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Filed under National Champions on April 27, 2012 |
When Joe Claveau won his cruiser class at The Grands in 1981, it not only changed his BMX career - but it had a indisputable effect on the Cruiser class. You see - Claveau, riding for RRS (Riverside-Redlands Schwinn bike shop) won the title aboard the sport's first modern-day 24-inch wheeled "cruiser."
Once everybody witnessed the improved handling and difference in speed of the 24"er, the 26-inch beach-cruiser wheels were scrapped - and within the next 6 months, you'd rarely see anybody still riding a 26". The entire BMX industry caught on quickly, and smaller 24" cruiser frames were the hot item the following year.
BMX Hall of Famer Craig Kundig, owner of RRS shops and the ahead-of-it's-time RRS frame company, is credited as the brains behind the big 24-inch switch over. Not only did Claveau's No.1 Cruiser title winning bike have 24" wheels, but it was also the first production frame to feature cantilever brake mounts and a fixed rear-stay (using a split, eccentric bottom bracket for chain adjustment - much like what you see used on Tandem bikes). The shorter RRS frame geometry was also spot-on, giving Joe the technological advantage in his quest for a Cruiser championship.
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