A student in mechanical and aeronautical engineering and one of the founders of Wilderness Trail bikes or WTB, Charlie Cunningham was a mountain bike pioneer who valued nimbleness and gear selection. He designed and built his first mountain bike in 1979, choosing to experiment with custom components and lightweight heat treated aluminum when bikes of the time traditionally used steel. Cunningham made bikes were rare (only about 200 made) and one of these Racer models would have set you back a mind boggling $4200 in 1980s money (about four times the price of Bridgestone’s MB-1).
Special thanks to The Pros Closet
for the information and original photography.