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Customer Skyway T/A Restoration

We will shortly be going through all the services we offer here other than just selling stuff. Over the years we've had customers come to us for everything from a few parts fitting to a complete top to bottom resto and everything in-between. We have had to learn how to paint, polish and refinish along the way. Increasingly our customers are looking for a "sympathetic restoration", making the bike ridable and presentable while keeping original parts and finish as much as possible. The classic car industry likes to call this "patina" :) Sometimes the original finish (especially with chrome frames) makes it impossible to save so a powder coat approach is the only way forward, unless you have a huge budget as frame chroming is horrendously expensive nowadays and in most cases would surpass the value of the frame. Anyway apologies for the long intro, time for a bit about the bike. 

As you can see this a Skyway T/A. Of course Skyway is famous in BMX for the game-chaining Tuff Wheel, while their entry into the crowded frame market came in late 1983 and typical of Skyway innovation, it wasn't a run-of-the-mill double diamond round tube cro-mo offering... The T/A (for "Totally Aerodymanic") used teardrop tubing throughout and was a hit with racers and freestylers right from the off. Combine this with a powerhouse team featuring Andy Patterson and a strong UK presence in racing (Pete Middleton) and freestyle (Craig Campbell, Chris Young, Carlo Griggs, etc) you had an unstoppable brand!



I'll hand over to Tom here to let you know the specifics of this resto:

The Restoration

Hey guys, Tom here at ALANS BMX. Originally when this Skyway T/A came into us it was in a bit of a state but a very solid base to work from. The frame was originally chrome and was pretty battered, plenty of surface rust particularly on the forks. As this was a customers bike we were restoring we had advised that we could tidy up the chrome, however it would never be perfect without fully stripping and re-chroming. The alternative was to powder coat the frame, and since the T/A frames did originally come in white the customer decided that it would be best to do the Frame and Forks in White with fresh decals.

The first thing we did was strip down the bike, and prepare the frame and fork to be blasted and then powder coated White. We also contact Del at DelCals to sort out some fresh decals for the bike.

Once stripped the first thing we worked on was the Tuff mags. These were original alloy hubbed Tuffs and needed a good cleaning.

We completely stripped the wheels down, tidied but not polished the centre of the hubs, new bearings inside, and tidied up the axles. Along with a fair amount of elbow grease the wheels came up practically new, and along with some fresh Tioga Comp III (which we still sell) mounted with Kenda tubes and a new chrome 16T 4-Jeri freewheel, the wheels are looking fantastic and ready for the bike.

You can see more on the restoration of the wheels specifically over on youtube below:

Once the frame was back it was all stickered up and assembled with fresh headset and Bottom bracket. We cleaned up the crank arms using 3M pads to keep the cast look without polishing it up, gave the spider a clean and paint in White to match the frame and cleaned up the original sprocket removing all the grease and dirt and evening out some cosmetic flaws.

The bike came with a set of Black MX1000 on it, that had seen better days. Although we could restore these, for the price and the new colour scheme of the bike it was more cost effective and better to go for a brand new set of Dia-Compe MX-890 brakes in silver with matching Tech-III levers that Dia-Compe still make, this with some Dia-Compe BRS cables in white give a bit of shiny bling to the bike whilst being the correct era. Along with a new MX1500 seat clamp in white, chrome cable clips, Izumi chain, chrome seat ETC seatpost and a fresh Kashimax Aero seat in White we also added the ODI Mushroom Grips in White finishing the only replacement parts on the bike that were not restored.

The bike also had a set of JMC Darryl Young bars on it. Which luckily the chrome wasn't very bad on, a bit of Solvol Autosol and polishing got these looking nice and tidy and the customer sent us some fresh JMC decals he got from the USA to put back on the cross bar. These bars are in very nice condition and the customer also has their own set of Skyway bars in white they can put on once they get the bike.

With the stem being originally blue we decided that it would be best to strip it back to silver and tidy it up rather than replace with one of our Mirage Power stems. The original idea was to try and get it re-anodised, however with the steel shaft inserted into the alloy top it would have been impossible as the chemicals used would have dissolved and damaged parts of the stem. So a simple and very careful caustic soda wrap was used to slowly strip the blue off. Small files were used to put the shape back in the stem and to remove any major gouges that were present from abuse in the 80s and it was lightly shined for the finish product.

One of the last things we did was the Shimano DX pedals. These are the same ones that come with the bike when sent to us, and we ended up sourcing some brand new DX end caps from the guys over at RADBMX facebook group. Adding these to the freshly painted white pedals (We then sanded back the Shimano logo to make it stand out) capped off the whole bike adding a bit more pop over all and tie-ing in the white theme.

Over all the bike came out amazing, it didn't cost the world and the customer is happy, smiles all around.

If you have a bike we'd like to help you bring to life please contact us by email or 01942 826598 to discuss. Speak soon! 



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Justin Philip - November 17, 2022

Just wondered if it is at all possible to be able to get hold of a brand new 2021 white skyway ta frame & forks (20 inch) set ? If this was possible I would be willing to put a deposit down and would wait for as long as it took to obtain this frame & forks, many thanks j.Philip

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