Gear check: GT Bicycles 2018 Pro Performer 26"
Need a new bike? Ever thought Eddie Fiola was the man? GT Bicycles has you covered. And even though it's quickly coming up on 2018, GT is taking a look back at some of their most influential years: the 1980s.
In 1984, GT Bicycles brought on two young BMX freestyle riders to ride and refine a line of BMX bicycles that were aimed at freestyle, a then-new arrival on the growing BMX racing scene. Those riders, Eddie Fiola and Bob Morales, helped GT Bicycles to create the Performer.
The Performer, according to GT Bicycles at the time, was purpose built: "This is not a converted BMX bike. Designed by professional freestylers, the Performer was engineered specifically for stylin' from its uniquely bent down tube to extra wide lower chain stays for climbing all over the bike. Lightweight and strong, the Performer is all new and all GT."
Construction jargon aside, the decision to design a freestyle-specific BMX frame for GT Bicycles was a huge move for the brand. At the time, BMX racing had fully come into its own, but the new freestyle offshoot (skatepark riding, flatland riding) were still getting off the ground. Freestyle riders were adapting their race bikes to skateparks, but a need for freestyle-specific frame geometry was growing. GT helped with that initial push, and the Performer design changed the face of skatepark riding for years to come. From frame design to graphics, the Performer and Pro Performer line later defined an entire generation of BMX fanatics. And now, it's back in classic '80s glory.
For 2018, GT Bicycles is paying homage to its roots with a new take on the classic Performer. The Pro Performer 26" is a scaled up version of the classic 1986 Performer, ready for freestyle and/or casual jaunts through the neighborhood, and it's styled accordingly, with GT Power Series cranks, classic GT Superlace hubs and GT railed seat. The appearance might scream "vintage," but the updated Pro Performer 26" features every bit of updated technology to arrive on the BMX scene, from cassette hub to Mid bottom bracket to integrated headset.
And the GT Freestyle team is already enjoying the bike, as evidenced by this clip of Albert Mercado in Taiwan. To learn more about the new heritage line of GT Freestyle bikes, check the GT Bicycles site.