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Bronc Belts for Cowboys & Bikers

Posted on 14 September 2011

Last week when I told someone I based the Pecos Pete Jacket off of an old bronc belt they looked at me quizzically.

ah, you know, a bronc belt? ... a bucking belt? ...a kidney belt?

So it got me to wondering about their true name and their origin and I ended up doing a little digging around on Google. Here is what I found out about bronc belts:

  • they came into vogue after cartridge belts became antediluvian,
  • they were used by early cowboys to support the lower back,
  • they were used by rodeo, rough stock riders from the early 19th century through the 1930's,
  • they were adopted by the early motorcyclist in the 1920's,
  • they were easily personalized by both cowboys and bikers with names, brands, various jewels and nail heads,
  • and they are still used and worn today by both modern cowboys and bikers.

    So whether you call them "bronc belts," "bucking belts," or "kidney belts," these vintage belts are truly amazing.  Take a look at some of my favorites: 


    Chaps & Bronc Belt with the JD brand of the Valley Ranch, Cody WY 

    Bronc Belt from the Visalia Saddle Co Catalog


    101 Ranch, Studded Bronc Belt
    Bronc Kidney Belt with Studded Heart & Star Inlay
    Incredible Bronc Belt from Round Top Antique Week
    Beautiful Studded Kidney Belt from Ebay
    Women's Native American Beaded Bronc Belt ca. 1920's
    Beaded Bronc Belt with Floral & Four Winds Motifs
    Wide Bronc Belt: "Smokey Jim"
    Studded Bronc Belt
    Bronc Belt with Studded Horseshoe Motif
    Jewel Studded Bronc Belt with Contrast Lacing from the Double D Ranch Archives




    Kidney belts on early motorcyclist - Photograph courtesy of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company Archives. Copyright H-D


    Vintage Harley Davidson Kidney Belt with HD Wings


    Biker Kidney Belt with Pockets and USA Eagle Motif


    Wide Kidney Belt with Concho & Zipper Pockets


    "Grief" - Wonder if this biker's mom gave him this name?



    Page from Rin Tanaka's Motorcycle Jackets: Ultimate Biker's Fashions



    Rin Tanaka's Motorcycle Jackets: Ultimate Biker's Fashions


    Rin Tanaka's Motorcycle Jackets: Ultimate Biker's Fashions

    Rin Tanaka's Motorcycle Jackets: Ultimate Biker's Fashions


    Studded Kidney Belt from the Double D Ranch Archives


    In case you missed it, here is the finished version of Double D Ranch's Pecos Pete Biker Jacket:

    Double D Ranch's Pecos Pete Jacket

    More Posts


    • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

      They are great, aren’t they?

    • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

      Thanks Helen, I love them too!

    • Helen Copus: May 16, 2016

      Love all of these belts – You girls are amazing..keep up the great work!

    • Cathryn~The Farmer's Trophy Wife: May 16, 2016

      Those are amazing. I had actually never heard of them before…thanks for the history lesson!! :)

    • John: May 16, 2016

      Howdy, I just found one of these cool belts in an antique store in Santa Fe. Made in Yakima WN, it has the pendelton roundup slogan “let er buck” in 1/2 in studs acrost the back. The belt is in great shape, I was wondering if you had seen this design before? And any idea on value?? Thanks, John in Kansas

    • Debi: May 16, 2016

      Hey sweetie!
      Long time no talk to! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!! xo…deb

    • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

      I wish I had a good belt manufacturer to work with, then I definitely would. They are great, aren’t they?

    • Renee' Beaty: May 16, 2016

      These are so cool! So is DD going to make replicas of them to sell? I hope so!!!

    • Bill Mackin: May 16, 2016

      Compliments on your bronc belt feature. Googled because I got a neat new/old one this weekend. Had belonged to a Steamboat cowboy named “Buck” (honest) See others in my book Cowboy and Gunfighter Collectibles and the Museum of Northwest Colorado. One is decorated with a large swastika common on cowboy gear prior to the Third Reich, but often mutilated later. Thanx, Bill

    • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

      Jeff, your emails are getting kicked back. Can you send your contact information to our web contact page?

    • jeff bullock: May 16, 2016

      I have several of these belts in various needs of repair. Mostly new buckles, I also have a great belt guy, that could copy the ones I have. If ya’ll are interested shoot me an e-mail and we will see what can be done, thanks jw

    • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

      John, I think a good bronc belt depending on age could start anywhere around $250 and go up. Yours sounds like a jewel. I would love to see a picture of it – congratulations!

    • Keesha: May 16, 2016

      It’s great to find soemone so on the ball

    • Cayuse Biker Jacket and Boot!: May 16, 2016

      […] a post on bronc belts and how they have been used both in the cowboy world and the biker world. Check that out here. . . . . Collectors, Design History: 101, Faith, Family, Fashion, From the Archives, […]

    • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

      Oh, Awesome, Bill! I would love to see your belt. I think bronc belts are incredible. Their history and embellishment is so indicative of our culture and where we were during that time. Keep Collecting and thanks for the comment!

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