this is my 1986 red line RL-20 II. there are many like it, but this one is MINE.
when i was a kid, the first bmx bike i ever had was some store bought piece of crap. it was chrome with gum wall tires, had cheap chinese components, one piece cranks and probably weighed 50 lbs. i quickly ripped off all the stupid stickers, reflectors and tacky checkerboard pads and slowly started replacing parts by foregoing food and saving up my lunch money.
the year was 1986 and i distinctly remember seeing this ad in bmx action with rl osborn squatting down next to this gorgeous cali red rl-20 II. every since then i swore that i would eventually own this bike.
[image: bmx action]
back in 86 this thing went for a cool 7 bills. she was the ferrari of all freestyle bikes and no matter how many lawns i mowed or cars i washed there was no fucking way i would ever be able to afford her.
as i got older i started buying shit to rekindle my youth. it started off with 80’s skate decks and eventually led into bmx bikes of the same era. luckily for me, my good friend r.nufable was heavily into the bmx collecting scene and helped plan and assemble this build.
this was the blueprint.
[image: freestylin magazine]
we scoured the earth and sourced a frame in good condition along with some nos forks and prepared to bring her back to life. the original color of the frame was white but i just had to re-powder her in cali red…
old school single-pinch 401 flight cranks in white, polished red line sprocket and sealed bottom bracket. r.nufable has a red line techmatic bb that i’m going to steal from him one day…
mks graphite pedals are rarer than tiffany sb’s. i could only afford a set of used ones at the time.
nos elina flyte tech seat in white. twin top tube bikes are the hotness.
fluted seat post for rigidity and lightness along with a suntour aluminum seat clamp, just like she came from the factory.
nos peregrine master graphite wheels on nos gum wall panaracer freestyle tires. so pretty i won’t even use my brakes in fear of scuffing these bad boys.
matching white odyssey brake pads on dia compe’s.
trying to find an original red line number plate was an adventure. beggars can’t be choosers so when i saw one pop up on the bay i quickly paypal’d over my soul. come to find out that red line made different number plates for freestyle bikes. the one i have is for the bmx racers and the freestyle model has a slightly different shape that extends further up the bars. who knew? if you have one sitting in your garage somewhere, get at me.
i’m still in search of nos black oakley b1 grips. i’ve seen em pop up here and there but foo’s want upwards of $200+ for them things. in the meantime, i’m running ame tri’s which are still era correct.
80’s graphics at its finest.
if you want something bad enough you’ll find a way to get it. even if it takes 20 years…