S&M Speedwagon 24″

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S&M Speedwagon 24"

The first time I saw S&M owner Chris “Mad Dog” Moeller race was in 1987 at the inaugural Canadian Grandnationals in Edmonton, Alberta. In the 16 Expert main event he tangled with another rider and found himself off the track and out of contention as Gerald Bleau went on to win the race and National #1 Amateur title on his Browning 2-speed equipped baby blue ESP.


In 1998 the Grandnationals moved to Hobbema, Alberta which is a First Nations community. The band wanted to give its youth something positive to enjoy so they constructed a beautiful track on their land. The idea was they would hold the Grandnationals there every year like the American Bicycle Association (ABA) did in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. There was even talk the band would build a hotel on site.


The Canadian BMX president Lucien Bleau took some of the top band members down to OKC in 1988 to check out the American Grandnationals for reference. It saw them walking around the facility in their Native regalia which was pretty cool. I’m sure the yankees were wondering who the hell they were? Hobbema has since gone back to its original Cree name Maskwacis which means Bear Hills.


In 1988 I won the 15 expert class at the 2nd annual Grandnationals in Hobbema which awarded me the National #1 Amateur title. As a Metis it felt extra special to win on First Nations reservation land. Moeller who was just getting S&M off the ground liked my style and offered me a sponsorship. He gave me a uniform after the race and I went on to get a frame from him at the 1988 ABA Grandnationals in Oklahoma City USA. Pretty cool it was one of the first two prototype S&M Holmes frames. I secured a spot on his Canadian team along with Perry Nelson, Cale Hulse and Jason Wesson if memory serves me correctly.


Our team manager Perry Nelson didn’t follow up with Moeller in 1989 and the S&M great white north team idea never got off the ground. Moving forward I still continued to use S&M products on all of my bikes. The Challenger stuff primarily, bars, stem and forks. In the last half of the 1990’s I received S&M sponsorship through the Canadian distributor Revolution Sports Supply.


With his honest wit I’ll let the “Mad Dog” tell you his own recollection of coming up to Canada. Parental discretion as advised. I clipped this article in 2002 according to the date stamp, I can’t remember from where though? Crank up the Ratt!!!

Round and Round…

At sixteen I wasn’t into smoking weed but I’d been around it for years. Racing and getting high went hand in hand in those days, as did stripping down to your skivvies, disassembling your ride and exorcising the demons from your frame by reading the bible to it. In retrospect I think marijuana made my mid-eighties BMX experience a little more tolerable. God only knows how many times I heard Out-of-The-Cellar in 1985. Listening to bad metal, witnessing pros spun-out on hallucinogens, or getting rapped-up in an occasional dope deal was par for the course back then. After buying a bag of pencil shavings in Jersey City, we stole a sack from some cracked out broad and drug her down the street when she wouldn’t let go of the window. My first sight of the Statue Of Liberty was from a parking lot in a car full of shady riders, smoking stolen pot and listening to Ratt. Despite all the highed-up shenanigans, the truck always made it to the races and it was never boring. My first trip to Canada in 86 was no exception.

The contact high took the edge off driving non-stop from So Cal to Tacoma curled up in the extra cab of a Toyota truck. It also eased the shock of getting dropped in the middle of a Puget Sound pot harvesting operation. At some point a girl with a smelly puss joined the trip, I found a crack pipe, and we witnessed a grown man brought to tears in a drug-induced paranoid breakdown. In the few days we spent cutting buds from stems for drying, we water skied, rode trails on mopeds, and fished.

The drive from Tacoma to Edmonton was scenic and full of adventure. If my memory serves me correctly, we loaded the entire shell of that truck with buds packed into paper shopping bags and headed north for a race in a rodeo arena on an Indian reservation. The girl with the stinky puss came along on this leg and added to the stench of a pick-up truck loaded to the roof with pot. Why we entered another country will all that contraband is beyond me but I do remember seeing a moose. When we backed the truck up in a hurry to get a better view of the animal, our trailer jack-knifed and punched a hole in the side of the truck. I got drunk for the first time in my life and threw-up all over the stairs of some Canadian restaurant as I was being drug out. I rode the roller coaster in the West Ed mall and on the way back to WA the trailer came off and rammed the truck when we slowed down.

I’ve been back to Edmonton a few more times since for races but the trips were always pretty uneventful. Highlights of subsequent trips include breaking three bones in my foot, watching Free Agent’s Jack Hutton gracefully spin a 40/16, Clearance “The Earthquake” Perry racing in Wallabies and selling a Zorlac skateboard to Canadian BMX sensation Steve Callett for food money. Forgive my spelling of Canadian BMX names… it’s as bad as Pete Zablotnies complexion was when he was on GT.

Just last month I flew to Toronto for one of the best contests I’ve ever seen and wound up in a hotel room at 4am with some riders smoking weed from an old soda can. Thank God for change…I’m pretty sure Jerry “The Bad Boy” Badders was playing Ratt’s second album, Invasion-of-Your-Privacy.

– Chris Moeller 3/17/02  

Frame: S&M Speedwagon 21”
Fork: S&M Race XLT
Fork Compression Bolt: Kink
Bars: Bassett 7”
Stem: S&M Racing Challenger
Grips: Cult Vans Waffle
Bar Ends: ODI
Headset: Crupi
Brakes: Paulcomp Motolite, Polished
Brake Lever. Paulcomp Love Lever
Brake Cable: Box One Concentric
Brake Pads: Salmon Kool Stop Thinline
Cranks: Profile Box 40th Anniversary, 180mm
Bottom Bracket: Profile Euro
Chainring: Sugino 42t
Chainring Bolts: Shimano knurled
Pedals: Haro Lineage
Chain: SRAM XX1 Eagle
Hubs: Campagnolo BMX
Rims: Sun Envy, 24×1.75
Spokes: Sapim Laser double butted
Spoke Nipples. Sapim Polyax, aluminum
Freewheel: Profile Elite 17t
Tires: Duro Comp 3’s. (Extra Vee 24×1.75 whitewalls included)
Tubes: Redline Liteflight
Valve Caps: Trik Topz Alloy
Seat: San Marco Rolls
Seatpost: Nitto Crystal Fellows S65
Seatpost Clamp: Phil Wood 30mm

This bike is an homage to my first S&M and all the JMC’s I owned.

I was sold on the tribute decals to JMC Racing. S&M took the torch from JMC producing bikes with short rear ends and steep head tube angles. That combination has always suited my riding style.

A classic S&M stem polished to perfection.

The classic Vans waffle pattern, the only shoe to wear back in the early 80’s. The flat sole was perfect for BMX pedals, still is. Paul Component brakes bring things to a halt.

Bassett started out manufacturing custom headers for v-drive and jet boats in the 1970’s. Bassett’s first bike was the 26″ Star Cruiser in 1978. The original idea for a bike was so that Bassett could ride them around the pits at the boat races. Once again manufacturing high end American made bicycle products I decided to go with their 7″ handlebar.  

Respect the shield! The S&M logo pays tribute to the JMC shield logo. The attention to detail on this one is amazing. The Crupi headset is smooth. 

The 40th anniversary Profile box cranks look right at home.

The SRAM PC-XX1 Eagle chain is the best in the business. Doesn’t hurt that it’s gold either. BLING! Sun Envy rims are laced with Sapim double butted spokes and aluminum nipples.

The best stuff from different era’s. The early 1980’s Campagnolo high flange BMX hubs are a work of art, they are still smooth as silk. Freewheel technology has come such a long way though, this Profile unit takes care of business. 

This Selle Italia Rolls saddle fits the build perfectly. I’d throw on a different seat and post at the track, this one is too nice to hit the dirt.

A lustful cluster of parts! Polished Phil Wood seatpost clamp, Paul Component V-Brakes and a Nitto S-65 seatpost.

The first test ride. After our wedding ceremony in Kauai my wife and I biked along the ocean pathway in front of the Grand Hyatt Hotel to Shipwrecks Beach. Our wedding guests were there awaiting our arrival for cocktail hour. I strapped a Bose speaker to the S&M bars on my wife’s Quadangle and we rolled in blaring “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge. Michelle rode in on the Speedwagon. One of the most enjoyable moments of my life!   

The last outdoor race of 1988 in Saskatoon, I’m still on my JMC Darrell Young here. Next stop was the ABA Grandnationals in Oklahoma City. Chis Moeller gave me this uniform at the Canadian Grandnationals and he gave me 1 of the first 2 prototype Holmes frames at the US Grandnationals. I had my #1 plate ready adorned with some Vision Street Wear stickers, the band DRI and a Hobemma Memorial Agriplex decal. I was honoured to win the National Amateur title on Native land in Hobbema, Alberta. Hobbema has since gone back to it’s Cree name Maskwacis. 

2018 photo re-creation. The more things change the more they stay the same.

“Mad Dog” figured he would say hello to me on a few decals. He saw the sales order for my wife’s bars on the salesperson Arnold’s desk. A fun little surprise!