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Just be Kos: Jeff Kosmala

28 02 2014

Back in the early days of cruiser racing and riding, one guy put his stamp on big wheeled BMX like no other: Jeff “The Kos” Kosmala.

Whether it was racing:

Getting cover shots in the BMX mags:

Kos Action Now

Or busting out a huge lake jump with R.L. Osborn for this iconic Bob “Oz” Osborn photo:

Kos & RL Lake jump

The Kos put his mark on cruiser riding.

Jeff_Kosmala_redline

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The Kos had a ‘stache

2 11 2012

In a begone era, the moustache was sported by many BMX stars. Mike Miranda and Perry Kramer come to mind.

However,  no one rocked it quite like Jeff “The Kos” Kosmala.

Now you may ask yourself, was the “Kos Stache” responsible for his domination of the cruiser class back in the day?

Was it that special something that got him play with the ladies?

It’s hard to say.

But this Movember, I’m hoping to capture some of that old school BMX magic by growing a Kos-inspired ‘stache.

Anybody else growing a moustache for Movember?





Cool pics from Mongoose…just be KOS

27 06 2012

Mongoose posted some cool cruiser-related pics on their Facebook feed today including this one by Mongoose rider Chris Akrigg letting loose on his KOS Kruiser.

Classic style on a classic bike.

Chris is well known in the MTB world for his big, creative moves. Kinda makes you wonder why Mongoose hasn’t set him up with one of the Mongoose Thrive 24s (previously discussed on CR last year).  I think you’d really see Chris go off on one of those bikes…

Mongoose also posted this great vintage ad for the Mongoose Two/Four, with the caption, “The original Kos Kruiser. Did you miss it?

So cool.

Probably the coolest pic of the day though is the one featuring the custom Kos Kruiser they built for Jeff ‘Kos’ Kosmala’s wife, Vicky. It’s painted pink  in recognition of Vicky’s battle with breast cancer and her successful recovery.

So stoked on this. Nice work Mongoose.





Watch this video: Know Your Roots

24 02 2012

Following on the heels of his more widely known BMX documentaries, Joe Kid on a Stingray and Stompin’ Stu: The Story of BMX Legend Stu Thomsen, Mark Eaton’s new documentary, Know Your Roots: The History of Mongoose has just come out.

Lots of great stuff in here, spanning Mongoose’s colorful 40-year history, everything from the origins of the Motomag, their early race team, the scooter phenomenon and McGoo’s tenure as the team manager/marketing manager (and the reasons behind his abrupt departure). I was especially stoked to see a segment on Jeff Kosmala and his signature KOS Kruiser–which Mongoose re-issued last year–and their collective impact on the cruiser class of that era.

Another great documentary from Mark Eaton. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Bonus info: Have you seen Mark Eaton’s section in Wheelies? It’s a perfect mix of flat and street. I must have watched that section a thousand times when that video was released. Check it out here.





KOS Kruiser makes a comeback

9 06 2011

It appears that Mongoose is taking a page out of the SE bikes marketing handbook.

Not only are they offering bikes for the modern-day rider  like the new 24 we featured earlier but also bikes that are more retro-style, befitting its long heritage in BMX, like the updated KOS Kruiser.

You might remember the new 24″ Mongoose has in the pipeline. Trent Brocker and Moody have been seen putting that bike through its paces so you know it’s going to hold up to modern-day riding.

Now to capture that end of the market that remembers the origins of the sport, they’re reintroducing the KOS Kruiser.

Named after Jeff Kosmala, the dominant cruiser rider of the late 70s/early 80s, it was a bike that was piloted to many a championship win.

Kosmala taking care of business (vintage BMX Action shot)

And while it retains its classic retro looks (hello looptail!) it’s been updated to take advantage of the improvements that have happened over the decades since its original release. Think sealed everything, v-brakes and an integrated headtube. They even go so far as to put on an aftermarket ACS freewheel–a nice touch given the tendency of generic freewheels to give up the ghost without warning (and often at the most inopportune time).  The motomag sprocket is pretty sweet too.

Sure it wouldn’t be what you would want to thrash the streets with–it wasn’t meant for that. This bike is for cruising in the truest sense of the word.

Think of it as bike that’s in the same class as the Macneil retro style cruisers. Mongoose’s advantage though is the retro-cool factor of its look combined with Mongoose’s deep legacy in the sport and Jeff Kosmala’s iconic standing as one of the dominant cruiser riders of his era.

For more pics of the updated KOS Kruiser, check out this Flickr photostream.





Old school indoor BMX racing in Toronto

22 02 2010

If you were a BMX kid in the 80s you probably remember the old school style of indoor racing with concrete floors, wooden jumps and smooth stadium tires.

Nowadays if you’re lucky enough to have an indoor track to race at, you’re racing in dirt. Vintage BMX actually featured a thread on this topic recently and it seems that a lot of people remember the old school races and are hankering for them again. It certainly brought back memories for me…my first race was an old school indoor race like that.

But those days are long gone, right?

Maybe not!

Turns out Brent Smith, the guy behind the super fun Orangeville race series, does an annual race at the Toronto International Bicycle show. This year the organizers asked if he could do it again but this time without dirt. So Brent reached into his bag of tricks and decided to go way back and kick it old school!  Flat turns, concrete floors and wooden jumps…this is going to be a total blast from the past. Clips aren’t going to help you here!

If you’re within driving distance of Toronto (March 5-7) you should make a point of making it out anyway ..not only is there wall-to-wall bicycle vendors but there’s a freestyle contest and flatland contest going on as well.

For more details on the race, check out the Facebook group, Toronto Bike Show MTB and BMX race and jump comps.


Legends Tinker Juarez and Jeff Kosmala tearing up an indoor track back in the day.