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  1. #1
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    As promised: 1999 Wilderness Trail Bikes 29er

    As the serial number says it was made in August of '99 and was the first. This was the bike used at Interbike that September and the bike built up to try out these new tires that Wes and Gary convinced WTB to make. The fork is a modified Marzocchi. Steve Potts added 30mm of length to the lowers. I think the WTB rims are a one-off run as well. All the parts are now back to original (I had raced it a couple times and changed some things around). Anyway, thought you guys would like to see this:

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  2. #2
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    Thanks for sharing that.

    So the rear end has 140mm spacing rather than 135 is that correct?

  3. #3
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    So would this be the first 29er with a suspension fork, or did Willits have one out already?
    "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" -- Mark Twain.

  4. #4
    Witty McWitterson
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    Oh my. I think my heart just skipped a few beats.

    I SO wish I could afford to have Steve build me up one of those. The fact that you have the one and only is kinda cool too. How did you manage to score it? Right place right time kinda thing?
    Just a regular guy.

  5. #5
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    Cantis, huh.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG
    Thanks for sharing that.

    So the rear end has 140mm spacing rather than 135 is that correct?
    That's correct. WTB was pushing wider DO spacing big time back then.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~martini~
    Oh my. I think my heart just skipped a few beats.

    I SO wish I could afford to have Steve build me up one of those. The fact that you have the one and only is kinda cool too. How did you manage to score it? Right place right time kinda thing?

    Martini: I remember you were the main one I remember requesting photos of this rig, so this is for you.

    If anyone happens to have a shot of this thing at Interbike that year I'd love to see it. I scanned MTBR's archive and even found shots taken in WTB's booth that year, but no 29er shots. 2 more years and a couple months and 29ers will be a decade old. It still seems so young. Anyway, Im rambling now...

    Yeah, I was talking to Steve about a steel fillet-brazed 29er and he mentioned he had a bunch of old stuff at his place that I should see so I drove up there to hang out and check out his shop and place and ended up buying some vintage stuff from him including this! It was a fun day. It's been said before, but Steve is the nicest guy and only does the very best work. He might be a little pricier, but you get what you pay for.

    MMcG:Yes, 140 spacing to eliminate dish. Steve had been doing that on the Phoenixes as well a few years prior...

    Quasi: I dont think it was the first with a susp. fork. I think Gary had been riding around on a steel prototype (also made by Steve P) with a modified Manitou...


    Dick: what?

  8. #8
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    Yeah, I'm trying to wrangle up any photos on this topic too. I'll let you know what I find. I think most of the photos I have from the 1999 Interbike are of Wes in boots doing lasso tricks whilst proclaiming the benefits of big wheels to a pretty unreceptive bunch of onlookers. That's almost hard to fathom now.

    -steven

  9. #9
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    That is awesome. I'd love to have a Steve Potts 29er. One of my biggest bike related regrets is selling my Phoenix a few years back.

  10. #10
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    Beautiful. I wish the 140mm rear had stuck too.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by slim_pickens
    Beautiful. I wish the 140mm rear had stuck too.
    Ugly stem cranks and seatpost. Other than that it is awesome. What is the deal with that headset? I have never seen that model before.

  12. #12
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    I remember a steel 29incher Phoenix. Is this one older than that steel one.

    This thing is really a beauty. It is hard to believe it is 8 years old.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williwoods
    Ugly stem cranks and seatpost.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed
    All the parts are now back to original
    Go tell SP he has sh!t taste in builds.
    -eric-

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  14. #14
    Nat
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    Cooooooooooooool!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy
    Go tell SP he has sh!t taste in builds.

    SP that build is hideous!!!!! .........................................












    Except for the frame, fork,wheels, qr's,headset, saddle, bars, derailleurs, tires, brake levers, shifters, brakes, cassette and chain.

    I would still ride it though. those things are easy to fix.

    Will

  16. #16
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    I think that's really cool to own a piece of 29er history thanks for posting the pics and story behind it.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pottser
    I remember a steel 29incher Phoenix. Is this one older than that steel one.

    This thing is really a beauty. It is hard to believe it is 8 years old.
    Thanks Pottser.

    yeah, Chuck at Pacific Coast Cycles has a steel 29er Phoenix that his wife rides. Not sure if thats the only one or not... This one should be earlier I would guess...

  18. #18
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    Wes also had a Manitou-equipped bike at the show as well as his full-suspension Mountie.

    Steve's bike are so awesome. They were my favorite thing at NAHBS.

    -steven

    Quote Originally Posted by Quasi
    So would this be the first 29er with a suspension fork, or did Willits have one out already?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williwoods
    Ugly stem cranks and seatpost. Other than that it is awesome. What is the deal with that headset? I have never seen that model before.

    Seatpost is Campy. Stem and bars are Koski (which WTB owned I think for a bit). The stem actually looks pretty cool on the front, non-cast half. Cranks are nice, but yeah, I probably would have picked something other than those. As far as I know, this is the build it had at the show and I think thats how it should stay just for history's sake.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    I think that's really cool to own a piece of 29er history thanks for posting the pics and story behind it.
    Thanks. Glad it can be appreciated as it should be.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed
    Seatpost is Campy. Stem and bars are Koski (which WTB owned I think for a bit). The stem actually looks pretty cool on the front, non-cast half. Cranks are nice, but yeah, I probably would have picked something other than those. As far as I know, this is the build it had at the show and I think thats how it should stay just for history's sake.

    ok fine........You win its all original. Im just giving you a hard time. I am still jealous.

    Will

  22. #22
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    Thanks!

    If they were pushing 140mm for 26"ers, then don't stop there next time, go AT LEAST 150mm for the 29"er! A stronger wheel with the same number and length/pattern of spokes.

    I have one of those rims (Speedmaster I think, the other got stolen). Black base, and silver rim track.

  23. #23
    That's gonna leave a mark
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    Incredible bike! Man, I have to take a cold shower everytime you post one of your bikes. Thanks for sharing the history and photos.
    Fat fanatic.

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williwoods
    SP that build is hideous!!!!! .........................................

    Haha!

    Some of his new bikes at the NAHMBS had lack luster builds too...though I think those were spec'ed by customers.
    -eric-

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed
    Thanks Pottser.

    yeah, Chuck at Pacific Coast Cycles has a steel 29er Phoenix that his wife rides. Not sure if thats the only one or not... This one should be earlier I would guess...

    This one:

    -eric-

    http://www.rumpfy.com
    Wanted: NDS Suntour XC Pro Microdrive 175mm Crank Arm.

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