COOK BROS = GOLD!

Mar 16, 2016
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I'm a big fan of Cook Brothers 20" stuff, and all of their parts. Really nicely built. Overbuilt bird really. That's part of the appeal for me.

As for the CBR cruiser stuff, I was never a fan of the frame look. Was too beach cruiser casual for us young (and short) maniacs who raced BMX. Purely a taste thing.

I would drop relatively big dough on a Champion (Doug) Schwerma or Champion 26". Check them out if you don't already know them. The welds on the Schwerma are just beautiful.

(When money permits) I buy what brings me enjoyment. I don't collect cars, motorcycles, guitars. I like bikes. In my mind when I spend dough on a bike, the money is gone for good. When I sell one and get some cash back it's like Christmas.

I wouldn't pay $5000 for a CBR, but I understand why someone would.

I have about $500 into this bike. Been offered $3000. That's a fat return, but I'm not interested. This 1981 GT race cruiser is 26". I hope to ride & enjoy this deep into my old age.

(Shameless photo op)

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Feb 19, 2011
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Nice bike, @nycet3 ! Those GT 26" bmx bikes are worth a pretty penny too, even if it's not quite what folks are getting for CBR 26s these days.

I, too, have always had a "thing" for the Champion cruisers. The Schwerma 20s had great welds, nice lines, and were just awesome.... but the track-ends they used on the later 26" models just blow me away. That's the epitome of old-school BMX hotness, in my opinion....just a simple, strong way to attach the wheels to the frame, but they also made'm look HOTT. Here's some pics of a random Champion 26" on the museum... http://bmxmuseum.com/bikes/champion/62462

I'm a big fan of Cook Brothers 20" stuff, and all of their parts. Really nicely built. Overbuilt bird really. That's part of the appeal for me.

As for the CBR cruiser stuff, I was never a fan of the frame look. Was too beach cruiser casual for us young (and short) maniacs who raced BMX. Purely a taste thing.

I would drop relatively big dough on a Champion (Doug) Schwerma or Champion 26". Check them out if you don't already know them. The welds on the Schwerma are just beautiful.

(When money permits) I buy what brings me enjoyment. I don't collect cars, motorcycles, guitars. I like bikes. In my mind when I spend dough on a bike, the money is gone for good. When I sell one and get some cash back it's like Christmas.

I wouldn't pay $5000 for a CBR, but I understand why someone would.

I have about $500 into this bike. Been offered $3000. That's a fat return, but I'm not interested. This 1981 GT race cruiser is 26". I hope to ride & enjoy this deep into my old age.

(Shameless photo op)

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Jul 23, 2016
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I am familiar with the Champions. One friend of mine has a gorgeous black one built up with completely modern, top end components, and another friend of mine has several of them built up in more classic, era appropriate style. I agree, they are beautiful and the welds are fantastic. My 24" rider is more "race" style, if you were racing in the early 90s. I just have a thing for big ole' beach style 26" cruisers.
 
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Jul 23, 2016
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That bike is kick .... I had a completely tricked out Pro Performer in the 80s that I "traded" in for a Rock Hopper in 1989 when I realized I sucked at freestyle and needed a bike to get around campus. Mom didn't understand why a guy needed more than one bike. If I had that GT today it would be worth $$$$ and I couldn't pay you to take the Rock Hopper off my hands.
 
Sep 7, 2016
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Never understood why these are so highly overpriced.. Old School BMX is where the cash is right now, and its gotten worse in this market than any other bicycle style/era.

I can't wait till the market falls in BMX and all these Nostalgic suckers/idiots that keep driving the prices on stuff are stuck with stupid torn up $300 Oakley grips and $200 tuffpads on bikes they don't even ride.

I'd like to actually get some classic bmx bikes from when I was a kid, but multiple thousands of dollars for a bike that I can't ride comfortably a whole day is crazy. Its all based on some goofy perceived value. Read a great article about card collecting and how that market killed itself, and I see BMX doing the same exact stuff, every manufacturer is jumping on that train now to milk that cow for all its worth.

$5000 for an that frame lolololol. AND IT NEEDS A REPAINT!

I could get a custom handbuilt titanium Moots fully spec'd for that.

Anyone wanna buy my 26" CW cruiser? ROFL.
I picked up an old school Haro GT performer frane on ebay last year, I was going to start building some old school bmx bikes but the prices for, like you said, for tuff pads and other stuff was outragous then, but I still have the frame...... Wonder what I can make out of that WITHOUT cutting it up of coarse, lol.
 
May 18, 2013
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Let me help you understand. :grin:

The age demographic of 40-55 year olds are usually going through a midlife crisis. They also tend to have more spending power than they had in the past. Combine these two together with a relatively decent economy and you get ridiculous prices for the things of their youth...in this case it's vintage BMX. It also explains why other items from this generation's childhood are also off the charts right now....vintage lunch boxes, vintage skateboards, Star Wars toys, Hot Wheels, etc.

Once people get into their 60s they start thinking more about retirement so the collectible market for them isn't usually as interesting. We've seen this with the muscle bikes...especially the Krates. 15 years ago they were bringing top dollar and they seem to have come down significantly.

Now all that being said, I agree that the prices on some of this stuff is insane. While I know that Cook Bros. bikes and parts are super rare, I still find it hard to believe that anyone would pay that much for a frame unless it had some kind of pro racing provenance to go with it. You could contact John Severin at True Torch and have him make you 10-15 of these exact frames for the same price. But hey, that's the beauty of a free market! :happy:
Is there really a big collectible market for ridable bikes? I don't really get it and I'm a bike enthusiast times 10. As an ex owner of a CBR cruiser. One that I built and paid for myself at age 16, I'd love to have one. Would still own mine had I not had 2 sibling heroine addicts. Still.... If I happened across one, I might pay $1500. I could sell a couple bikes to make up for it. Then I'd ride it. Growing up in OC/LB bikes are for riding when you aren't working or on your motorcycle. Hanging them up and claiming they are an investment, or a collectors item.....lol Sure kid.
 
Jun 13, 2019
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I'd take one of those genuine nongooses, or a humu, or etc... if I wanted to cough up some dough on a somewhat available rider.
 

Rat Rod

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What I don't get is why the Cook Bros. Cruisers are SOOOOO much more valuable to collectors. Sure they are a beautiful design and made really well but... There are (more like "were") several smaller more obscure companies that made great cruiser frames that don't garner even near the interest or $$$
It is an interesting phenomena for sure. It makes me wonder if the cult-like following in Southern California is what drives the pricing. The folks there seem to own a majority of the 26" cruisers that are still around.

I guess scarcity, beauty and high quality are huge factors when determining value in the cruiser collector world.

I do question whether my $1500 Laguna rides that much different than a $15,000 CBR Cruiser though. :)
 
Jul 2, 2015
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I think litigiousness has a lot to do with it. It seems like anything made for, about, or around 'Cook Bros' not by ?Jack Witmer? is set upon by his lawyer(s). This creates a pressure cooker without a relief valve. If you want an SE OM Flyer, or GT Performer, or a Hutch XL24, ELF, Haro, etc, etc...and you can't pony up the big bucks for an original...you buy a retro package from the myriad manufactures out there, or even a custom built 'replica' by one of the many custom frame makers out there. For Cook Bros...that doesn't happen, with no pressure release, the OG stuff out there just goes up and up and up.

Just my opinion (please don't sue me).
 
Apr 20, 2009
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I think litigiousness has a lot to do with it. It seems like anything made for, about, or around 'Cook Bros' not by ?Jack Witmer? is set upon by his lawyer(s). This creates a pressure cooker without a relief valve. If you want an SE OM Flyer, or GT Performer, or a Hutch XL24, ELF, Haro, etc, etc...and you can't pony up the big bucks for an original...you buy a retro package from the myriad manufactures out there, or even a custom built 'replica' by one of the many custom frame makers out there. For Cook Bros...that doesn't happen, with no pressure release, the OG stuff out there just goes up and up and up.

Just my opinion (please don't sue me).
Ride authentic! :grin:
 
Jul 16, 2019
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While I'm opposed to the idea that a bike could cost that much, I'd love to ride one, a) for the experience, to be able to say that I rode a bicycle that costs more than my last 3 cars put together, and b) to see if they live up to the hype. Can we line up a Champion 26, a Bassett Star, and the Cook so I can compare?
Oh yeah, one of those Quadrangles too!

*picks up pencil and bucket list
 
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