The begining of an era
BMX in Australia during the 80's was a defining moment for a sport still growing and evolving. Three Brisbane brothers Darren, Dean and Adam Crisp, established one of Australia’s most iconic names in BMX "Crisp Brothers Racing". Dean being the figure head with a race career that cemented him as one of the countries top pros from the mid 80's era. Crisp Bros Racing gave many Amercian brands tough competition producing everything, frame/forks, race gear, pads & plates. Darren and Dean began racing around 1977, Darren started on a Suzuki, Dean aged 11 remembering his first bike was a Maddison moving onto a Cooks Bros.
In the late 70's Dean along with Darren joined the Sunshine BMX team based out of Brisbane. Started by Colin Spencer who designed and built his own frames, both out of Cro Moly and Aluminium. His frames were ahead of there time in weight and geometry. The team consisted of Mick Wiltshire, Darren Crisp, Dean Crisp, Michael Baker, Arron Spencer and Colin Spencer.
In 1980 Dean won his first Australian Title in the 15 boys class on his blue alloy Sunshine frame, which Dean still owns. Darren also raced in the open class and finished 4th. The titles were raced on points over 4 different race tracks, Windsor, Centenary in Queensland, Ryde Eastwood and Liverpool in NSW. Dean also winning the Qld State Titles that year as well.
Deans talents eventually noticed and in 1981 Dean was picked up by US brand BMX Products Inc "Mongoose BMX". Dean rode for Mongoose till around 1984. During that time Dean was asked to Travel to American with Mick Wiltshire to race with the Mongoose US factory team, Knotts Berry Farm being one of the events raced. Around 1982 saw the first Crisp Number plate release whist Dean was riding for Mongoose. Clear plastic Lexan plates with a chequered pattern his later plates were loosey based the Knotts Berry Farm race plate from his first US trip.
Dean and Darren formed a small Crisp Bros race team in 1983 with a young Jack Weatenberg, Adam Crisp and Darren Anderson. Crisp Bros first jersey had a rising sun graphic in red and blue which cemented the teams factory colours, along race pants which were produced initially by local manufacturer Peddle Power. The brothers first frame was developed for Adam, called the AC Interceptor. In early 84 designs were underway for a Pro Frame and Fork loosely based on Deans winning alloy Sunshine frame. Bottom Bracket height and head tube angles were adjusted for better steering and gate starts and a lower standover height was also factored in. These frames were made by local Qld frame builder Graham Stevens.
Towards the end of 1984 saw Dean leave Mongoose and officially ride in the Crisp Colours debuting his new pro and mini frames sets. Both these frames were the first for sale along with a range of race clothing, pads, stickers and plates. Darren, Dean and Mother Bev where all involved with the manufacture of the clothing, plates and pads etc under their home in Jindalee.
Dean travelled to the US again in 1985 to race and show off his new bike and gear. Bunking with some of the great names in the sport Greg Hill, Eric Rupe and the King Brothers. Dean chalking up a win at the American Bike Riders Grand Nationals.
Onwards from 85 Dean’s Factory Team grew with riders such as Jason Naumann, Glen Fiest, Jason Ford, Glenno Rawlson, Helena Giblett, Jaclyn Wilson (who still races) to name a few.
Not only was Dean racing and developing his line of frame/forks, clothing and accessories, he regularly travelled to regional Australia conducting coaching clinics, racing and setting up his Pro Shop. Offering a full range of parts and accessories, Dean specialised building complete race bikes around his race frames to suit the rider, which other manufactures were unable to do.
Dean changed his personal race bikes often, having many interesting colour combinations throughout the years with race clothing to match. Dean like to use Shimano DX peddles which he ran the opposite way for better grip, CW style handle bars which were manufactured by Repco. Bullseye hubs and 2 piece 177mm Cranks where common components on his race bikes.
Whilst Dean had many memorable highlights in his race career, his unbeaten winning streak of 27 Final wins from August 1984 to January 1985 is one Dean is most proud of. Other highlights would be carrying his race bike to the top Ayres Rock and riding across it and being acknowledged in the Victorian BMX Hall of Fame on the 11th of November 1994. Deans last official race was at the 1989 World Titles in Brisbane where he rode cruiser making it as far as the semi final. Crisp Bros Racing placed First and Second in the team world tophy that year but was deemed they couldn't be awarded both placings. The team took home 5 W1 plates, Jason Naumann, Joanne Croaker, Clint Thomas, Jesse Carlson and Natalie Lucas with Jaclyn Wilson taking W2.
89 also saw Dean change his gear to a fresh new look with the help of fellow rider and designer Cam Small, bringing in neon colourways for not only the clothing and stickers but on their newly designed frame and forks.
Crisp Bros factory had also moved to the Gold Coast, shortly after Dean moved Crisp Bros Racing onto John Wilson. John traveled around with a proshop and made a great success of brand producing the Mean Mother frame/fork set, featuring a cross bar design in the main frame of which 15 frame sets were produced.
We are excited to return Crisp Bros Racing to the BMX scene with our new modern gemoetry alloy race frames and look forward to seeing the name back out on the track and on the podium!