Dirt Rag Magazine

Inside Line: Koski klunker fork

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I’m not much of a mountain bike historian but I have run into Don Koski many times over the years at bicycle trade shows and such. Nice guy. I knew he was around back in the day and was currently making ski bikes.

He had called me a few times recently, asking to show me something. I’m not really the product guy, but Don’s a persistent fella. So out of respect for my elders, and with the offer of lunch, I agreed.

What Don pulled out at lunch brought me back to a time before my time, when Schwinn Excelsiors and Klunkers were the norm. Back in the 70’s, Don’s bike shop, Cove, in Tiburon, CA was a hotbed of the new culture, where you could get the special parts you needed to build up your Klunker.

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One weak link was the forks, which were sub-par. Don designed a better, stronger fork, which was produced by Cook Bros. This was a key element in the development of the mountain bike, as they did not break.

Later, Don went on to build a mountain bike out of conduit, which he showed to Mert Lawwill. Mert was planning on building some BMX frames but changed his mind when he saw Don’s work and the Pro Cruiser was born. The first (small production) mountain bike.

And now, The Cherry Bomb.

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What Don is showing me today is an extension of that past, perfect for a restoration or creation of an old-school MTB. Made in the good-ole USA with 4130 Cro-Moly. It’s twenty-six inch, threaded old school Schwinn 24×1-inch with a 8.5-inch steerer. Flying Fin dropouts for 1.9 inch offset/rake. Strong. Black or white, $350, with the option of a disk brake tab for a few more bucks.

What next? Don really wants to get back into this thing of ours. Next up are 650B frames and forks.

Call him at 415.847.8161 to order a fork or more.

 

 

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