building a redline like the one my parents gave me on my 12th birthday. I searched the internet and found the vintagebmx forum and I began gathering parts for my Redline build. I was instantly hooked, it snowballed quickly after that into sort of an obsession. I searched for BMX everywhere, I bought almost every vintage BMX publication before 1990 and researched everything. I ended up buying a few collections and some old bike shop inventory. It was truly madness for a while...
Did you ever meet a pro and then rebuild his bike years later?
Lionel Eden: I was lucky enough to meet and become friends with a few pros I admired as a kid. I've never built a tribute bike, but I have an "SI" OM Flyer frameset that I plan to build like Scot Breithaupt’s test bike from the Nov. 1981 issue of Super BMX. I have most of the parts to build that bike, but finding affordable Titron pedals hasn't been easy.
Do you feel there is a need for BMX products to survive for history's sake?
Lionel Eden: Absolutely, the history of the sport, and the pros and the products are all part of that history. I’ve always been a collector at heart so the history of it all is what drives my interest in BMX collecting. Preserving all those aspects is something that’s really important to me.
When you started riding what bike was the dream bike for you?
Lionel Eden: I remember drooling over a row of PK Rippers lined up in the window of my local bike shop, it seemed like the day that changed my life forever and I’ll never forget the feeling of wanting one more than I’d ever wanted anything before.
Do you have that bike in your collection today?
Lionel Eden: Yes, I've owned a few Rippers over the years. I've actually become rather fond of Bill Bastian made frames and I have a handful of them in my current collection. My collection wouldn’t be complete without them.
Name three BMX collectors that you respect?
Lionel Eden: Geez, there are tons of great collectors/builders in this community. I respect so many of them it's almost impossible to answer that question. But when I reflect on the last 20 years these 3 collectors rise to the top for me.
1) Tim Cook, he has so many historically significant items in his collection and I have always admired his work for the community.
3) Jeff Haney has a massive collection of vintage and NOS parts, he had everything at one time and I’ve always admired that as well.
Do you go creative with your builds or do you stick to the correct spec?
Lionel Eden: I like to be creative with my builds by using era-correct parts with original finishes and strictly no reproductions, I like to keep things original since history is something that’s the most important to me. That preference has changed over the years, I went through a period where I repainted and polished stuff and have some regrets about that. I sold most of my refinished frames about 10 years ago.
What products are a great help when you find an old rusty historical piece of shit bike that needs to shine again?
Lionel Eden: Just soap and water with a little elbow grease, then re-lube everything. For tough stuff, I've used oxalic acid (wood bleach) to cut down on some of the rust. I've also used linseed oil on painted frames to help protect it after.
How often do you look on eBay/Craigslist/BMX Museum to shop for old BMX stuff?
Lionel Eden: Not much anymore. I used to hunt BMX religiously and I bought a lot so I accumulated plenty of parts for my projects. Plus, I kind of feel like I’m a hoarder already...
Do you have a man-cave where your bikes are displayed?
Lionel Eden: Back in the early 2000s, I owned a streetwear store, and I would display my collection there. I loved that place and it was a good way for me to show off what I’d built and collected over the years, but sadly with the recession back in ‘08, we had to close down. So now my man cave is my garage and I keep my collection in there along with my record collection as well.
Webco, GJS, JMC or GT? What would be your favourite brand if you'd have to pick?
Lionel Eden: That's tough because I have so many favorites, but gun to my head, I'd probably have to say Redline or SE Racing.
Do you always have room for "one more bike"?
Lionel Eden: Definitely, if something came up that I had to have I'm sure I could make room for it. Collectors know that there’s always enough room for just one more...
What's a bike (part) you have been looking for but haven't been able to locate?
Lionel Eden: There is one item I have never seen for sale in the last 20 years. A rear Torker hub to match the front one that I have… or those damn Titron pedals.
Where can people reach you when they have that part available?
Lionel Eden: Send me a message. I'm carbizguy on all the BMX forums
Thanks to: My wife and kids for supporting my obsessions and all the amazing people I've met in the BMX collecting community. I can't wait for us to get back to swapmeets and bike shows!
Previous Episodes on FATBMX:
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)
Episode 55: Martin Primentel (AUS)
Episode 56: Chino (USA)
Episode 57: Ely D. Thomas (USA)
Episode 58: Mickael Clerté (FRA)
Episode 59: Toby Henderson (USA)
Episode 60: Eddy King (USA)
Episode 61: Byron Friday (USA)
Episode 62: Lionel Eden (USA)