Friday, March 25, 2022
HomeTechnologyRetro Readers' Rigs: Lawwill-Knight Professional Cruiser!

Retro Readers’ Rigs: Lawwill-Knight Professional Cruiser!


And now for one thing utterly totally different – an MTB on PEZ! Sure, however it’s retro. When PEZ fan Dick – a eager roadie – despatched in pics of his Professional Cruiser MTB our roadie brains had been on this bike. It’s considered one of solely 600 that had been made between 1978 and 1984 and makes declare to being the primary manufacturing MTB.

Dick’s Professional Cruiser was on show on the pinnacle of street biking occasions in Richmond – the 2015 World Street Biking Championships as a part of a particular show. Lets have a look again in time now at Dick’s particular machine.

Identify: Dick Howard
Location: Salem, Virginia, USA
Bike: Lawwill-Knight Professional Cruiser Serial # 81B 287
Groupset: TA cranks, Solar Tour Mountech entrance derr., Solar Tour V-GT rear derr. with Bull’s Eye pulleys.
Wheels: Ukai rims, phil hub rear, Sturmey Archer entrance hub with drum brake
Pedals: Solar Tour beartrap with authentic straps. Although one is damaged.
Saddle: Avoset
Different: 4130 tubing, Cook dinner Brothers Racing fork, Magura bars, Tommaselli Racer levers, Magura grips, phil BB, IRD seat put up,
Weight: 33lbs (15kgs)

It is a really distinctive machine Dick, may you run me via the way it grew to become yours?
In 1979 I learn a narrative in Bicycling journal about clunkers in NorCal. I needed one so I discovered an previous seashore bike and had my native bike store construct it up for off street use. It was a “hog” so by 1981 I had a Trailmaster catalog from Cove Bicycle Store in Mill Valley Ca and I ordered this Professional Cruiser frameset from them and constructed it up with a combo of current and new elements.

How is it that you just nonetheless personal it in spite of everything these years – I’ve had some nice bikes that I’ve let go and would like to personal now. Did you ever come near promoting her or giving it away?
No means! I rode it onerous within the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia. It was nice for bombing however didn’t climb very nicely. I may make case for the Professional Cruiser being, on reflection, the primary down hill bike. It was the primary function constructed mountain bike all of my snobby roadie biking pals had ever seen, most likely the primary mountain bike in VA, actually the primary in Richmond VA. Mert Lawwill says that only a few had been offered to the East Coast. I knew from the start that it was historic and wanted to be ridden then preserved. In 1986 I received a Mountain Klein so I hung the Professional Cruiser beneath my home. It was excessive and dry till I made a decision to revive it in 2013. The Sweet Apple paint continues to be intact, lovely although a bit nicked.

Manufacturing on the Professional Cruiser began in 1978 and stopped in 1982. About 600 of those framesets had been offered both as full bikes or framesets solely.


Dick along with his satisfaction and pleasure

What modifications/additions have you ever performed?
My native bike store was one however they might not get the unique Atom drum rear brake to work decently, particularly when moist. So in about 1983 or so I transformed the rear brake through a properly constructed brake hanger and Shimano cantis. The rear hub was switched to a phil. It seems to be bizarre however nonetheless turns freely. The whole lot else besides tires, cables and housing are from 1979-1986. The Professional Cruisers had been initially 5 speeds however I wanted extra gearing so I bent the mount on a Solar Tour Mountech derr. to suit my seat tube. I feel that jury rigged mounting association was commonplace working process to create mountain bike gearing again within the day.

Now that you’ve got restored it, what are the plans – a present bike, weekend cruiser, lounge artwork – or perhaps all 3?
I confirmed it in a bicycle historical past exhibition in Richmond Va along with the 2015 World Biking Championships. I’d like to bomb it one final time down our native Poor Mountain’s hearth street however that would get ugly for me and the bike. I’ll most likely mortgage it out to a house city customized builder as store artwork and perhaps do some metropolis cruising. Persons are beginning to respect mountain bike historical past and I need this uncommon previous bike to be round lengthy after I’m gone.

Future upgrades or adjustments?
None. It’s just about “frozen” in 1986 and I wish to maintain it that means.

Final phrases?
I’ve been very fortunate in that as a child I cherished historical past so once I received into bikes it was pure that I’d develop an attachment to the historic significance of my very own bikes. Along with the Professional Cruiser I’ve a late 30’s or so Drysdale Crimson Satan that I discovered in 1972, a constructed to spec W.B. Hurlow and a constructed to spec S.W. Cotton and a uncommon Mountain Klein. All are one proprietor besides the Crimson Satan which I’ve owned twice.


Some extra of Dick’s traditional machines…

By proudly owning and restoring the Lawwill-Knight Professional Cruiser I’ve gotten to know Don Koski, who designed the body and fork, Mert Lawwill and Terry Knight. They had been all there on the large bang beginning of mountain biking in northern California. I really feel like I’m the keeper of the flame for a major a part of mountain bike historical past. Respect the historical past.

Obtained a cool bike your self and wish to see it on PEZ? Ship a fast intro and a few pics to [email protected] and also you and your bike could possibly be the following to be featured in Readers’ Rigs.


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