Wadeaminute // The Bashgoose

bashgoose

At the end of the 1980s, the BMX market had crashed, and was perhaps looking for the next gimmicky thing to sell more stuff. Suddenly it was of paramount importance that we have bashguards on our bikes. Street was the new thing, despite not actually being new, of course. And our giant sprockets – usually 44 teeth, although I was running 40t ones – needed protection.

At the time, riders might have seen it as evolution. These new frames and bolt-on components were being marketed as revolutionary, to be sure. I certainly bought into it. How hard?

closebashgoose

Look at the picture (which I found the same day that I found the Perry Kramer letter from the previous PK Story) –

That is a 1988 Mongoose Decade Pro with a welded on undercarriage and plastic guard from a Bully Bashguard bike. (The u-brake mounts had to be moved to accommodate this.) Yup, in Vancouver, we were chopping up broken Bullys (these broke very easily) and were transforming our preferred frames into bashguard bikes. Nutty.

To be clear, I wasn’t the first to do this. In fact, I believe that Ron Mercer was the originator. And I know that I did it after Alan Brand had one welded to his white Hutch Trick Star (Shad has seen this one recently, I believe, at Ride On in Vancouver). Think of the added weight! And the potential weakening of the frame! And the awkward change of balance!

I don’t actually remember how mine rode. I know that I liked that frame a lot for flatland. Eventually, I hacksawed it off (along with the standing platform) and ran it as a double-diamond hard-tail flatland bike.

But it sure seemed important to have a bashguard at the time.

Postscript One: It occurs to me that we were also getting our dropouts replaced back then with 3/8” stainless steel plates…

Postscript Two: Check the valve caps – same exact ones that are on my PK Ripper today from the first Artefacts post. Other interesting components: Redline 401 Flight Cranks and sprocket, Peregrine Q bars and SuperPro rims, a Bully stem, a RevCore seatpost, a GT double seatclamp, RL Edge Tires (1.75”), and chrome mini DX pedals (PDMX15s).

Postscript Three: An original 1988 Mongoose Decade Pro bike: http://bmxmuseum.com/bikes/mongoose/767

-Wade Nelson

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4 Responses to Wadeaminute // The Bashgoose

  1. Pingback: Are bash guards back? | cruiser revolution

  2. Darren Hough says:

    Good post. It’s funny, it seemed like they were around for a long time, it was really only for a couple of years before people moved on. Hoffman not putting one on the first gen Condor pretty much confirmed they weren’t really needed. I always thought they were way oversold, a friend of mine had one of those removable GT ones, we were super stoked to get it, it was fun to slide around on but the weird weight distribution was hard to adjust to. Within a few months it had ground through, and everyone just went back to doing peg grinds. Even back then I thought landing on and grinding the most fragile part of the entire bike was a bad idea.

  3. Kurt says:

    So good. Personally I didn’t know how many times this idea has surfaced and disappeared. Funny how BMX works where things come and go so much. Still a little surprised a brand is trying to bring this back and even patent the idea.

  4. Matt S says:

    I always get nostalgic reading about bash guards, I even noticed that BMX grind one advertised today, I had the same feeling I felt when Ruben was riding one for a while. Every time I consider them however I’m glad BMX moved on. I think the kids need a history lesson on these things, the Dirt Bros section in the Bully Video is a good reference for what tricks people did on them, but so glad pegs, pedals and cranks got better.

    Great read!

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