Klunkerz DVD - Review

Jul 2, 2009
by Mike Levy  
"To know where you're going, you have to know where you've been"

And with that in mind I sat down and watched the much lauded DVD, Klunkerz, a movie documenting the early mountain bike movement during the late '60's and early '70's. Lots of people had taken bicycles into the bush long before these men, but this particular group of riders can lay claim to more innovation than any other, and thankfully for us, there were people around to document it as it all happened.

Read On And Watch The Trailer...Klunkerz really is quite the film. I am always one to enjoy a good documentary, but when the subject is mountain biking and the documentary is a full length DVD, well then my interest is really aroused. Directed by Billy Savage, Klunkerz has a cast list that nearly reads like a MTB Hall Of Fame members list: Charlie Kelly, Gary Fisher, Tom Ritchey, Mike Sinyard, and Charlie Cunningham are just some of the faces featured in the film, as well as many others.

Gary Fisher

The description on the case really sums it up best:

In the late 1960's and early 1970's A handful of hippie cyclists
literally re-invented the wheel. These early pioneers scavenged
from dumpsters and junkyards and lifted parts from road
bikes and motorcycles to build a better way down the mountain.
Little did they realize their obsessive tinkering would ultimately
lead to the birth of a multi-billion dollar industry and an olympic
sport. These modified bikes, the precursor to the modern-day
mountain bike, became affectionately known as Klunkerz

Klunkerz contents page

From the start you are introduced to some of the main players, places, and the klunkerz themselves. Even before there was ever really a mountain biking identity, the sport managed to bring together people from all walks of life. From national level road racers looking for something different, to teens just wanting to get out into the bush, everyone seemed to have the same idea: let's ride some of these old bikes as fast as we can down some hills. The machines they sat upon really were something else and went by many names. The favored bike seemed to be something from the '30's or '40's due to its somewhat more robust build as well as higher and slacker geometry. Your new fancy bike has more in common with these old dinosaurs than you think.





Groups of mountain bikers evolved separately, no doubt proving that everyone was on to something. Speaking of being on something, a great anecdote is the story of the Larkspur Canyon Gang, a group of riders that held their own races down the fire roads with the winner netting himself a bag of pot! Some of the old footage is impressive, these guys were not just taking a cruise in the bush, they were hauling ass. I seriously doubt most of us could keep up with them down some of the steep and loose fire roads, especially in the bends!

Good thing otherwise maybe no one would have remembered to film it!



Check out the teaser for Klunkerz below:

Views: 14,282    Faves: 74    Comments: 17



Having basically lived in bicycle stores for the last 15 years of my life, I was most impressed with the enthusiasm that the actual bikes came together with. It was nothing like today, there was no simply walking into your local shop and picking out a mountain bike, everything had to be pieced together from different beasts to make a machine that could handle riding off road on a regular basis. Stories about riders having secret stashes of bars, stems, and hubs hidden in the back of stores only to be pilfered by other eager riders was really entertaining.

An original Klunker that was pieced together by Gary Fisher

What could have been the first timed DH race was held down Repack, affectionately named as such because of the necessity to repack your rear hub bearings after doing a run. Much like many rides today there were girls, beer, and trucks waiting at the bottom for everyone after their runs. The more things change, the more they stay the same it seems.

There was braaaping a long time before your pajama-like TLD gear and pink goggles ever showed up!



Klunkerz covers so much history and too many amazing stories for me to tell you about. From the first ragtag isolated groups of riders that began to head off road, to the evolution of the bikes and the struggles to make them reliable, even into the business side of what was to come with mountain biking, Klunkerz is an amazing story of where we came from. What really became apparent to me as I watched the movie is that the basic idea of simply having a blast in the bush while on your bike is still the same. We really are still doing the same thing, sure the bikes have changed and there may be less denim and work gloves, but we all have a lot more in common with the riders in this movie than you may suspect at first.

Pick yourself up a copy of Klunkerz and see how it was done, how it still is done. This movie would make a great addition to any rider's DVD library. Learn more at www.klunkerz.com.

Mike "Kakah" Levy



Bonus Gary Fisher shot!



62 Comments

  • + 10
 'throw away the useless kickstand'
  • + 8
 this movie is wild and totally oldschool
  • + 6
 I´d rather get a pot-bag in the end than sit like a clown on the hot seat thing... Evolution?
  • + 1
 Why can't you have both???
  • + 7
 haha, that last picture...
  • + 1
 there was a doncumentary on extreme sports channel about the beginning of mountain biking, they were showing klunkers, its good.
  • + 2
 yea i cant beleve i ride on the mountain the mountain biking was invented on....yeaa
  • + 0
 ya pod the last pic
  • + 7
 our roots are cool..hippies,two wheel drifts, and a little smoke Big Grin
  • + 1
 Thanks for all the support and kind words. It's true that Klunkerz has been 'out' for awhile. But what does 'out' really mean? I'm kinda on my own on this one and I've got no more money to advertise or whatever, so it's all about me sending out packages and good old word-of-mouth. I've been selling them out of the back of my truck and in a few bike shops. Haven't sold too many, though. Funny about everyone seeing it on Extreme or whatever in different countries...I've never been paid for any of that and it sounds like I probably never will. You can bet someone's getting paid for it, though. I thought there was money in getting your movie broadcast on the tele. Guess I was wrong on that score. Please send me info on the broadcasts if anyone's got details. Anyone know a good lawyer?Smile . Hell, I'm still paying off the bar tab from the cast party, and that was years ago. Those boys can still put it away, no doubt! Note to any aspiring filmmakers out there, don't do it with your own money, make it corporate with sponsors blah blah blah. Thanks for the support PinkBike and all the folks who actually bought a disc from me...you rock! Thanks for supporting INDEPENDENT films.
Ride on,
Billy Savage
writer/producer/director (blah blah blah)
Klunkerz
www.klunkerz.com
  • + 3
 This movie is awesome, to ride those kind of bikes so fast on those dirt tracks must have taken serious skill, all just to win a bag of pot!
  • + 8
 "just for a bag of pot"?! they should give out some green at the end of every biking event.
  • + 4
 fuckin right!!! crankworx winner gets a lb of bc's finest!!!
  • + 3
 that would just give me soo much more incentive to try my hardest.
  • + 2
 fuckin right man
  • + 2
 There was braaaping a long time before your pajama-like TLD gear and pink goggles ever showed up! I fucking lol'd so hard!
  • + 1
 me too like that sentense
  • + 3
 This DVD rocks! If you ride 26" bikes off-road you need to see this to discover the roots of the sport you love.
  • + 1
 after such a promising start going balls out on clumped together chariots down some sweet trails how did GF end up only building CC bikes while wearing Elton Johns hand me down glasses? Too much weed or not enough?
  • + 0
 Because he sold out to Trek Bicycle Corp.
  • + 0
 Show some respect, GFs Repack downhill record still stands after 30 years, you can dream of ever being as good a rider. Fisher bikes make a very cool 6" trail/AM bike called the Roscoe, you should check it out.
  • + 2
 that says nothing about the person himself
  • - 1
 Haha, mechagouki, you're funny. I work at a Trek dealer, I know all about everything Gary Fisher "makes." The Roscoe is utter crap, just another overhyped bike from a fake bike company. They might as well call Gary Fisher "Trek 2." Fisher bikes are now taking over the space left from Greg Lemond's failed bike company alliance, so expect more and more disappointment from your Repack idol. Have you ever even ridden Repack?
  • + 0
 is this the reason why my old gary fisher bitter sucked so bad?
  • + 1
 I dunno my kingfisher kills it
  • + 1
 my bitter came with crap parts and the frame flexed a lot, even though it was a hardtail
  • + 2
 i can see the sunset behind mount tam from my house. the trails they ride are gnarly nowadays, and tam is extremely illegal
  • + 3
 Great film, great, full of inspiration characters!I am going klunkin!
  • + 1
 that's what 29ers do! haha
  • + 3
 these guys are the O.G.'s
  • + 1
 Also,Joe Kid On A Stingray is a Must See for anyone that hangs out on this site! it's one for the collection!
  • + 1
 Are you talkin bout Joe Breeze? i know his kid.
  • + 1
 this mens are like heros...
doing downhill with this bikes...
love the last pectur... heheheh Razz Razz Razz
  • + 1
 yea i ride all the trails that they rode and i live by all of those guys SHRED THE GNAR
  • + 1
 Thats why i love Marin. Its great
  • + 2
 such a cool video, saw it on extreme a few weeks ago
  • + 1
 Great DVD seen it a few months back. learned a lot. This should be required viewing for all mountain bikers.
  • + 1
 these guys made mountian biking possibe for us today, they are the fathers of mountain biking!
  • + 1
 this vid made my day, looks like some fun
  • + 1
 cant wait to get this dvd!
  • + 1
 I bought this vid, it's great.
  • + 1
 i was waiting for this film ^^
  • + 1
 Billy Savage did a great job with this film!
  • + 1
 This is inpiration for everybody!
  • + 1
 haha there shrendin thoughs klunkers!
  • + 2
 sketch i would say
  • - 2
 suspension is for pussys ! might have to invest in this looks good. ganj races sound good, they should bring them back i know i would be the fastest mo fo down the track if thats up for grabs ! to right
  • + 8
 Yeah yeah buddy, that's why you own a Scott full suss'er. Hope you did not get hurt jumpin on the bandwagon . . . . . .
  • + 1
 me too
  • + 1
 TLD Moto Demin line?
  • + 1
 gnarly.!.!
  • + 0
 Gtarz for people who ride soo fast on this Smile .
  • + 1
 ace nice to see Big Grin
  • + 1
 This doc is long overdue
  • - 2
 ãnd that's where the fownhill begined, nice video Big Grin
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.043837
Mobile Version of Website