The Best Minson Skate Bike Restoration Updated – Eric Alley – California
In Aug 2019, Eric Alley of Walnut California contacted me about an old skatebike he bought and wanted to restore. For months we emailed back and forth with questions and answers. One of his biggest challenges was his bike was missing the under-seat brake handle. I sent many measurements and detailed photos. Eric bought a similar handle and a friend made a bracket to hold it on. Eric used the same skate truck as I did also replacing the stock bushing with a hard downhill one.
This week Eric sent me the finished picture and to put it mildly I was blown away. I took my restoration pretty far but Eric went the whole nine yards. This is by far the best skate bike restoration I have ever seen.
May 2021 Update
Eric updated the pedals and had decals made to replicate the original look.
Here is Eric’s list of parts he used in his restoration. His is a wonderful combination of original parts such as the seat and pedals with modern anodized cranks, brakes and chain.
- Model: Minson Skate Bike
- Size: 16-inch
- Color: Candy Apple Red
- Frame: Steel
- Brake Lever: Sunlite Brake Lever (modified to original Skate Bike specifications)
- Brake Caliper: Dia Compe MX 1000 Side-Pull W/Quick release
- Crankset: LDC (Little Dude Components) 110mm CNC Machined Alloy W/Red paint inlay
- Front Chain Ring: LDC (Little Dude Components) 36-Tooth sprocket CNC Machined Alloy W/Red paint inlay (LDC – 281 E. Chilton Dr., Chandler, AZ)
- Chainring Bolts: Litepro CNC Machined Aluminum (Blk.)
- Bottom Bracket: Shimano (68mm shell width with the 113mm axle) Sealed Square tapered
- Chain: KMC (Gold)
- Rear Cassette: DICTA 20-Tooth Sprocket
Pedals: 507 PVC Block (1/2”) – New Original type.
Updated pedals: MKS BM-7 AlloyAnodized Pedals – Black
- Rear Wheel: 16”x1.75” 28-Spoke Chrome – Freewheel
- Rear Tire: Duro 16”x2.125” Red Gum Wall
- Saddle: Original Skate Bike Saddle W/Logo
- Seatpost: Chrome 25mm x 280mm
- Seatpost Clamp: 1-½ inch (35mm) 5/16” Chrome Binder Keyed Bolt
- Front Skate Truck: Tracker – Race Track 140mm Truck (Polished)
- Bushings: Khiro Yellow 92-A (Med. Hard Density)
- Skate Wheels: Bones Pizzanista 60mm – 90A Density
- Paint: Premier Bicycle Werks, 1617 W. Collins Ave, Orange, CA
- Decals were made by: Vintage Reproductions www.clickitandstickit.com
Further comments from Eric:
Look at the Little Dude Components site: https://ldcbmx.com
For the crank, sprockets. They are really a great buy for the bike. I would suggest he go with at least a 115mm crank length; and a larger than 36 tooth (original to the skate bike) sprocket. Maybe a 37 or 38. If he wants to get some speed going. Though, as you know, the larger the ring, the harder it is to pedal up hill.
Also, the crank and chainring do NOT come supplied with the mounting screws. I got mine on Ebay (~$6-$7). And you can pick the color you want.
33 years ago in 1986 during halloween at Walnut High School, a friend shot a picture of Eric Alley riding a skate bike he was loaned by a bike store he rode for.
To quote Eric’s story:
During high school (Walnut High School, California) in 1986, I was given one of these as I raced BMX for a local bike shop. Had to give it back after a few years though. The picture is of me at 17 on halloween at school. The principal actually let me cruise around on it the whole day.
Today he sent me a photo of him recreating the old shot on his restored skate bike down to the style of bike clothing.