deal.

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#29 2018-02-14 12:35pm

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

I snapped the stem on my huffy bitd. It was a hand me down from my older brother, I think it was a street heat? Red with white mags. Anyway, I didn't get messed up. It broke more from old age and rust, so it slowly broke and I was able to catch it before getting hurt.


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Always looking for old promo bikes: rc cola, sprite, slush puppy, 7-11 etc. Dept store bikes as well.
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#30 2018-02-14 3:19pm

FRESSTYLE FREEK
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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

I had my dad help me reweld many department store bikes. some clearly wear built better than others.


Kindness is like Manure does You No Good unless You spread It around
bikes were made to be pedalled if we don't ride them they get sad:(!
YES I RIDE A PINK BIKE!! WANT TO MAKE SOME THING OUT OF IT!

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#31 2018-02-14 3:43pm

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

Dont forget Dyno Detour, GT Performer, and Robinson Rebel. They were also sold at Ann&Hope dept stores in sporting goods around 1990 ish I think.  Oh and Ross Pirahnas might be Dept store bikes but it is said they are full 4130, and tied for 3rd lightest 80s freestyler.

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#32 2018-02-14 5:14pm

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

I bought two bikes that in different stages. One is a Sharp Freestyler. I think it is a 4130 chromoly. The other bike I am not sure if its a department store brand or not but it is a 1985-86 KHS Rockit. I can't wait to get these two and see what I want to do with them. I think the Sharp I may get some wheels and a front break and a seat and get it in riding condition and sell to fund a couple other projects. This summer is going to be bike building time!

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#33 2018-02-14 5:27pm

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

FRESSTYLE FREEK wrote:

tacochris wrote:

BMXRestorations wrote:

I can remember bikes back in the day being department stores. They always caught my eye and made me stop and look and take a spin through the store on them. I thought they felt good but I would never buy them. I always saved up to get something else. Now that the BMX bug has bitten I am going back and trying to find all the ones that were in department stores.

I have found two bikes that are almost complete. I remember these bikes but I can't remember what store sold them and if they were good quality bikes.

Tell me about these bikes and other bikes from back in the day that were in department stores.

The two I am looking at right now are -

Sharp Freestyle

Sharp Neon Lights

General Fred Blood

Any decals reproduced for the bikes listed above?

I can remember seeing a Sharp in Roses department store. It was blue. I worked there at the time and road around on it and thought it felt smooth and nice. I can somewhat remember the Sharp Freestyle bike. I think Toy's R' Us had them. A friend and I road those around the store and were told to stop and leave.

So with all that being said, my memory is a bit foggy. How were these bikes? Anyone collect them? Are parts hard to find? What mag wheels did they use?

Tell me what department store bikes caught your eye back in the day and when did they become a no-no on buying.

I own almost every department store freestyler that has caught my eye at any point but I tell you what...you wont get a lot of love from this site on department store bikes as most guys laugh them off as junk or parts bikes.  My facebook page is called Department Store Hero's and we are thick with department store lovers but I will say most do not come on here for anything other than buying parts.

As far as the General goes I would not consider that one department store honestly as they made some very nice stuff.

yes Same with Hutch some department stores like Target Sears and Gemco. carried a special made Hutch low end model. but nobody would call hutch a department store bike brand. IE a brand not popular enough to get a parking space. on a bike shops sales floor. but there were some really well made D.S.B. they just did not have the big time funds. for advertisement in magazines. like say GT or Diamond Back . so bike shop new little about them. there for the only place that. gave them a shot at selling one. was department stores.

I remember a Western Auto catalog or flyer having a Hutch Jet in it. I had a Western Flyer Freedom II (at least I think it was a II; it was purple). I didn't know about "bike shop" bikes at that time. I can still remember how bad that bike felt...the slow head angle, the flexy mags, the awful brakes. The best thing I can say for it was it had a large standing platform that made framestands easy.

I remember a gray bike in K Mart (that I thought was a Sigma) having a rotor. I specifically remember because I looked through all the parts they were selling in hopes of finding a rotor. I told my mom I wanted that rotor and she asked if they would sell the rotor off of that bike, but of course they wouldn't.

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#34 2018-02-14 9:40pm

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

Great post, Department Store Bikes are my favourite aswell.  Nothing bores me more then looking at the same old shhhhhit on this site over and over.

Show me something different.  I love it

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#35 2018-02-14 9:54pm

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

I love all bikes. I grew up riding anything with two wheels before I could afford anything with four wheels so BMX was in my blood. My cousins road twelve speeds. I was like not for me. Then it was mountain bikes. Again not for me.

Growing up I bought bikes from Roses. K-Mart. Nichols. I am sure there were other stores. If it looked cool I wanted it. Dirt bikes were my thing until I saw a blue GT. Then I was hooked on freestyle.

I created the thread because of my searching eBay for bikes led me back in time. I saw bikes I remember seeing in stores and on the streets but have no idea about. No magazine adds that I can remember.

I am also an odd ball collector. If it looks cool and it's odd I will collect it. I don't her attached to things so I'm constantly selling and moving on to the next one.

I thought it would be cool to see bikes we don't normally see. Something different and maybe not as lusted after as other bikes.

Keep posting guys. If you got pics of bikes (yours or not) please post them.

While I am at it. Was KHS ROCKIT a department store bike? I bought a frame and its a parts bike mostly. I might add parts like a cool stem and an ACS rotor. It's what we would have done as a kid. Add what we wanted as we got the money.

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#36 2018-02-15 2:27am

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

FRESSTYLE FREEK wrote:

I started out as most did. On what I was told by friends. were cheap ass department store bike. I loved them and hated them. but now I get it. say a street hawk Mag pro. it looks kinda like a GT sorta. has the bent down tube, 4 pegs, a rotor , front and back brakes, mag wheels yet do to low magazine adds . it could not be sold at bike shops a long side a GT for the same price. so how did they grab sells away from a GT being sold that minuet. put lower cost look alike parts on. IE a aquile rotor. looks and works the same as a ACS. but cost that company less to buy. thus they can sell there bike at a lower cost. works just as god as what GT had. but parents liked this price better.wink so kid got one of these instead of a GT performer. 

I had a couple growing up. but do to friends talking smack. soon as I got a good job. I got what magazines and friends told me was a better bike.roll around 1998 I started seeing lots of these so called department store bikes. free on trash day. nostalgia kicked in. so I started dragging them home. just could not leave them to go to wast. they were trashed or missing parts. so what I sanded and repainted them in a cooler color. some times even add a gusset and weld a crack. then add better parts I saved. from a part out left for dead other bike. my friends thought I was nuts. lol I showed them it road every bit as nice as theirs. well some were clearly better than others tongue

here is some of mine. just like back in the day never left a bike stock long.tongue
http://bmxmuseum.com/image/2ba64b3f-935 … 5d4_lg.jpg

http://bmxmuseum.com/image/dsc00191_copy4_blowup.jpg

this one I left stock do to me haven one modified  already.
http://bmxmuseum.com/image/dans_bikes_f … blowup.jpg

Nice bikes dude, was the Shock a department store bike in the US, over here Raleigh bikes are a decent brand? Not even sure the Shock was available in the UK, I only remember the Burners. Would love to get hold of one someday.

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#37 2018-02-15 9:20am

FRESSTYLE FREEK
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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

the Raleigh sold in bikes stores and department stores. they had their hand in every cookie jar tongue


Kindness is like Manure does You No Good unless You spread It around
bikes were made to be pedalled if we don't ride them they get sad:(!
YES I RIDE A PINK BIKE!! WANT TO MAKE SOME THING OUT OF IT!

2017 heavyweight build off entry submission thread link
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#38 2018-02-15 9:21am

FRESSTYLE FREEK
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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

Metacom wrote:

Dont forget Dyno Detour, GT Performer, and Robinson Rebel. They were also sold at Ann&Hope dept stores in sporting goods around 1990 ish I think.  Oh and Ross Pirahnas might be Dept store bikes but it is said they are full 4130, and tied for 3rd lightest 80s freestyler.

like I said some were better made than others.


Kindness is like Manure does You No Good unless You spread It around
bikes were made to be pedalled if we don't ride them they get sad:(!
YES I RIDE A PINK BIKE!! WANT TO MAKE SOME THING OUT OF IT!

2017 heavyweight build off entry submission thread link
http://bmxmuseum.com/forums/viewtopic.p … 0#p5846730

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#39 2018-02-15 9:33am

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

Quick question....

How many of you outrode the kids with the fancy expensive name brand bikes while you rode a department store special?


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#40 2018-02-15 10:03am

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

spyker wrote:

Quick question....

How many of you outrode the kids with the fancy expensive name brand bikes while you rode a department store special?

in a straight drag race from street lamp to street lamp yup. but on ramps nope. dirt jumping some times I could. as for flatland freestyle . no the stock brakes sucked.sad + I was no good  with Flintstones AKA mom and dad made brakes either.


Kindness is like Manure does You No Good unless You spread It around
bikes were made to be pedalled if we don't ride them they get sad:(!
YES I RIDE A PINK BIKE!! WANT TO MAKE SOME THING OUT OF IT!

2017 heavyweight build off entry submission thread link
http://bmxmuseum.com/forums/viewtopic.p … 0#p5846730

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#41 2018-02-23 5:10pm

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

General bikes were sold in department stores? I don’t remember that.


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#42 2018-02-23 5:56pm

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

stuntmanmike wrote:

General bikes were sold in department stores? I don’t remember that.

certain model General were made just to sell there and compete with huffy and Murry for parents dollars.


Kindness is like Manure does You No Good unless You spread It around
bikes were made to be pedalled if we don't ride them they get sad:(!
YES I RIDE A PINK BIKE!! WANT TO MAKE SOME THING OUT OF IT!

2017 heavyweight build off entry submission thread link
http://bmxmuseum.com/forums/viewtopic.p … 0#p5846730

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#43 2018-02-23 6:57pm

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

FRESSTYLE FREEK wrote:

stuntmanmike wrote:

General bikes were sold in department stores? I don’t remember that.

certain model General were made just to sell there and compete with huffy and Murry for parents dollars.

What models of General?

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#44 2018-02-23 7:02pm

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

Possibly General Shadow?


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#45 2018-02-23 8:04pm

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

tacochris wrote:

Some of my favorite ones i currently own

Columbia 9.5
https://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.bmxmuseum.com/user-image … 45a5c5.jpg

Me and a neighbor kid went half on a Columbia freestyle like that back in the mid 90's, someone down the street was willing to sell their sons who long since moved out for $20!

Was a pretty cool bike, had a set of the fork pegs and frame standers on the back, was in great shape. We eventually ended up trading to another kid for some GT pegs / some other cheap parts he had, lol.

We went around knocking on doors to do yard work to buy it. No one seemed to want anything done, but one nice old lady (that seems mean saying old lady, but she seemed rather old then) asked what we needed money for and how much, we told her we trying to buy a bike and she handed us a $20 for doing nothing just to help out, she insisted. We were like 10 - 11 years old.

Brings back some memories seeing that bike!

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#46 2018-02-23 8:34pm

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

I think most of us had a dept store bike starting out.  Mine was black with yellow mags, and gold anno parts,  pretty much a knock off Schwinn Thrasher. 1981-2 or so.
My cousin let me ride his mongoose for a month one summer and I was hooked.   Moved onto used GT's and dynos etc etc.

This is a good thread, keep it going.  The dept store freestylers are pretty interesting, you can see what frames they were replicating.


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#47 2018-02-23 9:38pm

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

Indyjps wrote:

I think most of us had a dept store bike starting out.  Mine was black with yellow mags, and gold anno parts,  pretty much a knock off Schwinn Thrasher. 1981-2 or so.
My cousin let me ride his mongoose for a month one summer and I was hooked.   Moved onto used GT's and dynos etc etc.

This is a good thread, keep it going.  The dept store freestylers are pretty interesting, you can see what frames they were replicating.

That is an awesome story. That lady sounds like a cool gal! How did you guys split the riding time?

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#48 2018-02-23 10:15pm

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

Did the Sharp Neon Lights come with a rotor?  What years were they produced?

I got a couple boxes in and with my KHS ROCKIT. I found a few more parts. I may sell my Sharp Freestyle and KHS ROCKIT to fund a fee other projects.

The KHS has original front mag and I believe the rear mag is also original. I will know more soon.

I want to find a Diamondback Hot Streak. Found one and bid but had to take my bid back. My aunt passed away this week and I need to help my uncle. So I didn't buy the Hot Streak. It was all original and just like my old bike. 100% like my old bike.

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#49 2018-02-23 10:52pm

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

I remember my first BMX was a Ross Piranha from Sears. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world being blacked out with the gold logos, and no hand brakes as coasters were the shit to put down the most massive skids possible. After a few jumps it fell apart, for another go, this time freestyle from k-mart wonder that split at the headset for no reason.

After that my old man got me an 80's GT from a police auction and I found what a real bike was about, and the rest is history.

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#50 2018-02-24 4:29am

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Re: Let's talk Department Store Bikes from 1980's to the 1990's

No problems with the late 90's Huffy's LOL. They were shop level bikes and you could get them at department stores. I've had a few.

My first bike was also a Stu Thomson in red.


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HuffyRider87 claims I'm a 'seathole' because he low-balled me on a bike, claiming its worth nothing and 'just a Huffy' and I told his ass whats up. Just a Huffy you wanted, and dont have. LOL.

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