I want to introduce you guys to our new site sponsor, Fireman's Texas Cruzers! A lot of you are already very familiar, but Kerry and I have been talking to the owner, Greg, who we quickly realized... is our kind of people. As many of you know, it's not easy to be allowed unto the prestigious sponsor column on the right margin of every page. Suffice to say, it ain't all about the money. Frankly, we turn most people down.
A company has to keep it real. Obviously, Fireman's qualifies with flying colors. A Texas based company selling a fine, made in the USA product.
BMX Society members, please meet Greg & his company, Fireman's Texas Cruzers...
BMXS: What is your first BMX memory?
Fireman's: My dad and I pulled a bike out of the crusher at the Summit, New Jersey dump right before it got crushed. There was this long hook you could use to pull out stuff you wanted to save. We called it the green machine-it was an old green beater with a banana seat and ape-hanger bars. I BMXed it by adding a messenger seat, and some BMX bars and those old clear/white grips that were popular back in the day. I rode that thing everywhere for a few years. That was second grade -- I think in 3rdor 4th I got my first Mongoose Motomag.
I still have this frame. It got ripped off from my elementary school. I was hanging out with one of my delinquent buddies a few weeks later when a guy cruised by on the bike! My buddy knew the guy, so my dad and I went over to his house, and after a lot of talk he admitted that it was in his attic, so we recovered it. Here is a photo of the bike with its ‘new’ serial number. Also pictured below is the motomag redo I did for my son last year - we won ‘best of 70’s’ for that one at our local vintage BMX show, the Texas Roundup.
BMXS: Didyou race as a kid?
Fireman's: Nothing official-we had a few dirt tracks, etc. that we used.
BMXS: Do you still race?
Fireman's: I did race some Cruzer class 24 (Free Agent Limo,) in the mid 90’s at Capitol City BMX, but it has been years. I have been taking my 5 year old to some dirt tracks around town, and Capitol City is closed down, but they are supposed to build another track nearby soon, so I hope to head over there when it is completed.
BMXS: Tell us about the history of Fireman's, as a company. How long have you been doing it, where are you based, etc.?
Firemans: We introduced the brand in 1998. In the mid 90’s a few of my friends had KOS, OM, Cooks, etc. We were actually doing this annual 100 mile ride to the Shiner brewery. This was before Ebay was in full swing, so when we had someone want to join us and get a 26 cruzer, well they were rare, expensive, and hard to find at the time. Also,with a bike like that you have to treat it as a museum piece.
This is when I got the idea that someone needed to offer a durable, modern version that was bullet proof, easy to buy, and affordable. In 1998, Itook a KOS and an OM, and drew up some geometry right in between the two in my garage in Austin with an angle finder and a tape measure. I had a buddy help me weld the first prototype in Austin, and then I found Fabweld in Pompano Beach,FL. We did a few runs with them, and that bike was called the ‘Original.’ I opened a shop ‘Firehouse Custom Bicycles’ in 1999, and ran that for a few years as a way to introduce/support the FM Cruzers.
I had purchased the OM Enduro (the one with the 135mm rear spacing,and all sorts of routing for derailleurs/internal hub,etc.) when SE re-introduced those in the early 90’s, and had actually sent them a photo of me riding the bike on that long ride. Anyway, on a wild hunch I contacted them and checked to see if they might be able to help me with some production as a step up in quality. Mike Devitt helped me re-design the Cruzer by adding the looptail and shortening the rear end by 2”! Also, we made the frame a little shorter and more of a race design. SE did our production until they got bought out by Fuji. Luckily, I had been out to meet with them, and had met Sal Correa (long time welder for SE.) When the sale happened, Sal broke off and started his own shop. I was his first customer in his new venture. He continues to do my production to this day, and if you’ve seen his work you know he is a master.The frames he makes for us are truly works of art.
BMXS: Howmany people work for Fireman's?
Firemans: I have a loyal group of long time employees who work with me - several from the early days. We all have‘regular’ jobs in addition, so just do our builds per order as needed. It is a family atmosphere between all of our employees and our customers as well. It is a labor of love that we do to get out the bikes to the public, and we put full effort into making sure all of our customers are taken care of and satisfied. We have never had an unsatisfied customer that I know of. The customers really love the bikes, and the word of mouth they provide is our best advertising.
BMXS: Do you sponsor any riders?
Firemans: We do not have any official racers.
BMXS: What'sunique about Fireman's, in other words, What sets Fireman's apart?
Fireman's: In the beginning, we were really the only 26BMX manufacturer for a while there. Nowadays, there are quite a few companies making them, some in the USA. Our slack seattube angle gives our bikes an excellent unique feel, and as I mentioned earlier, the quality of the workmanship and welding is unsurpassed. We offer a really solid parts group on our complete, but about half of our customers buy the frameset from us, and then build it to their spec.
BMXS: What does the future hold for Fireman's?
Fireman's: We have been at it for 14 years now, and plans are to keep it going long term. We have it setup really bare bones with low overhead, so we should be OK.
BMXS: Any interesting plans on the horizon?
Fireman's: We are working on the‘Tall Texan’ which will be a Firemans 20”. It is like the Moosegoose, except with Firemans angles. The prototype is a blast to ride, and although the idea started as a novelty item, from the response I’ve gotten I think we will actually sell some of these. Hopefully later this year.
BMXS: What is Fireman's No. 4 Ale?
Fireman's: It is a really refreshing beer made at my friends brewery out in Blanco, Texas. I was at a Superbowl party in 1999, and the host introduced me to Brad-the owner or Real Ale Brewery in Blanco, TX. It was like-“this guy’s starting a brewery, this guy’s starting a bike company.” We hit it off and sponsored some ‘single speed’ races at some local mountain biking events where we would do a race and serve his beer. I have dabbled in home brewing in my life, so one thing led to another, and we came up with the idea for the beer named after the bikes. It is a beer brand with a real bike company behind it. The beer that was introduced in the early 2000’s has grown to a huge popularity in Austin and Texas alike, and the beer connection is definitely part of our identity as a company. Here is a photo of the beer on a local sign here in Austin, and be sure to check out the other fine products the brewery makes www.realalebrewing.com
Thanks to BMX Society for the interest in and support of Firemans.Feel free to contact us with any questions.
Owner-Firemans Texas Cruzer
Page 1 of 1
Please welcome Fireman's Texas Cruzers, our newest site sponsor
26 April 2012 - 12:38 AM Post #2
26 April 2012 - 12:47 AM Post #3
26 April 2012 - 01:11 AM Post #6
26 April 2012 - 01:14 AM Post #7
26 April 2012 - 01:26 AM Post #8
YES! I think most people around here know that I'm a HUGE fan. Firemans is the best bike company around today, bar none! This is great news, so glad to see them join the site, the best bike company and the best bike message board come together. Greg is one of the nicest and best guys I've ever dealt with. I bought a FM 26 in 2010 and it is a great machine, my first choice when I go for a joy ride. The bike's geometry feels perfect and you can wheelie for days. My girl liked it so much that she got one for herself this winter. Made in USA, top quality, great riding, adult sized BMX bikes. Here are our bikes, mine is black, her's is blue.
26 April 2012 - 02:26 AM Post #10
26 April 2012 - 11:24 PM Post #12
27 April 2012 - 12:07 AM Post #13
27 April 2012 - 09:09 PM Post #14
27 April 2012 - 09:12 PM Post #15
07 May 2012 - 07:07 PM Post #17
Page 1 of 1