Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tank Statement


What you are about to see is classified top secret.

OK, not really.

Roughly two years ago I got it in my head that I wanted to build the heaviest BMX bike possible. Visions of Gack Cannibals danced in my head. My goal was, if possible, to build a 50-pound bike using only production parts.

I didn't make it. The bike you see below weighs in at something like 45 pounds. Maybe a little less. The process of its assembly was more or less liveblogged on BMXboard, but for those of you who missed out, here's the bike check to end all bike checks:


FRAME: Eastern Hercules. The serial number starts with "HT," which seems to imply it's a hi-ten frame from one of their low-end completes. Incidentally, I got frustrated trying to get the sprocket lined up right, and I wound up bashing the hell out of the downtube with a hammer. Did some serious aesthetic damage, but I doubt I actually hurt it.

FORK: G-Sport Prong. This was a donation from the UK (many people contributed to the completion of Project: Tank). Massive steerer tube, massive dropouts (with heart-shaped cutouts for two wheel placements), canti mounts. You've come a long way, baby.

WHEELS: Haro Heffer 2. Haro hubs laced to Alex triple walls. The hubs are bolt-through 14mm, and I'm amazed the bolts don't meet in the middle.

CRANKS: Profile SS. I want to say they're 170mm or something ludicrous.

SPROCKET: Profile SS (um, make that Blackjack. That's what I get for writing this at 5 a.m.). I need to get one of those pork chop guards.

CHAIN: Kink/KMC 415h.

BARS: Hoffman Love Handles. Less than eight-piece would be uncivilized.

GRIPS: Can't remember.

STEM: 2-Hip. I'm sure there are heavier stems out there—the Primo Casket is over a pound—but the 2-Hip is noteable for its utter ugliness.

PEDALS: DK Iron Cross, sealed.

SEAT: Odyssey Business Class. Two full pounds of seat. Amazing.

SEATPOST: Primo Rod. Um, I think.

SEATPOST CLAMP: Primo Viking.

TIRES: Primo Wall 2.1 front and rear.

HEADSET: Can't remember.

PEGS: Kink El Guapo. Monstrous. I need two more of them at some point.

BRAKES: None. Although ideally it needs a 990, a Gyro, and multiple Primo Perverts. And a canti of some sort up front.

Project: Tank is currently parked in a friend's basement, waiting for who knows what. Its only public appearance was at a video premiere downtown. Afterwards, Mike Brennan bunnyhopped it 35 inches to win an FBM-sponsored contest. Then it caught a flat, and I realized I'd never fully tightened the stem bolts. Whoops.

I'm still looking to weigh it down more one of these days. The two additional pegs would help, as would brakes. I also have a pair of Odyssey Hammerhead barends to install—they're actually heavier than my Sunday Triumph bars. Then it would be nice to swap out the hi-ten frame for a Cannibal or chromoly Pork. Fifty pounds might never happen, but I can dream.

45 comments:

wds said...

Inspired by your Tank, I did the same idea for a bunnyhop contest at a BBQ a couple of years ago. I just had to work with whatever my friends & had on hand. I was hoping for 40lbs, but got to 37.5. If I thrown pegs on, I'm sure it'd have made it but I didn't want anyone to get stabbed.
Click my name for pic.
The winner won with a hop of 36"
-Bill

wade said...

You could make another five pounds. Brakes will add 2.5. The extra pegs would be a pound. You just gotta want it.
The steel version of the "sealed" GTX Gyro should add some girth.
If those bars need the oversized 1" levers, I've got some.

Darren H said...

I miss the days when we didn't worry about how much things weighed.....I was skinny and my bike was a tank...ah youth......

DBZ said...

I've got the El Guapos you need. I'll just send them if you want them--I really want to get them out of my life.

todd from albe's said...

one of our wheel builders has a similar bike. it's an S&M War Pig with a lot of those same parts you used except he's also got an Haro Grind Disc sprocket, 12g spokes and 2 sets of Primo Stogie pegs. funny thing is that he wasn't trying to inflate the weight, just trying to rebuild the bike he actually rode back then. oh yeah, 49 lbs.

waesa said...

I still love Project: Tank. I think I originally got that frame from Apple or Female Opinion.. For trivia, the Heffer 2s were from a Mirra Pro complete ca. 2000. Absolutely unbreakable, but hernia inducing. I honestly did my best riding (flatland and street) on that stupid bike, but I was a mere lad of 30 then.

Anonymous said...

i like how you noted the disgusting appearance of the 2-hip stem; it was the first thing i thought of when the fit dld came out.

Anonymous said...

dude 50 lbs!!! you are almost there. dont give up. have you forgot about pitchfork specials? slam bar specials?

you put front/back brakes on and a gyro you will be damn near 50lbs. just a front brake/cable/lever weighs 1.5lbs about. x2= 3lbs.

2 more pegs and the gyro you are there. dont give up russ. do it for the people.

Anonymous said...

Peregrine 95s, weight weenie.

Duncan said...

Yeah, you're spitting distance from 50lbs and a double hernia. Make it happen!

mark said...

Never give up, try classic super heavies such as original pitchforks. free agent frame maybe, sprockets with bashguards and how about fastening a log to the bottom bracket shell for those ruben grinds?

Masta Don said...

I believe the proper nomenclature is Profile BLACKJACK.

Chad S said...

Come on, get some ditchforks on there, and instead of cantis get a fishbone 990 mount I still have a spare. What about the old Solid cranks? And isnt that sprocket a Profile Blackjack?

Anonymous said...

You're slackin' on the headset dude. Primo Gorilla Cup is what you need.

Russ said...

I believe you all are underestimating those G-Sport forks.

noel said...

Sheesh, my S&M NG Holmes weighed in at 45. I had 12G spokes on both ALEX Supra E 48's, Profile SS cranks, and front brakes on the Ditchforks. That bike ruled. It may have taken an industrial crane to get the front wheel off of the ground, but I never noticed. I actually pulled my first mini ramp manual on that bike.

Alas, I just threw out a Fishbone rotor and a bolt-on 990 mount a couple of months ago! To think they could have found a good home....

Bailey said...

Dude. no wonder you got a flat. you need thorn resistant tubes with slime. and probably tire liners.

and i dont see any sort of massive hub guards.

VxD said...

Though you've obviously gone to extremes, it's sad how close my bike from that era probably came in weight to project tank.

VxD said...

For authenticity you should cut up an old tire and run them inside your current tired.

Lettusdude said...

YES! That's awesome! It makes my old ~35 lb Haro I started on seem like a race bike. It's sad how the kids today complain that my 27 lb bike is too heavy. Most DH rigs nowdays are lighter than Project: Tank.

You could easily get that thing to 50 lbs. Cut up some primo walls and run em inside the tires you have now like vxd suggested. Not to mention you could get some of those heavy duty tubes from dans.
http://www.danscomp.com/446002.php
16.6 oz each. The tube alone weighs more than most rims these days.

Thanks so much for posting this Russ!

Anonymous said...

i have no idea why i didn't send you a casket as well as those forks

Stephen said...

maybe find some of those tubes with the gunk in them that self seals...

brian said...

before i built up my current bike two years ago (i just switched to a frame with a shorter tt, whatever) i was still riding my standard shaman from 8 years ago. i couldn't believe that the combined weight of my "modern" fork, integrated headset, elementary, bars and frame weighed less than the shaman and an sbc bash fork. that's for street, not even considering my flat bike.

i find it hard to believe that the shaman, even with a casket, viking original hemroid, original powerbites with a solid spindle and a nankai with a steel hubshell, only topped out at 35 pounds.

brien said...

still doesn't have shit on derek nelson.

Ben 2 said...

...and you forgot the chain tensionner , and 5 layers of paint should help

Anonymous said...

i have a thick, steel brake plate if you want to put a u-brake on the front instead of those cantis. on the other hand, cantis would be cool.

jonathanwnolte@hotmail.com

Seb said...

Oh god. My MAIN bmx (Macneil Ruben) has the same cranks, chainring, seat clamp and pedals as the Tank Bike. And very similar wheels. I'm ashamed. But mine's a svelte (in comparison) 33 lbs.

CHROME_RIMS_YO said...

i definitely agree with cutting the beads off of some old primo wall tires and stuffing them inside. add thorn resistant tubes + tire liners, slime, valve stem caps, spokey-dokes, wheel reflectors, s&m marvin guts for the seatpost, those bolt on pedal guards for pedal grinds, bolt on kore bashguard, VG or haro grind disc, sharp 420 chain, maybe even a sharp half inch thick sprocket. just drill some holes for the vg guard. acs fat claws freewheel. kink OG chain tensioners. i think you can get it past 50 pounds.

Mat said...

You also need a heavier chain for sure. I remember some guys running what appeared to be motorcycle chain. And a Fat Claws freewheel, if you haven't already got one.

Jerry From Poland said...

Every one should have one of theese. Ride it for a month or two and you'll never think your everyday bike is heavy again... Not to mention that it's not your bike that's being too heavy... it's about you not being strong enough to ride it.

Anonymous said...

ya gotta lose the Profile Cranks man, get some unsealed solid cromo cranks from a 2002-2003 Haro F series complete.. i think they were about 5 lbs just for the cranks and BB.

Anonymous said...

i think the intent is probably using all parts that people actually seriously rode back in late 90s. so instead of recommending 5 pound cranks no one used, find Russ a set of the original Solid cranks for cheap. TL was the only one using bolt on Kore-style bashguards. Rooftop was riding street on a condor with love handles.

valve stems, spokeydokes, reflectors, etc are just superfluous (lol) for the cause. people actually did stuff like doubling up the tires.

chris said...

you need to get some htp private parts for the tensioners. i used to rock 2 of those, they were huge

Anonymous said...

FAQ

Anonymous said...

FAQ

Anonymous said...

FAQ

Anonymous said...

FAQ

Anonymous said...

FAQ

Ty said...

HTP Front hub guards and these too
http://www.danscomp.com/446002.php?cat=PARTS

I wonder how long till grip weights will be listed?

Anonymous said...

I had a set of the Hammerheads. What were they thinking? What was I thinking? Did we really need 2" diameter, 3/4" thick SOLID bar ends?

Mat said...

i knew someone who had two gorilla cups one on the top and one on the bottom. it was a little bit of a mod but i thought it looked soo good back then. the bike could have a gyro with the old snm rednick that had gyro tabs machined into it
maybe an old monolever those things were huge!

argh said...

get some haro chromoly forged cranks.
alon

noel said...

Funny you mention that, Mat - I saw a kid the other day with a Gorilla Cup pressed into the TOP of his head tube....with a normal cup on the bottom. He wasn't the original owner of the frame and had no idea that it was upside down. He also had 8 piece bars, not for the sake of being retro, but because that's how he got the bike. Still, it nearly brought a tear to my eye!

Ben2 said...

Jerry From Poland said..."Every one should have one of theese. Ride it for a month or two and you'll never think your everyday bike is heavy again... Not to mention that it's not your bike that's being too heavy... it's about you not being strong enough to ride it."

I think that's the good philosophy for this project

argh said..."get some haro chromoly forged cranks."

oh yeah these cranks are heavyer than a new frame

Anonymous said...

yep the gorrila cups, or the stainless recca cups, they were huge. My bro had those gsport forks with a 1" steerer with a set of recca converter cups on his khe beater. Alex supra e' or whatever they were the 1lb ish rims with snafu rim jobs and thornprrof tubes'd push it up a bit. I had a home made mild steel hub/droput protector cos i couldnt afford the kink chain tension/droput protector's. An evolver with the fucking huge brake blocks, the old solid bars have got to be the heavyiset ive ever seen of but theyre 2 peice probabaly literally solid. Dont forget to do some lake jumping so the frame and bars have a fair amount of rusty water in them and the seat is slowly rotting