bullybmxhistory.webs.com, 2013: R.L. Osborn was a pro flatland rider throughout the '80s, and a successful one at that. By age 25, in 1988, he was worth a million dollars, but seemed to sense that he was in the autumn of his pro career. While riding for General Bicycles in '88, Osborn founded Hammer Bodywear, which manufactured neoprene knee and shin pads, along with a full clothing line. Hammer took off, and Osborn was reportedly doing so well with the brand that he left his sponsorship with General (which netted him $100,000 a year) to focus on Hammer. Osborn also recognized the changing tides of the BMX freestyle scene, and adjusted his image to reflect BMX's embracing of "street." Osborn stopped wearing uniforms, started riding street more and paid to get hair extensions alongside former General team mate Chris Rothrock. To accompany the change in image, Osborn, who was reportedly making $350,000 a year in 1989, started Bully Bicycles. Bully launched quickly, advertising in the magazines of the time and sponsoring some of the more influential riders of the time, including vert pros Mike Dominguez and Simon Tabron, street pioneers Vic Murphy and Craig Campbell, Nor Cal park/street riders Mike Kranich and Danny Schow, and pro flatlander Perry Mervar.
FIRST RUNS OF FRAME.
bullybmxhistory.webs.com, 2013: Admittedly not the strongest bikes of the time, Bully issued frames, forks, bars, stems and accessories from the start. But more than anything, Bully's iconic stamp on BMX was left with their first runs of frames. Based around an integrated bashguard which featured a nylon "skid plate," the Bully frames featured two-tone paint jobs, original graphics from BMX rider Marc McKee (who would later go on to work for skate brand World Industries), an integrated seat clamp and one of the more relaxed seat tube angles to exist on a BMX bike. At the time, the bikes were far from practical, but that didn't matter. Bully took off, and riders ate it up. Although the frames broke easily, the image was just what everyone wanted, and perhaps without realizing it, Bully had more appeal to the average BMXer because it was technically rider-owned (unlike GT and Haro, who were also producing bashguard bikes at the time.)
Bully's popularity continued to grow into the new decade. Their line extended to include traditional, bashguard-less frames, complete bikes, gimmicky bar and stem combos (the T-bar, later spoofed by S&M), a video ("Slow Ride") and summer tours. New riders were introduced to the team as well, including Canadian Jay Miron, vert rider Jon Byers, flatland Pete Brandt and dirt legend Todd Lyons.
Founder: RL Osborn
|1990||GO june 1990: Bully is introducing a second frame, this one without the bashguard. Prototypes are in the hands of the Dirt Brothers and Perry Mervar.
Invert august 1990: Pegs fresh from Bully. And the weird thing is, they are made out of very hard dense plastic, with a steel centre. A good size, very grippy as there are large studs on the surface. They'd be good for grinding too. Hot stuff.
Mike Dominguez on his new ramp in Devore, CA. on the cover of BMX Plus! april 1990.
|1991||Video Slow Ride|
|1992||Bully products are now made by frame builder MCS in the USA.
UK distributor: Split Second Imports.
Powerforks using a cantilever front brake.
|1993||Ride BMX UK august 1993: The Bully 2 frame is a brand new design for '93. Gone is the plastic bashguard and dodgy stay/seattube junction of old Bullys.|
|RL's sold Bully to Custom Cycle / MCS.|
|2002||Custom Cycle Supply owns MCS bikes, Bully bikes, Hammer protective wear. It's also a main distributor for Profile cranks, and Answer forks. Owner: Jeff DeVido.|
|Mike Aitken december 1998 - ....|
Pete Brandt 1992 - ....
Jon Byers 1990 - 1991
Invert august 1991: Jon is now off Bully and now on WAL.
Craig Campbell 1990 - ....
Chris Day 1995
Mike Dominguez 1989 - ....
Jody Donelly 1995-1996
Scott Freeman 1990-1992
Bob Kohl spring 1993 - ....
Mike Kranich 1989 - 1991
Eben Krakau .... - 1991
Invert august 1991: Eben Krakau is off Bully and now riding for WAL.
Todd Lyons 1991 only.
Ron McCoy 1989
Perry Mervar 1990 - ....
Jay Miron 1991
Invert february 1991: Jay Miron is off Wilkerson airlines and riding for Bully.
Invert august 1991: Jay Miron is off Bully and on GT.
Vic Murphy 1989 - ....
Cory Nastazio 1997 - january 1998
Chris Poulos 1991
Dialed flatland pro of Rhode Island Chris Poulos who just won the 1991 freestyle world championships in Denmark and the NBL Nationals in Kentucky is now riding for Bully.
Leigh Ramsdell December 95, Leigh is swithing from 2-Hip bikes over to Bully
Chris Rothrock 1989
Danny Schow 1989 - 1991
Simon Tabron january 1990 - ....
Mike Tagliavento 1995