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GT Bicycles joins Turners to reissue BMX Cruiser

Published November 22, 2019

WILTON, Conn. (BRAIN) — GT Bicycles has issued a modern version of the iconic 1979 26-inch BMX Cruiser frameset to celebrate the brand's new partnership with founder Gary Turner and his son Craig.

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After the reconnection with GT in 2017, a reunion project began brewing. "GT has been a part of our family since I was 5-years-old," said Craig Turner. "Partnering with the company again is really exciting."

Only 100 frame, fork, seat post and handlebar sets of the original cruiser design will be produced. The new framesets will be the first GT Bicycles made in the United States in almost 20 years. They will be built in the Turners' workshop in Orange, California, not far from where it all began. The framesets will be designed with the same 1 1/4-inch top tube and down tube outer diameter as well as an American bottom bracket, and 5/8-inch thick chainstays. The dropouts will be beefed up from the original 1/8 inch to 3/16 inch. The headtube will be updated from 1 inch to 1 1/8 inch to accommodate modern headsets and forks.

In the early 1970s, while BMX was still in its infancy, kids would race their bikes on the big dirt tracks of Southern California between motocross races. The bikes produced by leading companies of the day were heavy, slow, and fragile. Gary Turner took notice. A professional drag racer, Gary had experience welding and building chromoly chassis for dragsters. In 1972, using the same high-grade aircraft chromoly, Turner designed his first purpose-built BMX bike for Craig to race at the motocross track. People began to take notice, including shop owner Richard Long, and together, they teamed up to manufacture GT Bicycles, including the 26-inch BMX Cruiser of which less the 100 were made due to the on-set of 24-inch wheels in 1980.

"BMX and GT became passions and remain passions once I started taking my son to the track more than 45 years ago," Gary said. "It's exciting to see my son Craig developing and building frames and forks like I did back in the day, and we're looking forward to doing this with GT."

"This is a special partnership celebrating the accomplishments of my father and Richard Long and the lasting impression they've left on GT Bicycles," Craig said.

When asked what made, and continues to make, the BMX cruiser so popular among riders, Craig said, "It's the camaraderie of BMX. It's for the people that used to race back in the day; you don't have to gear up and go to the BMX racetrack and race; you just get out and pedal. Now, everyone meets up, goes out and has fun. This bike is perfect for that."

The framesets will retail for $899. Included are a custom GT Flite pad set, T-shirt, decal, hat and keychain. The frames will be available in yellow, black, candy blue and candy red. For more information, go to www.GT1972.com and www.gtbicycles.com/reunion

Gary Turner returns to help recreate the 1979 26-inch BMX Cruiser frameset.

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