1987 Rock Lobster Single Speed #1

This bike is not for sale. The bikes and parts we currently have for sale can be found on the MOMBAT for sale page.

Probably just easier to use the words of the creator

"Winter 1986: I had been out of the bike business and in a full time music gig for a little over a year. I was building frames when I had time-not many but the whole mountain bike scene was really taking off in Santa Cruz so I was getting busier in the shop. A friend of mine who I used to work with-Johnny Thess- introduced me to a friend of his who was racing MTB's in Nor-Cal. His name was John Miller, ex marine-had done some special forces duty.....he was a strong rider who could empty the tank. That winter I told John that I thought that a lightweight single speed MTB would be a cool thing to ride on the trails in the Santa Cruz mountains. The only thing holding me back from building one was the time and money. John told me that if I built him one for a bro deal that he would race it. John was my first sponsored MTB racer and in the early weeks of 1987 I built him a single speed-wishbone seat stay , Bontrager rigid fork, 24" rear wheel ( my idea to make it accelerate easily ) and cantilever brakes.

John won just about every race he entered on the bike in 1987 and continued racing into 1988. The bike was built from a mixture of Columbus and Tange MTB tubing. There are internal gussets in the top and down tube that have kept the frame from braking for 27+ years.  In the '90's John sold the bike to his housemate Rick Cruz ,  a UPS driver and a bike enthusiast. A couple of years later John saw the bike in the back yard rusting away and told Rick that he would buy the bike back. John then took the bike and left town, never paying for it. I looked in vain for years to try to get the bike back to Rick but John had disappeared , flying under the radar as a fishing guide in Montana and South America.

12 odd years later I got an email from a guy in Alaska who said that he had a single speed version of one of my bikes and wanted to put gears on it. I asked for some photos and when I saw that it was the missing # 1 single speed I offered to trade a geared 'Nontrager' for the bike. The owner agreed and I got it back and gave it to a very surprised Rick.  Probably about two years ago Rick told me that he was not riding the bike and wanted to sell it. I offered him $ 100 more than his asking price of $ 450 and bought # 1 back. I wanted it to remain as original as possible as it represented the earliest dedicated single speed  mountain bike that anyone around here had heard of.  I still don't know if it is the earliest of its kind but I do know that at the time nobody really had thought to make something like this butt-ugly mutation. For its day it was ripping fast and remarkably light-I was definitely not the only guy doing the 24-26 platform . It took many years for the whole single speed thing to catch on. I made another in 1988-another in 1989-one more in 1991 and a couple in 1992. It was not until 1994 that people really started lining up for single speeds. For such a popular thing these days it was really a hard sell.  In 1988 I would tell folks that riding single speed was a lot of fun....nobody believed me , at least not for about 5-6 years.

That's pretty much the scoop on # 1.....lost and then found.   Cheers, Paul

  Click on thumbnails below for larger images:        

LobsterSS1   LobsterSS1   LobsterSS1 LobsterSS1  LobsterSS1  LobsterSS1 LobsterSS1  LobsterSS1  LobsterSS1 LobsterSS1 
Frame Cro-Moly, fillet brazed
Fork Bontrager composite
Rear Shock NA
Rims Mavic MA-2 roll down 26" front, 24" rear
Hubs Specialized nutted rear, Mavic QR front
Spokes Stainless Steel
Tires Tioga Farmer John's/Cousin
Pedals Shimano Deore XT
Crank Cook Bros. Racing
Chain KMC single speed
Rear Cogs Shimano single speed
Bottom Bracket Sealed, press fit
Front Derailleur NA
Rear Derailleur NA
Shifters NA
Handlebars Concept
Stem Rock Lobster, fillet brazed
Headset Shimano Deore XT
Brake set Shimano Deore XT
Brake levers Dia Compe 183
Saddle Bontrager C 20
Seat Post Shimano Deore XT
Colors Gray
Size 20"
Serial #   None

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"I’ve seen mountain bike rides transform people – not just their bodies but their way of thinking. Their spirit." Charlie Cunningham