June 27, 2018 3 Comments

Cooper Ray's livelihood depends on his No. 22.

The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based and Manhattan-regular is a bike messenger and owns a No. 22 Little Wing and No. 22 Broken Arrow, and says he's looking at getting a Drifter later this year. You may know him as one of the adventurous stars of Terry Barentsen's HotLine series on YouTube, which showcases riders' aggressive lines in New York City. (Ray's segment has more than one million combined views between the final version and rough cuts.)

 

When asked how close his riding style mimics that of the HotLine videos, Ray says that it's "totally normal" and actually slightly "reserved." "For someone who doesn't ride that way, it may look dangerous but it's very comfortable to me," he says. Ray compares riding in Manhattan on a daily basis to a video game. "You have to be on-point all the time," he says. "You're not sure what you're going to see. There are cars, buses, trucks, people. I use my experience riding in New York City to avoid those [possible collisions] situations."

The 26-year-old is a pioneer of the fixed gear cycling scene and has been involved in the alleycat community since he was 14, back when social media was non-existent. He says he never particularly wanted to be a bike messenger but while working at a bike shop when he was younger, he was offered the job and fell in love with the "freedom of being outdoors and floating around the city."

Cooper Ray

Photo: Terry Barentsen (@terrybarentsen).

Ray rides so much as a bike messenger that he says he's convinced that his No. 22 Little Wing has at least twice as many work-hours and miles than any other Little Wing out there. And yes, even in the worst of weather conditions, he rides all winter in Manhattan. "I've ridden through a few blizzards; it's not an ideal work day but it's part of the occupation," Ray says. "It hardens you for other types of riding, being able to reflect on the messenger hardships."

Cooper Ray

Photo: Terry Barentsen (@terrybarentsen).

While his No. 22 Little Wing is his daily bike, which he calls an "extension of himself," Ray uses his No. 22 Broken Arrow as his "freedom and adventure machine." It's his tool to take him farther, and he says his Broken Arrow has allowed him to explore off-road terrain unlike any other cyclocross bike he's ever owned. "Owning a titanium bike is important for me because I treat them quite rough," he says. "I'm confident on it and I can push my limits," admitting that it's tough to get out of New York City to get to desirable terrain. Ray says his top off-road route is about 111 miles but it takes 40 "garbage miles" each way to reach his destination. "Both bikes have their own unique purposes," he says.

What are Ray's daily essentials as a bike courier? He carries a camera, basic tools and a lock, with a key he wraps around his wrist for efficiency. Instead of clips, Ray uses double leather straps on his pedals.

Cooper Ray

Photo: Terry Barentsen (@terrybarentsen).

Ray is about a seasoned a racer as they come, having been on the race scene for more than 10 years. He says he doesn't necessarily race to be competitive - which he did for many years - but rather to have fun and see something new, especially adventure and gravel racing. "The Broken Arrow has changed my head around in terms of what I like riding and racing," he says.

Cooper Ray

Photo: Cooper Ray (@coffeeandbikes)

More than anything, Ray emphasizes the importance of the global network of cyclists. "There's some many different walks of life that cyclists come from," he says. "If you ride, you're able to find mutual ground and break down barriers with other cyclists."

Cooper Ray

Photo: Cooper Ray (@coffeeandbikes)

Beyond cycling, Ray says he's an avid gardener, big into jazz music, photography and learning about the history and development of New York City and its architecture.


3 Responses

Bruno Costa Barreto
Bruno Costa Barreto

June 25, 2019

…and Coffee.

Bruno Costa Barreto
Bruno Costa Barreto

June 25, 2019

I meant “ultimate” Level Skills. And I say more! only with a Little Wing!

Bruno Costa Barreto
Bruno Costa Barreto

April 04, 2019

Great! Next Level skills. @coffeeandbikes

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2019 Geometry Charts

Great Divide Rim Brake

Size 48cm 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm
Effective top tube length (mm) 495 510 525 545 560 580 600
Seat tube, center-center (mm) 445 462 490 518 540 565 590
Head tube length (mm) 90 100 120 140 160 180 200
Seat tube angle (deg) 75 74.5 74 73.5 73 73 72.5
Head tube angle (deg) 70.5 71.0 71.2 72.2 72.5 73 73
Front center (mm) 567 574 584 586 594 609 623
Chain stay length (mm) 412 412 412 415 415 415 418
BB drop (mm) 78 78 75 75 75 73 73
Reach (mm) 357 364 370 379 383 397 406
Stack (mm) 506 517 534 558 578 597 617
Standover (700x28mm tires) 730 743 767 793 813 836 858

 

Great Divide Disc

Size 48cm 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm
Effective top tube length (mm) 495 510 525 545 560 580 600
Seat tube, center-center (mm) 445 462 490 518 540 565 590
Head tube length (mm) 85 95 115 135 155 175 195
Seat tube angle (deg) 75 74.5 74 73.5 73 73 72.5
Head tube angle (deg) 70.5 71.0 71.2 72.2 72.5 73 73
Front center (mm) 567 574 584 586 594 609 623
Chain stay length (mm) 418 418 418 418 420 420 422
BB drop (mm) 78 78 75 75 75 73 73
Reach (mm) 356 364 369 378 382 397 405
Stack (mm) 508 520 536 560 580 599 619
Standover (700x28mm tires) 731 744 768 794 814 837 858

 

Drifter

Size 48cm 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm
Effective top tube length (mm) 502 510 526 545 560 575 595
Seat tube, center-center (mm) 460 478 503 520 535 552 577
Head tube length (mm) 105 115 130 150 165 185 205
Seat tube angle (deg) 74.5 74 74 73.5 73 73 72.5
Head tube angle (deg) 70.5 70.5 70.8 71 71.2 71.2 71.5
Front center (mm) 572 576 589 603 612 627 640
Chain stay length (mm) 430 430 430 430 432 435 435
BB drop (mm) 73 73 73 72 70 70 70
Reach (mm) 353 353 365 374 379 389 398
Stack (mm) 529 538 553 572 585 604 624
Standover (700x38mm tires) 762 775 795 813 828 845 861

 

Drifter X

Size 48cm 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm
Effective top tube length (mm) 502 511 525 545 560 575 595
Seat tube, center-center (mm) 460 478 502 520 535 552 576
Head tube length (mm) 110 120 135 155 170 190 210
Seat tube angle (deg) 74.5 74 74 73.5 73 73 72.5
Head tube angle (deg) 70.5 70.5 70.8 71 71.2 71.2 71.5
Front center (mm) 571 576 589 603 612 627 640
Chain stay length (mm) 427 427 427 427 430 432 432
BB drop (mm) 73 73 73 72 70 70 70
Reach (mm) 355 356 363 376 382 392 400
Stack (mm) 521 530 546 564 577 596 616
Standover (700x38mm tires) 758 772 790 809 824 842 863

 

Reactor

Size 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm
Effective top tube length (mm) 515 530 545 565 580 595
Seat tube, center-center (mm) 456 475 496 514 545 568
Head tube length (mm) 100 120 140 160 190 210
Seat tube angle (deg) 74.5 74 74 73.2 73 73
Head tube angle (deg) 72 72 72.8 73.2 73.2 73.2
Front center (mm) 571 582 586 595 608 623
Chain stay length (mm) 410 410 412 412 415 415
BB drop (mm) 72 72 72 70 68 68
Reach (mm) 374 379 388 395 400 409
Stack (mm) 503 522 545 564 590 609
Standover (700x25mm tires) 739 757 779 800 829 850

 

Aurora

Size 48cm 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm
Effective top tube length (mm) 495 510 525 545 560 580 600
Seat tube, center-center (mm) 445 462 490 518 540 562 588
Head tube length (mm) 100 110 130 150 170 190 210
Seat tube angle (deg) 75 74.5 74 73.5 73 73 72.5
Head tube angle (deg) 70.5 71 71.2 72.2 72.5 73 73
Front center (mm) 567 574 584 586 594 609 624
Chain stay length (mm) 415 415 415 418 418 418 420
BB drop (mm) 78 78 75 75 75 73 73
Reach (mm) 355 363 369 378 382 396 405
Stack (mm) 510 521 538 562 582 601 620
Standover (700x28mm tires) 731 745 770 795 814 838 859

 

Broken Arrow

Size 48cm 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm
Effective top tube length (mm) 505 510 525 545 560 575 590
Seat tube, center-center (mm) 467 490 510 532 548 567 590
Head tube length (mm) 90 100 120 140 150 160 180
Seat tube angle (deg) 74 74 73.5 73.3 73 72.5 72.5
Head tube angle (deg) 70.8 70.8 71 71 71.3 71.5 72
Front center (mm) 565 571 580 599 609 622 627
Chain stay length (mm) 425 425 425 425 425 425 425
BB drop (mm) 68 68 68 68 66 66 64
Reach (mm) 352 355 359 372 382 393 397
Stack (mm) 524 533 553 572 580 591 610
Standover (700x32mm tires) 763 778 797 817 831 845 866

 

Little Wing

Size 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 60cm
Effective top tube length (mm) 515 525 540 555 575 590
Seat tube, center-center (mm) 477 499 524 552 575 596
Head tube length (mm) 100 120 140 160 180 200
Seat tube angle (deg) 75.5 75 74.5 74.5 74 74
Head tube angle (deg) 72.5 73 73 73.5 74 74
Front center (mm) 566 569 579 590 601 613
Chain stay length (mm) 393 393 393 396 396 396
BB drop (mm) 58 58 58 58 58 58
Reach (mm) 382 383 387 397 407 416
Stack (mm) 506 527 546 567 588 608
Standover (700x23mm tires) 765 785 806 830 851 871

 

Old King

Size Small Medium Large Extra Large
Effective top tube length (mm) 580 605 622 642
Seat tube, center-center (mm) 380 410 445 481
Head tube length (mm) 100 110 120 140
Seat tube angle (deg) 73.5 73.5 73.5 73.3
Head tube angle (deg) 70 70 70 70
Front center (mm) 655 680 698 719
Chain stay length (mm) 435 435 435 435
BB drop (mm) 58 58 58 58
Reach (mm) 401 423 437 451
Stack (mm) 599 609 619 637
Standover (29x2.3" tires) 799 816 838 863