Chuck Robinson

Robinson Racing Products was formed in 1978 by Chuck Robinson. Even though the sport was still in its early years, Chuck was the stuff of legend already.

He broke into BMX first as the Team Manager for Webco. He also had input to product design and marketing. After building a great program at Webco he moved over to DG.   DG became an overnight powerhouse.  LRV (Leisure Recreational Vehicles) a small company, then  lured Chuck away from DG.

Things didnt work out well and LRV couldnt afford to keep Chuck on full time. So they parted ways on March 1, 1978 and Robinson Racing Products was born. LRV though in fact retained Chuck as a consultant who would work with LRV’s Tom Seifert.  Chuck would then form the now world famous Robinson Racing Products.

After a huge amount of success, BMX was changing. The sport began losing sales and Robinson was struggling to keep up.  He would sell the company to GT Bicycles in 1987. The end of an era for Robinson. But he would stay on with Robinson.

Chuck Robinson passed away in the 1990’s. I haven’t been able to get the exact date. With his passing the sport lost a man that was well known and respected as very few before or since have been.

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58 Responses to Chuck Robinson

  1. Matt Beynon says:

    Nice site.
    Here’s an update on a couple of Chuck’s riders:
    AJ Lojek was from Georgia like the Wegeners. Another Robinson rider from Georgia was Scott Robbins in 80-81 time frame.

    • Erick Weinstetter says:

      Thanks Matt. Updated the team section. I remember right AJ went from MCS to Robinson? For some reason in my area Robinson wasnt making it. Maybe cause they didn’t sponsor any riders. I raced mostly South Jersey and PA but went down to MD a few times and VA once for I think Starlits first race or first double pointer.
      In my neck of the woods in those days every other rider seemed to be on a Schwinn, Thruster, MCS (my first race bike) or DG.

  2. […] Then company ultimately failed in the early 80's. More history regarding that relationship here: Chuck Robinson […]

  3. Sylvain says:

    How about Freestyler? Here my survivor from 1985, I heard, Chuck hates freestyle, it is a real Robinson or has a factory build something without his part?

    Salutations S.

    • Racer says:

      Wow very cool. Unfortunately we can not ask Chuck (RIP Mr. Robinson). It looks real to me. Those decals were the last ones I think before GT bought Robinson. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was one of the final straws pushing him to sell. He probably fealt he couldn’t survive without Freestyle and GT made up a prototype for him maybe. Have to do some digging and find some old Robinson racers and GT freestylers around from those days like Travis Chipres or Glenn Pavlosky.

      • Vannak Sao says:

        Hello, can anyone help me identify my bike? All decals are torn off, but serial is YC96080240. It looks like the top tube adhesive is in the shape of “Rebel”, or “Pro XL”. Maybe even “SST”? Please help. Here is a picture:

        Thanks!

      • Racer says:

        Pretty sure thats a Rebel. Check the 96 or 97 years. It was made late in 96 (Augusut) so it could be either years model.
        Look at the rear welds, if they are not as clean as the front welds it is a Rebel. I think the Pros rear end touched as did the SST most years.

      • Michael Muellmann says:

        In 1985, my company Sport Import was the Robinson distributor for Germany, as well as for GT, Hutch and some other brands. GT Bicycles was building the Robinson Race framesets at that time. Freestyle was getting bigger and bigger, and we had huge success with the GT Performer. So I talked to Chuck,Gary Turner and Richard Long(GT) for a limited run of 50 Robinson Fresstyler for Germany, by tweaking the geometry of the race frameset a little bit and adding performer-type platforms to the toptube. Maybe GT/Chuck built a few extra for the US market. So for sure, this bike is a “real” Robinson

  4. Damon says:

    Nice site.
    I have a few pretty cool Robinsons I built, perhaps a pic or to for your site. I also have a picture of Chuck for your site as well. Ill need to dig that one up as I sealed it and put it away. The pic is on, probably one of the last remaining catalogs from Robinson in the 1980’s. Its a black and white 8 page booklet with Chucks picture on the front. I also have information on two riders that rode for Chuck back in the day.
    I have a 1980 helmet bag as well as an airline bag I can photograph and send to you as well. Thanks for your awesome site, this is something I have been wanting to do for a while just never found the time in my schedule…….
    So THANKS!!!!!

    Damon

  5. Damon says:

    Hello, and totally awesome site!!!
    What you have done here is exactly what I’ve been wanting to do for years….
    So for the creation of this site I’d like to thank you.
    To start off with, I have iformation to help you site. I have a picture of Chuck on the cover of a 1980’s Robinson catalog. I have it sealed and stored in safe keeping. I can find it scan the photos, and send them to you if you like. Also, some of the equipment I’ve stored through out the years, my 1982 Robinson Pro built be me, raced by me and in my spare room. All original and museum quality.
    More recently, a 1998 Robinson 24″ Pro XL. I held back no expence when building this daily rider and head turner.
    Along with these I have old equipment from 1982, a helmet bag, airline bag, and at least three jerseys.
    Furthermore, I am in contact with another Northern California Factory rider. I will need to obtain permission before printing his name and information on the Internet. Also, another rider that rode for Chuck who has passed.
    If this information can add to your site let me know.
    Best of luck with you website project…

  6. Vannak Sao says:

    Given the serial number, 43 teeth on the crank sprocket, dia-comp aheadset, I’m thinkin it could be an SST. The 1996 Rebel came stock with a steel headset. Am I correct? I compared the models, trying to match components on mine via Bikepedia.com

  7. Vannak, I don’t know if this will help, but I have a few pics of what I’m pretty sure is an 1998 SST. I got this bike off of CL and it was completely original except for the seat. It had some rust and someone had spray painted white onto the rear frame and the sprocket/cranks. The tires were original Cheng Shin’s even, but were ugly, and the chain was too rusted to be saved so it was also replaced. Everything else is original Robinson issue including the grips. The seatpost clamp is a stamped Robinson alloy clamp, but it is faded as it goes around from one side to the other. The bike was left outside so I’m assuming this fading is due to sun bleaching.

    Other than that I think I did a pretty good job of cleaning it up and retaining the original parts where I could.

    The SST models and higher (Pro, Pro XL, etc) all had the broken loop touching (as it was no longer a pure looptail). The Rebel, which yours looks to be, had a gap in this loop as Racer was noting.

    Also all the SST’s I’ve seen wear the GT single piece cranks which were probably the strongest single piece cranks made.

  8. Vannak Sao says:

    YES! 43 teeth on the crank sprocket right? Aheadset, check. 43 teeth, check. GT Pistol Stem, check. Chromoly, check. Boys, I think we have an SST! What’s the serial number?

    • Chris Babor says:

      My 96 SST has a 4130 stamping on the bottom of the crank carrier by the serial# YC96062707….hope this helps…. It also has an open loop tail.

      • Christopher says:

        4130 is the type of material used ti make your bike its very strong hard to break chromolly

  9. […] Dunes, Northern California tracks in Vallejo, Concord, Hayward, and Oakland, and an interview with Chuck Robinson (later of Robinson BMX) when he took over the BMX division at DG — which would soon become the […]

  10. Paul Curran says:

    I’ve just posted an issue of BX Bi-Weekly from May 1976, which has an interview with Chuck Robinson right after he was hired at DG. Thought you’d be interested!

  11. ToeOverlap says:

    I had a 20″ Robinson Pro frame fork setup that I loved. I got it off a some shop team rider barely used, it replaced my SE Quadangle.

    The Robinson geometry was unreal, nothing else was close. It ran like it was on rails the front never pushed and both ends stuck equally. You could take turns with both feet up if you had the balls.

    It got stolen (by a ‘friend’ of mine, no less) and so I put the SE Quad back together, but it wasn’t the same. I wasn’t racing anymore so the lesser handling of the SE wasn’t so important, but I loved that Robinson. (I still have the SE Quad, even…)

    And now, after all this time being an ex-BMXer, I’m actually living in “Dogtown”. Kind cool…

    • Racer says:

      Love the story. I never raced or rode a Robinson. But I did race 3 Quadangle’s starting in ’80 then a second one in ’81 and a third one in ’83. Of the 20s I raced that was my favorite. Got pics of your quadangle email me at bulletproof2000@live.com love to see em. I scored on ebay a ’83 Quad in my old color even (blue).

  12. Andrew DeFrancesco says:

    Any idea what the circle stamp with a “1” means on a 1995(Sept)Robinson “24 Cruiser?

    Don’t know if my pic worked, but I have a pic here:

    http://bmxmuseum.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=308225

  13. Robert says:

    Just came across this site on a whim. Raced in the 1970’s and 1980’s for Cook Bros. & GT prior to GT getting big. Remember the name Chuck Robinson and at the time I recall him looking like Roger Penske (long time ago). How did he pass?

    • Racer says:

      Not sure on the details but it was some time ago. RIP Chuck.
      Did you race Factory or support for Cooks Bros. and out of what state?
      I made a few sites like for CYC and JMC also and some old school Factory riders and sometimes even the owners or children of founders pop in. Its very cool to know Jim Melton and Todd Huffman for instance have their companies fan sites.

  14. Jason says:

    Just dug out my 1990 Robinson… All the memories came back as I was polishing and stripping it down to start the rebuild. Hope to keep the memory alive, when I get it done, of one of the coolest BMX bikes ever made!!!

    • Chris Babor says:

      I was going to get rud of mine, but after reading this I think I may just restore it. Having a hard time finding 96 SST decals that match mine.

  15. chris says:

    I had a GT Interceptor in the late 80’s, My best friend had a GT Vertigo late 80’s, and my other best friend had a 1990 Robinson we all wanted the Robinson, best bike I ever seen. Awesome Site.

  16. bill says:

    was there a robinson sst gt mashup bmx bike in 1995 with mags and is it original were there stock parts all i see is the 96 robinson

  17. Chuck Robinson says:

    I raced BMX from the early eighties on, My name too is chuck Robinson and it was always funny for me to get called up to sign up booth or annoucners tower and have Chuck come up there too. Linda Dorsey would do it on purpose at the nationals. chuck always gave me crap for riding a Schwinn and not one of his bikes. One of my big life regrets now, how cool would that have been to ride a Robinson with my name the same as the owners? i just did not get it back then. I did buy a Cruiser in my early thirties and raced with a Robinson Jersey on though. Nice site, thanks.

    • Caio Vinícius Brasil says:

      Nifty! You can still enjoy. No need to run any longer can buy a old robinson and stroll with the family.
      Hugs Chuck Robinson

  18. Lain Baptista says:

    Hi, what a great web site. I raced a Robinson in the early eighties in South Africa. My Robinson helped me reach SA2 but unfortunately coming first at the Nationals in Alberton I had a bad wipe out and never reached SA1. I loved my Robinson and wish my father had never sold it. It was a junior BMX with the name Jason engraved underneath the bike. If anybody ever sees it I would appreciate if they can contact me on +27836477341 as I would love to buy it back and keep it with my trophies. My name is Lain Baptista.
    Cheers

  19. David says:

    Does anyone know where I can find an original set of Robinson grips? I just restored my old Robinson rebel and everything on it is completely original, even the tires, but the grips are in pretty bad shape and need to be replaced. I could go with the GT wing grips..,but then it wouldn’t be 100% original….so yea. Any help would be really apriciated. Thanks.

  20. john d says:

    way cool site for Robinson bikes … i was trying to figure out what my 20 inch Robinson is [had no idea year-model] and your site gave me all the info i needed … SST -03921344- …. thanks a million for the site and info …. p.s.. and chuck robinson would be totally honored and proud of this site …

    • Racer says:

      Glad we could help and I hope he is somewhere smiling at how much many of us admire him and his contribution to BMX. Thanks for the compliments.
      Erick

  21. Caio Vinícius Brasil says:

    I had the pleasure of having two robinson. The first was in 1988 still with the fork dropout down with the end of the frame curve. He was really a wonderful angle. I remember how easy it was to fly .. she really ran … the original well high handlebars caused the flight got too easy. Have a second robinson 1990, this has not excited much. So much so that I traded it for a hutch 8 years older. worth it. I am Brazilian and I thank Chuck for deselvolver market bmx in latin america.

  22. norman says:

    i meet chuck in 1987 in mexico. he went to do some clinics at a bmx national. all my respect for Mr. Robinson. i think he passed away in 1992.

  23. norman says:

    i still have the bmx suisse cap he gave me in 1989 on the last trip chuck made to mexico , prior to the Australia bmx world titles

  24. Christopher says:

    What is my bike origin and can I send it in sn us yc98h06706

  25. i have a 78 robinson with euro bb .

  26. lindenbm7 says:

    hey guys i bought a mountain bike and the guy also threw in a Robinson with it and i don’t know how to find the info on it but the serial number is 06931806 but there isn’t a letter before it and another odd thing is that it is red and i haven’t ever seen a red one can someone contact me bt text at 303-356-8508? thanks.

  27. Rich dean says:

    I was one of the first sponsored racer for Robinson I raced one of two ever built LRV bicycles chuck built in 1978 it weighed 7 lbs and cost to build was $800 my brother raced one of
    Robinson’s first production bicycle it weighed 12 lbs

    • Racer says:

      Tells us more about your days Racing. When did you start racing and what was your local tracks?
      Who did you and your brother race for before Robinson? What was his name? Did you ride for LRV or for Robinson?
      Anything else you can think of please share Rich.

  28. James Allen says:

    Not sure if anyone still monitors this site but I have a very cool mostly original 93 sst mad in America represented by serial on dropout I stead of under crankcase. The original decals are there just faded. I love this bike and enjoy finding others that like them I have a Chinese made sst from 93 also

  29. Did Chuck Robinson ever build a roadbike frame? I have an all aluminum Robinson American, approx 52cm.. I cannot finding any information on!!

  30. Larry Ruiz says:

    Good morning RRP Family my name is Larry Ruiz I was one of the first factory riders for chucks Robinson team I have a frame and fork and handlebars for sale if anyone is interested it’s a 97 20 inch forks and handlebars if anyone is interested you can email me or you can PM me on Facebook thanks guys have a great day 👍🏁

  31. Jeff Verbeck says:

    I have a 09911750 xl does anybody know about this bike

  32. Jon says:

    I have a 1984 pro that I’m restoring. I’ve owned it since I was 10 or 11 I’d like to post pictures if possible for you to see

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