Rebuilding an old school 1981 Giant GMX-250 20″ BMX for less than $100

1981 Giant GMX-250 BMX


Giving a new life to an old Giant. 1981 Giant GMX 250 refound in Sydney April 2014. The 1981 Giant GMX-250 frame was an unfinished project from the previous owner, I purchased the bike in a bulk lot of BMX parts.

After re-selling and re-using the bits and pieces in the sale, the frame ended up costing nothing.

Keep the build cost down to keep the re-sale price low

From what I know and remember from back in the early 1980’s when I used to ride BMX bikes for fun the first time round, Giant built BMX frames were generally, inexpensive and at the low end of the bikes you’d find in the bike shop. Although these BMX’s are rare, they are not well known and Taiwan build quality was not as premium as US built bikes, so I was keen to rebuild this Giant GMX-250 using refurbished, low budget 80’s parts to keep the cost of the build below $100. Ultimately to ensure the re-sale cost of the bike could also be kept low. To achieve my low budget build this I purchased two very cheap, old school girls BMX bikes to use as donors. A 1988 Phoenix YM-833 BMX $30 – a cheap Chinese made BMX and a Repco Hotfoot Girls BMX from 1995 $10 – Repco hotfoot BMX’s were also Giant made through the 1980’s, although this one was not, it still had some very useable parts. After re-selling various parts from both donor bikes I was left with most of the parts I needed to build the Giant for a total cost of $15.

1981 Giant GMX-250 BMX

The Giant GMX-250 frame was purchased in pre-sand blasted and primed condition, however it had been sitting around for a while and needed to be sanded back and re-primed before spray bombing white. The forks and chain wheel from the Repco Hotfoot and MX CW style handlebars from the Phoenix BMX were also spray bombed in matching white. The Repco Hotfoot cranks, bottom bracket, stem, headset, seat and pedals along with front and back brakes and layback seat post all came from the Phoenix BMX. All donor parts were cleaned, polished and re-greased.

The steel 28H wheel set from the Phoenix BMX were completely dismantled so I could attempt to clean off the rust for use. The top sides of rims were badly effected by rust, so they were stripped, sanded and sprayed blue to give the shiny side look. They were rebuilt using the original spokes and hubs.

1981 Giant GMX-250 BMX

Recreate the original look and add a personal touch

I recreated the decal set from photos of other Giant GMX-250 bikes from around the web and on BMX Museum. I took a couple of liberties and added a few extra decals to the frame, chain wheel and handlebars.

New parts were purchased and added to the build: Kenda Comp 3 20×1.75 tyres, Ame Grips, Dia Compe brake levers, seat post clamp and blue brake cables and pads as well as a new white chain. The addition of all these new components pushed my build costs to $117, just over my initial budget.

1981 Giant GMX-250 BMX

The 1981 Giant GMX-250 turned out great – the perfect budget rebuild with plenty of scope for the next owner to upgrade and finish. Let me know what you think.

For a list of blog posts that include other reproduction decals go to BMX Decals Design. For more information on all BMX decals go to

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