Friday, May 15, 2009

Charlie Cunningham and Cunningham Bikes

This is hard. I'm trying to write something on Charlie Cunningham, his current company (Cunningham Bikes,) his involvement with the Cycling industry, Wilderness Trail Bikes (WTB) and it is proving really tough to summarize.

CC is probably one of the foremost innovators and free-thinkers in cycling from the last 30+ years.

His innovations, detailed on his site, are numerous.
- Use of over-sized Alu tubes
- Short wheelbases and far-steeper geometry for MTBs
- Development of roller-cam brakes (again for MTB)
- Aluminum Cam quick-releases.
- 135mm rear spacing for MTBs
- Hubs with cartridge bears for MTBs
- Developed the 'Grease-Guard', for ease of hub servicing

Interview from Rivendell with CC

Total royalty.


Wags said...

Charlie is truly the mad scientist genius of Mt. Biking. I got a Cunningham Racer, with every option available, in 1985 and rode it for the next eleven years. It is the bike that pioneered Moab (I pioneered and built Porcupine Rim, ect. ect.). The frame is still perfect with no dings. I remember being in Charlie's workshop at his house and him showing me how to grind my cog set so it would shift better--the precursor to HyperGlide, which he licensed to Shimano. Charlie commands my utmost respect.
Todd Wagner

Bushpig said...

todd - if you have a picture of your Cunningham, please send it to me at Thanks!