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Seen on the street: A colorful scraper bike

Posted by on December 12th, 2007 at 3:07 pm

Gram Shipley's colorful scraper bike-1.jpg

Gram and his scraper.
Slideshow below
Photos © Jonathan Maus

The other day I crossed paths with a colorful personality and an even more colorful bike.

I first met Gram Shipley at BikeCraft. He wanted to display his wares (hand-sewn leather mud-flaps and casino dice valve caps), but didn’t get enough of them made in time for the show.

But when he rolled by me just off of N. Vancouver near Legacy Hospital the other day, it was his bike I noticed first.

Gram says it’s a “scraper” bike (scrapers are the hot thing right now, as evidenced by this YouTube video from Oakland, CA). What exactly makes it a scraperbike? Gram says it has to do with tricking out the spokes.

Gram has a thing for collecting bikes and funky old parts. He volunteers at the Community Cycling Center to help stoke his habit (and of course to help get more kids on bikes).

Check out my little slideshow for more photos of Gram and his awesome little bike:


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

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David Greenbaby champzilfondelJoeDirt Monkey Recent comment authors
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max adders
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max adders

scraper bikes are an Oakland / Bay Area phenomenon popularized over the course of the last year or so by the Trunk Boiz\’ song and youtube video:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=geIsWq5xOSE

Jonathan Maus (Editor)
Guest

thanks Max. I meant to add that link to the story… thanks for the heads up.

el serracho
Guest

sweet ride. sweeter sport coat.

Vigilante
Guest
Vigilante

GO HARD!

john
Guest
john

oh my god that video is soo funny!

Darkness Merkin
Guest
Darkness Merkin

I know that mint is the new pink but are Scraper bikes the new fixies?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Just when I thought I\’d never find something nearly as irrelevant as vance longwell…..

joel
Guest

east bay thing. \”scraper\” is an 80s or so mid-range, usually gm car, with more money in wheels and sound system than the rest of the car put together – the scraper part typically comes from the wheels being so damn big they scrape the inside of the wheelwells…

scraper bike, as you can see from the video, is a bike of any description with wheels rigged up to approximate spinners or other huge-ass shiny chrome wheels as best you can…

as for scrapers being the new fixies… well… lowrider bikes (been around for a good long while now) + spinners for bikes (been around in 20\” versions for a number of years) + fixies with those ridiculous aerospokes that are in vogue these days = well… theres some sort of convergent evolution going on, and ive been predicting fixies somehow getting worked into the hip-hop vernacular for years now…

Bryan
Guest
Bryan

oh man, what a song!

peder horner
Guest

Thanks for the link to that sweet vid Jonathan. Love that 80s drum machine.

Dabby
Guest
Dabby

The Hip to the Hop,
But my fix won\’t stop…

SkidMark
Guest
SkidMark

Japan is ahead of us…again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdwXBjWaUMk

Stripes
Guest
Stripes

Re: SkidMark #12

Good grief! That video is so frickin\’ cool!! Hot dancing bike mechanics? Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

n8m
Guest
n8m

omigawsh that youtube video made my day. there is hope for california yet. rad. go scrapers.

Carl
Guest
Carl

Joel\’s right and the jam that\’s gonna bring the track bike trend to hip hop audiences will almost certainly have samples of \”Can\’t Stop, Won\’t Stop!\”

Bueno
Guest
Bueno

Badass. I think my \’bent needs some of those wheel covers. Awesome.

SkidMark
Guest
SkidMark

Brooklyn Machine Works is owned by Pharrel Williams and they have a bike called the Gangsta Track.

joel
Guest

the pivotal moment i had been waiting for was spinners for 700c wheels. the technology is out there… but spinners dont seem to be as popular anymore, people seem to be sticking to just plain ol big shiny wheels… so if we can just get the aerospoke fixie hipsters together with the east bay scraper bike kids…. maybe itll be like the rap-metal crossover thing that public enemy and others hinted at, judgement night finalized, and then… oh wait. that brought us nu-metal. maybe this isnt such a good idea…

and man, id totally forgotten about that rip slyme video… one of the elements that helped spur along the japanese \”pisto\” fad about a year ago or so… same goes for the bmw-pharrel link… yikes!

Filmed by Bike
Guest

eh… the original version of that video was SO much better.

SkidMark
Guest
SkidMark

You can get spinners in 20\” and 26\” and there are 20\”, 24\”, and 26\” billet aluminum custom wheels available too.

Val
Guest
Val

Yes indeed, two classic videos, there…but your collection won\’t be complete without: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFFHpuwgid8 Watch all three in a row at your own risk.

Elly Blue (Columnist)
Member

The Europeans have caught on too! All the kids in Istanbul had colorful tape on their spokes just like this. They\’d ride around in circles in pedestrian plazas and scare pigeons with their crazy light-up Chinese electric horns.

By kids I mean, like, 10 — that was one of the very few contexts in which you\’d see bikes there, sadly.

Vance
Guest
Vance

Of course, all that junk hanging off of those bicycles, has been DOT approved, right? I mean, I shouldn\’t have to worry about having some errant chunk of bicycle-jewelry coming through my wind-shield, right? Safety first, right? Must be that the idea is that in an accident, all that crap is going to act as a helmet too, right? Safety first, right? Hypocrites.

Nice celebration of this nation\’s decent into the third-world, though. Grats. Way to support diversity. I\’m sure Barack, and Oprah would be proud. How supremely responsible. I especially appreciate the timing too. It\’s nice to have groups of this sort to high-light when cyclists are under such intense scrutiny. Advocate personal choice, freedom, and autonomy – Bad. Dress up like a Halloween prank, scream for attention at the top of your social-lungs – Good. I\’ll get it sooner or later, I suppose.

Oh, and thanks for the press, Anonymous #7. It gave me wood. Stupid Global Warming. The rain should have washed you idiots back to California years ago. Sigh.

Joe
Guest
Joe

sweet ride.. love it.. I need to dress up my 1970\’s Sears StarLiner with some whe
tape.. any feedback on places to shop this
weekend?

Thanks,
Joe

Dirt Monkey
Guest
Dirt Monkey

That \”Scraper Bike\” video always makes me laugh! I always thought that term scraper was because the hoopty was something you just kinda \”scraped\” together. I dunno tho.

Gram Shipley
Guest
Gram Shipley

Wow. I never thought one of my silly old banana seat bikes would make it to the internet, let alone spawn comments beyond “ha ha” (use Nelson Muntz voice for full effect). Jonathan, you take incredible photos, the old screamer looks better in your pictures than it does in real life.

To the people who have seen the Trunk Boiz video for ‘Scraper Bike’ and wanted to make one just for pure ridiculous fun, I say: it is the season that colored saran wrap is cheap and plentiful, otherwise the half empty cans of Krylon in your basement and that old cardboard box you have will make perfect wheel inserts (then all you need is some packing tape and creativity). If you need a crappy bike to turn into a scraper, thrift stores and garage sales are always good places to look, the bike doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to ride. I did not originate the scrapers, nor do I go half as dummy as the kids in the trunk boiz video, I am just someone who has loved and collected wacky 60’s and 70’s kids bikes since I was a kid.

To the haters, keep complaining, and I’ll keep laughing at you, occasionally riding my ridiculous old bikes for kicks (believe me, they are a ton of fun, which is what biking is about to me anyway) and also wearing silly outfits when I do things like volunteer my time to help the CCC give refurbished bikes to kids whose families could not otherwise afford them at the Holiday Bike Drive, something I believe in strongly because the whole reason I like bikes now is due to my positive experience with them as a youth.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Gram Shipley #26

I like bikes now is due to my positive experience with them as a youth.

magic words bro.. magic.. thats the real
deal..

have fun always everyone.
Joe

zilfondel
Guest
zilfondel

Crazy! I\’ve never been to Oakland before, had no idea they are generating this sort of interesting phenomenon/memes.

A nice change from the stereotypical rap singers tricked out Escalade, thats for sure… although the rims… the rims!

Reminds me of this east coast phenom:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/29/nyregion/29bikes.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

baby champ
Guest

ITS 2008 AND THE SCRAPER BIKES IS COMIN HARDER THAN EVER…CHECK OUT THE SCRAPER BIKE INVENTER ON MYSPACE OR EMAIL ME…SCRAPER_BIKE_IT@YAHOO.COM……THANKS FOR ALL THE COMMENTS AND SUPPORT I PLAN ON BRINGING THE BIKES TO THE HIP HOP CULTURE SO I JUST THE HELP OF THE SUPPORTS/FANS…SO CHECK OUT THE MYSPACE OR EMAIL ME…..
BABY-CHAMP/ TRUNK BOIZ

David Green
Guest
David Green

Scraaaaaaper Biiiiikes!