Is your focus on BMX bikes from the period you raced in mainly?
Sean Stiddard: I started off that way, I raced in the UK from '81-'85 but as matured as a collector I focused more on the bikes from the 1970’s. I love those old things, yes they were awkward and clunky and sometimes very heavy, but they were where this amazing sport that we love so much came from. I also love looking at parts from the '70s where you have to convert something built for road racing or track racing to fit your BMX bike.
Being away from California, does that make it harder for you to score BMX products that you're after?
Sean Stiddard: It did to start with, but I have been collecting BMX for over 20 years so I have made some good contacts and friends with my American brothers so get things easier these days.
What shipping company has been happy with you over the years?
Sean Stiddard: Well USPS and Parcelforce have certainly had a fair chunk of my hard earned wages over the years, when I stopped buying so many bikes and parts the share prices must have taken a nose dive.
Is JMC, R&R, Champion or Cook Bros your favourite BMX brand?
Sean Stiddard: I don’t think I have a favourite, I love JMC as I had a sponsorship with them in the UK, Cook Bros. were just so far ahead of the time, their frames and parts are pure quality, I adore Scorpion bikes, it was my very first BMX my parents bought me (which I still have to this day), they scream old school BMX to me, I was always a massive fan of Byron Friday he was my favourite racer from back in the day, I remember seeing the picture of him in the Scorpion advertisement kicking up the dirt on his black Scorpion and I wanted to be him. I met him once when he visited the UK and he was as cool as I hoped he would be.
Do you feel that you had to race, or be part of BMX, to better understand how bikes should look like?
Sean Stiddard: No, I have seen some really excellent builds from people that got into the sport/hobby late and I have seen some shocking builds from people that should know better. I think when you get into BMX you grow into the big family and you eventually find your niche, then the stunning builds come along.
How often does "Joe Public" get to see your builds?
Sean Stiddard: Not as often as I would like, I am quite a quiet person so not a lover of the limelight etc, so sometimes reticent to take my collection to shows, but I love to talk BMX to everyone and anyone.
What's one of your oldest BMX products in your collection?
Sean Stiddard: I have some late '60s and early '70s Schwinn Stingray but the oldest things in my collection is a 1975 A&A which I love so much and a prototype Anlun front hub.
When you started riding what bike was the dream bike for you?
Sean Stiddard: My family moved to the USA from the UK in 1980 and my Dad said he would buy me a bicycle when we settled in, we went to a local sport shop and they had a full Cook Bros. bike in chrome and blue and I told my Dad that I wanted that, my Dad laughed when he saw the price and they bought me a Scorpion TX, I still have that Scorpion, but I still remember that Cook Bros and remember the absolute emotion I had seeing my first BMX. I built that bike up eventually so I could say that I finally got the one I wanted all those years ago.
Name three BMX collectors that you respect?
1) Ashley ‘Kungfunky’ Little, one of the nicest guys on the planet, respect him massively and his builds are always spot on in my eyes. We have very similar tastes and standards in builds, and we spent a VERY long day judging show and shine at Radbmx MK a good number of years ago and I think we were both shocked that somebody else was just that bloody pedantic with technical details.
2) Lee ‘PKRadman’ Cox, when I first started collecting bikes, his builds were always the ones I needed to beat in a show and shine competition. Plus he is a top bloke and sorely missed from the scene.
3) Jason Teraoka, I got to know Jason through our love of A&A bikes, but that man builds exactly the kind of bikes I like to build, he chooses the same parts as I would. If I had the money I would book a flight to Hawaii and steal his entire collection and fly back to the UK with it, only kidding Jason your collection is safe... for now!
Is the Slingshot the worst BMX design ever?
Sean Stiddard: LOL, now you are just putting me on the spot, I love those goofy things, yes they were heavy and yes they look silly and no the idea behind those cables didn’t work, but they are one of the reasons I love early BMX, the companies were trying weird stuff, Bandito and their dual dropouts, Clemtwin cranks, CW Phase 1 frames with that downtube etc, everything was new and nothing was sacred. Plus as an owner of a Slingshot, which came along to my wedding with me, I really do need to sing its praises.
Do you have any BMX Freestyle bikes/products in your collection or is that not where your interest is?
Sean Stiddard: I was always a racer, I didn’t do freestyle, I didn’t have that particular skillset, so I have always built race bikes and a couple of street bikes. I have however built two freestyle bikes through the years, the first one I built was a Pro-Lite Craig Campbell signature and the other was a Haro FST.
What products are a great help when you find an old rusty historical piece of shit bike that needs to shine again?
Sean Stiddard: I am English so it all starts with a cup of tea, then a light dusting and some Peek or Mothers, that will do. After that another cuppa and I am sorted.
How often do you look on eBay/Craigslist/BMX Museum to shop for old BMX stuff?
Sean Stiddard: I still look all the time, there will be something one day that will pull me back.
When you need to have one of your frames repainted, who do you go to?
Sean Stiddard: I wouldn’t get a frame repainted these days, I love battle scars it shows the history.
Do you have a man-cave where your bikes are displayed?
Sean Stiddard: I am building one at the moment. At present they are all in my loft gathering dust.
What are the Bike Shows that you must attend?
Sean Stiddard: A few years ago I stepped away from the show scene for sanity reasons, but I have started attending again as a customer rather than a contributor. In the UK, Radbmx Milton Keynes Summer meeting is the king of shows. We (my wife Jo and I) had a blast at the South Coast Old School BMX Weekend a couple of years ago, it was so laid back and chilled and we spent the weekend catching up with very old friends and it was probably the most fun we had at a show for many a year.
Have you made good friends through collecting BMX stuff?
Sean Stiddard: I had to take a step back from being admin on Radbmx a while back as I was just burnt out and having some tough times, I thought I would be forgotten but so many people sent me messages and phone calls to let me know they were still there if I needed them. It is pretty humbling that they are still your mates all because of our love of these ‘kids bikes’.
What's a bike (part) you have been looking for but haven't been able to locate?
Sean Stiddard: Another A&A frame, with an A&A stem (looking at you Jason Teraoka) and A&A bars. It took me 12 years to find my first A&A so it may be a long wait.
Where can people reach you when they have that part available?
Thanks to: -Biggest thanks is to my amazing wife Jo, she is also a massive BMX fan and really gets it that BMX isn’t just a sport or a hobby it is a way of life. She also builds a mean BMX herself and has one of the rarest cruisers as a rider.
-Thanks to the guys on Radbmx for all those early years when it was just a laugh and wasn’t so serious.
-Thank you to Bart and FATBMX for remembering us oldies that are still going strong, thanks for the honour of being among some of the biggest legends in this sport of ours. I am still smiling at being asked to contribute.
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)
Episode 63: Donnie Platt (USA)
Episode 64: Brad Nash (USA)
Episode 65: Mohamad Al Amin (MAL)
Episode 66: Christopher Wesley (USA)