Building a quality show bike, especially a lowrider bike, requires an endless amount of imagination coupled with perfect execution and the right resources. The desire and need is expressed through an amalgam of steel and chrome that is twisted and welded to create a rolling piece of art and expression. When Freddie Urias of Long Beach, California, began to construct his dream bike named “Dragon’s Defeat,” he was only 12 years old.
“I first started when I went into a bike shop by my work and bought a handlebar,” reports Freddie. “I didn’t even know why. I just bought it and they tripped out because I didn’t even have a frame. From there, I bought a book on building bikes and just went at it.” The now 19-year-old Freddie’s dedication to the bike has paid off in more ways than one as the hobby has helped him keep off of the streets and up in a garage for days working on a one-of-a-kind bike. Freddie’s imagination rolled wild and the assistance of many culminated into a show-stopping trike.
The bike revolves around the heavily modified ’72 Schwinn frame, which was built, prepped and painted with DuPont ChromaLusion paint by Evelyn from Skyhorse in Cudahy, California. “Once the frame was complete, I took it over to my muralist Carlos Ruiz de Chavez at Gator Grafix and told him to do whatever he wanted,” says Freddie. “So he went with the dragon and the girl and ever since then I just began to like dragons.” The theme is carried on throughout the bike as the pedals take on the form of dragon claws, while the handlebars represent the wings of a dragon. All ironwork was performed by Manny’s Bike Shop in Compton, California, and reflects years of experience in creating top-notch bikes. No one says it better than Freddie. “I owe a lot to Manny,” he admits, “and he has a head for a lot of crazy ideas.”
Pushing the dragon from one show to the next is a set of 144-spoke wheels wrapped with 20×1.75 white walls. Of the 144 spokes, Freddie chose to have 72 of them twisted to add a bit of flair to the wheel. Further inspection of the front end reveals a set of air cylinders sleeved by gold-plated twists that spin freely.As you move to the back of the bike, you will run across a custom crank that holds possibly the only thing which is not custom made, the chain. Further back, you will find a seat fit for a dragon slayer, which was built and upholstered by Adam Leon of Lynwood Custom Upholstery in Lynwood, California. To give the bike an older vintage look, Freddie slapped on a set of fenders. Each of the fenders was laced with a mural on either side and depicts the battle between a woman and a dragon.
The subject matter of the mural serves as the perfect symbolism of the bike and its buildup. The bike rolls with the confidence of a dragon and the curves and mystique of a woman. Yet behind it all, Freddie would like to express his thanks to Manny, Meno and Mono from Manny’s Bike Shop; Lalo for the modifications; his homies from the Kings of Kings Bike Club; and, of course, a very special thanks to his mother who has supported him from day one. Freddie says it best, “I have to thank my mom because she had my back on this project since day one. I owe a lot to her because she always listened to my ideas and encouraged them. Besides I owe her for always scratching up the roof liner of her Ford Explorer whenever I transport it. Thanks!” Z