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.
Don’t Fake that Funk with Moné Bikes
Words and photos by Spencer Harding
I first saw one of Cjell’s (pronounced like “shell”) bikes on a tour of Adventure Cycling’s headquarters in Missoula, Montana. His lugged 29+ drop bar Great Divide rig hangs on the walls, in all of its patina’d glory. Over the past few years, we have had a lot of near hangout misses, from a trip to Ecuador to being in Salida, Colorado the same day this past summer. But alas the stars finally aligned and after spending Thanksgiving in White Sands National Monument, my partner and I decided to make a stopover in Silver City for a spin in the hills and a dip in some hot springs.
Wade from Vulture Cycles is one rad atavist. While he and I had never formally met before, I’ve long admired his work. Last year, we saw his travel bike and this year while up in Bend, Oregon at the Chris King Swarm event, I met Wade formally and shot this Vulture Cycles Klunker, modeled after a 1938 Colson Imperial. Now, klunkers are not supposed to be perfect, so turn off your detail-vision, and put on your shred spectacles.
Wade made this frame from Tange Ultra Strong MTB tubing, which he shaped and bent to fit his precedent. It was built around a Morrow hub that Cameron Falconer handed off to him years ago. Fresh Air Cycles, Travis from PAUL’s old shop, had the hub and Cam bought it from Travis, before handing it off to Wade. Remember Travis’ Falconer klunker-inspired MTB? The rest of the parts Wade had “laying around” like all builders and makers do, including the 1980’s Ashtabula forged steel cranks – who coincidentally made tons of components for Schwinn back in the day – and a S&M Redneck stem. The pedals are Suntour XC Pro and those bars are custom made by Wade. Oh and a Campy hub… just because.
Yeah, this bike just oozes cool, style, and the Vulture Cycles ideology. Wade’s a pretty cool guy too. We talked about Death Valley, core samples in Dry Bone Canyon, White Top Mountain, park rangers finding dead tourists and other tales from the desert. Exactly the kind of conversation I like having at a bike event. Party on Wade!
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Rody Walter of Groovy Cycleworks was devastated when Jeff Archer from First Flight Bicycles passed away in 2016. Jeff and Rody were good friends and Jeff was loved by all, but especially by the mountain bike industry. Jeff always wanted a klunker, so this year at NAHBS, Rody made him one to ride in peace. This bike is an homage to a lost brother and is a symbol that good people never really leave us, just like classic designs and approaches to cycling. Rody put all of his time and energy into making this bike and his friends at Magura helped make it extra special. You see, the original Klunkers used Magura moto levers, so they gladly supplied Rody with some to make this bike extra special…
Shred on You Krusty Diamond: Travis T’s Falconer Throwback Machine
Photos by John Watson, words by Travis T
After an afternoon of looking at cool vintage bikes at Cameron Falconer‘s house, I asked him if he’d be down to weld me a single speed mountain bike frame inspired by old klunkers, with a fork inspired by a Pro-Cruiser (first production mountain bike) with a loop tail. I basically wanted all of my favorite things about a lot of historic mountain bikes, all on one frame, built for me. BUT, I also wanted to showcase as many PAUL Component parts as possible, and I wanted it to feature the new Set-N-Forget thru-axle skewers. I also wanted to ride the shit out of this bike, so I wanted it to have legit shredworthy geometry and no weaknesses or tolerance issues.
First of all, if you haven’t watched the muddy, messy hell that is the Hack Bike Derby video, you should do that first. Ok? We all caught up? Now, there’s a bit of chaos involed in this event, but there are still rules.