This week’s Readers’ Rides comes from Paul de Valera from Atomic Cycles, the organizer of the Coaster Brake Challenge. Paul had an idea for a Cruiser and finally executed it, resulting in a very unique bike. Check out more as Paul walks us through the design and fabrication below.
Inspired by the recent cruisers being posted here, Grant from Cowichan Cycles sent in his 1941 Schwinn Cruiser build, along with some stellar photos for this week’s Readers’ Rides. Check out more below!
Last year I was visiting the BTCHN’ Bikes shop to shoot some process photos for the Sierra Explorer project and got stopped in my tracks as soon as I walked into the door by a different frame in a stand. This frame was totally unlike any design I’d seen before, and there was so much hard thought and problem-solving that went into making it a reality that I couldn’t even open that door of my brain and had to just stay on target with the bike I was actually there to shoot.
This week’s Readers’ Rides comes from Ron in NorCal and is probably older than a lot of this website’s readers (myself included). Check out his 1979 Cook Brothers Cruiser below!
People love tinkering with coaster brake cruisers but the achilles of the cruiser bike is always the hub. Truth told, there aren’t a lot of options out there for coaster brakes, but luckily, distributor Merry Sales Company will be importing Eagle brand 2-speed coaster brake hubs in USA. They will distribute the hubs to dealers and distributors and will also conduct OEM sales and services.
Here’s a bit of backstory from Merry Sales:
“International Cycle Gears of India has manufactured hubs and other parts for the last 25 years. Mr. B.B. Lall, President of International Cycle Gears, has worked on the Eagle 2-speed coaster hub project for many years; first with Mark Worksman, and later with The Merry Sales Co. Mr. Gurpeet Bhushan son of Mr. B.B. Lall will soon join the company after completing his MBA to handle this new project. There may be some people in the U.S. that do not recognize the name International Cycle Gears, but they have a long history of collaborating with Mark Worksman when he was President of Bendix USA. ”
The Eagle 2-Speed Hubs are for sale at Merry Sales for $119.99. You can order from your local shop.
To coaster brake afficianados, the Coaster Cooler might be one of the
coolest most unique inventions for your cruiser. Cjell over at Moné Cycles has a limited edition run of these hub coolers – and hubs/spokes – all done up and fancy in Cerakote black for an extremely limited release. Head to Moné Cycles to check it out.
For $400, this “Klunker” which is, in reality, a *Cruiser from State Bicycle Co has all the fixins for getting sideways on local fire roads and trails. This bike is built on a durable steel frame and fork with a 5-year warranty. It’s paired with a BMX stem and a 30” extra-wide V-bars with 7″ rise and Vans Grips. Head to State Bicycle Co for more.
*The disambiguation of Klunker refers to a bike like this with gears and brakes, while a Cruiser refers to a coaster brake bike.
Yes, it’s a little late for a Halloween-themed video but how good is this? Check out more on the Neckface x Fairdale Flyer at Fairdale.
Want a riser bar with a classic cross-brace but also want your bike to weigh less? Enter the Light Bar.
These carbon bars have a 31.8 Clamp. 2.5” of rise, 827mm wide, and 12º of backsweep. That’s a bit less rise and sweep than Moné’s Oddmone, so if you have a similar bar, you can swap the Light Bar in for a some added comfort and less weight.
Moné is making these bars, no question about it but tooling is expensive, so they’re doing a pre-sale to help kick the Light Bar into production. In exchange for your patience, you’ll get wholesale pricing ($239) for a limited time. Presale runs until Saturday, Oct. 24th. The first 30 Light Bar sales will be fast-tracked so you’ll get your bars even sooner.
Head to Moné Bikes to order.
Is this an article written by Cjell, about a bike built by Cjell? Yes, indeed. Not too many other people around here to tell ya about it, so it’s me you’ll have to listen to.
My operation has a couple of facets to it. One being stock frames that I have the privilege of working with a shop in Taiwan. They’re faster and much better equipped to put together frames more efficiently, and their neighborhood is full of toolmakers, tube benders, casters, etc. The fact that they put up with me trying to keep up in the shop is a testament to their patience and capacity.
This week’s Readers’ Rides is one wild rig! Timothy‘s Diamondback is a great example of how vintage bikes can keep rolling for decades and can be quite fun to build out, much less ride!
If you need a rugged machine look no further then the Diamondback bicycle family from the ’90s. Overall great construction, pretty strong and made from USA True Temper tubes. This example was customized by Jeffson Bikes around 2004 and has an adjustable BB and disc tab welded on. The paint is my own doing after I could not stop looking at a Cooks Bros cruiser with a sunset fade. I did this with spray cans, and the homie made me some custom stickers that represent my bad back I had while building this bike.
Mert Lawwil had already been a legendary motorcycle racer for years and was building and selling Harley Davidson flat-track racing frames with Terry Knight when they got the idea to weld up a batch of BMX bicycle frames. But Don Koski of the Cove Bicycle Shop in Tiburon, California (hangout spot of mountain biking progenitors, The Larkspur Canyon Gang), convinced them to make a production run of “mountain bikes” in batches of 50 at a time instead. Mert and Terry had to label and sell these bikes as “cruisers” because most other bicycle shops didn’t understand or want to sell “mountain bikes”…yet.
Remember last week’s story about the Coaster Brake Challenge? Well, this was the bike that Kyle from Golden Saddle built up post-haste for the last race of the year. At the time, he wanted to save up for something special but with a race rapidly approaching, he had to go quick and easy…
Welcome to the beautiful dark twisted world of Paul de Valera and Atomic Cycles‘ Coaster Brake Challenge! A race I have known about for over a decade, a race that my mentor JimC would race religiously, but for some reason, I never made the time to attend. I always made up some kind of excuse, usually, it was about the bike, which is bullshit. Paul and Atomic Cycles have plenty of loaners, and as you can already tell from the title of this story, these bikes are simple, cheap, and easy to build.
Klunkers and Cruisers, the early mountain bikes, took to the fire roads of Marin back in the 1970’s. Klunkers had a derailleur and hand brakes while Cruisers had coaster brakes only. The disambiguation of these two terms doesn’t count for much these days, as just about any bike that looks like this will be dubbed a “klunker”. We the People’s newest bike, the Avenger, is a 27.5″ rigid MTB with klunker/cruiser feels and disc brakes. We’ll look at the predecessor to this bike, a 26″ version, in detail this week but this bike, with a coaster brake would be all kinds of fun! Or just ride it as is. See more on the Avenger at We the People and see more photos below.
I went to grade school in Chico with Jeremiah and still have a very distinct memory of us running laps around the field at Citrus Elementary. He still has some cartoons I drew of a triangle guy riding a skateboard from back in those days. So it’s a real trip that after all these years, and what feel like many lifetimes to me, life has come full circle and I now find myself riding bikes and going to shows with him all the time in Chico. He almost always answers yes to the last minute “Swimming hole ride after work?” texts I send out, and as a long-time Chico rider, he knows all the cutty local trails.
Who is Uncle Dan?
Surely many of you know the Heighdealist emporium that has become the Dangle Supply Company, but most folks do not know the origin story of this incredibly popular and successful bong business.
When I was an architect, a few clients came to us with project proposals, revolving around a key object like a doorknob, a bookcase, or some other heirloom piece. In essence, they wanted us to design a house around this object. Believe it or not, this happens a lot with bikes as well in what I call “Genesis components.” Someone has a stem like a Ti Grammo Art or a crank like a Kooka and wants to build a complete around that part. More often than not, it’s that heritage piece that really ties a build together. These unifying pieces don’t have to be vintage and they don’t have to be the Genesis piece. Take Spencer’s 1956 Schwinn cruiser build for example.
Spence is an employee at Yuba Expeditions, the shop and shuttle company in Downieville that’s an extension of the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship. Everything sold at Yuba and every shuttle run purchased goes right back to the Buttes. It’s a solid system and gives dudes like Spencer and the rest of the team at Yuba, a great job in an even greater town.
Downieville isn’t a hilly town. It’s pretty flat along the main drag, so Spencer wanted a beater bike to kick around on. That’s when he pieced together this 1956 Schwinn cruiser, which fit a nice knobby tire, a modern unicrown fork, a Brooks Saddle, and yeah, the Genesis piece – the bar that really tied the build together.
A few years back, S&M introduced a new handlebar to their MUSA lineup. The Husky High MX bars are replicas of 1972 – 1977 Husqvarna Motorcycles High Crossbar. Once Spencer saw them, he knew where they needed to go.
Genesis components aren’t always the beginning of a bike build, but they do make a build unique to the owner. The context of this bike made it so unique to me, as it sat next to multiple $10k+ carbon full sus builds. Thanks to Spencer and Yuba for making my last trip to Downieville so much fun!