Bike Check // Santana’s Skyway TA


Mike “Santana” Esparza has been a positive spiritual influence in the Austin BMX scene for many, many years. Originally hailing from El Paso, Texas, Mike quickly rose to become a respected elder at 9th Street with his Tecate fueled stylish riding and his notorious quick wit and sense of humor. He also happens to own not one, but two, Skyway T/A’s. One of which is the subject of this bike check. Keep in mind Mike rides both of his T/A’s fairly regularly, so they aren’t just for show. I had originally planned on asking him a few questions along with the parts list, but as you can see below, that was unecessary. The parts list answers speak for themselves. Big thanks to Shad for making this bike check happen, and big thanks to Mike for being a great friend for so many years. Anybody that knows Mike knows what a spectacular individual and solid dude he is….Cheers!

– Lee Sultemeier


Frame: SKYWAY TA ’84 model. I got the frame at Trend back in ’96 when apparently SKYWAY found a bunch of frames in warehouse after moving some shed or something, at least thats what Tom said… they had bought several and were selling em as completes for nuffin’… It was a brand new, never rode, new old bike to replace the chrome TA I had been riding when I moved here… that TA i got from a dude in El Paso who worked at the same bbq place I did and he had it at a pawn shop and sold it to me for $80.
It was setup in true Dirt Bros. style with Redline forks and Cranks and some Skyway mags…I rode that for a couple years actually welded gussets which were made out of Redline bar tabs for the number plate and a pice of a drop out i cut off a haro sport to it behind the head tube.
Me and my friends were heavily influenced by the dirt bros style so I was stoked to be riding that bike when i moved to Austin in ’93..


Fork: S&M Pitchforks threaded and chopped down, remember cutting off the threads to put the stem down…

Bars: S&M slams all cut short mid 90’s style..I always cut too much off my bars, I gotta quit that…

Stem: TNT Chromie shinnier than my expanding forehead..

Grips: ODI Shrooms, I always cut most of the left grip flange off for comfort and Aerodynamics..

Bar Ends: A couple mismatched aluminum type ones I forget their brand…bar ends are super important stabbings happen

Headset:= Tioga Beartrap BS2000 with that crazy clamp on the fork threads to keep it from coming loose, I always felt it added some integrity to the whole shafted stem

Seat: The Primo Hemorrhoid is still appropriate for this bike because it adds weight and stability (to a paper airplane weight bike) on top of a blue flutted alloy seatpost I swear I have had since I was in 7th grade…the seatpost clamp is some crazy double clamp piece of engineering Peregrine possibly, its rad because it grabs the frame and the post and it adds some integrity to a weak area.


Cranks: Redline Flights. The double pinch bolt flavor but I think they were made in the US… They’re stuck to a Profile 45 tooth I know it ain’t the Flight disk that Id like to have but you seen those on the Ebay? Sheesh…

Sprocket: Attached permanently via hose clamp in order to keep the bolt from getting looser than me…Its a sick setup I had to improvise when I went to ride this pool out in Westlake and kept it since then…

Pedals: Shimano DX and they still got some grab on em I wouldn’t ride that bike barefoot.

Chain: Classic Chrome KMC with the Crupi wheel spacers to keep the wheel straight in those super thin dropouts

Wheels: In back a single wall 48 Araya on a a random hub… I also remember getting this wheel at Trend as well for 20 bucks, 48s for life…up front is a SKYWAY mag, I always liked the mags with the alloy hubs, they were like Daytons, but they didn’t I guess, even the new ones are lacking that alloy center piece…

Tires: Whatever I had to kick down off my current bike which in this case scenario happens o be a Primo Wall in back and a GLH for steering


Brakes: A rad ACS side pull Big Dog what I like about it was that the brake cable came to the left side and it matched up perfectly with a left foot forward riding technique I employ. I also used a hose clamp on the bridge to keep the brake from moving back and forth on that single bolt holding it down…

I kept the original stickers on it and its got a Club Homeboy sticker on the head tube ala Sandy Carson, he got it from Jaime McParland who got it from Lew … Its got SKYWAY frame and stem pads from Skyway.

This bike was mid school even before there was a midschool and is reflection on my ethic of doing what you have to do to keep it rolling while maintaining a sense of Style and a respect for the roots, and integrity with quality parts from that era.

While I was still riding this bike the Barcode came out and I remember seeing Joe at 9th street with the very first prototype and he let me ride it and I was sold. When the first batch came out I was secured one thanks to some help from Tina, and that bike is still rolliing too.


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One Response to Bike Check // Santana’s Skyway TA

  1. Wade says:

    I actually found two Skyway TAs. The first was a frame in a bike shop junk pile – it had no paint. I made it into a lake jumping bike around 1991. The second I found on the street in Toronto around 2009 – a complete bike with Vector Bob Haro bars. That bike was all 1983. Sold it to a friend who cared more about it than I did. TAs are radder than most 1980s frames, to be sure. And white TAs with the red and blue graphics still look pretty sharp.

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