BMX Bikes / P / Phazer BMX / 1981 Phazer Prototype

1981 Phazer Prototype

1981 Phazer Prototype

The one and only, 1981 Phazer Protoype frame and forks just built with old school BMX parts, some new and some NOS parts. The frame/fork set hung on display on various walls for over 33 years after bu

The original, handbuilt Phazer Prototype frame and forks set was taken down from wall display and populated with parts this month of 10/15. The frame and forks had been primed and painted yellow, were sandblasted, sanded, and clear coated with an acrylic enamel. NOS parts from the 80's and new old school parts were obtained mostly from Ace BMX ( and, Johnson City NY which had supplied parts to Ron back in the 80's and some from Two Wheeler Dealer (, Wilmington NC. 

The 1981 Phazer Prototype is now a complete BMX race bike for the first time since it was disassembled after testing about 33 years. It looks and rides great.

A bike frame invented in January 1981 by Ron Vigneri while watching television at his home. He and Slammin Sammy Miller were watching television one evening and Ron had a design idea he sketched on the back of an opened mail envelope. He still has the actual envelope and witnessed patent disclosures.

Ron showed the design to Sammy and he thought it was very interesting. The next day some 1/2" chromoly tubing & plate for the frame was ordered with the rest of the parts to build a complete bike through Tom Daniels, Manager of Speed Unlimited where the Thruster BMX bicycles were built. I also showed the sketch to Lee VanOrmer, the CEO & lead investor in Speed Unlimited, & he was very interested in producing the bike through his company, but was having company financial problems. Sammy's deceased father had founded the bicycle company, Speed Unlimited, located in Wayne, New Jersey.

The design to the frame was novel in that the main idea was to build a frame that would not require a tubular frame member end to be welded into the side of another tubular frame member. The welding of a tube into the side of another tube required a radiused cut on the end of one member and a mechanical jig to hold the two tubes in proper alignment before welding. The new design would speed the setup, eliminate the radiused end cutting, & eliminate the requirement for a jig. The new frame design basically "jigged" itself, besides being stronger & lighter due the smaller tubing diameter that could be used. Plus, the frame could be made with a selectable stiffness by preloading the main tubes axially before welding the plates, & besides all that, the new frame design just looked "cool". The first Phazer frame was symmetrical about the seat post.

Ron wrote & submitted a patent application to his attorney, Art Jacob, after the parts were ordered. When the parts came in about 1 week later, the first Phazer frame was built in the Miller family garage along side the rocketcar, Oxygen (being prepared for the ice speed record). Ron hand radiused the four main tubes and fabricated the frame plates. He used Thruster parts for bottom bracket and headset after special heat treatment of both pieces for strength. George Garboden of GG Industries, MIG-welded the first frame assembly. 

The rest of the painting and assembly of the prototype Phazer BMX bike was done by Ron in his Kinnelon, New Jersey barn at his home. The assembled bike was then tested on the BMX track built on West side of the 8.5 acres at American Tennis & Country Club in Kinnelon. It passed all the test rides & was prepared for its first public showing at the 1981 New York Auto Show at the NY Coliseum along with Oxygen. The bike was disassembled so that production drawings could be prepared and some minor modifications were made for the production bike. The original Phazer Prototype as first assembled and other details of the story are on the web page .

The Phazer activity was shelved by Ron after noting to make some intended production changes (head bracket plate, bottom bracket position, seat tube angle & position). There were 5 production Phazers built by Ron, George, & Sammy to start a run of 100 units funded by Ron. All the units were sold in about a 3 month period & no further production by Ron occurred. The ice speed record activity & subsequent oil well treatment system development took all the time Ron had available.

Submitted by ronvigneri

  • Race
  • Company: Phazer BMX
  • Wheel Size: 20"
  • Headtube angle: 65
  • Seattube angle: 67.5
  • Toptube length: 17"
  • Headtube size: 1"
  • Details Phazer Prototype BMX Bicycle RJV 10/6/2015 Complete bike Type Racing, BMX Material 4130 Chrome Molybdenum Steel Weight 23.8 lb Frame Design Radiused 4-arced tube design - handbuilt 1981 prototype Proprietary, patent applied novel design Material 4130 chrome-moly steel Construction Proprietary Heli-arc (TIG) welded Proprietary heat treated bottom bracket (tempered) Weight 4 pounds Finish Patina - sandblasted with acrylic enamel clear coat Forks Design Standard collared stem, leading axle, bent tab dropouts Speed Unlimited (Thruster) Material 4130 chrome-moly steel Construction Proprietary Heli-arc (TIG) welded Stress relieved after welding Weight 1 pound 11 ounce Finish Patina - sandblasted with acrylic enamel clear coat Components Handlebar Crupi Moto Expert Alloy 26" x 6.5" Handlebar Stem Black Ops 1" Forged Alloy 4-Bolt Headset Tioga 1" Beartrap 2 Grips Demolition Rob Wise Brakes Dia-Compe Bull Dog side pull Brake Levers Dia-Compe MX Brake Pads Dia-Compe Bull Dog side pull Brake Cables Dia-Tech Universal Bottom Bracket Set Mission American BB 19mm Front Sprocket Redline Alloy Chainwheel 44T Freewheel ACS Single Speed 16T 1/2" x 1/8" Cranks Mission Transit 175mm Chain KMC Z-Chain 112L 1/2" x 1/8" Pedals MKS BM-7 Alloy Cage Rims, Zytel ACS Z-Max 20" 5-Spoke Hubs ACS Ball-Bearing 3/8" Tires Kenda Sunlite M-50 Knobby 20" x 2.125" Tubes Goodyear 20" x 2.125" Seat Kashimax (original 1981) Seat Post Black Ops Chrome-Moly 22.2 mm Layback Seat Post Clamp X-Caliber 27.2 mm Alloy One Piece Pads, soft none Vendors Ace BMX/American BMX, Johnson City NY Two Wheeler Dealer, Wilmington NC

More Bikes From ronvigneri (2 bikes in museum. View all)

View Cart →