CHARLIE CUNNINGHAM – THE “LAND ACCESS” BIKE
Purchased: Directly from Charlie Cunningham (who wanted Steve to have it)
-Special mechanical brake – parts machined by Cunningham – a very limited production (perhaps 4 bikes have this pre-rollercam design according to C.C.)
-Most powerful mechanical brake ever designed according to C.C.
-Type II fork with custom “tweaked” fork blades – CC added a slight bend to theblades as a precise adjustment. Utilizes extra wide front hub.
-Special titanium Chain Guard
-“Grease Guard” special fittings
-Fixed Angle Cunningham Post
-Early Modern Geometry
This masterpiece of “Twentieth Century concepts executed” is a tribute to the American spirit of innovation. With this early example of (essentially) modern mountain bike geometry, Cunningham leapfrogs over the common wisdom of slack head tube angles, etc. This meticulously thought out piece (it might be Charlie’s own personal best) incorporates all of the “Cunningham Innovation” elements we normally find and then more.
Most distinctive are the unusual brakes which, by the very nature of the hand machining of almost all parts, might well be considered prototypes. The titanium chainguard shares the same innovative spirit. The artist’s use of steel demonstrates to us the remarkable functionality of fine steel tubing combined with steel’s almost unlimited malleability as found in the bike’s front end. Here Cunningham takes the type II fork and “tweeks” it giving a slight bend to the fork blades. We might concede this bicycle to be a finest example in the development of the mountain bike.
Is this bike over the top? Unquestionably so when you compare it to the masters of steel well demonstrated by the other bikes in this collection.
Charlie donated this bike (his own personal) to be auctioned to raise funds to help pay legal fees related to land access for off road bike use. A European buyer reneged on his offer and then the bike reverted to C.C.
The “crown jewel” of the collection. A very unique object.