This bike is a tribute to one of the greatest guitarists of my generation. This bike takes me back to a simpler time in life when the world seemed so much larger than it does today. As I was in the process of creating the theme for this bike, it was with much sadness that I learned of an icon’s passing.
Eddie Van Halen’s passing hit me really hard. I grew up with his music. I am pretty sure I burned out my cassette tape version of 1984 at least once and had to replace it at some point during that year. His guitar sounds were like nothing else I had ever heard before and still nothing comes close to them to this day. While I never knew him personally, I felt connected to him through my love of his music. It was his music that filled my headphones riding around NYC’s Central Park in the late 80’s and it was a time in my life that I look back on quite fondly.
When COVID began in early 2020, the world changed. Riding bikes was not just about racing, it was about getting outside and falling back in love with the sport all over again. To just be a kid with none of the pressures that awaited you later in life. When your bike was your ticket to freedom and you wanted nothing more to glide effortlessly as if you were flying. It was during this time that I decided to fine tune some skills I had been working on for some time. It was time to learn how to really jump.
Sometime in the summer of 2020, I went to my local indoor bike park to check out the scene. While the place was filled with kids and families, it was the perfect chance for me to be a novice once again and take pleasure in simply riding a bike. It was here that the idea for a SAGE DJ came into being.
While the frame was in process, I was working on a theme for the bike. I wanted something to inspire me and also something that could bring out the kid in me again. It had to be classic. On 10/6/2020, Eddie Van Halen passed away. I was crushed. It was not news I was expecting to hear. From that day forward for the next 2 months, I only played Van Halen music. It wasn’t just “in my rotation”, it “WAS my rotation”. Every album from start to finish. No radio. No other artists. Just me and VH. I guess you could say it was a mourning period for me. It was a gut punch to have a light that showed me the way suddenly go dark.
It was during this time that the idea of making the bike a tribute to EVH came into being. Nothing is more iconic than his guitar and nothing reminded me more of that simpler time in 1984 than when I would ride my BMX bike (Mongoose Super Goose) and think of the screaming guitar solos to “Hot For Teacher” as well as the keyboard playing to “Jump”. I knew what I wanted to do and how it was going to be executed.
This bike is a tribute to a man who gave me countless hours of inspiration and made me burn out a tape cassette or two… maybe it was three. RIP EVH.
- Build Spec:
- Frame: DJ MAWJ
- Custom Finish: Cerakote 3 Color Spread with Raw Titanium
- Fork: Marzocchi Bomber DJ 26″, 100mm
- Drivetrain: Race Face Atlas DH Crank w/ Race Face BB, 32T Chainring paired to 16T Chris King Singlespeed cog, Magura MT8 Rear brake
- Race Face Atlas Stem, Race Face Atlas Bar, Lizard Skins Macaskill Grips, Sage Titanium Seatpost
- Headset: Chris King Inset 7 Headset in Black
- Saddle: Sage Beccus
- Wheels/ Tires: Onyx Classic hubs laced to Stans Flow MK3 Rims/ Maxxis Ikon 26×2.0″ tires