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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:56 pm 
BoTM | rBoTY Winner
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Posted this on MTBR too, but figured it would be a nice first "Reader's Bikes" posting here (though to be honest my other bikes are all downhill from here).

This bike is a project I've been working on for a while and it is finally together. I took it out for a brief spin and the bike is a rocket. The bike is simultaneously the quintessential Cunningham and a very unusual Cunningham. In 1982 (perhaps because of getting so much guff from people because his bikes were superficially ugly), Charlie decided to make a pretty bike with paint, smooth welds and organic riveted on braze-ons. The result was Green Machine #12 and is pictured on the Cunningham site. In 1984 Charlie won the veteran National championships on the Green Machine. Well, there was a Marin businessman who had to have the best of everything, including a Cunningham ballooner (as they were referred to at the time). Furthermore, he wanted one "just like Charlie's" - the pretty Green Machine in particular. Thus was born Big Red. Initially the main differences were that Big Red used rollercams while the Green Machine had Charlie's prototype anchor pull design and Big red had a Charlie built LD stem while the Green Machine has a Magnesium sculpted stem. Over time the original owner of Big Red swapped out the single front ring and chain guide (I am trying to track that bad boy down), and swapped the original pedals and rear derailleur for newer XT. I had Charlie put back a modified 600EX rear derailleur and construct age-appropriate pedals. Because of the extra work, Big Red has a new CNC machined cable stop for the front derailleur and an extra cable guide. There are cool tweaks and details all over the bike. And did I mention it is a rocket.

Cunningham details includes rare titanium chain guide, hand sculpted cable guides, Cunningham LD stem with four-bolt face plate, Cunningham Type II fork with wide spacing, modified hubs, slo-relase levers, prototype toe-flips, modified pedals, modified Unicanitor saddle, Cunningham-bent bars, hand-made seat collar and quick release, modified cranks and pedals. The rims are from the first run of Bontrager roll-downs and are historic in their own right. Oki doki, here's some pics.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:04 pm 
BoTY Winner
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A healthy refreshment this morning from all the un-retro bikes posted recently :wink: . Stunning. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Design from the root
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:32 pm 
North Wales Deputy AEC
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Of course it's before my (UK) time and, try as I might, latter day history lessons can't seem to take me meaningfully to places I was never at - sometimes I feel obliged to summon up a 'second-hand' respect when I read/see such revered artefacts - having said that, I can clearly see the lineage to what I know and one can almost feel the designer/maker thinking it through to execution. In some ways it's like looking at '50's 'futuristic' car designs in today's massed produced boxes - one can only try and guess at the vision needed to create such momentous pieces in time.

I also particularly like the way historical perspective tells us how much the 'modern' look to follow was to be accepted as 'aesthetically pleasing' and inherently 'right' - did Mr Cunningham feel he was as interested in form as well as function at the time he made these bikes?

Mr K


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:06 pm 
BoTM | rBoTY Winner
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Charlie is pretty much a no-nonsense functional builder. This bike was a real departure. I think he only made 6-10 painted bikes. He was the pioneer of unfinished welded aluminum which is now so common (and nice to look at IMHO)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:28 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:34 pm
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Location: Moomin Valley
love it - need more pre-1990 stuff


- heres my take on a similar theme:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:55 pm 
The Guv'nor
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Location: Retrobike HQ
bushpig wrote:
Posted this on MTBR too, but figured it would be a nice first "Reader's Bikes" posting here (though to be honest my other bikes are all downhill from here).


Quite a first post in readers bikes!

Anything pre-88 is normally a bit before my time. Can always make an excpetion for those cunninghams though, just looks so right despite the fact it's 23 years old.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:08 am 
Mr Benn
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Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:07 am
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Location: Omnipresent
That is quite stunning.

Beautiful bike.

:D


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:25 am 
BoTM | rBoTY Winner
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Location: Singapore
If weather cooperates I have a 95 bike that I'll post!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:27 am 
Anglian Deputy AEC
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Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:13 pm
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Location: Livin' in a dust bowl
What's the pin under the saddle for?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:44 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:04 pm
Posts: 1401
Location: North East Scotland (Aberdeen)
This bike is stunning.

So many hints to the future - most early 80's bikes leave me cold as I started in 1987... but this I love.


Last edited by messiah on Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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