Cook Bros Racing products and Cooks Quality Products ( CQP )
The Cook Bros Racing and CQP story is fairly complex with lots of opinions and facts as to what actually happened. This will be my take from all the information I have read and things I have seen over the years. Might not be entirely accurate but here’s my best shot at it.
Cook Brothers Racing, who are they? Gary Cook and Craig Cook were the guys who started CBR bicycle company in 1972, the same year they began designing and manufacturing BMX and Mountain Bikes. One of the first production parts to hit the market was the Cooks Slant Line stem in 1978, or gooseneck as most of us called them back in that time period. They made Frames and Forks, Handlebars, Seat Posts, Seat Clamps, Hubs, Chain Tensioners, Stems, Pedals, Cranks, Bottom Brackets ( American and Euro ), MTB skewers, BMX Padsets, Number Plates and a few other products. So yeah, Cooks has made some killer parts over the years without a doubt. One of the most notable is the UNI-Clamp Steering System which came out in 1980 or 81. It was the old school BMX version of the modern Threadless stem system. Truly innovative and way, way ahead of it’s time. As things progressed Gary sold his interests in Cooks Racing to his brother Craig in the early 80’s. Flash forward a few years and Craig also got the “sell it” bug and turned his company over to Jack Witmer in 1984, most likely for a boat load of cash. Something when astray with the deal between Jack and Craig, but Jack still remained owner of the Cooks name. In 1987 Gary and his son Bob started a new company called Cooks Quality Products. The designs for the new CQP parts were based off the Cooks designs for the most part with a few changes. In 1993 Jack decided to close up shop on CQP and head towards retirement.
When I considered putting CBR and CQP on the same page I was conflicted. Although I figured since the parts were so similar with the same collector base why not group them together. It’s basically the same story as Johnson Precision Products ( JP bmx ) and Crupi. Almost identical parts with 2 different companies competing for their fair share of the market. Anyway, I will get more in detail on specific parts when I list them up!
Here’s an ultra rad set of Titanium Crank arms 177mm made by CQP. They have an ISO Square Taper and standard 9/16″ pedal threads. The original USA stickers that would have come on the arms are long gone unfortunately. Most CQP Titanium cranks that I have seen are either cracked or repaired. This set pictured looks to have barely been used. Might be why they are not cracked? I didn’t get the Cooks Spider with the arms, but that’s ok since some Cook Bros or CQP should be interchangeable. Of course not the “E” Crank spider, that wouldn’t fit in a million years. I would guess that these were called Pro-Lite cranks and produced in the early 90’s ( 1992?). I have seen a CQP Prolite Crank magazine ad from 1992, although I can’t verify if the arms pictured here are that model, or if they were made for consecutive years.
Cook Bros Racing E-Type Crankset in 177mm arm length, in semi polished ( raw 7075-T6 billet aluminum). The “E” is for Elegant and the low profile design is based around a 107-115mm spindle. The slightly sun faded anodized red aluminum spider has a 94/58mm bolt circle diameter ( BCD ). They did make a 110/74mm and 130mm BCD spider as well. As far as I know this spider will only work with the Cooks E Crank. It requires these special tapered aluminum spacers to mount. Early versions of this crank ( 1994-95?) were only available in 175mm, and later versions in other sizes. Catalogs state 170mm, 175mm, and 180mm sizes, although my set measures 177mm so I’m not sure why that size is not listed. That would put my guess at 1996 for this crank arm set pictured here. The idea behind putting one of the chainwheel bolts behind the crank arm was to reduce flex and stiffen things up a bit. Campy, Sugino and a few other companies were doing the same on their upper end cranks in the 90’s, all in an effort to reduce wasted energy. Try as they may, the square taper spindle was still a very flexy proposition which lost the battle to designs such as ISIS and Octalink.
Cook Bros Racing Skewers. These quick release skewers were designed after the ever so popular CBR Dogbone cranks. The rear shaft was made out of titanium and the front shaft is steel. Both ends are 6061-T6 aluminum and shaped for comfort, with rubber o-rings on the nut end for extra grip. Fulcrum material is Delrin for smooth operation. Colors available were Black, Red, Silver, Polished, Cobalt Blue, Gray, Turquoise and Purple. This set pictured has seen a tough life but were still in good working condition when last used. First production was 1995 and were made for a couple years. These are mountain bike length of 100mm front & 135mm rear. Cooks also made road bike length in 130mm rear with the same standard 100mm front.