Thursday, January 8, 2009

Memories of STAs Past


This is going to be kind of like Taj's blog post about all his old bikes except for the fact that a) these are only my STAs (and not even all of them), and b) I'm not Taj. Other than that, exactly the same. But hey, that new STA got me reminiscing, and I figured I'd give a brief rundown of my STA past.

Oddly enough, I don't have any photos of my first STA. I'm pretty sure it was a '95—it had the dimples in the chainstay for tire and sprocket clearance and only the one gussett up front. When I got it, it was covered in some sort of industrial-strength reflective tape, which, when I pulled it off, took the paint with it. So the frame wound up mostly finished in that odd aqua primer Standard (or Waterford, I guess) used. Eventually the rear end bent (a fairly common problem with those, I think—the first time I met Ralph Sinisi he was riding a badly bent chrome STA), and I sent it back to Standard. They not only welded on a new back end, they re-painted and re-stickered it at no charge. I wound up selling it for $100 or something, as I'd already bought a new one. This was the time when Glenn Milligan was doing their videos, so it was possible to get a new Standard at cost. I jumped on that, and got a navy triple-gussett 21" STA:

This is the oldest photo I have of it, I believe. Note the monstrous Serfas gel seat, the cleverly re-arranged Standard sticker, and the ever-popular Dirt/V-Monster combo. And brakes! Those wouldn't last long.

And the sticker population continues to grow. The Sun-Ringlé ZuZu's Pedals broke and were replaced with an NOS set of Shimano DXs, and somewhere along the line Animal started making sprockets. Note also the Kink double clamp, and the dual chain tensioners. The bars were an old pair of PrimoPros that Grimaldo Duran bent and bent back. I never had a problem with them. (I feel like I've posted this bike before. Oh well.) Hüsker Du, the Misfits AND Sick of It All?

That frame served me well, and is currently residing in my parents basement sans most of the stickers. The only reason I bought a new frame was because the R-Model came out:

The initial build was easy enough—I just transferred everything over (and got a new seatpost). The R was 14mm, though, so I actually used those Kink step-down chain tensioners. It's reasons such as that why I have roughly 10 sets of chain tensioners in my parts box. Apparently I went back to Sun-Ringlé pedals, too—probably because they were black. Sigh.

My first cassette wheels! 36-hole Profiles laced to Hula Hoops...with a 16-tooth 3/16" cog. This is what we called being dragged kicking and screaming into the future. Note the first generation Skavenger sticker on the toptube. It's the one next to the Venom sticker.

Hey, it's almost modern! Apparently Standard/Waterford didn't see fit to primer the R-Models (litewait!), so the paint came off with the stickers. The Profiles broke somewhere along the line, so I went to the indestructible welded/CNCed GT cranks. And the pink DXs were just the right touch. This was probably my favorite Standard setup. (The Pixies and Celtic Frost. Yet another interesting mash-up.)

But then I found out you could get a custom frame built without mounts. So I placed a call to Pat Schoolen at Flatland Fuel and waited:

Hm, this could almost pass for a current bike. Somewhere along the line I'd been contacted by Chris Cotsonas at Odyssey, who'd started to provide me with some parts. (Another STA I have no photographic evidence of was an old black triple-gussett 21" with roughly milled 14mm drops and ground-down stays that was built with more or less the entire original Odyssey "group"—14mm Hazard 48s, a chrome Dirt Fork, Milk Bars, rear brake, Gyro, etc. That thing was a monster.) That's 28/10, NOS gold DXs (I had a pretty decent stash at one time), a Solid stem I bought at Ramp Rats in STL, and Bullitt Bars cut down to 23".

I'm not sure whether this was the last build on that frame before I got my first Edwin, but it's definitely the latest photo I have. This is right when the Jim Cs first came out. The white fork is a Dirt Fork because I wasn't sure whether the Race Fork would be strong enough. ("For what???" you may correctly ask.) That frame's in the basement now too, along with a chrome '96 and a raw '95 that's never been assembled. I didn't include those in the timeline because I never actually rode them—thanks, eBay!

Here's the one shot I have of the chrome one—I had just put the 1.5" wheels on it to roll it home.

At one point I actually had a brand-new chrome one that I bought from Dan's when they were still auctioning off obsolete product, but that's long since sold.

Man, it's gonna be awfully tempting to get a new one.



Loop said...

Right this probably belong s under the last post but whatever, I don't know if you just check the comments under the latest post or something..

To answer the question of who is the STA light aimed at? Hopefully, ME.

I'm all for light bikes and new technology like integrated headsets, mid bb's smaller dropouts, removeable brake mounts etc. but at the end of the day I still want something which to my eyes looks like a bmx (something like the photo before last in this post).

I want a bmx frame that's lighter, by which I mean I want something that looks the same but ways less rather than: "Oh you want a lighter frame? Well we'll just cut it in half and make it super low.."

My main worry about the new STA is whether they have drastically altered the geometry/proportions. It's hard to tell from that spy shot, we need to see it built up or in direct comparison to an OG STA.

Anonymous said...

from what I've read, the "lite STA" is designed to be modern as hell with a steeper headtube angle and maybe some other things. the "classic STA" would have standard geometry.

james said...

bingo loop

i dont think its the new tech thats the issue, its the fact that bikes look like scooters and not bmx's

cant we have proper sized bmx's AND the new tech ?

Stephen said...

Albes has a 21" raw barcode for 190.

I sort of want that.

Standard did some friends sort of dirty. Fuck 'em.

Robert said...

I am amazed how many people I still see riding their sta's. I've seen a few rides at rye with early model sta's with american bb and all. I can only imagine how many thrash dogs are held up in the midwest (standard country) with sta's just waiting to throw on their rector fatboys and nail some truck flyouts.
The thing I love most about the sta is the awesomely long seat tube. You can run your seat a descent height without having 12 inches of post and it looks/feels sick.
This little timmy at rye was trying to learn barspins with his seat slammed on his fly frame (3" seat tube?) Anyways, he was asking the older dude with the sta doing truck flyouts how to do barspins. The dude of course replied "pinch your seat with your knees" to which the timmy looked confused and continued spinning his bars while the bike shot out from underneath his feet.
Lord knows we're not all eddie c's and for good reason.
Anyways, great post and love the solid stem.

Beau said...

It took me a long time to relearn barspins without pinching the seat, but now that I do them "the new way" I have to admit it is a lot nicer to not have bright red knees after doing a few, the only downside is wearing out the insides of your shoes from subconciously pinching the crankarms with your feet. I do agree the low slung toptubes are disgusting though, I actually saw a Killorado for the first time the other day, it is the most heinous thing I have seen bikewise in a while.

Russ said...

"Albes has a 21" raw barcode for 190."


They might not by the end of the night.

Beau said...

Save your money for this frame, I am auctioning it off as soon as I find 3 matching seatpost clamps said...

hey, my 95 lengthy had the standing platform under the seat clamp, miss that frame. Without platform might be a '96 -not sure. Ive had 5+ standards over the years and was on their web site as the cobra guy from 2003 to 05-6. Thanks! Christian

Anonymous said...

i'm trying to restore my brother's 21" 125 that he used for racing. currently stuck trying to get the profiles apart after being in a garage for 5 years. advice?

nate said...

Man, the last one with the white Odyssey fork looks aaaawwwweeesssoooommmee. Just the right amount of old-ish/mid and new school for me.

Seeing what the new STA can become, I'm frankly torn between saving my money for an S&M Dirt Bike or for a STA.

On a sort of similar note, I wonder if double seat clamps could make a comeback, even if it's just a niche thing. . . Seems appropriate, what with the reemergence of the STA. I mean, I'd totally buy one.

james w said...

Double seatclamp = definition of superfluous

Anonymous said...

I had just put the 1.5" wheels on it to roll it home.


You wanted to go fast.

Don't be ashamed just because the kids don't understand.

Anonymous said...

double integrated clamp. do it.


all of those bikes are fucking horrible, what is the fascination with them?

Loop said...

Is that an A Brake on the chrome build?

LAPL Xerox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Russ said...

I don't think it's an A-brake—that was for canti mounts, no? Pretty sure it was a Shimano U-brake.

Also just realized that those were ti pegs on the bike with the white forks. They ground too slow and wore too quick, but man, did they shoot off some awesome sparks.

Anonymous said...|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50

Rob D said...

To be perfectly honest, I was never really into standard. I think it is because as a kid my friends bike was stolen by a kid with a standard. Bullies of bmx I guess haha.

Killbotfactory said...

What's the real name of those GT cranks? They look a lot like the really early profiles.

I've been building up a collection of 21.5" standards and was just recently able to add a triple gusset STA to the mix.

I like pants.