Charlie Cunningham Needs Our Help


Of all the people I have interviewed for Bicycle Quarterly, Charlie Cunningham was perhaps the most fascinating. We talked for hours about a great variety of bike-related topics. I am particularly fascinated by his various brake designs – we both prefer brakes with posts next to the fork crown. (Since then, even Shimano has adopted that technology.)

The hardest part for me was distilling our several hours of conversation into a BQ article. It still ended up 14 pages long, but I am proud to think we managed to explain how Charlie’s “Toggle Cam” and “Lever Link” brakes actually work. Charlie exemplifies the “mad inventor” for me – a guy with scant regard for convention, but who is right more often than not.


The same issue (BQ 29) also included a long interview with Charlie’s partner, the incomparable Jacquie Phelan. Together, they make one of mountain biking’s most amazing and inspirational couple.

So you can imagine how sad I was when Jacquie told me recently that Charlie had a bike accident with multiple broken bones. Worse, a head injury manifested itself six weeks later, requiring emergency brain surgery. Charlie is a tough guy, and it appears that he is recovering, albeit slowly.

We want to help get the word out that there is a fund drive to raise money to help cover mounting expenses, especially in the face of what looks like a long recovery. One of their friends has set up a relief fund. Please donate at

About Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

Spirited rides that zig-zag across mountain ranges. Bicycle Quarterly magazine and its sister company, Compass Cycles, that turns our research into high-performance components for real-world riders.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Charlie Cunningham Needs Our Help

  1. Greg says:

    Done. Thanks for updating us on this situation. He is a Pioneer!

  2. Thanks for letting us know. Will help.

  3. PaulyG says:

    Done. I am happy I could help. Jan, please let him know my wishes for a speedy recovery.

  4. Greatly enjoyed the article about Charlie and Jackie- a couple of true divergent thinkers. Thanks for the heads up about their need- just donated.

  5. Julie Jacobs says:

    Thank you Jan for the information. I’ll donate for sure.

  6. mike says:

    Done. Greatly enjoyed the articles about Charlie and Jackie too.

Comments are closed.