By trade Bernie Vincent was a welder who had a keen interest in all things bikes. He ran a bike shop in Rottingdean, just outside of Brighton, for many years and it was here that he realised he could make a better BMX frame than those he was selling. So he spoke to the riders, listened to what they wanted and created the Vincent Frames Freestyler.
At this time the BMX market was flooded with US imports such as Skyway, Haro, Mongoose, and SE to name just a few. Vincent Frames, along with Curtis and DP, designed and hand crafted BMX freestyle & race frames when BMX as a sport blew up and were the only ones doing so in the UK at the time.
Bernie knew that in order to get the Vincent Frames brand known he had to put a team together so he set about creating a Freestyle team and sponsoring the best BMX Racers of the day who went on to compete and demo across the country from 1984 to 1987. Vincent had the top Freestyle riders of the time on their team, including Stuart ‘Pepi’ Winder, Dave Young, Adam Dudley and Paul Hudson who all competed and were featured in BMX magazines as well as starring in the ITV series BMX BEAT.
Alongside the frames and the teams riding his creations, Bernie also designed & hand built the Vincent Frames Towable Quarter Pipe. Nothing like this had ever been built & used before. They were so widely used throughout the UK in the mid eighties that they were used in all UKBFA competitions and were bought by skate parks and leisure centers up and down the country and throughout Europe. If you didn’t ride a Vincent Frames BMX in the eighties, chances are you rode one of their Quarter Pipes.
When the UK BMX scene died in the late eighties Bernie returned to his love of cars and thought nothing of Vincent Frames again. Fast forward 25 years and Katie, Bernie’s daughter, wondered if the boys who she watched ride every weekend and would hang out at her family home all the time remembered anything about Vincent Frames. Little did she realise at the time that what started out as intrigue would result in her putting the original team back together, riding with them and getting back in the workshop to build their very own Vincent Frames Freestyler in 2012.
About the image: Adam Dudley was a local kid from Brighton who won the Mons Ramp Jam in ’86. He’s styling it out in this photo from ’85 at a demo in Saltdean Brighton, just a stones throw away from the Vincent Frames Workshop.