ORBO Inspiration: The Original "Klunkers" and Pioneers of MTB



Mar 26, 2012
8,172
16,166
Maplewood, MN
Hey all you fellow off-road aficionados! Here is a short "cliff notes" version of the film done on the original klunkers and the guys who pioneered the mountain biking culture.

Thought it might be good inspiration as you all get geared up for the next few months of this build off. Enjoy, and as always...Rat on!

 
Apr 20, 2009
10,773
2,848
Fairfax, VA
While those guys certainly moved things forward in terms of technological improvements that made ever more extreme performance possible, and making it acceptable for the current generation of adults, people have been doing that sort of thing since the very beginnings of the "safety" bicycle. I've been crashing downhill with my friends and modding bikes since I was 6 in the early '60s and even then it was old news. The generation before me often didn't even have paved roads to ride on.
 
Mar 26, 2012
8,172
16,166
Maplewood, MN
While those guys certainly moved things forward in terms of technological improvements that made ever more extreme performance possible, and making it acceptable for the current generation of adults, people have been doing that sort of thing since the very beginnings of the "safety" bicycle. I've been crashing downhill with my friends and modding bikes since I was 6 in the early '60s and even then it was old news. The generation before me often didn't even have paved roads to ride on.
I rode my Schwinn Typhoon mostly off road as well as a youngster in the early 60's. And my dad chased cows and rode down rock strewn bluffs in the generation before me. But that isn't what this is about. These guys had the foresight, ingenuity, bike knowledge, and skills to make the move to developing the mountain bike from those same old bikes we rode around on. And they have devoted their lives to the mountain bike culture. Even with my 25 yrs in the mtb world of racing, promotion of trail access, publications dedicated to mtb, and helping hundreds of people swing a leg over a mountain bike for the first time; anything I have been a part of was all because of these guys. Let's not take anything away from what they have done. If you want to nitpick on the history of and "who did it first" as far as mountain biking goes, there are plenty of vintage mountain bike sites on the net where that is a regular occurrence......
 
Feb 19, 2011
5,297
3,281
NJ USA
@deorman and @OddJob, the Marin guys know full well that folks were modifying bikes for offroad use long before they started; GF mentions it in a video from that time period, they hung out with/partnered up with John Finley Scott, who'd been doing it in the 50s; they knew that guys had been doing it on Tam long before they started to, and obviously all riding was "offroad" before paved roads became prominent in the USA. The difference between CKelly, GFisher, TRichey, etc is that they went from modding production bikes from other factories to designing/fabbing their very own purpose-built offroad bikes... and later, they had them made overseas, but really, that's the difference. @OddJob and @deorman may have been doin' it pre-70s, and they may know of others who did it before them, but nobody else made that leap from changing a few components to make a street bike offroad-worthy to producing actual trailbikes from the ground up, on a grand scale.

I think that's a worthwhile distinction to make, don't you?
 
  • Like
Reactions: GuitarlCarl
Apr 20, 2009
10,773
2,848
Fairfax, VA
I'm not trying to belttle their achievements in the least, just adding some context. No doubt there would not be the awesome equipment and massive resurgence of cycling that I have benefited from without them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bicycle808
Mar 26, 2012
8,172
16,166
Maplewood, MN
@deorman and @OddJob, the Marin guys know full well that folks were modifying bikes for offroad use long before they started; GF mentions it in a video from that time period, they hung out with/partnered up with John Finley Scott, who'd been doing it in the 50s; they knew that guys had been doing it on Tam long before they started to, and obviously all riding was "offroad" before paved roads became prominent in the USA. The difference between CKelly, GFisher, TRichey, etc is that they went from modding production bikes from other factories to designing/fabbing their very own purpose-built offroad bikes... and later, they had them made overseas, but really, that's the difference. @OddJob and @deorman may have been doin' it pre-70s, and they may know of others who did it before them, but nobody else made that leap from changing a few components to make a street bike offroad-worthy to producing actual trailbikes from the ground up, on a grand scale.

I think that's a worthwhile distinction to make, don't you?
I think you pretty much reiterated what I was saying in my response. So, from me that's a "yes"; final answer.:bigsmile:
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bicycle808
Sep 14, 2013
6,595
14,150
61
Bradley Illinoiz
www.instagram.com
I still wish I grew up there....
Biggest hill we got is a highway overpass.

Carl.
 
  • Like
Reactions: OddJob
Sep 14, 2013
6,595
14,150
61
Bradley Illinoiz
www.instagram.com
yeah that link is what infected me...
I crashed my walmarf mtb down a flagstone shelf by the Kankakee river once long ago and went back to cruisin' lol...but now I gotta build me a Klunker...

Carl.
 
Apr 1, 2014
3,944
5,231
66
Wisconsin
@deorman and @OddJob, the Marin guys know full well that folks were modifying bikes for offroad use long before they started; GF mentions it in a video from that time period, they hung out with/partnered up with John Finley Scott, who'd been doing it in the 50s; they knew that guys had been doing it on Tam long before they started to, and obviously all riding was "offroad" before paved roads became prominent in the USA. The difference between CKelly, GFisher, TRichey, etc is that they went from modding production bikes from other factories to designing/fabbing their very own purpose-built offroad bikes... and later, they had them made overseas, but really, that's the difference. @OddJob and @deorman may have been doin' it pre-70s, and they may know of others who did it before them, but nobody else made that leap from changing a few components to make a street bike offroad-worthy to producing actual trailbikes from the ground up, on a grand scale.

I think that's a worthwhile distinction to make, don't you?
Found this video,

Joe Breeze explains towards the end of the video that the Repack / Marin guys really were not "first" but that they achieved "critical mass" to get a world wide mountain bike movement going.
 
Jan 13, 2007
1,417
736
northern calif
Cool videos and isn't Joe Breeze such a humble guy , I grew up in the southern end of the Bay Area and only a hand full of my friends would ride the local trails on bicycles...to much like work pushing that bike uphill to the top of Mission Peak just to bomb back down ! I think the most fun I had was when we would downhill off the trail through the cattle land but if you crashed it was cow pie for lunch ...awe those younger days !
Now all this talk of klunking has me thinking of joining the fun you guys and gals are having in the build off, as if I need another bike I can't hardly ride but it will keep me busy.
Mark
 

KJV

Aug 5, 2010
3,866
4,105
Ohio
Was talking with my uncle today:
Was telling him about this BO;
He was telling me: that in the 1930&40's,
When he was a boy, in the Eastern Kentucky mountains; they took the fenders off their bicycles , and would ride through the mountain woods.
Showed him a pic. Of my Overland.
He said, "that takes me back 70 + years."
So, I guess, Bombers, have :a long history.:happy: the old guy is 87 years old. I told him I will let him ride my bike.:21:
He can barely walk.; so,he said,
"I'll have to pass..Thanks, for the offer".:p