The History of Mountain Biking and the Schwinn “Klunker”

To numerous, the term, “Klunker” connotes a significant, hefty, large, and relatively clumsy product. The “Klunker” was actually a bicycle product developed by the Schwinn corporation in the late 1970’s to reply the desire for off-highway biking or “Mountain Biking”.

Schwinn has a historical past of establishing rugged, heavy, very long-lived bicycles. The heritage of the Schwinn firm dates again to just before the transform of the 20th century, in Chicago. The centre of the bicycle universe was positioned there, and there ended up above 30 bicycle companies producing approximately one particular-million bikes a yr from 1900 to 1905. Regretably for them, the automobile was turning into far more well known as have been bikes. There was a sharp drop in bicycle gross sales main up to 1910.

While many bicycle producers went out of organization, a handful of survived, which include Schwinn. In the 1930’s, Schwinn made a bike that purposely resembled the well-liked motorbike. It had a steel body, steel wheels, and massive, ballooned tires. It was rugged and built to very last, and those people properties were extra crucial than becoming light-weight, at that time.

Schwinn continued to make steel bicycles, while Europe and Japan commenced to experiment with lightweight metals in their patterns. In the 1970’s in California, boys commenced modifying the Schwinn Sting Ray bicycle and started holding off-highway races. This type of off-highway bicycling became known as “Mountain Biking” and the gear employed were being called “Mountain Bikes”. Schwinn modified 1 of their Sting Ray bikes by incorporating a 5-velocity shifter, and dubbed it, the “Klunker”. Simply because of its ballooned wheels and weighty metal body, the Klunker became synonymous with heavy, clumsy objects.

European and Japanese bicycle makers also modified their lightweight bikes to fulfill the new rage in off-road bicycling. Schwinn assumed it was going to be a quick-lived fad, and ignored the sector, at first. When freestyle bike tips, recognized as BMX grew to become popular, Schwinn identified as it “unsafe” and “risky” behavior. Both of those mountain bikes and BMX were being listed here to keep, and Schwinn started to adapt to late to capture most of the raise in bicycle product sales in the course of the 1970’s.

These days, the Schwinn bicycle is remembered for the Sting Ray, and the effectively-constructed, prolonged-lasting bikes of the 1950’s and 1960’s. The young generation has a various check out of Schwinn, and rarely recognizes the identify, at all. The “Klunker” is no very long known as a word that is connected with the bicycle company. It is a term that the older era can easily recognize, and one particular that the youthful era has never ever applied.

Schwinn declared personal bankruptcy in 2001, and their title and assets had been bought by other bicycle suppliers. However, the high-quality and prolonged-long lasting characteristics affiliated with that title no longer have any meaning in the bicycling environment, right now.