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A cruiser by any other name

29 05 2017

As many of you know, the BMX cruiser class had its orgins with the classic beach cruiser.

In fact, up until Craig Kundig (of RRS bikes) put one of his racers on a 24″, race cruisers were generally 26″ bikes.

Yet with the many changes and improvements made to 24″ race bikes over the ensuing decades, the “cruiser” moniker stuck.

BMX legend Eric Rupe was around for those early days (and has continued racing through to the present day) seems to think that the “cruiser” name should be changed.

In the recent PULL magazine “Cruiser Edition”, Rupe was quoted as saying the following:

An interesting take…yet granted, something I have also pondered.

It reminded me of a conversation I had a few years ago at Interbike.

I was talking to a vendor that produced beach cruiser-related accessories.

She saw that my tag read “Cruiser Revolution” and asked about it. I explained that my site covered “BMX cruisers” not the “beach cruisers” that she made parts for.

She got upset with me and said “those aren’t ‘cruisers’! You need to change your name.”

I laughed it off but she seemed a little too hung up on it so I moved along to another booth.

To me, while there definitely has been a revolution in the design and quality of modern-day BMX cruisers (see what I did there?) I think maintaining the “cruiser” name is a good thing…it reminds us of the how this type of bike came about but it also lets us redefine what it means as the years go on.

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Bike shops are down with the WTP Avenger

10 03 2016

It goes without saying that you should support your local bike shop whenever you can.

This is even more true if you have a cool bike shop in your area that supports BMX.

And if that shop stocks cruisers…well, then you’ve got gold my friend.

These thoughts come to mind when I came across two shops promoting the 2016 We The People Avenger cruiser in their shops.

Harvester Bikes rolled out a freshly assembled Avenger for all to see on their Instagram feed a short while back.

To build on that hype, they posted a followup “unboxing” vid of the bike being assembled.

W-Base Garage, a shop in Japan, also got into the WTP Avenger action a while back.

The folks at W-Base, of course, busted out a bar endo.

Miami Hopper/Bar Endo action on the @wethepeoplebmx Avenger (Regram from @wbasebicyclegarage)

A post shared by Fast Eddie (@darealcruiserrevolution) on

They must of known I’m a sucker for bar endos.

It’s good to see shops stocking..and promoting!…cruisers.





Austin Texas picture show

16 05 2013

After hearing so many good things about Austin, Texas I finally made a trip out there to check it out for myself.

I was a little worried that my expectations were too high but it turns out that Austin really is a great place if you’re into BMX…and cruisers in particular.

Austin teeActually, Austin is a great place if you’re into bikes of any kind.

Unlike a lot of cities, Austin seems to go out of its way to promote bicycling. People bike everywhere and bike racks are plentiful….I don’t think I have ever seen bike racks set up in front of a bar before but in Austin that’s commonplace.

Bicycle friendlyBut as a BMXer, I was kinda blown away by how much BMX is part of the everyday fabric there.

Walking by a women’s clothing store downtown there was an immaculate old school Skyway T/A just sitting in the window as part of the display.

Skyway in windowGo down to the 6th st., a bar and restaurant area,  and you’ll see tricked-out 24s, like this Liquid, just locked up outside the restaurants.

Liquid on 6th street

Heck, you’ll even see cruisers hanging from the ceiling in some bars. Check this out:

Cruisers in the barHop on one of the city buses and you’re likely to see a cruiser sitting on the bike rack.

SE on busAnd you would you believe that a local brewer has come out with a cruiser-themed beer? Yes, it’s true. In Austin you can  pick up a Firemans 4.

Firemans 4 can

A beer that was made to honor Austin’s own, Firemans Texas Cruiser bikes.

Firemans Texas CruzerAdd in great places to ride, like the 9th street trails

9th street…and Walnut Creek

Buddy Walnut Creekand pair that with friendly, laid-back locals, it’s hard to go wrong.

Buddy (pictured above), not only shredded everything in sight at Walnut Creek but was also kind enough to let me borrow a bike and drive me out to the trails. Thanks man!

(I wish I could’ve captured a better shot of his riding but rest assured Buddy was taking care of business at Walnut Creek.)

If that weren’t enough, Austin’s live music scene is off the charts, not only is Austin home to multiple music festivals, but it’s also home to a record number of live music venues. Just walking around town you’re bound to find a musician or band that blows you away….it happened to me more than once on this trip.

FairdaleAnd the food!

Austin is well-known for its food trucks, BBQ, tacos (which you can eat for every meal of the day)…you name it…you will find something that strikes your fancy here.

Salt Lick and Firemans 4

Do I need to say more?

Frankly, I’m just trying to figure out when I can go back.





Craig Kundig: part of 24″ BMX history

20 05 2011

When I think back to the early days of BMX cruisers, one of the first people that comes to mind is Scot “The OM” Breithaupt.

But others played a role too.

Craig Kundig, for one.

Craig helped lead the way towards making 24″ bikes “the standard” for BMX cruisers, replacing the 26″ versions that were more prevalent at the time.

Craig Kundig: part of 24" BMX history

Check out this excerpt from the ABA, when he was a 2004 ABA Hall of Fame nominee:

In a way, all cruiser racers have Craig Kundig to thank for the creation of the class they race. For it was Kundig, as owner of RRS (Riverside Redlands Schwinn), who put one of his fastest amateur team members on a 24 inch bike that quickly put the 26 inch beach-cruisers to bed and created the industry standard of 24 inch wheels on a cruiser. (Of course, it helped when that rider — Joe Claveau, went on to become ABA National No.1 Cruiser rider.) That year was 1981. Around that same time, Craig Kundig was also running the infamous Corona BMX track–still talked about today as THEE gnarliest track in all of BMX.

Craig also had some pretty innovative ideas (for the time) when it came to frame design which he incorporated into his own RRS frames. Just check out this ad:

Today, Craig is still going strong in the bike industry, running the Cyclery USA bike shop.

(Above pic from the Press-Enterprise)





Cruisers get the cover of BMXer magazine

8 06 2010

Most BMX magazines are, at best, hot and cold on cruisers. Not many are bold enough to put them on the cover. BMX Action did back in the day. These days? You’d be hard-pressed to find cruisers getting a mention, much less the cover.

That’s why it’s such a cool surprise to see BMXer magazine stepping up and putting George Goodall and Carly Dyar, the two national number one cruiser riders, on the cover.

Good on ya BMXer for stepping up!






BMX Plus runs hot and cold on 24s

26 04 2010

Although he isn’t the editor anymore,  I will probably always think of John Ker as the face of BMX Plus! magazine. And now because of his magazine’s seemingly hot and cold treatment of cruisers in recent months I feel compelled to write him this (admittedly tongue-in-cheek)  “Dear John” letter.

John Ker: no love for the 24?

Dear John,

I thought we really had something. After not reading your magazine in what seemed like forever, I picked up your magazine at the local store and noticed you had changed over the years. No longer were you associating with Radical Rick or doing “who’s radder” features….you were actually showing some honest to goodness riding once in a while. More importantly, you showed some love for the cruiser with a couple of 24″ bike tests in 2009.

Your advertisers seemed to have noticed this too. One of them rewarded you with not one, but two 2-page ads for their cruisers.

But your self-destructive nature got the best of you, didn’t it? Out of nowhere in your April issue, you featured an article called Cruising into Oblivion: The Death of the 24.

How could you do this? Both to our fledgling relationship and to your advertisers? For the love of God, there’s a 2-page ad for Redline‘s top-of-the-line Flight 24 in the very same issue that you say 24s are cruising into oblivion!

It makes me so mad…and I imagine Redline isn’t any happier. I wrote a post about it, hoping to salvage things, to help you see the error of your ways and to let you know that 24s are not dead yet. After that I didn’t hear from you for a month.

Now all of sudden, in the June issue it seems that the ‘love’ is back with a 10-page race cruiser shootout. While it’s a grand gesture, after declaring our relationship essentially over, to try to win me back with a 10-page article, it seems just a little to late. I guess you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, right?

I know what you’re going to say, that you’ve changed.

But I’m not sure if I can bury the hatchet just yet. I think you’ll have to prove to me that you want this relationship to work.

How you ask?

A full-on 24″ freestyle cruiser shootout.

I think that’s what it will take to win me back.

So John, what do you say?





Maybe you’re just a renegade…

26 11 2009

I came across this article on BMX cruisers in Oregon Cycling awhile back and I think it really captures why cruisers are so fun and why more and more people are getting into 24″ bikes.

The writer, Tom Baldinger, talking about his “secret agenda”:

My agenda is naturally, more cruiser riders on the streets, the race tracks, the skate parks, etc! I love to see other people on them, because I know what fun they are!

Why to get a 24″ instead of another type of bike:

If your budget is limited, and you are looking for a bike that is easy to maintain, can be ridden hard, and will provide more entertainment than should be legal, I would highly suggest a 24-inch wheel BMX cruiser.

How a bicycle is more than just “transportation”:

…if a bike ride is more to you than a utilitarian passage from point A to point B, if you are prone to explore alleys, jump off curbs or look for embankments, cruisers are a great option.

And finally, because (and I think this is a little tongue-in-cheek) riding a cruiser makes you a bit of a renegade:

Perhaps the best reason to ride a cruiser is the renegade factor. Mountain bikers chuckle, 20-inch wheel BMX riders scoff, road bikers are bewildered. Cruisers have a kitsch factor that’s hard to beat, they are super practical. Try one out, you’ll be surprised at the amount of saddle time it sees and I guarantee the ride will put a smile on your face.

Here’s hoping that 2010 will see even more renegades giving cruisers a try….