preferences and styles and sometimes cool stuff finds its way to the right home.
Do you feel there is a need for BMX products to survive for history's sake?
Martin Pimentel: Absolutely. These BMX products are a link to our collective past. I can’t think of many other positive influences like BMX that captivated millions of people around the world, became an olympic sport and drove grown men to obsessively rekindle their childhoods. That is an amazing impact and what we collect is a link to its roots.
Do 16", 20" and 24" BMX bikes all matter to you? Where is your preference?
Martin Pimentel: I like most bikes, raced mountain bikes and still ride. But 20” for BMX as you can do race and freestyle although 24” comes a close second.
What's one of your oldest BMX products in your collection?
Martin Pimentel: My collection window starts in 1980 so not as old as some other collectors. I once had the lowest serial Nomura known to exist and built in the first batch of 12 Nomuras ever produced. That is a cool bike.
What's one of the unique BMX products in your collection?
Martin Pimentel: The BMX Action Trick Team with RL Osborn and Mike Buff was legendary in the early days of freestyle. In 1983, they were joined for a short time by Pat Romano. He pioneered new tricks and introduced fork pegs to BMX. I have a set of Pat Romano Star Bars that bend almost 90 degrees back at the sweep. They are by far the freakiest BMX bars I’ve ever seen but he did some funky tricks on them. Not many of these around and I love the connection to the BMX Action Trick Team.
When you started riding what bike was the dream bike for you?
Martin Pimentel: Like many kids in the early 1980s, I would trawl through BMX magazines. Mostly BMX Action and BMX Plus. I would constantly dream about the bikes I wanted but never had the chance to own. Imagining the coolest parts I would put on them if I had no restrictions. That is my collecting and building philosophy today - reliving those memories and realising those dreams. I’m building the bikes I always dreamed about as a kid. That process of researching, searching, acquiring, testing, and reworking until it is finally perfect for me sometimes took years on certain builds. But every step of the way took me back to those days of my youth. I savour that feeling and am very grateful for it. That is why for me, this passion will never end.
So to answer the question, I had many dream bikes. And yes, I have had or do have them all in my collection today. CW, JMC, SE, Nomura, Profile, Powerlite, Redline, Mongoose, Kuwahara, VDC, Robinson, Diamond Back, Haro, GT, Hutch, National Pro, Torker, GHP, Vector, Patterson,
Name three BMX collectors that you respect?
1) Every old school collector out there and reading this now for keeping the spirit alive
2) Jeff Haney - I really admire his foresight in preserving so much early BMX history
3) Waza (Warren Eales) - for similarly saving a lot of BMX history in Australia. Have you seen his shed?
Do you have a special love for JMC?
Martin Pimentel: Oh yeah. I still remember the moment I saw my first JMC in real life. The tubing was just so cool. I had the honor of interacting with Jim Melton in his final years. He was so proud of JMC and rightly so. I have built a JMC cruiser, Andy Patterson, Darrell Young, Shadow, and Standard Long. I am building a stable of old school riders for beach cruises with friends when I make it back home and there will be at least a couple of JMCs in there.
How often do you look on eBay/Craigslist/BMX Museum to shop for old BMX stuff?
Martin Pimentel: These days not much. I have a stash that will last me awhile. Although I did pull the trigger on a set of 24” Skyway graphite tuff wheels a few weeks ago. Those gold flanges. Some things are just too hard to resist.
Do you "shop" internationally?
Martin Pimentel: I only shop internationally. At one stage my collection was in 4 locations in 3 countries. That was a nightmare but it’s all in one place now. My handle on the early old school sites was Global Nomad.
What shipping company do you prefer?
Martin Pimentel: Any one that will ship internationally.
What's the most ridiculous amount you have paid for a bike part that you needed to own?
Martin Pimentel: It’s all relative. I have a huge affinity for Redline. It was the first bike I ever raced as a kid. I was chasing a red and black Haro lightening bolt plate and found a NOS one still wrapped in its original packaging. What I thought was a lot for it at the time doesn’t seem so much today. It’s still wrapped in that original packaging and I’d buy another 10 of them if I could at that price.
What do you think is the best BMX collector show?
Martin Pimentel: Many of the Aussie shows - they tend to have excellent turnouts and bike displays. For a population of only 25 million, Aussies sure have collected more than their fair share of old school BMX. In the US, BMX Society - hope to visit one day.
You’re known not just for your bikes but how you present them with photography. What’s that about?
Martin Pimentel: You know that feeling when a bike’s stance or a certain angle triggers an emotion and hooks you? I wanted to capture that. And I didn’t want anything else to distract from the bike. Killer photos of killer bikes.
What's a bike (part) you have been looking for but haven't been able to locate?
Martin Pimentel: An Aero mesh number plate with matching number 51 to build a replica of Greg Grubbs’ Redline from the December 1982 cover of BMX Action. My favorite cover of all time.
Where can people reach you when they have that part available?
Martin Pimentel: Martin Pimentel on Facebook. My martin-bike site was lost moving countries.
Thanks to: My wife - she’s super cool about the collecting thing. Bruce Watman for helping me with some of my builds. My very patient photography friends who shot many killer photos of my bikes over the years.
Episode 1: Christophe Detandt (BEL)
Episode 2: James White (GBR)
Episode 3: JT Freestyle (USA)
Episode 4: Ben Murphy (IRL)
Episode 5: Rainer Schadowski (GER)
Episode 6: GAry Sansom (USA)
Episode 7: Michael Gamstetter (USA)
Episode 8: Grant Stone (GBR)
Episode 9: Steve Blackey (USA)
Episode 10: Shannon Gillette (USA)
Episode 11: Woody Itson (USA)
Episode 12: Oliver Kienzle (GER)
Episode 13: Kelly Swanson (USA)
Episode 14: Pat A Lar (GBR)
Episode 15: Billy Mills (GBR)
Episode 16: Steve Brothers (USA)
Episode 17: Aykut Hilmi (GBR)
Episode 18: Alex Leech (GBR)
Episode 19: Mike Janssen (NED)
Episode 20: Brian Gutierrez (USA)
Episode 21: Chad Powers (USA)
Episode 22: Alessandro Barbero (ITA)
Episode 23: Chris Daly (GBR)
Episode 24: Ian MacArthur (GBR)
Episode 25: Steve Strong (GBR)
Episode 26: Stephen Joseph (GBR)
Episode 27: Paul de Jong (NED)
Episode 28: Jon Western (GBR)
Episode 29: William "LaRock" LaRoque (USA)
Episode 30: Johan Janssens (BEL)
Episode 31: Darren Chan (USA)
Episode 32: Frank Lukas (GER)
Episode 33: Jason Teraoka (USA)
Episode 34: Shad Johnson (USA)
Episode 35: PJ McKenna (USA)
Episode 36: Henry Sarria (USA)
Episode 37: Jonathan Sherwood (SAF)
Episode 38: Trevor Henry (GBR)
Episode 39: Daniel Purcell (GBR)
Episode 40: Mark McCorkle (USA)
Episode 41: Tom Sustarich (USA)
Episode 42: Adam Cox (USA)
Episode 43: Perry Wills (USA)
Episode 44: John Buultjens (SCO)
Episode 45: Jay Eley (GBR)
Episode 46: Alvin Mullins (USA)
Episode 47: Scott Barrette (USA)
Episode 48: Ashley Little (GBR)
Episode 49: Bill Batchelor (USA)
Episode 50: Steve Firestein (USA)
Episode 51: Jon Hoffman (USA)
Episode 52: Peter Ashby (AUS)
Episode 53: Patrick Freitas (USA)
Episode 54: Mel Stoutsenberger (USA)
Photos from Martin Primentel