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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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PULL magazine dedicates issue to Cruisers

17 05 2017

The May issue of Pull Magazine showed up on my doorstep yesterday (on #TwoFourTuesday appropriately enough).

I had been waiting on this one with some anticipation ever I since I got word that they would be dedicating the issue to Cruisers.

Drew Motley , 2016 National #1 Cruiser Champ,  graces the cover.

Inside, Motley also gets a fairly in-depth interview talking about a whole range of things, including how Motley bested the comp (at the Grands) with a belt drive.

Another big part of the issue is their list of the 40 most iconic cruisers.

I think they made the right call (at least from a racing perspective) for the #1 placeholder.

The RRS 24 was truly a game changer in the cruiser scene.

Craig Kundig’s decision to put one of his racers on a 24″ instead of the more commonplace 26″ bikes (of the time) truly set a new path for race cruisers.

However, I’m bit a surprised by what got left off the list…but I guess you need to generate a little controversy with the readership to get people talking about it.

Plenty of other cruiser-related stuff in the issue for you take a gander at too. I’ll let you check those out on your own.

All in all, a solid issue by PULL.

Nice to see them giving cruisers some love.





The RRS frame that revolutionized racing

7 04 2016

Given that it’s “throwback thursday”, it’s fitting to take a lookback at the frame that revolutionized the cruiser class in the early days of BMX racing.

Back in an era when the cruiser class was made up of 26-inchers, the owner of RRS bikes (Craig Kundig) put one of his fast amateur riders (John Claveau) on a 24″ bike.  That rider proceeded to dominate the cruiser class and a new cruiser size standard was born.

RRS

When that same rider, John Claveau, would then go on to pilot that 24″ RRS frame to the ABA National Cruiser rider title in 1981…which cemented the 24″ cruiser standard for the decades that followed.





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)