T1 Ti Barcode

T1 Ti Barcode

A favourite book on my shelf is called Rad Rides, a compendium of the Best BMX Bikes Of All Time. It’s a must-read for any fan, exploring the world of the hardcore BMX collector. Many of the featured bikes are owned and were restored by Joe Stevenson, but one that wasn’t included is his personal favourite: a one-off titanium Terrible One Barcode built at the personal request of Taj Mihelich.

T1 Ti Barcode

Joe tells the story: “Taj Mihelich started Terrible One with Joe Rich, both are BMX legends. While they were having their Barcode frames made by Maas Specialties, Taj had them make him a custom one-off Barcode frame from titanium just for him as an experiment in lightweight materials. Taj built the frame into a bike and rode it for a while, several magazines featured it and it became a T1 legend.

T1 Ti Barcode

“Taj never liked the way titanium felt to ride, describing the frame as flexy and mushy, so he stripped the bike down and it sat in T1’s warehouse for several years. I had the chance to purchase it and jumped at it, but had no immediate plans to actually build it. A few years passed and I’d taken a big break from building bikes and BMX. I was just riding other bikes, having relationships and travelling.

T1 Ti Barcode

“The frame sat in my loft until a few months ago. Browsing eBay, I chanced upon a Profile Whippet freewheel that looked smallish so I hit up the buyer and it turned out to be the pretty rare 36T that I needed. The build was on. I figured it’d be the last BMX I’d build so I’d take my time and enjoy it.

“The forks were sourced and powder coated, while the bars are T1 mediums that came with the frame. They were NOS but green, so I stripped them and had them powder coated. The stem was red, so was that was chemically stripped, polished and re-anodised black.

T1 Ti Barcode

“I finally found a Profile SS 36 in black with shot internals, so I rebuilt it. The Thomson post was tricky, I bought 3 before this one to get the exact size! The seat clamp, luckily, came with the frame and has been adapted, presumably by Taj. The rest of the parts slowly came together after hours of searching, bidding, and waiting. Last week it finally stood with air in its tyres and a finished bike.

“My friend Millhouse has given me the Terrible One crossbar sticker that was proving impossible to replace after the bars were re-finished. My friend Chris Hollin kindly built the wheels for me.”

Huge thanks to Joe for the story and photos. To see more of his builds, head into your local bookshop and track down a copy of Rad Rides (ISBN-13: 978-1856697262).

T1 Ti Barcode

  • itsmefool

    Sweetness…wouldn’t change a thing! Great work, Joe!

  • Peter Middleton

    Those bars are really spot on the era. King, tires, and Thompson are on it. Looks like he could have been riding this in Etnies Forward. I grew up in Florida and had a hollow titanium 14mm rear axle drilled out by a profile sponsored machinist about 6 months before I saw an article in Ride with Taj bragging about how he got one of the first ones. Bwhaha.

    What stem is that? I remember at one point he had the Solid OG which I actually still ride.. Still works perfect why switch? Had it since 2006 danngggg. Cannot remember the setup on the original Ti bike. How much does that bad boy weigh!? 23.8 lb or something!?

  • Lee Kilpatrick

    My mark in history was that I supplied the Gray titanium spokes for the original build. 🙂 By looking at the pictures, the wheelset has changed.

  • Sebastian

    Joe’s builds are so good. Awesome to see his work in here once again.