Thanks for that info halaburt. It's a shame that we don't have a picture of these bikes. Of course the issue of was it a cyclo-cross or a mountain bike is pertinent here as 700c were standard issue on cyclo-cross bikes. Back in the early 80's there was no limmit for cyclo-cross tyre width. But today it's 33mm having been lowered from 35mm in 2010. It could even be argued that these bikes were early examples of what becane known as Hybrids?
Here's some more info on these 700c wheeled bikes from Marin pioneer and co curator of the Mountain bike Hall of Fame Don Cook:
"Curious as to the beginning of big wheel usage on the mountain bike yet? I thought so. For me it began in September 1980. A gang of riders from Marin made their way out to Crested Butte for the 5th Annual Pearl Pass Tour. Among them was Charlie Cunningham (HOF Inductee, 1988). Charlie and I got along famously from our first ride together. He was sporting this homemade 24lb. aluminum rig with drop bars and could ascend and descend like no one I'd ever seen. Remember this is 1980, so a 24lb. bike that could take the abuse Charlie was dishin' it had my attention. He was polite when we talked and said anytime I was out in Fairfax I was welcome to come by his little factory. I did just that the following April and ended up working for Charlie for two months, making parts for my own aluminum Cunningham rig and schooling off of all the other Fairfax brain trust. Charlie had several fun bikes to ride, a 20" rear/26" front wheel off-roader, a couple standard mountain bikes and Charlie's "personal" bike, which was a 700c pseudo dirt rider. It had a 27" x 1 3/8" tire on the front and a 700c x 35mm tire on the back, both Schwinn gumwalls. It also had Charlie's custom bent drop bars, which many found bizarre for dirt riding. That bike quickly became my favorite and we began fighting over it when it was time to ride. Charlie is a mellow man so I got to ride it quite a bit. I ended up working for Charlie the next two years in the spring months and the same thing happened every trip. If I could make a certain amount of whatever parts Charlie needed or clean and steel wool a certain amount of tubing, I got to ride the "dirt racer" that day. At the time I could not have told you why it was more fun, it just was".
"As mountain biking began to take off in the early '80s and things started happening fast with new products and materials, the standard Cunningham Indian he made is what was in demand and so the 700c "dirt racer" went back to what it started as, Charlie's commuter. I was very involved with product development of all kinds at the time, studying under and testing for Tom Ritchey (HOF Inductee, 1988), Steve Potts (HOF Inductee, 1989), and Scot Nicol (HOF Inductee, 1990), while still doing stuff for Charlie and working with Shimano to introduce their new Deore mountain bike gruppo. Oh those days were fun, working with Keizo Shimano (HOF Inductee, 2000) and his engineers, what a time. I didn't forget about the "dirt racer" but with all the cool stuff to play with on my standard bike there was no time to think about anything else. Although I never did have enough money to have Charlie build one of his dirt racers for me, I was not the only one who felt this kind of bike needed more attention. Suntour began sponsoring Charlie's race team in '84 and two of the team members, Steve Cook (HOF Inductee, 1988) and Tracy Smith, who were also from Crested Butte, talked Charlie into making them each one for what they called "training purposes." Those lucky shits, I'd love to have them write about their experiences from back then".
Full Dirt Rag article here:
http://www.cunninghambikes.com/charlie- ... t-rag.html