Serial Number Registry
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#0A0347 – 1980 Large Pro – (Chrome)
#0J0445 – 1980 Large Pro – (Chrome)Owned by Karl
Serial Number Registry
David Clinton is featured in this advertisement for Diamond Back. It doesnt really give any features or sizing. However the rider is clearly pictured on a bike with seat stay tube decals. My first batch 1980 frame didn’t have those though. So perhaps the bike was just a last batch 1979 frame. Would make sense since no telling when the picture was actually taken. Probably in early 1980. But the rider wasnt a factory rider so it would make sense hes on a slightly older bike.
You can spot though that he does have Tourney brakes and what looks like a SunTour seat post clamp and a blue plastic seat, that looks to be like the Kashimax MX. You can also tell this kid is on a “Large Pro” sized frame. Since he is smaller it makes sense to me that by the time this add was produced Diamond Back still hadn’t released a “Medium Pro”.
It appears Diamond Back added Harry Leary to the team in 1980. Untill then Harry had become a household name riding for JMC. Harry would go on to become synonymous with DB. Harry had one of the longest Pro careers of all the old school Pros. He would eventually run a short lived BMX company of his own called Dirt Werks.
This is a press release from “Bicycle Motocross Action” appearing in the Feb. ’80 issue. It must therefore have been taken in late ’79. It also says the new Kit. I believe it was late ’79 for Christmas sales that Diamond Back introduced the bike kits. This would be the first ’80 model. Its kit had a SunTour stem. Suntour seat clamp, Alloy bars, Fluted alloy seat post, Kashimax MX seat, Shimano Tourney rear brake, 3 piece alloy cranks (could be SunTour maybe). The bike at first (Late 79) had no large DB seat tube decal.
Then perhaps with the first batch in 1980 they added the seat tube decal. I recently found a first batch “A” bike from 1980. It doesnt have the ring decal but instead a large seat tube decal. It also doesnt have the later 1980 version with the “Chromoly” chainstay decal. The later 80s model also had a different parts group.
So it is up for debate if the changes make the later 80s a 1980 1/2 model or a 1981 model. Since they debuted in 1980 so early I vote for the second generation “Pros” were 1980 1/2.
This is my 1980 “Pro” exactly as I found it. At this point I cant find any references to a Large or Medium Pro in late 79 or very early 80.. Those appeared to only arrive on the scene later in 1980 perhaps in the spring.
Two pictures showing David Clinton’s bikes from late ’78 and early 1980. Note the lack of large seat tube decal even on the early ’80 bike. It does have a Mongoose like ring decal.
Second picture shows it in early 1980. It appears in the May 80 issue but unclear when picture was actually taken. May have been early 80 or late 79. Note the lack of large seat tube decal, but ring decal on seat stay. It is my opinion that on the 79’s that decal was used either on the seat tube or seat stays. I have a 1980 with original decals and the first batch “A” and it has no such decal and does have the large seat tube decal. However sometime in ’80 they added a decal to the chain stays saying “Chromoly”. My batch A bike doesn’t have one.
In 1977 and 78 Diamond Back offered it appears just one model the “MX”. In 1979 they debuted the “Pro” an all 4130 bike. In 1981 they would introduce the “Medium Pro”. This advertisement from June of 1981 is the first mention of it I could find so far. Clearly the picture had to be taken in Spring to make that issue. It will be interesting to find out, what was the first batch number for the Medium Pro.
Upon doing some further research. I still cant not find any earlier advertisements for the Medium Pro. However. In the August issue of “Bicycle Motocross Action” it shows Harry Leary’s bike and has specs for it. The frame he rides is listed as a “Long Pro”. So perhaps they were already selling the Medium Pro or testing one. More research is needed.
Thanks to a more layed back seat angle it appears to me the top tube on the Medium Pro was almost as long as the “Large Pro”. The top tube and wheelbase were shorter though and the profile lower. Perfect size for 10-13 crowd.
In the early pictures it doesnt appear that David Clinton was yet running the deep gold decals. But in 1980 the team and David clearly were. Looking for more color pictures from 1979 to see what they were doing that year.