Ok, first off a bit of history, through my school years I rode quite a few different bikes but kept coming back to BMX bikes, I had some Redline's, GT's and a few others but my favourite of them all and the one I miss the most was my Diamondback. For some reason it seemed just that bit more special than the others. My Diamondback was probably a basic model but I had it for quite a while as it was a longer frame than most and I have always been on the tall side, it went through many different paint jobs and component sets, I was constantly swapping out bits and pieces for better ones that I found at the dump or swapped for with my friends or bought with my pocket money, and it even became my first modified frame, I was craving a freestyle frame as they were all the rage at the time, (even though I had no trick skills, and still don't) and any I could find or afford were too small for me, so I found an old 10 speed bike with thick seat stays, cut them off and got my Dad to separate the seat stays away from the seat tube on the Diamondback and graft in the longer piece from the road bike going along level with the top tube and suddenly I had a freestyle bike I could fit! I like to think there is someone out there now with that frame trying to work out what model it is and what it's history is! So Diamondback BMX's will always have a soft spot with me, but of course I can no longer fit on them standard... Here is the donor bike for my build this year, a Diamondback Joker: This is one of the newer heavy weight trick bikes, that have come along in the last 10 years or so. I am finding these bikes pretty regularly now and getting them for good cheap prices. The good about this style of bike: -Very strong oversized tube frame. -Wide double wall 48 spoke rims with 14mm axle equipped hubs. -U brakes that provide good stopping power. -Super strong and simple 3 piece crankset that fits a standard American BB. -Big beefy head stems. -Nice seatpost clamps that grip well. -Plenty of clearance for the readily available fat and good looking 2.4” wide tires that can also run high pressures (65-100psi) for reduced rolling resistance and great weight carrying ability. The bad about this style of bike: -Size: Usually far too small for an adult. -Weight: Can be up to twice the weight of a more traditional BMX. -Style: Boring double triangle frames. -Gearing: Most run rather low gearing, these are slow speed trick bikes after all. So my goal is to build a bike that addresses the bad issues and makes use of the good points too the full. Size will be addressed with a small wheelbase extension and a large height extension. Weight is not really an issue for me, even if I added 100lbs to this bike it still would not be anywhere near the weight of some of my other builds, and even when I am done I believe it will still weigh less than a vintage tank bike. Style is the biggest change I will be making by adding the addition of a built in hydroformed steel tank similar to the one steel Felt bikes use, I will also being throwing in some HotRod flair. Gearing will be fixed by switching out the small front chainwheel for a 44 tooth off an older BMX, giving a 44/13 ratio which is the equivalent of a 44/17 or 42/16 ratio on a 26” bike. I do not believe this build will be in the running to win the build-off, that is not my goal, I just want to build a really nice bike, pretty much bomb proof and totally reliable, so it will not be over the top crazy, no custom made wheels and hugely complicated drive gearing systems, but I do intend for it to be the nicest finished bike I have done so far, all welds filed and dressed, near perfect paint, quality but not necessarily expensive components and easily capable of being comfortably ridden longer distances. Here is an early mock up. As you can see it is still very much BMX based, but with some vintage ratrodbikes.com ideas and style thrown in. Luke.