Tuesday, October 11, 2011

GT Pads

Pads in place. To be honest I think it's better without them or maybe just the frame pad only...

GT pegs

The GT Frame Standers are nice, but having size 45 feet means my heels catch them, so pegs is the way to go.

Picked these up GT Pegs on the BMX Museum, and figured they'd be worth have a go as restoring as best they can, unfortunately they were 26TPI and all my wheels are 24TPI... but that's easily sorted.

How they looked in the original advert, not bad but not good:

I started with one, and just hit it with some steel wool and most of the surface rust disappeared with some elbow grease. The one on the left is after steel wool and the right untouched.

One of the messy bits was the inside of the tube. The rust was pretty heavy but still the steel wool worked wonders. Again the one on the left (which was the worse of the two) cleaned up well compared to the untouched one.

However there is still the issue of the threads. These are 26TPI, and I need 24TPI... thanks god for tap and die set and I tapped out the threads accordingly. Also it had the benefit of cleaning the rust out of the threads too.

Anyway, they scrubbed up well and they'll soon find their way on to the back of the Performer. Mind you... they'd look nicer in white, but not as usable :)

GT Pad Set

First and foremost, I'm definately feeling the pads are NOT original NOS '80s.

The first obvious question is the colour combination. I've only ever seen the green pads with a blue GT logo, never green with a yellow GT logo, other colour combinations do have a yellow GT logo.

Secondly, no stem pad. The stem pad production is slightly more complicated since the hole for the Potts Mod has a metal surround, naturally assuming the pads are genuine, a possible reason for a missing stem pad was that the introduction of the Gyro the stem pad became redundant, and again reduced costs.

Firstly here is an original NOS 3 pad set of GT pads for reference, with the blue GT logo.

These were advertised as "GT PADS  new no repops i found  a few  sets in a old bmx and mountain bike shop near my city in Barcelona but all of them missing the stem pad sorry..  plastic bag bit dusty too from storage.."

Without even seeing them live, the GT wings in the lower set just don't look as clean as the originals. Not to mention the green colours are a completely difference shade.

Here's how they arrived, the bag does look old, but the staples are new. Granted if my set are the ones from the advert (which they actually appear to be) the bag would have been opened and restapled.

One of the first things I looked at was the bag, and it does look old... how old, well that's impossible to tell, but it definately doesn't look new. But could of course be aged artificially. The packaging for my NOS Haro gloves and elbow pads looks in a similar state, so +1 for that.

Next on to the pads themselves, and firstly the frame pad. They looks pretty good to be honest, the printing is clear and not too much bleeding between colours. Zero bleeding would be tricky anyway due to the woven nature of the fabric. But the outlines do look more bold.

And a close up:

The inside seam has a printing mark for lining up the three colours during printing. It would be nice to see an original set if it has this. Update: the original 3 pad version don't appeat to have the printing mark, so again this points to a possible later production run with a difference manufacturer.

And now looking at the inside of the frame pad, you can see the yellow is a bit off to the left. Nothing shocking with that... all part of the printing technique.

Nothing that unusual with the frame pad cover (other than the colours), however looking at the foam pads themselves it is a little concerning... ok ALOT.

Firstly the foam inserts aren't cut straight:

Secondly they are a bit short compared to the cover. I lined up one side with some overhang, and looking at the otherside it just seemed a bit short.

The foam also looked brand new, no discolouring and a brilliant white.

Moving on to the bar pad, it's pretty much a similar story with the foam insert being a bit short, perhaps even more so. But more of a strange thing was the how the bar foam is cut. It just looks like the foam was cut with a blunt butter knife or something. The same on both sides, and certainly not a clean cut like the frame pad. These are really starting to feel like knock offs:

Looking at the bar cover itself, there was a strange marking that looked like some form of text on the inside of the cover. It's hard to make out exactly what it says, but you can see the faint black text and symbol to the right of the GT wing here:

It looks mirrored, but not visible from th front of the cover. But I adjusted the colours and flipped the image and it looked like this:

No idea what it says, but can probably do some work on it later and adjust the colour curves better, But it looks like an A in a circle, then letters. Something like A??atrc?? no idea...

I just noticed something else messed up with the pads. The bar pad wraps the WRONG way!!! To have the velcro sitting visually correct the overlap would only be from the rear, not the front!

The velcro should definately be the other way around. So I tried to find a original set of 80's GT pads that would show how it should be, and by chance came across a set of black/grey pads that highlighted this:

You can see how the bar pad velcro is not visible from the front. There were plenty of detailed photos shown both sides of the pads.

Bar Pad Outside (velcro on the wrong side)

Bar Pad Inside:

Frame Pad Outside:
There's absolutely no discollouration on the green ones compared to the genuine black ones.

Frame Pad Inside:
Notice the black ones actually aren't well finished on the long seams. I actually remember this from the ones I had back in the day as the nylon cover got all thread bare at those points.

So what's the conclusion??

The pads, in my opinion, aren't the original first run of 80's pads, there are just too many difference to indicate that they are, such as:
  • The colour scheme Green/Yellow instead of Green/Blue.
  • The outlines are just more bold compared to the 3 pad version.
  • The bar pad velcro is sewn wrong and wraps the wrong way around.
  • The long inner seam of the 3 pad version is unfinished.
  • The badly cut foam inserts, crooked (oh the irony) and rough.
    For the money, they're ok and not alot of money at $35 shipped, but definately NOT original NOS stock.