During the life of WTB, Cunningham and Potts continued to make bikes under there own names. Some of the info below is more specific to the individual makers and not specifically WTB. It is sometimes difficult to separate the individual efforts from the company as a whole..
Many of the scans below were provided by Michael Brown (Thanks, Michael!)
Cunningham's first oversize aluminum mountain bike. The fork was built with 1" butted Ishiwata top tubes, the stem was machined from magnesium bar, the toggle brakes were carved out of aluminum plate. The brake linkages were meticulously fabricated small steel parts brazed together. The hubs were made from Hi-E and Cunningham parts. The bike was finished towards the end of 1979 and was approximately 23 pounds, 1.6 pound Type II fork, handmade toggle brake, single front chain ring with magnesium and titanium chain guide, custom wide ratio freewheel, toe clips and drop bars.
Steve Potts tours New Zealand with Joe Breeze by mountain bike and returned to the US determined to build bikes. He sold his $50K per year decorative sheet metal business to concentrate on bike building Mark Slate and Steve become friends on a trip to Pearl Pass. They shared a background in motorcycles and upgrading mountain bikes. Potts frame are available with Mark working with Steve.
WTB formed by Cunningham, Potts and Slate to develop and sell off-road equipment . Met with Suntour about licensing components.
Multi-maker bike review, including a Cunningham, from March 1983:
Jacquie Phelan/Charlie Cunningham frame strength article from Bike Tech, August 1983:
WTB race team consisting of Jacquie Phelan, Roy Rivers, Casey Kunselman, Todd DeAngelis and Joey Peterson.
Bike reviews from the June 1985 Mountain Biking for the Adventure magazine including a Steve Potts bike.
WTB/Trek/True Temper Off-Road Team of Casey Kunselman and Todd DeAngelis riding the Cunningham bikes. The Cunningham Off Road team consisted of Jacquie Phelan and Tracy Smith.
Parts available include:
Forks: Type III: unicrown type fork for lighter or less aggressive riders. Type I: 4130 cro-moly tubular crown to accept Reynolds oval curved blades. Type II: Suggested for racing, 4130 cro-moly tubular crown, large diameter, thin wall, internally butted blades.
Brakes: WTB Roller Cam: High mechanical advantage for extra stopping power. Uses a linear spring. Often mounted on the chain stays on the rear for less flex. Also available in a Mini Cam version for cyclo-cross, touring, tandems or HPV's. Charlie Cunningham designed and patented.
Hubs: New Cunningham patented hub design with Grease Guard. Grease Guard allows the cartridge bearing to be lubed without removal by using a grease gun and the lube ports on the hub shell. Rear hubs used a cro-moly axle and is available in 126, 131 or 136 mm spacing. Front hub uses aluminum axle. On Cunningham bikes, the hubs use a very light rolled thread skewer with aluminum nuts with stainless steel pins for tightening. Can also be used with Campagnolo skewers.
Seat post: Fixed angle seat post, 320 mm extension with a saddle rail clamp that allows the seat to move forward about 1" further than normal. Also available is the light weight Cunningham seat post quick release.
Stems and Bars: WTB aluminum taper stem, machined from 7075-T6 and mounts to a 4130 taper tube which is silver brazed to the fork steerer tube. A 4 bolt face plate makes bar changes easier. Available in a 25 degree rise with a 10, 12 or 13 cm extension. Two different cro-moly stems are available. One to fit the taper system and the other to fit a 4130 tube brazed into the steerer tube. Stem are fillet brazed and are available in 20 or 30 degree rise with any extension from6 to 14 cm in 1 cm increments. A cro-moly Goose neck stem is also available to fit drop bars. WTB modified drop bars to be used with road levers and bar end shifters (or WTB shifter mounts).
Miscellaneous: Cunningham designed Pedals Flips to alloy the pedals to be flipped over easier. Laminated plastic toe clips. Modified pump to fit inside the seat tube.
Frames: Indian: more relaxed geometry for more stability. Racer: Shorter wheelbase with steeper angles for higher performance riding. Both the Indian and Racer are available with sloping top tubes and oversize seat posts (requires non-standard seat post and front derailleur). Geometry is unaffected but allows more stand over height. Little Peoples Bikes: Sloping top tube and seat stays for increased stand over clearance (requires roller cam brake). Cyclo-Cross/Multi Purpose bike: Uses 27 x 1.375 front wheel and 700 x 35 rear. Can be used for cross, road or light off-road.
Tires: Charlie Cunningham designed (and Jacquie Phelan named) the Ground Control tire.
Cunningham race team consists of Jacquie Phelan, Terry Griebel and Eric Stirling.
Steve Potts frames: Approximately 100 frames per year and available in 4 sizes. Drop out spacing of 136 mm for a dish less rear wheel. Frames are made of Tange mountain bike tubing with a double butted top tube. The seat tube is single butted with a reinforcing lug. Seat and chain stays are by Tange. Shimano vertical forged drop outs. All frames are filet brazed and painted by Potts using Imron polyurethane enamel. Type II forks are also standard.
Cunningham frames: Listed as having made approximately 150 in the 1987 Infopac. There different geometries are available: Indian, Racer and Little Peoples Bikes. The Indian is a more relaxed bike while the Racer is quicker handling. These frames are available with the sloping top tube and large diameter seat post option which drops about 1/2 pound and gives the rider a bit more top tube clearance. The LPB uses 26" wheels and a radically sloped top tube for maximum clearance. An expedition model is also available to fit 27"/700 c wheels. Frames can be painted in Imron colors for $110 or the frame can be smoothed with filler and then painted for $450. Fork options include the Type I, Type II or unicrown Type III.
WTB designed Specialized tires include the Ground Control, Ground Control S (Kevlar bead), Hardpack and Crossroads II.
WTB Trek Team Replica: Trek 8000 bonded aluminum frame with Type II fork and full complement of WTB components. WTB specified geometry for Trek mountain bikes.
WTB Roller Cam brakes: new offset kit available to offset a brake pad to allow easier tire removal (cost is $22.50 per brake) and it will retrofit onto previous brakes. Grease Guard is an available option for the brakes at $10 per arm. The newly designed WTB Mini-Cam is available for narrow tires bikes.
WTB Grease Guard hubs allows the hubs to be lubricated without disassembly. Rear spacing is available in 126mm, 131mm and 136mm widths and in 32 or 36 holes (front and rear). Extra Light Slo-Releases are available from Cunningham, $9.50 front and $15.50 rear.
Edco headsets can be converted to be Grease Guard compatible.
Cunningham made Fixed Angle Seat post are very lightweight, reliable and simple. Cunningham light weight seat post quick release saves about an ounce when compared to the regular Suntour unit.
WTB aluminum taper stems mount to a 4130 cro-moly taper tube which is silver brazed into the steerer tube and allow simple one bolt adjustments. The stem also features a removable face plate to ease bar swaps. Cunningham makes cro-moly stems to fit the taper system or a regular "ahead" style that mounts to a 7/8" cro-moly rube brazed into the steerer tube. Gooseneck stem are also made to use a modified Cinelli 64 drop bar or the new WTB aluminum bars . The bars can be used with regular road brake levers and bar end shifters or use the new WTB shifter mounts to mount your thumb shifters near the brake levers.
WTB pedals flips to allow the pedal to be flipped over more easily when using toe clips. $9.95 pair.
Patrick Seidler joins WTB as the fourth partner.
WTB Grease Guard hubs, Grease Guard King head set, WTB Grease Guard bottom bracket, Goose Grease, Speedmaster Roller Cam brake (regular and 700c versions), adaptor available to used Speedmaster brakes on stock metric sized bosses, WTB drop bars and shifter mounts, WTB Stubby Expanders to adapt "ahead" style stems to regular steerer tubes, WTB flat steel bars (used Salsa bars with 11 degree bend and modified to a 16 degree bend), Aluminum cable hanger, WTB grips, chain stay protector (new versions available here), Internal pumps (Zefal Solibloc pump modified to sit inside seat tube), and Toe Flips.
Charlie takes a break from frame building to help grow WTB, gets "abducted" into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame (with Jacquie) and get married (again with Jacquie!!).
Cunningham race team consists of Eric Stirling, Tracy Smith, Terry Griebel, Jim Trigonis, Janis Coblentz and Alice B. Toeclips (aka Jacquie).
August 1988 Bicycle Guide Upgrades article:
September 1988 Bicycle Guide Steve Potts article:
Grease Guard wins Bicycle Guides Magazines best Ideas of 1988 award. New Specialized Ground Control Extreme tire. WTB Goose Grease with high Teflon content along with the Gooser grease gun. WTB chain stay protector, 1.5 mm thick and now die cut (previously hand cut) (new versions available here). Speedmaster cam brake available in both regular and compact version for shorter chain stays. Licensing department formed to license WTB designs. Suntour is granted exclusive rights to make Grease Guard components. Charlie takes the WTB Roller Cam brakes and removes the WTB bushings and replaces them with his own larger bushing. He then machines Grease Guard grooves in each brake are and custom fits them to the stud.
1989 Ground Control tire information:
Charlie plans to build 10 frames this year according to the 1989 Infopac.
New WTB brake pads in a special aluminum holder with abrasive pads to break in new rims and provide superior wet weather stopping. WTB Grease Guard components: Hubs inn black or silver with 32 or 36 holes (available Cunningham Slo Releases), WTB/King headset, Grease Guard bottom bracket (standard on Cunningham bikes) using standard sealed cartridge bearings (press-fit), fixed angle Cunningham seat post, Cunningham aluminum seat post quick release, Cunningham cro-moly stems (taper, pinch bolt or goose neck), WTB Taper Stems, WTB aluminum drop bars and shifter adaptors, WTB pedal flips, Cunningham cable hanger. New Cunningham Fit Finder stem that is adjustable while riding to find your perfect stem size.
June 1989 WTB/King headset article:
Cunningham frames are the same as 1987 except the LPB was renamed the WOMBAT (after the infamous Women's Mountain Bike and Tea Society).
Updates for bikes/parts: Brake quick release, Cunningham steering limiter/cable hanger to keep the bars from hitting the top tube, contoured stainless steel washer for seat post quick release, available engraved name on your Cunningham, WTB brake bridge (solid, must be drilled to fit), WTB wide (115 mm front hubs) and Cunningham modified Silca pump to fit inside your oversized seat post.
August 1989 brake survey catalog:
August 1989 brake pad catalog:
Suntour Grease Guard hubs become available in early 1990. Specialized Ground Control Extreme Tires designed by WTB.
WTB Grease Guard components: Grease Guard hubs, 28,32 or 36 holes, black or silver, 126, 131, 136 or 140 mm rear spacing, also available in 36, 40 and 48 hole double threaded rear hubs for tandems. Chris King headset modified for Grease Guard in black or silver. Grease Guard bottom bracket for press-in type bottom brackets. WTB Goose Grease and Gooser for use with Grease Guard components.
WTB Roller Cam Speedmaster brake in regular or skinny tire versions. Now available to be fitted to production bikes with metric sized studs. WTB has developed and adaptor cap for the stock stud to increase its diameter and lengthen the pivot surface. WTB brake bridges are available and will need to be custom drilled to fit the brake. Gripmaster pads are still available.
Fixed angle seat posts are available under the WTB name as well as having the option of grafting an existing adjustable head to the WTB post. Modified Zefal pumps are offered to fit within the seat post.
WTB Trail Drop Bars with a 5" drop and 3" reach. The bars have a 40cm top flat and 25 degrees of flare on the sides. Overall width is just under 24". WTB now offers the 11 degree Salsa Cro-moly bar (black or chrome) and will optionally bend it to 16 degrees.
Small goodies include chain stay protectors (new versions available here), water bottles, aluminum cable hanger, bar shims, modified Magura grips, Toe Flips and a Stubby Expander to allow the use of a clamp on stem w/ brazing the adaptor into the steerer tube. Cunningham Fit Finder for finding the perfect stem.
1990 Products catalog and price sheet:
1990 Type II fork order sheets, hub specs and component weights:
Parts available include: Grease Guard hubs (with new adjustable bearings), WTB Grease Guard modified Chris King head set (silver or black), WTB Grease Guard bottom bracket (press-in style bearing with 17 mm ID and 35 mm OD as used by Cunningham, Potts, Klein, Fisher, and Ritchey. Regular shells can be reamed to use, requires holes for grease fittings), Goose Grease with Gooser, Speedmaster Roller Cam brakes (regular, compact (short chain stay) and 700 c wheel versions), Brake Bridge, Gripmaster Brake Pads, Fixed Angle seat post, extended seat post, Type II forks, Titanium flat bars with tapered shims, Off-Road drop bars (5" drop, 3" reach, 25 degree flares), Off-Road drop bar shifter mounts, Handlebar grips (Magura grips with the flange removed), chain stay protectors (new versions available here), Toe Flips. Cro-moly frames are available welded by Steve Potts using Ritchey Force Prestige tubing, clearance for 2.5" tire, 17" stays, 11.75" bb height and 16", 18", 20" and 22" frame sizes. WTB designed Specialized tires include Hardpack, Hardpack II, Crossroads, Crossroads II, Ground Control/S, GC Black Max, GC Extreme, Fat Boy, Turbo S, Tri Cross I, and Tri Cross II. Suntour XC Pro components feature Grease Guard for the hubs, bottom brackets, headsets and pedals. Merlin also uses Grease Guard on there size specific bottom brackets.
1991 Product Review:
New Phoenix frame, sizes 12", 15" and 18" w/ the 15" and 18" available suspension corrected as well. 16.9" stays, 71/72 degree angles and 11.7" bb height. Hand constructed with Ritchey Logic Prestige tubing and available with the Type II fork. Parts available included: Grease Guard hubs, modified Chris King hub, Grease Guard bottom bracket, new threaded bb version coming soon, Goose Grease and Gooser, new Speedmaster Cantilever brake, Speedmaster Roller Cam brake (regular, compact and 700 c versions), Control Truss cantilever brake bridge, Roller Cam Brake Bridge, Gripmaster pads (abrasive, conventional and dual compound), Ti flat bars with taper shims, Off Road bars and shifter mounts, new Hammer Handles bar ends, Trail Grips (octagonal), Power Band stem (Ti or Cro-Moly), fixed angle seat post and adjustable angle post with Suntour XC head, WTB/Blackburn Bomber cage to fit 1.5 liter bottles, new Chain Pup chain tool, Midnight Oil lube, Internal Pump, Chain stay Protector, cable hangers and Toe Flips.
Toggle cam brake which works great on the new full suspension designs. Phoenix frame (Potts made, Ritchey Logic Prestige tubing) available in regular or suspension correct geometry. Frames are available with canti mounts, chain stay roller mount or seat stay toggle cam mount. Parts available for 1994: Goose Grease and Gooser, Grease Guard hubs, threaded Grease Guard bottom bracket with Ti or Cro Moly spindle, modified King head set, Ti flat bars, Off Road drop bars and shifter mounts, Trail Grips, Type II fork, Power Band stem (quill and now Ahead style as well), Cable Hanger, Chain Pup, Chain Stay protector, Internal pump, Midnight Oil, Toe Flips and WTB/Blackburn Bomber Cage. Brakes include the Speedmaster canti brake, Speedmaster Roller Cam (regular, compact and 700 c versions), Brake Bridge and Gripmaster pads (conventional, abrasive, dual compound). The new Toggle Cam brake uses an offset cam for seat stay mounting. Two versions are available, Spicy and Mild. The Spicy has an extra adjustment feature to tune the modulation. WTB designed Specialized tires: Pro Control, Shockmaster, Ground Control/S/gray, GC More Extreme/S/gray, Hardpack II, Storm Control, Cannibal/S/gray, Rock Combo, Tri Cross, Fat Boy and Turbo. New Power Beam rims made by Ukai with a central reinforcing rib. The rims is 21.5 mm wide with a 12 mm braking surface.
The New Paradigm group is introduced. The New Paradigm was a secretly built trail in Marin County California. The trail existed for about seven years before being discovered and destroyed by the Marin Municipal Water District in 1994. The trail raised many issues about land access and properly built trails. By most accounts, the destruction of the trail caused much more damage than the design and use of the trail. The New Paradigm group was named to bring attention to these access issues. The parts for the group included the bottom bracket with sealed cartridge bearings and Grease Guard, the headset with Grease Guard in 1" or 1 1/8" and the cassette hubs (7 or 8 speed Shimano) with Grease Guard and available in 28 (front) and 36/36 holes. Colors are black, silver or gunmetal blue for the hubs. The Momentum parts were a little more budget oriented and consisted of the front hub, headset, pedals and bottom bracket all with Grease Guard. The Classic line continue with the modified King headset as well as the threaded hub set. The brakes for 1995 included the Toggle Cam, Roller Cam and Speedmaster cantilevers. The brake bridge and Grip Master pads continue as well (pad holders in black, silver, turquoise, gun metal blue, purple or green). The 1995 rims were the Power Beam (with center spine), Speedmaster (with twin reinforcing hollow) and the Speedmaster II rim (with an extra wall connecting the hollows of the Speedmaster rim). Tires were the front and rear Velociraptor tires in Kevlar or steel beads. The Steve Pott's made Phoenix frame is available in the regular version of an SE version for the Toggle or Roller brake on the rear. Sizes were 12", 15" and 18" in midnight blue or pearl white. Available in suspension corrected geometry as well. Miscellaneous goodies for 1995 include Goose Grease and gun, Midnight Oil, Toe Flips, Chain Pup multi tool (with Finish Line), chain stay protector, B-52 bottle cage (with Blackburn), cable hanger, Offroad Drop Bar, Titanium flat bars, Trail Grips, Power Band stem (Ahead or quill style) and the SST saddle (Ti, tubular cro-moly or steel rails).
Phoenix frames handcrafted by Steve Potts. With new 8 speed cogs, the spacing is now 140 mm in the rear. Frames are available for canti or cam brakes in12", 15" or 18" sizes. All frames are now suspension correct, use 31.8 mm posts and 16.9" stays.
1996 brake catalog pages:
WTB labeled tires: Velociraptor, Primal Raptor and Desert Raptor. Rims now include the Power Beam rims in 22 (11.3 or 12.3 mm height) and 25 (12.8 mm height) mm widths as well as the Speedmaster rims in 23 x 11.3 and 23 x 12.3 sizes. Power Beam rims use a central reinforcing rib and the Speedmaster rims use a triple box construction. The saddle line include the SST K (Kevlar reinforcements), SST (leather) and SST X (synthetic). New Paradigm GG hubs, cassette (7 or 8 speed) rear. New Paradigm headset in either threaded or threadless versions. New Paradigm bottom bracket GG (sealed cartridge bearings) and Momentum GG bottom bracket with cup and cone bearings. Momentum GG pedals. Phoenix frame continues. Speedmaster canti's, Roller Cams (2 arm lengths), Toggle Cam, Brake Bridge and Gripmaster brake pads (canti or V inserts, conventional, abrasive and dual compound. Power Band stems (quill and Ahead), Ti flat bars, Off Road drop bars, Trail Grips, Chain Sty protectors, Grease Guard Grease and gun.
WTB tires: Enduro Raptor, Velociraptor, Tyranno Raptor, Racing Raptor All Terrainasaurus and Primal Raptor.
Rims: Power Beam 22 x 12.3, Speed Master 23 x11.3 and the new Laser Beam 22 and 25 x 11.8 rim. The Laser Beam rim used the center rib design with a welded joint and machined sidewalls.
New WTB quick release skewers in blue, silver, red and black. New spokes available in straight gauge silver and double butted silver or black with black or silver alloy nipples.
The New Paradigm hubs continue and are joined by the lower priced Momentum hubs.
Redesigned New Paradigm headset and new lower priced Momentum headset. Both are Grease Guard and the Momentum is available in silver, black, red, yellow or blue. Threadless only.
New redesigned New Paradigm Bottom Bracket and carry over Momentum bottom bracket.
The Momentum toe clip pedals with GG continue.
Seats for 1998: SST.98 limited edition with sublimated logo, SST (leather), SST.K (Kevlar sides), SST.X (synthetic), SST.X Flash (silver, red, blue, gold glitter vinyl), WTBMX.
New Razor Brake pad holders for threaded or threadless pads. Brake pads continue in 3 compound options. Grease Guard Grease and Gun. Trail Grips with new Dual Compound Trail Grips in black blue or red with gray accents.
There is now a whole section of the catalog devoted to Classic Parts. Parts include the King headset, Power Band stems, Ti flat bars, Off Road drop bars, Grip Master pads, Speedmaster canti/Roller Cam/Toggle Cam brakes, Toe Flips and Classic hubs.
Frames: After 3 years of R+D, WTB introduces the Bon Tempe (name of a lake on the slopes of Mt. Tam) full suspension design. The Sweet Spot unified rear suspension design was licensed from John Castellano. The front end was a custom aluminum extrusion and the rear triangle used Titanium. One size was made at first with a larger size to be added later. The Phoenix name is removed from the hard tail frames which are now available in steel and a new Ti model. Both frames can be had in a 12", 13.5", 15", 16.5", 18" and 19.5" size with canti or cam brakes. The Ti frame uses a 1.5" down tube and 3/4" stays.
Most of the components carry over from 1998. The differences appear to be: New Paradigm and Momentum complete built wheel sets, Laser series tires, new Thermoplastic bodies SPD compatible clipless pedals, SST.X Flash seats added orange and lost gold. Seats feature Comfort Zone cut outs. All 3 frames continue from 1998.
As of March 18, 2002 Charlie and Steve have severed ties with WTB. Details were never made public but it sounded somewhat "messy". Maybe someday we will know the whole story?
|Steve Potts via MBHOF|
Mountain Bike Hall of Fame Induction Year: 1989
“It all started when I was a child and my brother took me for a ride on his big fat-tired bike. He drove and I sat on the handlebars. He used to tell me that we would break the sound barrier if we went any faster…. It was then that I knew I needed to have a bike of my own.”
Steve Pott’s first bike was broken by his brother, who rode it helter skelter through the door, five minutes after they unwrapped it one Christmas morning. The man who fixed the treasured toy, was none other than Bill Breeze, Hall of Famer Joe Breeze’s father.
A member of the original Marin county gang, Potts was inspired to build his first mountain bike to get out in the mountain wilderness to pursue his first love, fishing. Potts knew a bike had to be sturdy and have several gears in order to get where they wanted to go, so he collected assorted components at the junk yard and assembled them in his high school metal shop. That hand painted pinstriped bike led to the development of Wilderness Trail Bikes, in which Potts is now a dedicated partner, designer, researcher and bike builder.
“ All the design and production goals require riding bikes for inspiration for new ideas,” he says. “Designing components means: research, deciding whether an idea could be marketable, developing prototypes, testing, making the changes, engineering, patents, finding the materials that are best suited for the part, and all of this can take years.”
Potts has traveled extensively seeking mountain bike adventures, he and Joe Breeze biked the Southern Alps of New Zealand and found their presence on bikes was intriguing to the people there. He finds this aspect of the sport most inspiring. In 1990, Steve quoted, “Being involved in; mountain biking has allowed me to turn other people on to a good lifestyle, health and the outdoors.”
The original Steve Potts head badge was a stylized "S P" inspired by the San Francisco Giants logs. Ove Veggerby designed a new cast brass badge with a detailed engraving of Mt. Tamalpais.
|Mark Slate via MBHOF|
Mountain Bike Hall of Fame
Induction Year: 1992
A Brief Autobiography Related to Bicycles - by Mark Slate
Off-road cycling began for me in 1971 on the fire protection roads of Mount Tamalpais. Several fast, steep descents on a Schwinn Ten Speed at the ragged edge of control were fun, but not yet addictive.
I continued to ride my motorcycle. Six years later, in 1977, Erik Koski introduced me to the sport of “klunker” or ballooner riding. We rode mostly single track trails and I became hooked.
I bought a 1940’s Schwinn frame from Dave Koski and built my first “state of the art” bike which I still enjoy riding today. Erik and I built up the original two Pro Cruisers at the Cove Bike Shop and I rode mine until 1980, when I got one of Erik’s Trailmasters.
I met Steve Potts through Erik and bought one of his earliest framesets. He was impressed with the feel of my bike and asked me to assemble bikes for him. I assembled over 150 of Steve’s frames, all but the first five, and helped him build frames by mitering, jigging, tacking and aligning. Steve and I were loosely associated with Charlie Cunningham to share the cost of producing brakes, forks and hubs.
Wilderness Trail Bikes was formalized as a three-way partnership in 1982. WTB and our racing team were soon requiring most of my time and I became less involved with Steve Potts Bicycles.
In 1985, the three of us started to push harder with innovations like Grease Guard and the Ground Control tire.
Tire design is one of my most rewarding duties. I’ve done the final production drawings for all of the 18 tire patterns produced by Specialized. I have managed Wilderness Trail Bikes parts production since its beginning.
Charlie and Steve continue to provide input on design and engineering for parts production as well as build their frames. I have built three frames which are currently being ridden by my wife Joan, a close friend, and myself.
I will continue to design bicycle parts because it is gratifying for me. To produce bicycle components that offer advantages over our increasing competition is a challenge and its own reward.
|Charlie Cunningham via MBHOF|
Mountain Bike Hall of Fame
Induction Year: 1988
Web Site: Cunningham Bikes
The furthest extension of modern bicycle technology – to the point of creating a unique bike to fit a particular human – is achieved in custom bike building.
Charlie Cunningham first began building bikes in 1977. He used oversized aluminum tubing with a thin wall cro-moly fork and magnesium stem. It weighed 24.5 pounds. “When you build a bike to meet your own exact riding style it becomes like and extension of the body. No other bike could do it.” Riders of his custom bikes agree.
But there is more to bicycles than just the sum of their parts, no matter how good the parts are. “The bicycle is a way for people to gain contact with something that has been misplaced. Mountain bikes are a perfect way to combine technology and nature in a way that is friendly to life. They can be an alternative to the abuse of technology that is so widespread in our world today. The more one uses a bicycle, especially in a natural environment, the more sympathetic and understanding one becomes of oneself and the planet,” Charlie explains.
Helping to meet the intangible needs of people today is what motivates Cunningham. “The best way to say something is to live it, so I will be making better bikes and finding more ways to use this technology in everyday living.”
Some of the things Cunningham invented or helped pioneer include the following: welded aluminum Mt. Bike frames, toggle brakes and extra wide front hub, zero dish 136 mm rear hub, Type II racing forks, roller cam brakes, Type 1 towing forks, L.D. or gooseneck curved stem for drop bars, tow flips, grease guard bearings for bicycle components including hubs, boltless taper mounting of stems, sloping top tube and the shape of the RM 20 rim for Araya. Perhaps he is most noted for Ground Control tires, named by Hall of Famer Jacquie Phelan, his wife.
“The mountain bike experience in its purest sense happens when the bike is working in perfect harmony with the rider and the terrain. This experience in its many forms is what so many people in today’s world need so much and what I hope to contribute in some small way.
|Jacquie Phelan via MBHOF|
Mountain Bike Hall of Fame Induction Year: 1988
Photo Credit-Richard Sangalli
Mountain biker, bon vivant,
World traveler, writer
* Pioneer status assures worldwide name & face recognition
* First mountain biker to produce camps for aspiring riders
* Indelible character in fat tire history
* Articulate, quotable spokesperson
* Experience in every aspect of the sport: events, camps, racing
* Understands women's market
* Excellent access to media. Her writing appeared in BIKE monthly, guest columnist for Outside, Bicycling, Whole Earth Review.
* Speaks and reads French, German, Italian, Swedish & Spanish. Can squeak by in Dutch.
* Is published regularly in various European magazines (currently in MTB Plus, a Dutch magazine)
* Natural public speaker
* Founder of WOMBATS, Women's Mountain Bike and Tea Society, a network that caters to the recreational women's market
* Producer of mountain bike skill camps since 1984
* Loyal promoter of sponsor's product
* Writes creative, effective ad copy that speaks directly to the reader:
Wombat Camps, Rock Shox mud ad, Powerbar "remember when" ad
The "Q" stands for QUALITY
An abbreviated look at seventeen years in the dirt with Jacquie
*1980 First off road ride, using a Raleigh girl's five speed
*1981 Began racing, road and off-road, and placed 4th at National Road Time Trial Championship--suspicion of some talent
*1982 Competed in Coors Classic Stage Race, won Texas Triathlon (tenth human) Raced Tour of Texas, many high placings. Help create NORBA with ten others in Marin County.
*1983 Win inaugural NORBA Mtn Bike Championship
*1984 NORBA Champion again, also attended Olympic road trials in Texas. Co-produced the first off-road camp for women.
*1985 NORBA Champion, also first American to race off road abroad, where I beat all the men in the Man V. Horse in Wales.
*1986 NORBA vice-champion. End of winning streak
*1987 3rd place, World Championship in Villard-de-Lans France
*1988 Inducted to Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, produced Marin County's first Mtn Bike Festival
*1989 Coached at Carpenter-Phinney Camps. Produced second annual Marin County Mtn Bike Festival
*1990 Top ten placings in every NORBA points series race, 8th overall in National Pt. Series. Denied by NORBA the right to race senior Pro (at 35, considered "too old"), took bronze medal in vet (over 30! What a rip) division at World Championships, Durango Colorado
*1991 Raced World Cup Circuit, won Vet Nationals at Mt Snow, captain of US veteran team, placed 9th at World's in Il Ciocco, Italy.
*1992 Created Wombats Road Team for Ore Ida Women's Challenge, star rider:
Susan DeMattei. Created another Wombat road team for Celestial Seasonings Stage Race, Colorado. Raced World Cup Circuit in Europe, took silver at Nationals and World's in Bromont Canada.
*1993 Wrote, announced and did voice over for six segments of Bicycling's Mountain Bike Show on ESPN. Placed third at National Championship (vets), my only race that year, simply to qualify for World Championship Team.
Represented US in France, placed 15th. Sports Illustrated, Vogue features come out Nov. 1. Camps growing more popular, first ever East Coast camp.
*1994 Soft pedal competition, focus on coaching, writing, advocacy. More stories written (Life In The Fat Lane, BIKE magazine) and interviews given than ever before. Initiate a women's industry group, WOPITI, Women of Power In The Industry.
*1995 Camps most popular year, six in all, including one 7-day road camp.
Middlebury College confers Alumni Achievement Award. Manage the Breezer
Women's Team, write PR for Breeze Cycle. Visit Borneo and sell first big travel story to BIKE.
*1996 First of three annual West Virginia Camps, first North Carolina camp.
Watch a Wombat nail the Olympic bronze in Atlanta. Still writing for BIKE.
Sports Illustrated commissions a story about Wombats. Historic trip to share skills with Hawaii's Big Island Wombats. Begin to learn banjo to gracefully wean off the 4-5 hr epic rides that were once a weekly staple. 1997-1999 3 Wombats Jamborees in Colorado, 65 women from around US, Mothers and Daughters, friends and friends-to-be descend on Fort Lewis College in Durango to apprehend the mysteries of mud with Jenny Skorcz and JP. 1999 Sept-Oct return to Europe with bike and banjo to cover the World Mtn
Bike Championship for two foreign magazines, and then attend Funky Day, an annual Italian non-racing event sponsored by JP's Italian magazine, Tutto Mountain Bike. The Italian MTB cognoscenti have never gathered for purposes other than competition or equipment exposition, so this is a radical concept: family fun on a mountain bike. JP's specialty.
Media Coverage: Over ten million media impressions, over fifteen years has made Phelan's name synonymous with women who ride off-road. Potential sponsors have access to the most quotable cyclist in mountain biking, a professional communicator.
Television: Claim to Fame (NBC), Hot Streak (ABC), Home Show (CBS), ABC Sports, Sundry local features in Montana, Arizona, California, Iowa, British Columbia, Vermont, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Idaho. ESPN commentator and writer of 1993 summer season for "Bicycling's Mountain Bike Show" (shame about the name...)
Print: Rolling Stone, Women's Sports and Fitness, Outside, Bicycling, Winning, Velo News, Self, London Observer, San Francisco Chronicle, Ladies Home Journal, Elle, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, Sacramento Bee, Chicago Tribune, Tutto Mountain Bike (Italy), All Terrain Bike
(Holland), VTT (France), O2 Biker (Belgium), Bone cracker (Denmark), Bike
(Germany), Mtn Bike Action (USA & Hungary) Shape, Chevy World, Life, Vogue, Sports Illustrated, Mountain Living, Sojourner, Vermont Chronicle, Snow Country, Victoria
Books where JP is featured, quoted or has contributed a section:
The Woman Cyclist (1987) Dell, Elaine Mariolle
A Woman's Guide to Cycling (1990) Ten Speed Press Susan Weaver
Are We Winning Yet? How Women are Changing Sports and Sports are Changing Women (1991) Random House, Mariah Nelson
The Meaning of Life (1991) Time Life Books
Mountain Biking For Women (1994) Acorn Press, Robin Stuart
Adventures in Good Company (1994) Eighth Mtn Press ,Thalia Zepatos
Bike Cult 1999
Losing It, America's Obsession with Thinness (1996) Laura Fraser
Short Rides in & Around San Francisco (1996) Globe Pequot Henry Kingman
Richard's Mountain Bike Book Ballantine Books 1988 Charles Kelly
Handbuch Radsport (Swiss book on history of cycling) 1996 BLV Zurich
No Hands Rise & Fall of the Schwinn Bicycle Co, an American Institution
Judith Crown Henry Holt &Co. 1996
Online:Jacquie Phelan's WEblog:Inside the mind of a Wombat
Sports Illustrated Online: A brief tale about Wombats Feb 1997
Wombats Website (since 1995)
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"It doesn’t get any easier, you just get faster." Greg LeMond
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