Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mike Buff

Back in the day (BITD) this dude was the shit. Blasting mad endos with hang time, doing 1-hand, 1-foot kick turns twisted till he was facing backwards, the HIGH bunnyhops, and the roof drops. He rode a Looptail "P.K. Ripper" and so did I. My frame was polished aluminum with light blue and brown decals and I had a chrome fork. I had to drill the hole for the front brake. My brakes were blue anodized MX-900s. As buff changed parts I changed parts. He had a Redline Brute stem and GT pro bars cut down 1" and so did I, he went to CW bars and a Zeronine plate, and so did I. He had checkered pads and then SE camouflage ones and I made the switch too. He had Z-rims, I had Z-rims, and then he went to Tuff II's. Not just any Tuff II's but Graphite with the Campagnolo front hub and a coasterbrake. A lot of Freestylers ran coasterbrake (Bob Haro, Mike Buff, R.L. Osborn, John "Dizz" Hicks) and whaddahya know so did I. Modified in the same way it was layed out in BMX Action: Using Bendix 76 internals with the brake arm flipped and bent to line up with the top of the chainstay, and clamped with a hinged Dia-Compe seatpost clamp. But back to the Tuffs, Graphite with a coasterbrake was an inside deal and you had to "know somebody". Not a problem as I was on a trick team called Freestyle Force with Bill Curtin, who had set up some co-sponsorship (flow) with a few companies, including Skyway. Bill hooked it up and I payed about the same as retail for regular Zytel Tuff II's. In true Buff/Haro/Osborn fashion my tire of choice was Comp Stadium's in blue or red. Later I went the Haro style of a black skinwall Stadium in the front and a Cheng Shit diamond tread tire in back. Freestylin' with a coasterbrake burns thru back tires.

The reason I am posting this bike is because I plan to do a modern interpretation of it with a new retro looptail " P.K. Ripper". I am going with white w/red, cuz that is how I am getting it. My plan is to get rid of the v-brake posts and do under-the-seatstay removable u-brake mounts and cable guide like a street/park/trail bike has. I also want to do removable u-brake mounts on the fork. I want to set it up with some red anodized brakes and Dia-Compe Goldfinger levers, and of course a Gyro. I am going use a KHE Reverse freecoaster in red with white spokes and black rims, 48 out back and 36 in the front. For now all the parts that are chrome will be black. I don't think anyone makes Chrome handlebars anymore, but I could find some NOS GT pros and chop an inch off again. And believe it or not this build will piss off the purists (yes there are vintage BMX purists) because I am making it into a modern street/park bike instead of a retro tribute bike. I like modern BMXs because they are not all cramped and tiny. The "P.K." was 18-1/2" I think, and the retro looptail is 21.25", which is about the same as street/park bikes are. The rear triangle was/is a little long, but I am still getting used to short rear triangles so 14.5" sounds short to me compared to BITD but I know there are BMXs out there an inch shorter than that. I want to be able to ride this bike, and do the same lame tricks I used to. I'm not sure about kick-turn variations without a coasterbrake, but I do have a Bendix 76, and they still make Tuff IIs.

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