Welcome to a journey into the heart of BMX culture, where we uncover the rarest BMX bikes ever created. These bikes are more than just sports equipment; they are revered artifacts, each with a unique story that has etched itself into the annals of BMX history.
In this exploration, we delve into the world of iconic brands like Patterson Racing, Hutch, and Redline, discovering why their bikes, such as the Patterson Racing 24 and Hutch Pro Star, are so sought after.
From their groundbreaking designs to their pivotal roles in shaping BMX's golden era, these bikes represent the zenith of BMX innovation and culture.
This article is not just for BMX aficionados but for anyone intrigued by the fusion of history, design, and passion on two wheels. Join us as we pedal through the legacy of these exceptional BMX bikes, uncovering what makes them the rarest and most coveted in the sport.
Photo by Juan Hutch
The Patterson family, led by Vance Patterson and his sons Brent and Brian, were influential figures in the BMX world. Their commitment to the sport and expertise in bike design is evident in the 1983 Patterson Racing 24.
Patterson's bike's design marks a significant period in BMX history, particularly the transition in frame design and dropouts after GT took over Patterson's production in 1983.
The frame of the 1983 model is made of chrome Cro-Moly, known for its durability and lightness, a crucial factor in BMX racing. Including the Tioga beartrap gold headset and the NOS tange gold headset lock adds to its unique appeal. The bike's aesthetics are further enhanced by the gold pro neck, Powerlite bend bars, and the striking combination of yellow AME grips with GT black/yellow donuts.
A noteworthy feature is the NOS Dia-Compe gold brakes, ensuring reliable stopping power, critical in BMX racing. The early GT seat post, new Kashimax yellow seat, and Patterson pad set demonstrate a keen attention to detail and quality.
Wheels are another highlight, with Araya 7X 24” x 1.75” gold wheel hoops paired with polished Bullseye hubs and stainless steel spokes. These, along with the chrome freewheel and custom-made Patterson dice caps, contribute to the bike's performance and visual appeal.
The drivetrain comprises Redline 185mm flight 401 single pinch half wraps, a Bullseye Roger spyder, and a NOS Sugino 44t gold chainring, all top-of-the-line components. Inclusion of a profile-sealed bottom bracket with gold cone spacers and KMC chrome chain reflects a no-compromise approach to quality.
Photo by @vintage_bmx_galler
The Hutch Pro Star, particularly the 1983 model, is a classic and iconic BMX bike that symbolizes the pinnacle of design and craftsmanship in the early 1980s BMX scene. This bike was not just a mere assembly of components; it was a showcase of Hutch's top-end parts and a testament to the brand's commitment to quality and performance.
It was essentially a Hutch Pro Racer frameset outfitted with the best components Hutch had to offer. The frame and fork, made in the USA, were selected for their superior chrome and weld quality. This careful selection process ensured that each Pro Star was not just a bike, but a masterpiece.
Equipped with Hutch Pro bars, a Hutch stem, and the unique 2-in-1 headlock, the bike offered unmatched handling and stability. The Hutch grips and pads, along with a sought-after Kashimax seat, added both comfort and style. The bike's stopping power was entrusted to the reliable Dia-Comp MX1000 brake and lever.
The wheelset was another area where the Pro Star excelled, featuring Araya 7X rims and Hutch hubs, known for their durability and performance. The addition of Hutch-labeled tires (also on your sourcing list) would complete this authentic setup.
- Frame & fork: 1983 Hutch Pro Sta
- Bars: Hutch Pro, original chrome
- Grips: Hutch
- Stem: Hutch "deep H" Pro
- Headlock: Hutch medium
- Headset: Tange 125
- Seatpost: Hutch
- Seatclamp: Hutch magnesium
- Cranks: Hutch Aerospeed
- Disc: Hutch Aerospeed
- Chainring: Tuff Neck
- Chain: Izumi chrome/black
- Pedals: Hutch Pro, rechromed
- Brakes: Dia-compe MX1000's
- Hubs: Hutch ti/mag
- Spokes: Marwi titanium
- Rims: Araya 7x 20 x 1.75
- Tires: NOS Tioga Comp III's blue/silver label
- Valve caps: Original Hutch Rad Kaps
- Numberplate: Hutch Stadium plate
- Pads: 80's Flight Hutch pads
1983 Hutch Pro Star
1975 26" Redline Squareback
- Original nickel frame and decals
- Authentic vintage BMX design
- NOS parts enhancing value
- Iconic Redline BMX model
- Not suitable for modern requirements.
- High value may limit practical usage
- Special care needed for preservation
- Limited availability for collectors
Photo by cheekythirtysix
The 1975 Redline Squareback is a true classic in the world of BMX, embodying the spirit and innovation of early BMX engineering and design. This bike stands out for its originality and the care taken in preserving its vintage components, making it a rare find for collectors and enthusiasts.
It had an original nickel-plated Redline Squareback, known for its durability and distinct style. The NOS Ashtabula one-piece crank paired with the NOS Tange bottom bracket exemplifies the bike's commitment to using period-correct, high-quality components.
One of the most striking features of this model is the Redline Proline Deep V Bars, still in their original nickel. Coupled with the Redline double clamp stem, provides the bike with a robust and classic BMX feel. The NOS Redline vinyl pad set is another nod to the bike's original era, enhancing its vintage appeal.
Seating is another area where this bike shines, despite the seat not being the final piece. The NOS Kashima padded seat offers comfort and style, staying true to the bike's vintage roots.
Wheels are another highlight, featuring NOS Skyway Tuff Wheel 1's and NOS Cheng Shin C183 knobby tires. These components not only provide a smooth ride but also add to the bike's classic aesthetic. The NOS Chair pedals and Addicks seat clamp further contribute to this model's authenticity.
The attention to detail is evident in the use of NOS Preston Petty grips and a NOS DID chain, ensuring that every part of the bike is as close to its original state as possible. While the generic stainless steel seatpost is a deviation, it does not detract from the overall vintage value of the bike.
- Cranks: NOS Ashtabula One Piece Crank
- Bottom Bracket: NOS Tange Bottom Bracket
- Chainring: NOS Three Arrows Chainwheel
- Handlebars: Redline Proline Deep V Bars
- Stem: Redline Double Clamp Stem
- Saddle: NOS Kashima Padded Seat
- Wheels: NOS Skyway Tuff Wheel 1's
- Tires: NOS Cheng Shin C183 Knobby Tires
- Pedals: NOS Chair Pedals
- Grips: NOS Preston Petty Grips
- Chain: NOS DID Chain
- Seatpost: Generic Stainless Steel seatpost
1st Gen RRS 24 Cruiser
- Pioneer in BMX cruiser design
- High-quality construction and materials
- Versatile for racing and casual riding
- Smooth ride with 24-inch wheels
- Distinctive and sleek design
- May be hard to find in good condition
- Original parts can be difficult to replace
- Not suited for modern BMX standards
- Can be expensive due to rarity
- Requires special care for preservation
Photo by Papa wheelie 03x
The 1st Gen RRS 24 Cruiser holds a special place in the annals of BMX history. RRS (Rick's Racing Stuff) was known for crafting bikes with meticulous attention to detail and a focus on performance.
These early-generation cruisers were among the pioneers in BMX cruiser design, blending the boundaries between BMX agility and the comfort of a cruiser.
RRS bikes were celebrated for their innovative design and quality construction. The 1st Gen RRS 24 Cruiser likely featured a robust yet lightweight frame, designed for both competitive racing and casual riding. These frames were often crafted from high-quality materials like chrome-molybdenum (Cro-Mo) steel, known for its excellent strength-to-weight ratio.
The 24-inch wheels on these cruisers were a significant departure from the standard 20-inch BMX wheels, offering a smoother ride over rough terrains while still maintaining the agility necessary for BMX tricks and racing. This made the 1st Gen RRS 24 Cruiser a versatile bike, appealing to a wide range of riders.
Components on RRS bikes were typically top-of-the-line for the era. This would include high-quality cranks, durable pedals, and responsive braking systems, ensuring both performance and reliability. The design aesthetic of RRS bikes was also noteworthy, often featuring sleek lines and a distinctive look that set them apart from other bikes of the era.
How we Found the Rarest BMX Bikes
Finding the rarest BMX bikes from around the world was actually quite tricky. Most of the bikes were developed in a very limited run around the mid 70s and early 80s.
Since then the popularity of BMX has exploded but a lot of these early companies have gone out of business. Their awesome, bikes stil existed but many were lost, scrapped or taken apart. The ones that are left are a great throwback to the early BMX industry.
Thankfully, when we were researching the rarest BMX bikes, we came across some great online museums and forums where retro BMX enthusiasts discussed these early, rarely observed bikes.
We used these forums to have some great discussion in order to get a good consensus of the rarest bikes and how they performed in the real world.
Brands of the Rarest BMX Bikes
In the world of BMX, certain brands have risen to legendary status, not just for their performance and style but also for the rarity and historical significance of their bikes. These brands crafted models that have become much more than just sports equipment; they are coveted pieces of BMX history. Let's dive into some of these illustrious brands and their rare BMX bikes.
Founded by Vance Patterson and his sons, Brent and Brian, Patterson Racing bikes are a symbol of BMX racing heritage. Their bikes, especially models like the Patterson Racing 24 from 1983, are renowned for their craftsmanship and innovative design. With the transition in frame design post the GT takeover, Patterson bikes from this era are particularly rare and sought after.
Hutch is synonymous with BMX excellence. The Hutch Pro Star, especially the 1983 model, is a prime example. Originally sold as a complete bike, it featured a Pro Racer frameset and was equipped with top-end Hutch components. The Pro Star was the apex of Hutch's line in the 1980s, a true collector's item for its rarity and the high quality of its parts.
A pioneering brand in the BMX world, Redline's 1975 Squareback is a standout. Known for its original nickel frame and classic design, this model is a rare find, especially with original components. The Squareback is emblematic of Redline's early innovation and remains a highly prized possession among vintage BMX collectors.
RRS (Rick's Racing Stuff)
RRS may not be as widely recognized as some other brands, but among connoisseurs, it's a name that commands respect. The 1st Gen RRS 24 Cruiser, with its unique design and high-quality build, is a rare gem. These bikes were among the first to blend the agility of a BMX with the comfort of a cruiser, making them highly desirable.
Frequently Asked Questions about Rare BMX Bikes
What makes a BMX bike rare?
A BMX bike becomes rare due to its model, brand, and production period. Iconic examples include the Hutch Trick Star, Skyway T/A, Redline RL20-II, Kuwahara KZ-1, and SE Racing Quadangle. These bikes are rare due to their unique designs, high-quality components, historical significance, or association with pop culture.
How can I identify a rare BMX bike?
Identify a rare BMX bike by its serial number, located on the top or down tube in front of the frame, or elsewhere like the rear dropout, top of the crank, bottom of the seat tube, under the crank, or rear of the seat tube. This number is unique to each bike and crucial for identification.
Why are certain BMX bikes considered collectibles?
BMX bikes from the 1970s and 1980s, made by brands like Schwinn, Redline, Mongoose, Hutch, and Haro, are considered collectibles due to their vintage status, steel construction, design, and historical significance. The bike's age, condition, rarity, original components, and paint job contribute to its collectibility and value.
How much do rare BMX bikes typically cost?
The cost of BMX bikes varies. Entry-level bikes cost about $149 to $399, average models range from $399 to $999, and professional, often custom-built bikes can reach up to $3000. Now, when they're regarded as rare, this price can double or more. A few bikes on this list are over $3,000.
Where can I buy or sell a rare BMX bike?
Platforms like eBay offer a marketplace for buying and selling vintage BMX bikes. With a wide range of options, eBay has numerous listings for such bikes, making it a suitable platform for enthusiasts and collectors.
How do I verify the authenticity of a rare BMX bike?
Verify the authenticity of a BMX bike by checking the branding and serial number. Look for correct spelling and logo, and run the serial number through the manufacturer to confirm originality. Also, check for consistent dimensions and geometry compared to the original models.
How do I maintain the value of my rare BMX bike?
To maintain the value of a rare BMX bike, store it properly, avoid unnecessary modifications, keep it clean, and perform regular maintenance. Using authentic parts for repairs and maintaining its original condition as much as possible are key factors.
What are the risks involved in investing in rare BMX bikes?
Investing in rare BMX bikes carries risks like market fluctuations, potential for counterfeit bikes, difficulty in verifying authenticity, storage and maintenance requirements, and the need for specialized knowledge to assess value and authenticity.
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