Words, photos, specs, and more with Brian Kachinsky, Dan Conway, and Albert Mercado on their new 2020 GT bikes featured in the Complete Story II.

Thinking back to even the semi-budget friendly complete bikes that were available when I first started riding, they pale in comparison to what brands are offering for completes nowadays. I’m amazed that I even stuck with it considering that I was usually on the losing end of the never ending battle of bike maintenance that was freestyle in the mid to late 90s. Alas, I’m dating myself, because I’m supposed to be talking about 2020 bikes—the bikes featured in GT’s Complete Story II, including the BK Team Signature, Conway Team Signature, and the Mercado Team Comp. These bikes are so dialed that for the second year in a row, GT got the squad together for an extended weekend to film a video on the bikes. Minus the addition of pegs, these are the very same bikes you can buy at your local GT dealer.

Albert Mercado – Mercado Team Comp

A unique looking bike for outside the box ideas. Albert’s Team Comp suits him well.

Thoughts on your new bike?
The first time we did Complete Story, it was kind of like an experiment, with finding out what the bikes could hold up to. Going into Complete Story II, I was definitely more confident with the bike. I think kids will be stoked that they can just get it and build it right out of the box. It’s pretty cool this day and age that you can do that. Mine is the only left-hand drive bike—I grind on the right, so left hand drive is kind of essential or else I just destroy chains.

Mercado Team Comp.

You have the most unique looking bike in the lineup. How did it come about?  
The idea and the concept of the graphics are something I worked on with Ben Ward. It’s more or less like early 90s, almost Saved By The Bell. And the colorway is like 90s California with the palm trees and the graphics. And the fade was something I saw on a mountain bike and we went with a sunset—like California sunset colors. I think Ben calls it Tequila Sunset.

Tequila Sunset.

Being a creative person yourself, how was it working with GT to make your vision a reality?
From concept to sample to actually seeing the production model was… it’s hard to describe, it’s kind of magical. Not a lot of people get to do that—especially with such a notable brand like GT. Working with the creative people at GT was interesting because I’m more like an illustrator and when it comes to all the graphic stuff, I have an idea of what I want it to look like, but I couldn’t create it. It was really cool to go through that process where I could explain these concepts I had in my mind to a guy and it all came together kind of cohesively. GT’s real streamlined and they know how to make your ideas happen.

Brian Kachinsky – BK Team Signature

If you’re looking to pegs in precarious places, Kachinsky’s BK Team Signature could be what you’re looking for.

What were your first impressions when you saw your bike for the first time?
As soon as I pulled the bike out of the box, the first thing I noticed before I really got to inspect it was the pop of color. It was like boom! There it is. We opened up the bikes on a sunny California morning and the bright sun definitely gave the color an eye-catching pop. It was one of those moments… this may sound cheesy, but when you see that classic photo or clip of a kid unwrapping a Christmas gift and it’s this shiny bright red fire truck. It was like that same kind of feeling because obviously it’s my bike and I was as excited as I would be on Christmas Day, but it was kind of that same effect with the bright red pop coming out of the box.

That color pop and BK’s signature graphics.

You were practically riding your own bike during Complete Story II…
There’s so much stuff that I ride on my personal bike that just comes stock on my complete, like the bars, stem, grips, pedals, and then obviously the seat. My signature seat comes stock on the complete, which is awesome because it’s not only a personal touch to me, but it’s like the perfect size seat. And having the embossed train map, that’s the personal touch that I wanted, but then we added a little bit of pop with the marble looking material on the back, which I think just adds just a nice look to it as well.

How has your bike changed since the first Complete Story
The graphics and colors are updated, but for the most part it’s fairly similar to the year before. Since it held up to a beating for the first Complete Story, we were like, okay, let’s not mess with the recipe too much and just tweak the colors and the graphics. We didn’t want to start from scratch and change it totally because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? And the only adjustments I made to the bike I rode for Complete Story II were trimming the bars a little bit and the seat post (that’s a habit whenever I get a new seat post), and I added the pegs.

BK takes a slice of the purple pizza rail with a nollie ice. That’s some serious gnar/tech for a complete bike.

Sending it on completes with confidence…
The fact that we had done the first Complete Story before and it was a success, I went into it this year with more of an optimistic attitude. We had already been putting the bikes to the test while hitting the streets for several days in a row, when we got to that nollie ice rail—that’s a legit rail and I feel like a legit move on that rail. The fact that I just checked out the setup and didn’t really think twice about it and wanted to do it right then without questioning it, I think that’s a testament to the quality of the bikes. If I were to think about even jumping down 10 stairs with the complete bike that I started riding on back in the day, it definitely wouldn’t stand up to that. It’s incredible to see a straight out of the box bike that is not only real deal shreddable, but also affordable. It makes me somewhat envious of people getting a bike for the first time now!

Dan Conway – Conway Team Signature

Conway took his complete bike to NBD territory at a famous LA spot for Complete Story II.

Your bike is the biggest bike from the batch, right?
The whole bike is just larger, it’s a larger complete in general, so for someone who has previously ridden BMX and wants to get back into it, but they’re not trying to drop like mad cash, my bike is a good option. Like if you’re an older person who wants a longer and taller bike. It’s almost identical to my current set up that I ride. I just run the 21.5”, but the complete I believe is a 21.25”. And the bars are the exact same size bars and same size top-load stem that I ride normally—it’s damn near identical to my bike.

Speaking about you bike near identical, it comes with a cassette as well…
I made the switch a while back to a cassette and I think it’s cool that my signature complete is in sync to my current state of riding. I think that says a lot, because you see like freecoaster heavy dudes and then they’re pushing their completes and it’s just the exact same color as their bike but that’s it. And it’s not necessarily the same way they setup their actual bike.

Tell us about your decals and paint job…
The original idea with the decals, like making them real harsh angles and stuff like that definitely came from a music influence, like old hair metal albums like Judas Priest. At a quick glance, it almost looks like a black bike. But then if you look at it longer, you see all the colors and it’s almost identical to the Ride the Lightning album cover from Metallica, which Doctor Bonus Grind called out when I posted a picture of the bike on Instagram—which makes it even sicker. The design on the seat is the same as the decal on the downtube on my frame. It’s kind of harsh if you looked at it, but it’s also real chill because it’s imprinted black on black on the top of the seat there. I really like that. That’s all Yunho at GT doing that—that’s his work with my ideas.

Ride The Lightning… pretty much sums up Conway’s riding.
Conway’s seat rocks, too.

What are your thoughts about having a signature bike in general?
The feeling to have your own signature shit is crazy. I’m grateful for that. To be able to have anything with your name on it, like a signature product in general is a huge honor. It’s so fucking sick. I’m extremely humble for that and I appreciate the hell out of it. I get stoked when somebody will reach out and be like, “I just got your bike. Check out this grind.” And I’m like damn! Because some kids do that. I’ve had a couple of kids send me videos. Like, “Dude I got your bike, it’s the sickest thing, thanks.”

Mercado Team Comp
Price: $500

Frame: Cr-Mo Front Tri (T/T, D/T, S/T), & Chainstays, DT Gusset, MID BB , Seat Stay Mounted U-Brake, Integrated 1-1/8″ H/T w/ Removable Rotor Tabs, Odyssey Springfield Brake compatible
Fork: Cr-Mo 1pc. Threaded Steerer & Tapered Legs, 31mm Offset, 3/8″ Axle Dropouts
Bars: GT Freestyle 2pc. 100% Cr-Mo, 9″H x 29″W, 3°Up, 11° Back
Grips: GT Super Soft 155mm Single Compound w/ GT removable plug
Stem: GT Top Load, 1-1/8″, Cold Forged Cap, 32mm Rise, 50mm
Headset: 1 1/8″ Integrated Design, 45X45 Degree Sealed Bearings
Seat: GT Pivotal Padded
Post: Alloy Pivotal 25.4 x 200mm
Cranks: GT Power Series Cr-Mo 3pc., 170mm Arms, 19mm x 8T Cr-Mo Spindle
Sprocket: GT 5mm 25T
Pedals: GT Low Profile FS Platform Design, PP Material, Cr-Mo Axle
Chain: KMC S1
Rims: Alloy Double Wall, 36h
Front Hub: Alloy Body, Sealed Bearings, 36h, 3/8″ x 17mm Female Bolt
Rear Hub: LHD, Cassette, 9T Sealed 1pc. Driver
Tires: GT LP-5, 2.35″

BK Team Signature
Price: $600

Frame: 100% Cr-Mo Tubes, DT Gusset, MID BB , Seat Stay Mounted U-Brake, Integrated 1-1/8″ H/T w/ Removable Rotor Tabs, Odyssey Springfield Brake compatible
Fork: 100% Cr-Mo 1pc. Threaded Steerer & Tapered Legs, 31mm Offset, 3/8″ Axle Dropouts
Bars: GT Freestyle 4pc. 100% Cr-Mo, 9.125″H x 29″W, 5°Up, 9° Back
Grips: GT Super Soft 155mm Single Compound w/ GT removable plug
Stem: GT Top Load, 1-1/8″, Cold Forged Cap, 32mm Rise, 50mm
Headset: 1 1/8″ Integrated Design, 45X45 Degree Sealed Bearings
Seat: GT BK Signature Pivotal
Post: Alloy Pivotal 25.4 x 200mm
Cranks: GT Power Series Seamless Tubular Cr-Mo 3pc., 170mm Arms, Cold Forged CR-MO 22mm x 48T Spline Spindle
Sprocket: GT 5mm 25T
Pedals: GT Low Profile FS Platform Design, PP Material, Cr-Mo Axle
Chain: KMC HL1 Wide
Rims: Alloy Double Wall, 36h
Front Hub: Alloy Body, Sealed Bearings, 36h, 3/8″ x 17mm Female Bolt
Rear Hub: Freecoaster, 9T Sealed 1pc. Driver
Tires: GT Pool, 2.3″

Conway Team Signature
Price: $600

Frame: 100% Cr-Mo Tubes, DT Gusset, MID BB , Seat Stay Mounted U-Brake, Integrated 1-1/8″ H/T w/ Removable Rotor Tabs, Odyssey Springfield Brake compatible
Fork: 100% Cr-Mo 1pc. Threaded Steerer & Tapered Legs, 31mm Offset, 3/8″ Axle Dropouts
Bars: GT Freestyle 4pc. 100% Cr-Mo, 9.875″H x 29″W, 5°Up, 9° Back
Grips: GT Super Soft 155mm Single Compound w/ GT removable plug
Stem: GT Top Load, 1-1/8″, Cold Forged Cap, 32mm Rise, 50mm
Headset: 1 1/8″ Integrated Design, 45X45 Degree Sealed Bearings
Seat: GT Pivotal Padded
Post: Alloy Pivotal 25.4 x 200mm
Cranks: GT Power Series Seamless Tubular Cr-Mo 3pc., 170mm Arms, Cold Forged CR-MO 22mm x 48T Spline Spindle
Sprocket: GT 5mm 25T
Pedals: GT Low Profile FS Platform Design, PP Material, Cr-Mo Axle
Chain: KMC HL1 Wide
Rims: Alloy Double Wall, 36h
Front Hub: Alloy Body, Sealed Bearings, 36h, 3/8″ x 17mm Female Bolt
Rear Hub: Cassette 9T Sealed 1pc. Driver
Tires: GT LP-5, 2.2″

GT’s Complete Story II video…

Hit up GT Bicycles for more info on all of their 2020 complete bikes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *