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Endlesschain

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So I was bored the other night and googled my name and the word chopper to see what came up and a couple images of bikes I did and posted came up along with images from my old flickr account and was amazed by the amount of bikes I had uploaded plus a landscape photo that I had edited that I thought I had lost forever, it got me thinking just how many bikes I have bought built and sold and why we do what we do, the why is easy and hard at the same time, easy because we love bikes from the basic "yer bikes are cool" to the extreme "I'm a bike freak, I'm obsessed with bikes"which is what I normally say although I may think I have a large amount of bikes and parts which I certainly do and in my country of 5 million I may indeed be at the top for shear volume of privetely owned stuff I know I'm no way near some collections especially you guys in the U.S that have truck trailers full of stuff, I'm interested in brief stories of how you guys got into (or like me born) into bikes and does anyone know whether any books have been published about average guys and their bikes, I have books on graf artists, hotrod guys and tattoo artist explaining their love of what they do, these aren't famous people just Joe average dudes and dudettes, so if you are inclined to spill your story when you have a lazy Sunday let's hear it.
Hello my name is Ryan Branson I was born in New Zealand grew up in England did a couple years in the U.S and back to New Zealand, I got on a bike maybe around three years old and never really got off, I was just fascinated with bikes I don't even know why just am, started with a bike that I don't remember as I was too young but remember a string of Raleigh bikes, a striker then grifter and then the chopper black with priszmatic stickers and exhaust sticker on the chain guard, I believe the black choppers were english market only and very rare now, I thrashed that chopper to death until its ultimate demise of I believe a broken back wheel (or did I try to fix the gears and failed) I was maybe 12 years old, so dad bought me a Puch branded road bike bright red with white seat, bar wrap and cables, within a day I had flipped the drop bars up so I could pull wheelies much to dad's disappointment, after a few years of maintaining the roadie (and dad buying me a 1979 vespa 50 special, best scooter in the world but that's another story) and it getting old and raggedy I sanded it down, enter my first customising experience, I put bog/bondo in the corners of the frame to smooth it out, I think I saw a flash road bike in a magazine with aero style frame, for some reason and to this day I don't know why but I cut the drop bars so short that I could only fit the brake lever and grips on they were that short I had to kind of over lap where the brake cable/barral adjusters were, yes they were that short, maybe just over a foot wide, imagine clamp bulge, brake lever then grips with no gap in between, to this day I don't understand why I did that, I hadn't seen it done anywhere so maybe it was a first.
Moving on to when I went to U.S 1988-1991ish was living on an airbase in New Mexico, I kind of bummed around abit and admittedly was lazy after my hiphop/bboy/graffiti/bike days of England, but one day a naigbour was selling an old brown ten speed I think $50 I hassled my sister for cash and got the bike around the same time I came into a small amount of cash can't remember how thought, so off to town got a pair of straight bars/levers/Shimano rear derailleur and one can of black and white each, proceeded to strip sand and repaint the frame white fade to black white front wheel black rear wheel reassembled with new parts, saw the naigbour a week later and he said wow that's a cool as bike but what happened to the bike I sold you, you can imagine his surprise when I told him it was his old bike, moving forward and now living in my home country of New Zealand, for a few years I really just had a couple of bikes that I rode and when I met my future wife her brother was into bikes so things started to really happen with several trips to the town dump raiding the scrap metal section, you could picture me riding home with 4 wheels gingerly hanging from my handlebar, some forks sitting on the top tube and a frame slung over my head and body like a courier bag, fast forward a little bit and married with 4 kids and 2 grandchildren living in the same city for nearly 27 years and created my own beautiful bike empire, you know its serious when you buy a whole bike just for that fat white vinyl spring seat or that black vinyl diamond pattern spring roadbike seat, as I've mentioned in other posts I've sold bikes I love to help with bills or to put some extra food on the table but I do buy cheap bikes to on sell for profit but they all get stripped, cleaned, greased, parts replaced where needed, nuts and bolts torqued correctly, my rule is I wouldn't sell any bike myself or my children wouldn't ride, I am blessed to have some friends that love and appreciate my work and trust me with their family bikes to overhaul or repair, how do I explain my love of bikes? I really can't other than this is what I was born to do, my wife laughs every time I watch a show or movie and there's a bike in a scene I'm like "oh wait what type of bike is that."im a bike freak yes I am indeed
 
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I think I have built nearly 200 bikes. My favorites are a Free Agent BMX bike I had as a teen, a GT circa 1984, my Speedster Felt, The Great Blue Yale Felt (rode it today), my 26” Skyway (rode it today), my 26” Hutch (rode it today), a my first bike (a Huffy Thunderstar,) and my Thunderstar clone (rode it today).
 

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Captain Awesome

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I think I have built nearly 200 bikes. My favorites are a Free Agent BMX bike I had as a teen, a GT circa 1984, my Speedster Felt, The Great Blue Yale Felt (rode it today), my 26” Skyway (rode it today), my 26” Hutch (rode it today), a my first bike (a Huffy Thunderstar,) and my Thunderstar clone (rode it today).
Your Hutch is double drive?
 

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Interesting story for sure. In my childhood neighborhood bikes were kind of nonexistent. There were movie theaters, shopping centers, schools, etc. all within walking distance. So that's what we did. In my hood your bike had a pretty good chance at disappearing. I remember once I rode my bike to the grocery store. I carefully locked it up and went inside. When I came out the bike still locked up minus seat and seatpost. Fast forward to the teen years. Motorcycles dominated my life for close to 25 years. First choppers then dirt bikes. The dirt bikes lead to racing motocross. That dominated about 18 years. I have some great stories about racing all over California. After moto I got into observed trials for a few years.

One day a buddy shows up at my place with a mountain bike. He says,"you gotta try this out". So I did. I came back a hour later sold! Next thing I know I'm racing mountain bikes. Mountain biking was a new sport and very crude. But it was advancing quickly. I couldn't afford the top end stuff so I started a business. That was a great move. I got to know people from all over the world. I had a really good customer in NZ. He actually started his own business named after mine. I was Mountain Pedaler and he was Mountain Pedaler NZ.

I was attending a mountain bike festival in Monterrey (called the Sea Otter Classic) and saw really cool vintage bike. Some guy had made a American Flyer into a board tracker. I had to have one! I still mountain bike and road bike but only for fun. I'm done racing. How many bikes have I built? I dunno, lots. How many wheels have I built? I dunno, lots and lots. It's been a fun ride that I wouldn't trade for anything.
 
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I started my bike journey over 30 years ago when i was maybe waist height. I remember having an electric motorcycle when i was about 4, and broke my ankle. I was in kindergarten when I was riding to and from school, and replacing my own tubes. I used an old cresent wrench and a broom handle to tension the chain. I cant say how many bikes ive built over my life, but I have built my almost 4 year old 2 customs. One balance bike, with front and rear V-brakes, and moving to a 16" aluminum belt drive! Its the slickist 1st peddle bike ever!!
I've had just about every kind of bike for the most part. I grew up riding the neighborhood bmx tracks built by the people who ride them, other neighborhood kids on an old Redline. Then MTB's came into the world, and those are the style i am most fond of, growing up in the 90's the golden age of MTBs. GT and Trek!!! I remember Cannondales single shock fork, and rode one of those. My first aluminum and full suspension bike was a Mongoose VRS. I have had random road bikes starting from about the 2nd grade. I have a couple single speed road/hybrids at the moment. I'm not a big fan of drop bars and jockey position for city riding, so no drops for me! Buncha random cruiser bikes 26,24,20 and i have a 29r Schwinn with apes, i think will become a 3 speed klunker. I went threw the motorized bike phase, with those 2 stroke motors. It was fun for a minute. I also went threw the Motorcycle phase, and started early on that. I got my Motorcycle license at 16, i didnt get my regular car license until 18. I worked as a motorcycle mechanic in my early to mid 20's, and did some frame fabrication. I did cars for awhile also. I went back to just peddle power oh feels like a decade now. I am ready to go electric, for very long distance, and waiting for kits for automotive to come down a bit and convert my vehicles.
One style of bike that has eluded me is the mighty Tank Bike. Ive never owned one, and all the ones i have come across were way to much green for me. Maybe some day. I have the skills to make a tank, but its just not the same!!
Now days i mostly cruise that avatar bike with my little girl. Shes not even 4 and is shredding up the bike park! She has already gone on a few fat/snow bike rides the last winter and i had a hard time keeping up with her!!
I sorta collect older 90s MTBs and have a couple GTs I have this 93/4 Karakoram with the groove tube, this hand built Pacific cycles Scorpio i dug out of a scrap pile thats a great city bike, and this Mongoose Rockadile with the old school bmx style drop outs/chain stays. Ive only seen 2-3 others like it on the web. Some day i will build it up.
Now i have this big-o-pile of random bikes, frames and parts ive collected over the past few years. Mostly from the scrap yard and from side of the road free piles. My avatar bike came from a few free piles i stumbled upon walking the dog in the hood. Now I figure i'll give making a swing bike ago, and i guess i decided to do that just in time for the RRBO this year. Now that i'm older, a father, and apparently responsible no more bar hopping and downhilling threw the 2am rush hour like the good old days!! Oh yeah we didnt wear helmets then either. I did some under ground racing, which now i think they call them alley rat races? Those races usually started at the bar for a 3-4 hour pre race drink ceremony then pick the busiest street in town to swerve threw. Not to sure how i survived all of that, but i guess all the carbs from the beer kept me going.
 

MattiThundrrr

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Feel free to share those retro MTB pictures, they're welcome here too. That Rockadile would be great as a single speed ripper to show the kids what can be done with less. I'm kinda fond of trail rats, I'm collecting decades. 80s Nishiki, 90s Specialized, 00s Brodie, 10s Specialized (wanna upgrade to a Kona or something). They are all (or will be) set up differently to highlight the versatility of mountain bikes.
 

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Neighbors were complaining to my parents about my big wheel being too loud..lol..I would roll up and down the sidewalks for hours on that thing..the plastic roar was a feature in my mind🤣😂
Few days later my pop (RIP) pulled this brown 20“ off his work truck, I learned to ride it within a few hours.
Havent looked back since and I don’t think Ive ever gone more than a month without riding, even if it’s just figure 8’s in front of the house.

I never had a lot of bikes though.. 6 total in my 4 decades + of riding.
2 in my possession currently.

I never had a high end bike either, always entry level stuff I upgraded as I went.
 
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It began long long ago when I was I think around 7 maybe 8 and the neighbors were getting new bikes. Well my very first bike ever which was free was a metal flake blue 5 speed nut crusher banana seat sissybar Schwinn . ( Do Not fall into the shifter those hurt) It was the most awesome bike ever! Of course it was as it was my very first .
So as I went along I found many scrap bikes tossed out in trashed. I gathered them and created whatever I found out of the parts found. Then i hit age 12 and it was newspaper delivery job time ! Which of course fed my addiction even more. I built so many various bmx bikes then from my earnings. Lost count.
In may 57 years I seriously have no clue how many bikes I've owned or built. Never really thought about counting score just kept in feeding the hunger. I would stop for awhile take some time away as other events in life happenings. But the draw of the simple pedal powered machines never left me.
Oh sure I spent years building and riding many various motorcycles. Which are just another similar addition to my already younger years cravings just faster.
I like all kinds of bicycles. My biggest likings are the ratrod built from your own imagination of course. And definitely the vintage bikes.
So after some time here I am again feeding that side that never went away. But it's hungry so I'm sure my stable will gain many more bikes as it's been empty for awhile now.
 

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Feel free to share those retro MTB pictures, they're welcome here too. That Rockadile would be great as a single speed ripper to show the kids what can be done with less. I'm kinda fond of trail rats, I'm collecting decades. 80s Nishiki, 90s Specialized, 00s Brodie, 10s Specialized (wanna upgrade to a Kona or something). They are all (or will be) set up differently to highlight the versatility of mountain bikes.
20150812_185719.jpg
Here you go MattiThundrr. My buddy Curtis riding his 99 Turner Stinger on Slickrock.
 
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So it all started when I got my first bike as we all do but at 7 years old I realized that turning wrenches was fun and I asked for tools every Christmas and birthday. I ran a neighborhood bike shop out of my garage and was always known for riding around with a bike trailer (or 2 or 3) behind me. I'd drag home any bike that was thrown away I could find like free money because that's exactly what it was to me. I either scrap it and make a few bucks or put in a little work and sell it on craigslist or later FB marketplace.

I eventually got into collecting bikes and I still flip bikes as a hobby (currently own 16 bikes) but I'm much pickier about what I buy and much of the knowledge I've gained from this site I have leveraged into profit on many many bike deals. As far as how many bikes I have owned I literally can't count that high. I'd bet money I'm in the thousands at this point. I've been doing this for 30 years now and I've been incredibly lucky to find some really awesome stuff for just a poor kid from the streets. I paid $40 for a Hutch Judge at a yard sale, I paid $200 for a Schwinn Mini Twin just yesterday, I've had tandems, recumbents in both tadpole trike and conventional trike configuration, fat tire bikes, BMX bikes, cruiser bikes, antique bikes, skiptooth bikes, built countless customs, rat bikes, and even learned to lace wheels at 10 years old self taught!

I have owned anywhere from 15-150 at any given time. My teen years definitely being my peak. Had 150 bikes at one time packed in my 2.5 car garage. Bikes hanging in the rafters, bikes on the walls, bikes lined up dealer style along the back wall in rows, and a little corner up front with a tool box and an old coffee table that was my first workstand. God if I still had that collection of bikes I'd be rich. Dynos, Redlines, Diamondbacks, 80s 90s and 2000's BMX at it's finest. I'd take in 3 trash find mongooses and fix them up and trade them up to one Dyno or something and hang them on my walls like dollars in the bank. Unfortunately when we moved from that house I was only allowed to keep 3 bikes out of 150. A friend helped me get rid of a bunch of them so it wasn't a total loss but many I sold for pennies on the dollar back then and in terms of value now it makes me sick to think about how much that garage would be worth today. I literally owned more Dynos at one time than the bike shop that sold them in our town. I tried to get one in every color...lol.

I'm still a cheapskate and looking for the bargain best price on the best bikes still puts a smile on my face. Especially when I find that holy grail someone has no clue about. I still remember when I bought my Hutch Judge like it was yesterday I was at a yard sale and saw a table of nothing but BMX parts with some frames under the table. I look through them and as soon as I saw the letters HUTCH engraved in the rear brake bridge I picked it up. The guy looks at me and says "I'd have to get good money out of that one" I lay it back down thinking it's out of my price range but I ask "just out of curiosity what is good money on it?" He said "$40" and I about ripped the pocket off my blue jeans getting to my wallet. I ended up buying it and the whole table full of parts for like $50. Nothing comes close to that rush of finding deals like that. Knowing they are still out there keeps me looking every day.
 
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Endlesschain

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That last pic where the wheels look cut off is weird. The fish mural is awesome.
Yer bike resting on the lower step, yer the fish mural was Done by a friend, he is also a top tattoo artist who perfects the fine art of tattooing script lettering and is extremely good at our traditional Maori "ta moko" tattooing, he is well known in the graff world touring around the world tattooing and doing colabs with other graff crews but most importantly he is very humble
 

Endlesschain

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So it all started when I got my first bike as we all do but at 7 years old I realized that turning wrenches was fun and I asked for told every Christmas and birthday. I ran a neighborhood bike shop out of my garage and was always known for riding around with a bike trailer (or 2 or 3) behind me. I'd drag home any bike that was thrown away I could find like free money because that's exactly what it was to me. I either scrap it and make a few bucks or put in a little work and sell it on craigslist or later FB marketplace.

I eventually got into collecting bikes and I still flip bikes as a hobby (currently own 16 bikes) but I'm much pickier about what I buy and much of the knowledge I've gained from this site I have leveraged into profit on many many bike deals. As far as how many bikes I have owned I literally can't count that high. I'd bet money I'm in the thousands at this point. I've been doing this for 30 years now and I've been incredibly lucky to find some really awesome stuff for just a poor kid from the streets. I paid $40 for a Hutch Judge at a yard sale, I paid $200 for a Schwinn Mini Twin just yesterday, I've had tandems, recumbents in both tadpole trike and conventional trike configuration, fat tire bikes, BMX bikes, cruiser bikes, antique bikes, skiptooth bikes, built countless customs, rat bikes, and even learned to lace wheels at 10 years old self taught!

I have owned anywhere from 15-150 at any given time. My teen years definitely being my peak. Had 150 bikes at one time packed in my 2.5 car garage. Bikes hanging in the rafters, bikes on the walls, bikes lined up dealer style along the back wall in rows, and a little corner up front with a tool box and an old coffee table that was my first workstand. God if I still had that collection of bikes I'd be rich. Dynos, Redlines, Diamondbacks, 80s 90s and 2000's BMX at it's finest. I'd take in 3 trash find mongooses and fix them up and trade them up to one Dyno or something and hang them on my walls like dollars in the bank. Unfortunately when we moved from that house I was only allowed to keep 3 bikes out of 150. A friend helped me get rid of a bunch of them so it wasn't a total loss but many I sold for pennies on the dollar back then and in terms of value now it makes me sick to think about how much that garage would be worth today. I literally owned more Dynos at one time than the bike shop that sold them in our town. I tried to get one in every color...lol.

I'm still a cheapskate and looking for the bargain best price on the best bikes still puts a smile on my face. Especially when I find that holy grail someone has no clue about. I still remember when I bought my Hutch Judge like it was yesterday I was at a yard sale and saw a table of nothing but BMX parts with some frames under the table. I look through them and as soon as I saw the letters HUTCH engraved in the rear brake bridge I picked it up. The guy looks at me and says "I'd have to get good money out of that one" I lay it back down thinking it's out of my price range but I ask "just out of curiosity what is good money on it?" He said "$40" and I about ripped the pocket off my blue jeans getting to my wallet. I ended up buying it and the whole table full of parts for like $50. Nothing comes close to that rush of finding deals like that. Knowing they are still out there keeps me looking every day.
We live worlds apart, styles apart, different lives, and cultures apart and yet our stories are so akin in ways that only true bicycle lovers would ever understand, keep living, keep riding, we are a true brotherhood and of cause to the sisters out there a sisterhood as well, when you could talk bikes for hours on end you know who you are
 
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We live worlds apart, styles apart, different lives, and cultures apart and yet our stories are so akin in ways that only true bicycle lovers would ever understand, keep living, keep riding, we are a true brotherhood and of cause to the sisters out there a sisterhood as well, when you could talk bikes for hours on end you know who you are

So true. I'll always have a few bikes even when I'm too old to ride. I'll have one as a reminder of simpler times. A bicycle is your first taste of freedom. It's your vessel to explore the world around you. It's a very simplistic and mechanical thing yet some can be utilitarian, some can be artistic, some are just odd. There's a bicycle for every style. The variety is mind blowing and each has its own unique style and characteristics. I've owned literally thousands of bicycles and it seems each one has it's own personality and is a reflection of the person who built it. I'm proud to put my stamp on so many awesome bicycles and pass on some cool stuff to the next generation. I save every one I can and am amazed at the kind of things that mankind will throw away. Such a waste.

Variety is the spice of life and new bikes just don't have the same flavor.

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Endlesschain

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The downside of having so many bikes to do is time, I've had bikes for years that I haven't touched or have forgotten, and on top of that you have a friend that has a bro down the line That can score 80s 90s road and mtbs like gt Kona khs trek Scott Cannondale and bikes native to new Zealand like Avanti healing Morrison and farmers trading co for free or as little as $10 because of his location where people aren't so greedy with the price unlike where I am at the gateway to the north which is also the gateway to mostly high prices but I am lucky to have a friend like mike who seems to bring me so many bikes to do and the amazing generosity of my friend @Glen for gifting me volumes, but will I stop hek no,I'm 51 years old I think I have another 15/20 to go before the mind or body starts wanting to sit in a comfy chair everyday looking out at the scenery with a cold glass of ocean spray cranberry juice..........wait a minute that actually sounds nice.....just joking it would have to be a cold corona
 
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Never considered myself a true bicycle enthusiast. I see something I like, buy it if it's cheap enough, do some maintenance and ride it. Invariably someone (family, neighbor, bystander) thinks that I have something Awesome, and I let them have it free or cheap. Due to being Working Poor, Time-strapped and living in a RV (with a handful of cheap tools and a picnic table for a workshop) I don't really have space, time or money for a stable, so I keep two working frames maximum sitting out in the weather and needing oil and soap every week.

I suppose i've had a few really notable bikes-a 1971 Schwinn single-speed (nephew still has it) a 3-speed 1976 Huffy that sat out in someone's barn for 15 years (new tires, soap, oil, rode a few times and let a cousin buy it off me for $40 labor) A 1981 Emory (picked up for a mere $20, new tires and oil, rode for half a decade and gave to a neighbor when I moved East) a Kent Folder nobody wanted because the derailleur was broken, got it cheap, turned it into serviceable single speed in two minutes flat with a chain-breaker and gave it to a car-less co-worker a month later...a Haro BMX frame some yuppie put in my car because Wal-mart wouldn't let him use their dumpster (adjusted the seat post and rode it until somebody offered me $350 for it). Oh, and my one official BO bike the White Rabbit-the teenage girl I gave it to is almost ready to take it with her to College as a City Bike.

I haven't seriously touched a wrench in months 😢. My job in Traffic Control gets me up at 4AM or worse, I might see my house by 6PM, and going on Stormcall for the recent Florida hurricane just left me wrecked for awhile. My current ride (a late 1970's or early 1980's Musashi Shabondama, purchased in Oahu by a serviceman and given away when he developed Neuropathy) has only needed fresh tires and a little oil, so a put a few miles on it every weekend and try not to think of all the designs in my head for awhile. BUT THEY ARE WAITING. If the Lord gives me time to finish that Bucket List of mine, I may yet see our Sun flare out as I tighten that last link...:headbang:
 

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