Results 1 to 77 of 77
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    229

    The genesis of the mountain bike, according to Tom Ritchey

    Quote from Tom Ritchey in the article:
    “In 1977 I made my first [mountain bike], Joe [Breeze] came along in '78, and in '78 I made three more mountain bikes. One for me, one for Gary [Fisher], one for Gary's friend, and then Gary called me up early in '79 and said "if you want to make some more of these I'll sell them, and that was the beginning of him and Charlie [Kelly] and the loose relationship we had. And then right on the heels of that, I said, 'look Gary, these heavy-wheeled ballooner bikes, with 19 lb wheels, they're off the back. I'm going to make a bunch of 650b bikes’, and that's what I did, I made 10 of them. So John Finley Scott bought a bunch of my 650b bikes. That was 1979-ish.

    The genesis of the mountain bike, according to Tom Ritchey

    I can understand Tom Ritchey's point of view in this article.

    History always simplifies what actually happened and Tom is keen to point out that his own connection with making bicycles intended for off-road use precedes the mainstream 'Repack' focused narrative.

    Also, there is good evidence to back up his version of events. Even if the dates he quotes are more a matter of best guess from memory, than proven and justified by hard evidence.

    Quote from Tom Ritchey in the article:

    “You have to realize that no one knows this story. Joe [Breeze] doesn’t even know this story about me and Finley and his 650b bike.”

    Well I have known about these early 650b bikes for years and John Finlay-Scott wrote about his first one in some detail. In this publication, Finlay-Scott explains about the first lightweight off-road bike he had built to use French 650x40b balloon tires. Tom Ritchey says that Finlay-Scott showed him the photo of the 1961 bike shown in the article when he asked him to build him a version in the late 1970's.http://www.woodfill.com/Personal/Bla...RoughStuff.pdf

    Name:  1961 650b Woodsie bike made by Jim Guard.jpg
Views: 466
Size:  24.9 KB
    Last edited by GrahamWallace; 2 Hours Ago at 03:41 PM. Reason: Incorect URL

  2. #2
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    I like too that aspect of mountain biking better: riding trails on a light, flickable bike. Bombing down on heavy cruisers is not my cup of tea.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  3. #3
    Phobia of petting zoos.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    866
    While John Finlay Scott was doing his thing, somewhere in the UK Geoff Apps was doing the same thing - cruising the woods on 650b wheels.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoff_Apps

    Geoff rarely gets a mention when talking about the genesis of MTB.

    I think it's pretty cool that around the world, people were playing about with bikes and adapting them to be more suitable for their own purposes, whether it be exploration, sport or both.

    I don't want to take anything away from anyone who had a role in pioneering or shaping what we have today, but the question "who invented the mountain bike" really needs to be met with "depends how you define mountain bike". The cool thing is that people were doing their own thing and now, we have a sport/hobby to enjoy.

    Without MTB, I'd probably be dead. So thanks to all those who did what they did.

    Grumps

  4. #4
    the new Gilbert Grape
    Reputation: laffeaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,901
    Thanks for posting this. It's a good read.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DoubleCentury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,955
    Tom's first [mountain bike] is sitting in my basement.

  6. #6
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleCentury View Post
    Tom's first [mountain bike] is sitting in my basement.
    as they say on the internet: pics or it never happened.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DoubleCentury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,955
    Oh it happened, but now is not the time. But at least we know such a bike existed.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DoubleCentury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,955
    It's interesting that the old Roughstuff article by JFS talks about climbing the grade to Argentine Pass in the Rockies. I've ridden that and the part up to the mine can be done on a cross bike or early 650B without issue. Beyond that it is a push.

    It's also worth noting that bikes like the Jack Taylor "Roughstuff" bicycle was essentially a 650B adventure bike. There is at least one notable example of someone else riding a 650B in the Bay Area and Marin, and it was the Roughstuff owned by Holland Jones. Ross Shafer also made a 650B bike called the Jai Moto.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DoubleCentury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,955
    I see that Holland Jones bike was located with someone named Andrew and is now in good hands.

  10. #10
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleCentury View Post
    It's interesting that the old Roughstuff article by JFS talks about climbing the grade to Argentine Pass in the Rockies. I've ridden that and the part up to the mine can be done on a cross bike or early 650B without issue. Beyond that it is a push.

    It's also worth noting that bikes like the Jack Taylor "Roughstuff" bicycle was essentially a 650B adventure bike. There is at least one notable example of someone else riding a 650B in the Bay Area and Marin, and it was the Roughstuff owned by Holland Jones. Ross Shafer also made a 650B bike called the Jai Moto.
    NO disrespect to the repack crowd but a huge percentage of mountain bikers wanted a nimble, fast, long distance riding expedition bike that could be ridden w/ a lot of body english down steep chutes and drops; a long wheelbase heavy cruiser is not that bike.
    Itīs unfortunate that the dirt drop bar did not take off. Instead we got wild paint jobs. It seems the gravel bike is slowly moving towards the direction those early 650B bay area bikes pointed... Just look at the Open Up (and their followers, Ibis Hakka and NOrco): fat 650b bikes w/ geometry close to 71/73 angles and tight rear triangle. Itīs very close to a Cunningham or early Salsa.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  11. #11
    sftrydr
    Reputation: ssulljm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,079
    Quote Originally Posted by colker1"NO disrespect to the repack crowd but a huge percentage of mountain bikers wanted a nimble, fast, long distance riding expedition bike that could be ridden w/ a lot of body english down steep chutes and drops; a long wheelbase heavy cruiser is not that bike."



    Still do(other than the deep chutes+drops), add serviceable w multi-tool or patch kit while on trail to my list of demands for today's rider.

  12. #12
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    Quote Originally Posted by ssulljm View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by colker1"NO disrespect to the repack crowd but a huge percentage of mountain bikers wanted a nimble, fast, long distance riding expedition bike that could be ridden w/ a lot of body english down steep chutes and drops; a long wheelbase heavy cruiser is not that bike."



    Still do(other than the deep chutes+drops), add serviceable w multi-tool or patch kit while on trail to my list of demands for today's rider.
    oh yeah... being self sufficient when things break, you fix and go is a nice contrast to everything else in our daily lives.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  13. #13
    Retro on Steroids
    Reputation: Repack Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,897
    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    I like too that aspect of mountain biking better: riding trails on a light, flickable bike. Bombing down on heavy cruisers is not my cup of tea.
    And now, of course, you have dozens of "niche" bikes to choose from. How nice for you.

    Not the case in 1977, when I talked Joe Breeze into building a high quality frame around balloon tires, which was the "breakthrough" that is being ignored here. There was ONE bike to choose from, and there were only ten made.

    Once that was accomplished, the design could be refined, and it has been. If the story of the rise of mountain biking could be captured in a a paragraph, I wouldn't have needed 264 pages to explain it.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    229
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Grumpy View Post
    While John Finlay Scott was doing his thing, somewhere in the UK Geoff Apps was doing the same thing - cruising the woods on 650b wheels.
    Geoff Apps wasn't the only person modifying bicycles and riding them off-road in Britain. In fact it was something of a craze for teenage boys all over Britain where each town or village had their own name for these bikes. They were effectively the British equivalent of US 'Clunkers'. This teenage craze started on the cleared bombsites after WWll and enthusiasts often moved onto BMX and 'Mountain bikes'. The general term now used for these bikes is 'Tracker' or 'Dirt Track' bikes.

    However, Geoff Apps was the only person who developed these 'Tracker' bikes into high quality, lightweight and reliable machines in the same way that Joe Breeze developed 'Clunkers' into 'Mountain Bikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Grumpy View Post
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoff_Apps

    Geoff rarely gets a mention when talking about the genesis of MTB.
    Back in the early 1980's, of the early US 'Mountain Bike' pioneers only Gary Fisher, Charlie Kelly and Joe Breeze seem to have known about Geoff Apps, his bikes and the 650b and 700c tires he used. Many Marin pioneers knew of the Hakkapeliita tires, but not who was exporting them to Fisher and Kelly.


    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Grumpy View Post
    ... the question "who invented the mountain bike" really needs to be met with "depends how you define mountain bike".
    The 'Mountain Bike' was not invented it evolved. Technologies developed around the world made it possible. Around the world off-road bikes evolved separately, but it wasn't until the the development US 'Mountain Bike' that the concept found universal, commercial acceptance.

  15. #15
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    And now, of course, you have dozens of "niche" bikes to choose from. How nice for you.

    Not the case in 1977, when I talked Joe Breeze into building a high quality frame around balloon tires, which was the "breakthrough" that is being ignored here. There was ONE bike to choose from, and there were only ten made.

    Once that was accomplished, the design could be refined, and it has been. If the story of the rise of mountain biking could be captured in a a paragraph, I wouldn't have needed 264 pages to explain it.
    It seems Tom Ritchey also wants to tell the story. It also seems there were 2 schools of thought: one was focused on downhilling while another was on lightweight agile bikes similar to the 650B adventure concept that the euros developed. I see both happened at the same time according to TR.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  16. #16
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    And now, of course, you have dozens of "niche" bikes to choose from. How nice for you.

    Not the case in 1977, when I talked Joe Breeze into building a high quality frame around balloon tires, which was the "breakthrough" that is being ignored here. There was ONE bike to choose from, and there were only ten made.

    Once that was accomplished, the design could be refined, and it has been. If the story of the rise of mountain biking could be captured in a a paragraph, I wouldn't have needed 264 pages to explain it.
    Well there were lots of niche bikes to chose from before you decided to bomb down repack: road racing, touring, 650B low trail porteur, cruisers, BMX, country bikes...
    There also were people , me included, riding off road converting cruisers to multispeed w/ the fattest tires we could find. You marketed a cool name and invented a race down that mountain. Congrats but everything else was already in motion and we are going back to that motion the french and english were playing with: randonneuring, audax, country riding, 650B.
    You still have the honnor of creating a name that made possible a new line of components which spread a new wave of cycling everywhere. Thatīs huge. But accept there is a lot of other sides to cycling off road.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  17. #17
    Phobia of petting zoos.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    866
    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWallace View Post
    Geoff Apps wasn't the only person modifying bicycles and riding them off-road in Britain. In fact it was something of a craze for teenage boys all over Britain where each town or village had their own name for these bikes.
    That's cool, I didn't know about kids setting up bikes like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWallace View Post
    However, Geoff Apps was the only person who developed these 'Tracker' bikes into high quality, lightweight and reliable machines in the same way that Joe Breeze developed 'Clunkers' into 'Mountain Bikes.
    Yep. And it's great to see him acknowledged for his part in it. His Cleland bikes are not what one would consider a "mountain bike" in the traditional sense, but for the sort of riding being done in the woods in England, they were perfect.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWallace View Post
    The 'Mountain Bike' was not invented it evolved. Technologies developed around the world made it possible. Around the world off-road bikes evolved separately, but it wasn't until the the development US 'Mountain Bike' that the concept found universal, commercial acceptance.
    That's the point I was trying to make I guess. Was the first MTB a mass produced Specialized? Or was it the Ritchey frames before that? Was it the first guy to put a derailleur on a Schwinn? Was it some kids riding Stingrays around the local forest tracks? Was it the guys in England building woods bikes? Was it the guy who did mail deliveries on a single speed in 1902 who thought "a wider tyre will help me in the mud"? Nobody really invented it as such, things evolved and finally, a bunch of guys took it by the horns and the wheels were in motion for what we know it as today.

    Grumps

  18. #18
    Co Springs
    Reputation: bachman1961's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,339
    Is there some truth to the area of Crested Butte, CO being an early experiment in bike transitioning around the same time Marin, CA was kicking up the trail dust?
    It makes sense any mountainous area would be a prime place for kids to go re-purposing bikes and I've read something to the effect that this was going on around the same time in these two MTB prominent communities.
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  19. #19
    Retro on Steroids
    Reputation: Repack Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,897
    Quote Originally Posted by bachman1961 View Post
    Is there some truth to the area of Crested Butte, CO being an early experiment in bike transitioning around the same time Marin, CA was kicking up the trail dust?
    Short answer, no. All you have to do is look at the bikes the locals were riding in the famous 1978 Pearl Pass photo. Their town bikes had come from a single raid on the Denver dump, and they were primarily used to travel the half mile between the farthest apart locations of the tiny town.

    We went there thinking they were just like us, but they were not. They were town bikers who rode junk.

    Tom Ritchey, Jobst Brandt and a lot of others were riding 650B bikes with drops on trails at the same time we in Marin were taking our balloon tire town bikes out on dirt roads. Those 650B bikes had been around for quite a while. If they were going to revolutionize the bicycle industry, it wasn't moving very quickly.

    The Marin County riders were not the first to put derailleurs on a balloon tire bike. The Morrow Dirt Club and probably others beat us to it. But apparently we were the first to put one of these bikes next to an Italian racing bicycle and ask the obvious question, "What if the balloon tire bike was built as nicely as the Italian bike?"

    For that to happen, two things were required, money, and a person with the will and ability to make it happen. As it turned out, the money was mine and Joe Breeze was the guy. Joe Breeze is now an internationally renowned bicycle designer, but the first bike he designed was the one I begged him for a year to do.

    Tom's market exploded when he started building 26" bikes. It did not when he was building 650B bikes for a niche market consisting of his personal friends.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    229
    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    "Tom Ritchey, Jobst Brandt and a lot of others were riding 650B bikes with drops on trails at the same time we in Marin were taking our balloon tire town bikes out on dirt roads. Those 650B bikes had been around for quite a while. If they were going to revolutionize the bicycle industry, it wasn't moving very quickly."
    I don't know what type of 650B bikes were being ridden in Marin in the 1970's however there was a long tradition for high quality balloon tired bikes in France dating back to before WWll. These were not initially intended for off-road use but as a response to the French liking of long distance competitive 'randonneur' riding over the very poor quality roads of that time.

    The balloon tires they utilized were about 40mm wide and there are accounts of them being ridden off-road. By the 1950s they had developed into high quality machines with wide ratio derailleur gears and cantilever brakes.

    The genesis of the mountain bike, according to Tom Ritchey-1946-7-alex-singer.jpg
    The genesis of the mountain bike, according to Tom Ritchey-1950-maury-650b-classic-french-randonneur-bicycle-vintage.jpg

    Apart from the wider knobbly tires, smaller heavier rims and bull moose handlebars, by the 1970's they were fitted with the same lightweight components that as were fitted to the first 'Mountain Bikes'.
    Many these components might not have been developed if these 'randonneur' bikes had not been so popular.

    The genesis of the mountain bike, according to Tom Ritchey-early-deraileur.jpg

    It could be argued that these balloon tired randonneur bicycles revolutionized the bicycle industry in France. They were certainly influential elsewhere and were the inspiration for the 'English Roughstuff bikes that in tern inspired Finlay Scott.

  21. #21
    Co Springs
    Reputation: bachman1961's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,339
    I'd like to think this encompasses some of the fun and accurate history as told by some who were there. It's a fun experience to read of.
    Klunker bikes sound like an accurate name when compared to the bikes having been ridden in CA and developing.

    Fat Tire Bike Week - CB Klunkers
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  22. #22
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    Short answer, no. All you have to do is look at the bikes the locals were riding in the famous 1978 Pearl Pass photo. Their town bikes had come from a single raid on the Denver dump, and they were primarily used to travel the half mile between the farthest apart locations of the tiny town.

    We went there thinking they were just like us, but they were not. They were town bikers who rode junk.

    Tom Ritchey, Jobst Brandt and a lot of others were riding 650B bikes with drops on trails at the same time we in Marin were taking our balloon tire town bikes out on dirt roads. Those 650B bikes had been around for quite a while. If they were going to revolutionize the bicycle industry, it wasn't moving very quickly.

    The Marin County riders were not the first to put derailleurs on a balloon tire bike. The Morrow Dirt Club and probably others beat us to it. But apparently we were the first to put one of these bikes next to an Italian racing bicycle and ask the obvious question, "What if the balloon tire bike was built as nicely as the Italian bike?"

    For that to happen, two things were required, money, and a person with the will and ability to make it happen. As it turned out, the money was mine and Joe Breeze was the guy. Joe Breeze is now an internationally renowned bicycle designer, but the first bike he designed was the one I begged him for a year to do.

    Tom's market exploded when he started building 26" bikes. It did not when he was building 650B bikes for a niche market consisting of his personal friends.
    Good post. Now itīs clear: you took the off road frankenbikes and made a concept out of it; a bicycle w/as much self respect as anything on the shop floor.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  23. #23
    Retro on Steroids
    Reputation: Repack Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,897
    Quote Originally Posted by bachman1961 View Post
    I'd like to think this encompasses some of the fun and accurate history as told by some who were there. It's a fun experience to read of.
    Klunker bikes sound like an accurate name when compared to the bikes having been ridden in CA and developing.

    Fat Tire Bike Week - CB Klunkers
    From the article:

    When the Californians breezed into town with their new inventions, hoping to test them on Pearl Pass, it was love at first sprocket. The CB crowd had never seen such elaborate bikes.

  24. #24
    Retro on Steroids
    Reputation: Repack Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,897
    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWallace View Post
    I don't know what type of 650B bikes were being ridden in Marin in the 1970's however there was a long tradition for high quality balloon tired bikes in France dating back to before WWll.

    ...

    It could be argued that these balloon tired randonneur bicycles revolutionized the bicycle industry in France. They were certainly influential elsewhere and were the inspiration for the 'English Roughstuff bikes that in tern inspired Finlay Scott.
    There were no 650B bikes being ridden in Marin County in the '70s.

    The "long tradition for high quality balloon tired bikes in France dating back to before WWll" did not inflame the world. We were not influenced by any of these people, because we had never heard of any of these people. Years later, after we HAD heard about them, we were accused of "stealing ideas" we had not even been aware of.

    We did our own research and came up with something similar, but not the same as all that had gone before. If mountain bikes had already existed, my friends and I would not have gone to such lengths to make them.

    Several factors separated Marin County from all that had gone before.

    Downhill racing. We invented the DH TT, and it drove the direction of the evolution of our bikes.

    Flat handlebars. (Seen by "experts" as unworthy of a serious cyclist.)

    High quality, hand-built balloon tire bikes.

  25. #25
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    There were no 650B bikes being ridden in Marin County in the '70s.

    The "long tradition for high quality balloon tired bikes in France dating back to before WWll" did not inflame the world. We were not influenced by any of these people, because we had never heard of any of these people. Years later, after we HAD heard about them, we were accused of "stealing ideas" we had not even been aware of.

    We did our own research and came up with something similar, but not the same as all that had gone before. If mountain bikes had already existed, my friends and I would not have gone to such lengths to make them.

    Several factors separated Marin County from all that had gone before.

    Downhill racing. We invented the DH TT, and it drove the direction of the evolution of our bikes.

    Flat handlebars. (Seen by "experts" as unworthy of a serious cyclist.)

    High quality, hand-built balloon tire bikes.
    Otoh by the time you guys came up w/ your bikes it was easier to influence the world. You cannot compare the ease of spreading lifestyle trends in the 80s w/ the 40s and 50s when randonneuring was happening in Europe.
    Being at the right time and right place always works.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  26. #26
    Retro on Steroids
    Reputation: Repack Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,897
    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    Otoh by the time you guys came up w/ your bikes it was easier to influence the world. You cannot compare the ease of spreading lifestyle trends in the 80s w/ the 40s and 50s when randonneuring was happening in Europe.
    Being at the right time and right place always works.
    Could not agree more. John Finley Scott had all the same ideas 20 years before we did, and the result was one bike that didn't change much. The world of bicycling will never again see an innovation that takes over so completely as mountain biking did.

    I went by my old high school the other day and saw a few hundred bikes parked there. Not a single person got to school on a bike when I went there, even though the French 650B riders and the Rough-Stuff Fellowship had been active for years at that time.

    Now the school has a mountain bike racing team and the kids get to school on bikes. That is a difference in the world that the mountain bike made.

  27. #27
    oh my TVC 15
    Reputation: Forster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    3,369
    I think there was a generational thing going on then too. The end of the Baby Boomer generation was hitting the market about that time and I think they embraced all forms of cycling (and didn't mind spending some money for good bikes). My Dad was a traditionalist and there is just no way he was spending several hundred dollars on a bike (and didn't exercise that much either). Now you can get a real nice bike for less than a year of cell phone. We were pretty resourceful back then, doubt anyone is stripping hubs and ders off roadbike to build multispeed cruisers anymore.
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  28. #28
    Co Springs
    Reputation: bachman1961's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,339
    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    From the article:

    When the Californians breezed into town with their new inventions, hoping to test them on Pearl Pass, it was love at first sprocket. The CB crowd had never seen such elaborate bikes.
    Yep, I liked the way that sounds !

    It must have been like the local yokels seeing a glimpse of the future in real-time.
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  29. #29
    DFA
    DFA is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DFA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    374
    Knew this one was going to turn into a Gong Show.

  30. #30
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    Could not agree more. John Finley Scott had all the same ideas 20 years before we did, and the result was one bike that didn't change much. The world of bicycling will never again see an innovation that takes over so completely as mountain biking did.

    I went by my old high school the other day and saw a few hundred bikes parked there. Not a single person got to school on a bike when I went there, even though the French 650B riders and the Rough-Stuff Fellowship had been active for years at that time.

    Now the school has a mountain bike racing team and the kids get to school on bikes. That is a difference in the world that the mountain bike made.
    The early mountain bike, built in Taiwan w/exage and painted in bright colors had the right playfull "letīs be kids again" attitude. Everybody everywhere needed to rethink urban transportation and thought we should be young forever. Bicycles were about to happen in a big scale anyway... the mountain bike was at the right time but itīs not the best tool for this job: an alternative to fossil fuel engine transportation. It is worse than a randonneur when going anywhere; heavy, slow when compared to a 650B drop bar bike. It was the wrong tool for a needed job but it got the job done.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    162
    My question is if taking an engine out of a Moto is evolution or in any way construed as the first Mt Bike? Motor bikes evolved from velocipede in the 1800's and landed on flat bars, disc brakes, front forks, rear mono shocks, and gears by the mid 20th century. These bikes set precedent for today's true Mt Bikes and were a 1/2 century ahead of a peddle Mt Bike. The fact that a state of art Mt Bikes look like a high end motocross bike without an engine and did so well after Moto's existed sort of softens any claim of first mountain bike especially since it is close to 100 years after the fact.

    Finding the first to do is interesting but nearly impossible in a hobby landscape because there is no motivation to document. In the scientific or commercial realm things are a little more traceable, but still not so easy. Take aviation (not the Wright Bro's) or smart phones (not Apple) for example, even here the truth is hard to narrow down (often with legal hammers ready to strike).

    And like others have said, timing is a huge part of the picture. A working steam/IC/electric engine was need to motorize, whether a bike, plane or car, any of the locomotion machine dreams. Evolution really comes into play and sometimes you are not at the right place at the right time. I think a valid claim here might be, who was the first to make Mt Bikes commercially available and that can be defined as sell x number of devices. Certainly that number must be greater than 1, maybe 10, maybe 100? I agree that Mt Bikes were not an evolution to biking in the 70'or 80's.


    Next question is first EBike....yup that too existed in the early 1900's.

  32. #32
    Retro on Steroids
    Reputation: Repack Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,897
    Quote Originally Posted by Tommybees View Post
    My question is if taking an engine out of a Moto is evolution or in any way construed as the first Mt Bike? Motor bikes evolved from velocipede in the 1800's and landed on flat bars, disc brakes, front forks, rear mono shocks, and gears by the mid 20th century. These bikes set precedent for today's true Mt Bikes and were a 1/2 century ahead of a peddle Mt Bike. The fact that a state of art Mt Bikes look like a high end motocross bike without an engine and did so well after Moto's existed sort of softens any claim of first mountain bike especially since it is close to 100 years after the fact.
    The motorcycle evolved from the bicycle. This is hardly controversial. Then, decades later some of the technology was transferred back, primarily braking and shock absorbing systems. Once again, so what?

    Finding the first to do is interesting but nearly impossible in a hobby landscape because there is no motivation to document.
    I documented my activities and those of my friends in the '70s and '80s. That's why I was able to write a comprehensive book on the subject.

    I think a valid claim here might be, who was the first to make Mt Bikes commercially available and that can be defined as sell x number of devices. Certainly that number must be greater than 1, maybe 10, maybe 100? I agree that Mt Bikes were not an evolution to biking in the 70'or 80's.
    I don't know what your goal is in defining things precisely. Evolution is a sloppy process. I can say this about the process. There were a number of people involved, but four who made mountain bikes happen. Those four were myself, Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey and Gary Fisher.

    If you want to know how it happened, buy my book. No one else who took part is going to write one. Speculation about these events decades later by people who only heard the legends about them, is like a guy opining about what it felt like to command the winning side in a famous battle because he collected a few spent bullets from the battlefield fifty years later.

  33. #33
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    The motorcycle evolved from the bicycle. This is hardly controversial. Then, decades later some of the technology was transferred back, primarily braking and shock absorbing systems. Once again, so what?



    I documented my activities and those of my friends in the '70s and '80s. That's why I was able to write a comprehensive book on the subject.



    I don't know what your goal is in defining things precisely. Evolution is a sloppy process. I can say this about the process. There were a number of people involved, but four who made mountain bikes happen. Those four were myself, Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey and Gary Fisher.

    If you want to know how it happened, buy my book. No one else who took part is going to write one. Speculation about these events decades later by people who only heard the legends about them, is like a guy opining about what it felt like to command the winning side in a famous battle because he collected a few spent bullets from the battlefield fifty years later.
    "i have invented the mountain bike and my account of the events is the only valid account because i am the only one who can tell this history because i invented the mountain bike and my account.." Validation comes from other people. Thatīs a matter of logic otherwise itīs tautologic. It does not help your cause.
    No one is saying you donīt have a huge role in this but...: 1_ I have invented the MOuntain Bike and no one else did anything remotely similar. 2_ Mountain Bikes changed the world because they were mountain bikes! 3_ therefore I changed the world with Gary Fisher, maybe... Now Even Tom Ritchey is out of the picture. Joe Breeze was involved because you had the vision no one else had : to set a race down a mountain and sell a couple dozen bikes based on those schwinn but w/ a better finish, on a high end scale. It was all your design. All your vision. So you reinvented bicycling for the masses and changed the world.
    Since you wrote a book... you should be able to sell a bigger picture than that and be more generous w/ others. I am sure you would find more recognition.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  34. #34
    Retro on Steroids
    Reputation: Repack Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,897
    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    "i have invented the mountain bike and my account of the events is the only valid account because i am the only one who can tell this history because i invented the mountain bike and my account.."
    Clearly you haven't read the book you are so critical of, because, this just in:

    NOWHERE AND AT NO TIME DID I CLAIM TO HAVE "INVENTED THE MOUNTAIN BIKE."

    I wrote a 264 page book to try to put that bogus claim to rest. It didn't work on you, because you disagree with my book even though you didn't read it. Then you slander me by suggesting I made a claim that I did not make. What would I have to do, read my book aloud to you?

    Since you wrote a book... you should be able to sell a bigger picture than that and be more generous w/ others. I am sure you would find more recognition.
    You didn't read the book. Don't lecture me on something you are willfully ignorant about.

    If I can't satisfy someone who didn't take part in the events and who didn't read the book about them, but wants to lecture me on them, color me unaffected.

  35. #35
    velocipede technician
    Reputation: hollister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    8,864
    Quote Originally Posted by DFA View Post
    Knew this one was going to turn into a Gong Show.
    Facebook told me James McLean and BMX deserve all the credit for mountain bikes
    looking for 20-21" P team

  36. #36
    the new Gilbert Grape
    Reputation: laffeaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,901
    Evolution is generated by a bunch of dead ends. If some one made the best mountain bike ever in 1970, but never showed it to anyone and never inspired anyone to build a similar bike, does it matter? They did not contribute to anything, and the event was a dead end.

    Off-road bikes have exists since the bike was invented. The bicycle predates paved roads (unless you count cobble stones as pavement), so the very first bikes were mean to be ridden in the dirt, because that's what existed. Look at Tour de France pictures from the pre-1940s and you'll see guys mountain biking (or at least gravel grinding).

    However, if you talk about the modern mountain bike industry and where it came from, it was developed by a small group of guys in northern California. Breezer and Ritchey built a few bikes. Specialized and Univega said, "hey we can make one of these too, and make money." So they did. The next round of builders may have been inspired by Specialized, but that traces back to Ritchey and Breeze frames.

    Sure some bike builders had outside influences from the BMX world (or wherever), but what parts did they use? If it was Suntour or Shimano you can trace those back to the same group in northern California. i.e. Yeti might have looked bike a BMX bike, but when bolted on a dear head derailler they were influenced by the guys in Northern California or inspired Shimano to build that part.

    Did some guys in Santa Barbara have the same ideas? Probably. But name the companies that evolved from that group. They may have had some impact, but they were not responsible for igniting the flame that became the mountain bike industry.

    Were the NorCal gang in the right place at the right time? Absolutely! Mountain bikes may well have come to exist without them (who knows?), but there are few companies and people that don't trace their off-road bike inspiration back to these guys.

    I rode off road long before I'd heard of a mountain bike. Yet, I offered zero inspiration in their development. Who cares what I did. I did not develop the idea to make it better. I did not have frames built. I did not import parts to improve bikes. I did not try to sell these bikes to others. I do not have component manufacturers contact me about manufacturing parts to go on my bike. I was a dead end. I rode off road. So what. I had zero impact on the development of the bike.

    The guys in NorCal were able to build on what came before. Schwinn made a standard size rim that worked well enough off-road. TA made wide-geared cranks for French cyclist. SunTour made wide range derailleurs for tourists. BMX manufacturers came out with aluminum rims that made the Schwinn wheels workable for non-downhill only riding. Lot so of things came together to make the bikes work, and a small group of people put them together and decided to sell the idea. I'm glad it worked.

    I like Tom's video, and I liked Charlie's book. Both offer insights on how we go to where we are. Their stories are not dead ends.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  37. #37
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    Clearly you haven't read the book you are so critical of, because, this just in:

    NOWHERE AND AT NO TIME DID I CLAIM TO HAVE "INVENTED THE MOUNTAIN BIKE."

    I wrote a 264 page book to try to put that bogus claim to rest. It didn't work on you, because you disagree with my book even though you didn't read it. Then you slander me by suggesting I made a claim that I did not make. What would I have to do, read my book aloud to you?



    You didn't read the book. Don't lecture me on something you are willfully ignorant about.

    If I can't satisfy someone who didn't take part in the events and who didn't read the book about them, but wants to lecture me on them, color me unaffected.
    I am not critical of the book... I have not read it. I am not slandering you or anyone. Calm down.
    You clearly said (n plus one times) there were no mountain bikes before you made and sold your own brand. You argue no one is telling the truth but you in the book. When confronted w/ a different point of view like Ritcheyīs or anyone elseīs you say no one knows anything. When confronted w/ otherīs experience and point of view you call slander. Seriously? I donīt need to read a book to have an opinion on what is a mountain bike or how it evolved.
    Start acting like the historian you want(and deserve) to be. If you act a bit smarter it will be easier to promote yourself and your book. Get advice from an agent. Do something but please stop acting like a bulldozer everytime this subject comes up on a cycling forum. Itīs annoying.
    Last edited by colker1; 4 Days Ago at 04:26 PM.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  38. #38
    Phobia of petting zoos.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    866
    Quote Originally Posted by hollister View Post
    Facebook told me James McLean and BMX deserve all the credit for mountain bikes
    That's nonsense.

    There's a neanderthal cave painting in France showing a rudimentary design for a single pivot dual suspension mountain bike. It has bull horn bars made from real bull horns.

    Grumps

  39. #39
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
    Reputation: MendonCycleSmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    15,394
    Nothing new under the sun.

    1896, full suspension, balloon tires, *flat* bars, built that way because of the rough conditions encountered by riders of the day, many of whom enjoyed exploring the wild new frontiers with their bicycles....

    Book Review - The Lost Cyclist - By David V. Herlihy - NYTimes.com

    Which, does nothing to diminish anyones accomplishments, or devalues the power of being in the right place at the right time with a smart rejiggering of a concept.

    Hell, it seems the Egyptians may have had batteries and some rudimentary form of lightbulb, I suppose Edison and Tesla should take umbrage?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baghdad_Battery

    Or perhaps Glenn Curtiss and the Wright Brothers should have been pissed about Icarus getting there before them?

    Can we just please discuss the stories and history, and enjoy the fact that it's pretty cool to have access to someone that was there, without it turning into a junk swinging contest?

    Honestly.....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The genesis of the mountain bike, according to Tom Ritchey-everything-old-new-again.jpg  

    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  40. #40
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    Itīs only a different way to spec a bicycle and people start yelling like they invented the wheel. Itīs a balloon tire bike w/ derrailleurs and flat bars but well built and finished. I wanted one the moment i saw it. Cool . Thanks.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mainlyfats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1,114
    Sweet bejeebus that's a beautiful machine...Name:  Everything old is new again.jpg
Views: 173
Size:  53.0 KB

  42. #42
    Retro on Steroids
    Reputation: Repack Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,897
    Quote Originally Posted by hollister View Post
    Facebook told me James McLean and BMX deserve all the credit for mountain bikes
    James has told me many times that he is going to write the book about what really happened and blow my account out of the water.

    I told him to do what I did.

    Sit down for six months and write it. Talking about a book is not the same as writing one.

  43. #43
    Retro on Steroids
    Reputation: Repack Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,897
    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    I am not critical of the book... I have not read it. I am not slandering you or anyone.
    Where do you get your information on the events you didn't observe?

    You clearly said (n plus one times) there were no mountain bikes before you made and sold your own brand.
    The name of the sport came from our "brand." I have not claimed no one rode off-road before I did. Quite the opposite.

    You argue no one is telling the truth but you in the book.
    The book you haven't read? Then HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT I AM ARGUING?

    When confronted w/ a different point of view like Ritcheyīs or anyone elseīs you say no one knows anything.
    This may come as a surprise to you, but Tom Ritchey and I are pretty good friends who shared an amazing adventure. If Tom disagreed with anything in my book, I have no doubt he would bring it to my attention. He hasn't. I offered to ghost write HIS book, but the guy will never sit still long enough for that to happen. I would love to do it though.

    It's not like we don't all know each other.

    The genesis of the mountain bike, according to Tom Ritchey-bikeshow.jpg



    I donīt need to read a book to have an opinion on what is a mountain bike or how it evolved.
    No disagreement there, but the validity of that opinion might be questioned.

    What is the basis for that opinion, since you were in another country at the time and have by your own admission not read extensively on the subject you are so eager to opine upon??

    Start acting like the historian you want(and deserve) to be. If you act a bit smarter it will be easier to promote yourself and your book. Get advice from an agent.
    Advice from a non-author? How's YOUR book coming along? Mine is in print. Would you like to read a few of the reviews?

    Do something but please stop acting like a bulldozer everytime this subject comes up on a cycling forum. Itīs annoying.
    You are well known in retro mountain bike circles for your disdain of California. Projecting your own values on me is not an informed argument.

  44. #44
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    You are well known in retro mountain bike circles for your disdain of California. Projecting your own values on me is not an informed argument.
    What?? My disdain for California? LOL!!! Post of the month. I am well known? Where?? Bwahahahahahaha!!!! This is too funny.

    I feel sorry for you CK and for your editor.. You were the wrong guy at the right place. After LOL I have just decided to never ever read your freaking book.... and i was going to. No one needs to read any book. They may read it because the author provokes some kind of empathy. You do the exact opposite all the time just like you did here. You lack promoting skills. Did you say you were a promoter?
    Did anyone tell you to attack people on tiny cycling forums to promote a book or was it another brilliant idea you had while you were busy changing the world?
    I am laughing but actually itīs pretty sad.
    You were rude, arrogant and dellusional on every interaction i had w/you incl. private mails. Seriously: get a professional coach to help you w/ your book. You need it and you seem lost.

    Out of respect for the forum I will avoid any other interaction w/you here. You need to prove a point. I donīt and i am done dealing w/ this BS.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  45. #45
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
    Reputation: MendonCycleSmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    15,394
    Honestly? Your both acting like trolls, and we all know, rule #1, is don't feed the f*cking troll.

    This is/was a cool thread about a sub species of off road capable machines that's fast being turned into a bicker fest.

    'fats, yeah, it sure is. Wish mine were this cool. It's close, but those bars, damn....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  46. #46
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    Quote Originally Posted by mainlyfats View Post
    Sweet bejeebus that's a beautiful machine...Name:  Everything old is new again.jpg
Views: 173
Size:  53.0 KB
    Beautifull handlebar.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  47. #47
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Honestly? Your both acting like trolls, and we all know, rule #1, is don't feed the f*cking troll.

    This is/was a cool thread about a sub species of off road capable machines that's fast being turned into a bicker fest.

    'fats, yeah, it sure is. Wish mine were this cool. It's close, but those bars, damn....
    Not my fault. I did not troll anyone. The guy is crazy: he attacks anyone and any thread about the story of off road cycling. No one mentioned his name and he comes shooting.
    Next he yells "slander" and is lying about me "You are well known for disdain for California". Ridiculous and funny.
    Again: out of respect for the forum i will refrain to describe that kind of personality but that guy crosses the line all the time.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Woodpuppy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    70
    Quote Originally Posted by mainlyfats View Post
    Sweet bejeebus that's a beautiful machine...Name:  Everything old is new again.jpg
Views: 173
Size:  53.0 KB
    Man, I want to flip those bars over. Makes my sternum hurt to look at it. Otherwise, way cool!

  49. #49
    gobsmacked Moderator
    Reputation: girlonbike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    8,729
    Is that your bike mendon? Getting an overview of antique bikes from joe breeze is one of the highlights of my year last year.

  50. #50
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    IMO the revolution starts w/ Charlie Cunningham. His bikes trully departed from the norm and reached outer space w/ every component being reinvented and turned to eleven. Fat tubes, slopping top tubes, tight rear triangles, functional gearing and the best rim brakes on some of the best handling, most beautifull mountain bikes ever made. Now THIS guy is a true genius/ inventor who has his influence everywhere on the modern cycling. HIs bikes were decades ahead of what was going on. Itīs his look that was copied by everybody and his designs that were sought after by Suntour. Next he designed the Ground Control tire for specialized... and it is still one of the best tires ever. Thatīs his pattern. CCunningham imo has the same stature in history as Rene Herse, Tullio Campagnolo and every brilliant inventor who reshaped cycling. An extremely talented builder whose bikes were custom in every sense of the way and still are among the best ever made. And yet he never toots his own horn. From NOrthern California, the guy who brought us the contemporary shape of the bicycle. I wish i had one of his bikes.
    Last edited by colker1; 3 Days Ago at 04:18 PM.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  51. #51
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dv8zen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    131
    As far as I'm concerned, the "genesis" of mountain biking, and the mountain bike, is when it turned into a sport. The Repack event is a distinct sporting event that put the equipment at the focus. The competition and challenging limits as a sport (ex. freeride), and the creation/sales of equipment for this distinct purpose, sparked progress, innovation, refinement, etc., leading to the current evolution of bikes we ride today.

    The act of mountain biking and the stuff needed to ride paths through mountains existed when safety bicycles were invented, with people riding paths for trade, transportation, and what not. I don't doubt that there's records of mtn biking before they were used in WW2. Not sure if this counts: The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula Âŧ Black Bicycle Corps

  52. #52
    Phobia of petting zoos.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    866
    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    It's not like we don't all know each other.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	bikeshow.jpg 
Views:	5 
Size:	207.9 KB 
ID:	1171806
    Ooh, I think I can do this...

    Burt Reynolds at left, then Richard Dreyfus, and Wild Bill Hickok on the far right. But who's the guy second from the right?



    Grumps

  53. #53
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    229
    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    Tom Ritchey, Jobst Brandt and a lot of others were riding 650B bikes with drops on trails at the same time we in Marin were taking our balloon tire town bikes out on dirt roads. Those 650B bikes had been around for quite a while. If they were going to revolutionize the bicycle industry, it wasn't moving very quickly.
    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWallace View Post
    I don't know what type of 650B bikes were being ridden in Marin in the 1970's...
    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    There were no 650B bikes being ridden in Marin County in the '70s.
    The above statements by Repack Rider appear to be contradictory:
    • Was it that "Tom Ritchey, Jobst Brandt and a lot of others" were riding 650B bikes in the 80's and not the 70s?
    • Or were they riding outside of Marin?


    Also, did John Finlay-Scott ride in Marin County?

  54. #54
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    Gary Fisher looks like a mix of Wild Bill Hicock and Vivienne Westwood after a sleepless night.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  55. #55
    mtbr member
    Reputation: tductape's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,392
    Linkey no workey.
    Seek: Koski Trailmaster. Breezer Series 2 or 3. Cunningham Racer.

  56. #56
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dv8zen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    131
    Quote Originally Posted by tductape View Post
    Linkey no workey.
    The genesis of the mountain bike, according to Tom Ritchey

    There was an unnecessary "http://" at the end.

  57. #57
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sbsbiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,233
    Quote Originally Posted by mainlyfats View Post
    Sweet bejeebus that's a beautiful machine...Name:  Everything old is new again.jpg
Views: 173
Size:  53.0 KB
    This looks to have a YBB style slider suspension in the seat stay, I've seen others with this same design from the !800's Really Cool that my present Moot's 29er YBB has the same design from 100 years ago.

  58. #58
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
    Reputation: MendonCycleSmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    15,394
    Quote Originally Posted by Woodpuppy View Post
    Man, I want to flip those bars over. Makes my sternum hurt to look at it. Otherwise, way cool!
    All about the "burner" positioning BITD, so this fit right in.

    They, actually, were adjustable. Loosen a bolt at the middle, and they could be moved upwards too.

    GOB, no, not mine exactly, but I have one just like it, sans cool bars. Mine are OEM though, single piece, more traditional flowy "3 speed" type.

    Colker, I get it, but poking a hornets nest, when you know what it is, is, well...?
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  59. #59
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
    Reputation: MendonCycleSmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    15,394
    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    This looks to have a YBB style slider suspension in the seat stay, I've seen others with this same design from the !800's Really Cool that my present Moot's 29er YBB has the same design from 100 years ago.
    Forgot to mention that this is in fact, a 29er (stick that in your collective 26" was the original MTB size, ear!), with an alternative, non chain, drivetrain, from 1896!

    And, yes, agreed, very YBB like, yet not, as YBB is pivotless, and this is actually a bottom bracket concentric pivot point, so suspension action is actually plush and active.....

    I love old bikes, and the suspension designs fro this era are my undoing. I want them all. But if you think Cunninghams are pricey, try to buy one of these gems.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  60. #60
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Forgot to mention that this is in fact, a 29er (stick that in your collective 26" was the original MTB size, ear!), with an alternative, non chain, drivetrain, from 1896!

    And, yes, agreed, very YBB like, yet not, as YBB is pivotless, and this is actually a bottom bracket concentric pivot point, so suspension action is actually plush and active.....

    I love old bikes, and the suspension designs fro this era are my undoing. I want them all. But if you think Cunninghams are pricey, try to buy one of these gems.
    I was wondering about a pivot. Cool.
    Those early guys were as intense as everybody today. They didnīt have carbon but figured out most of everything else.
    Last edited by colker1; 2 Days Ago at 07:19 AM.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  61. #61
    the new Gilbert Grape
    Reputation: laffeaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,901
    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Forgot to mention that this is in fact, a 29er (stick that in your collective 26" was the original MTB size, ear!),.
    Do the rims really measure the same as 700c? If so, that rim size is much older than I knew.

    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    But if you think Cunninghams are pricey, try to buy one of these gems.
    I would say this is much cooler!

  62. #62
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    162
    Very cool machine - love it. Is it a wire rope drive or some other direct drive pinon thingy?

    Let's just say the bike in the picture was the first Mt Bike and be done with it.

  63. #63
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mainlyfats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1,114
    Quote Originally Posted by Tommybees View Post
    Very cool machine - love it. Is it a wire rope drive or some other direct drive pinon thingy?
    Shaft drive.

    https://www.pierce-arrow.org/history/history7.php

  64. #64
    Retro on Steroids
    Reputation: Repack Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,897
    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWallace View Post
    The above statements by Repack Rider appear to be contradictory:
    • Was it that "Tom Ritchey, Jobst Brandt and a lot of others" were riding 650B bikes in the 80's and not the 70s?
    • Or were they riding outside of Marin?


    Also, did John Finlay-Scott ride in Marin County?
    Only "contradictory" to someone whose knowledge is limited by not reading my book.

    Tom Ritchey, Jobst Brandt,and presumably others they rode with, lived in and around Palo Alto, which is about 50 miles south of Marin County.

    I did not meet Tom until 1979.

    John Finley Scott was a professor at the University of California at Davis, which is about 75 miles from Marin. I did not meet him until 1979 either.

  65. #65
    Retro on Steroids
    Reputation: Repack Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,897
    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    What?? My disdain for California? LOL!!! Post of the month. I am well known? Where?? Bwahahahahahaha!!!! This is too funny.
    I apologize for that one. Thought I was addressing Graham.

  66. #66
    Retro on Steroids
    Reputation: Repack Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,897
    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    IMO the revolution starts w/ Charlie Cunningham. His bikes trully departed from the norm and reached outer space w/ every component being reinvented and turned to eleven. Fat tubes, slopping top tubes, tight rear triangles, functional gearing and the best rim brakes on some of the best handling, most beautifull mountain bikes ever made. Now THIS guy is a true genius/ inventor who has his influence everywhere on the modern cycling. HIs bikes were decades ahead of what was going on. Itīs his look that was copied by everybody and his designs that were sought after by Suntour. Next he designed the Ground Control tire for specialized... and it is still one of the best tires ever. Thatīs his pattern. CCunningham imo has the same stature in history as Rene Herse, Tullio Campagnolo and every brilliant inventor who reshaped cycling. An extremely talented builder whose bikes were custom in every sense of the way and still are among the best ever made. And yet he never toots his own horn. From NOrthern California, the guy who brought us the contemporary shape of the bicycle. I wish i had one of his bikes.
    Like Tom Ritchey, Charlie Cunningham was riding trails on drop bars and light tires, while we were racing on Repack. Charlie never came out to the races, never raced there, didn't hang out with all the other Marin bicyclists.

    Because he is a loner, Charlie did not participate in the initial pioneering effort that produced the mountain bike. He thought our bikes were heavy and inefficient, so the bike he rode on trails was a basic 'cross bike.

    He built his first mountain bike in late 1979 after others had created a market for them. By that time, Tom Ritchey, Joe Breeze and Mert Lawwill were already on the market. The reason Charlie waited so long was that the 26" tires and rims on the market were heavy. In 1979 Araya and CyclePro responded to the pressure brought by the other Marin builders, and brought out respectively an alloy rim and a lightweight BMX 26" tire.

    I agree that Charlie's bikes were unique, but that is also why they are rare. Tom Ritchey and Chris Chance maximized what a small builder could do, and standardized their design to increase production. Charlie took it in the other direction. No two of his were alike. Tom could make fifty frames in a week, Charlie took about fifty weeks to make a frame.

    For reasons I do not understand, Charlie prized inefficiency. Tom Ritchey used a hole saw and a jig to miter a tube, and he paid a minimum wage guy to operate the device. That minimum wage guy could turn out dozens of perfectly cut and mitered tubes in an hour.

    Charlie mitered his tubes by hand, with a hand tool. He would make a cut, then hold the miter up against the tube it would be joined to, to see how close it was, then he would trim it a little more. I watched him spend about 20 minutes doing ONE MITER, using a crude method that eventually worked exactly like the mass production methods used by Chris Chance and Tom Ritchey. It just took him a lot longer.

    The genesis of the mountain bike, according to Tom Ritchey-charliecharliejacquie.jpg

  67. #67
    Retro on Steroids
    Reputation: Repack Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,897
    Quote Originally Posted by Tommybees View Post
    ;Let's just say the bike in the picture was the first Mt Bike and be done with it.
    One of the things Joe Breeze and I stress when we guide people through the Martin Museum of Bicycling is that OF COURSE the first bikes were ridden primarily on dirt roads. Then society spent a hundred years improving the roads and modifying the bikes for use on these improved roads, so it took a freaking REVOLUTION in the bike industry to put fat tires back on dirt.

    A lot of mechanical evolution of the bicycle took place between 1900 and 1977, but it was all aimed at one product, the road bike. My friends and I just turned that same technology toward our own "goofy hobby," riding downhill really fast on dirt roads, and now there are mountain bikes.

    This forum is a testament to the rise of the mountain bike. What subjects would the same people have discussed before 1975? Cyclocross is not mountain biking.

  68. #68
    gobsmacked Moderator
    Reputation: girlonbike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    8,729
    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    Like Tom Ritchey, Charlie Cunningham was riding trails on drop bars and light tires, while we were racing on Repack. Charlie never came out to the races, never raced there, didn't hang out with all the other Marin bicyclists.

    Because he is a loner, Charlie did not participate in the initial pioneering effort that produced the mountain bike. He thought our bikes were heavy and inefficient, so the bike he rode on trails was a basic 'cross bike.

    He built his first mountain bike in late 1979 after others had created a market for them. By that time, Tom Ritchey, Joe Breeze and Mert Lawwill were already on the market. The reason Charlie waited so long was that the 26" tires and rims on the market were heavy. In 1979 Araya and CyclePro responded to the pressure brought by the other Marin builders, and brought out respectively an alloy rim and a lightweight BMX 26" tire.

    I agree that Charlie's bikes were unique, but that is also why they are rare. Tom Ritchey and Chris Chance maximized what a small builder could do, and standardized their design to increase production. Charlie took it in the other direction. No two of his were alike. Tom could make fifty frames in a week, Charlie took about fifty weeks to make a frame.

    For reasons I do not understand, Charlie prized inefficiency. Tom Ritchey used a hole saw and a jig to miter a tube, and he paid a minimum wage guy to operate the device. That minimum wage guy could turn out dozens of perfectly cut and mitered tubes in an hour.

    Charlie mitered his tubes by hand, with a hand tool. He would make a cut, then hold the miter up against the tube it would be joined to, to see how close it was, then he would trim it a little more. I watched him spend about 20 minutes doing ONE MITER, using a crude method that eventually worked exactly like the mass production methods used by Chris Chance and Tom Ritchey. It just took him a lot longer.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CharlieCharlieJacquie.jpg 
Views:	6 
Size:	130.4 KB 
ID:	1172023
    good point. and also why some people may think it's more worthwhile to find a Cunningham. Everything is done by hand only by the builder. I definitely appreciate Charlie's bikes for all the reasons you stated, CK, and for many others that's probably personal to the owner and the builder himself. And not taking anything away from Tom or Chris, they're just different styles, approaches and priorities with all three having well-deserved cult followings for their work.

  69. #69
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    229
    Thanks for the reply Charlie.

    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    Only "contradictory" to someone whose knowledge is limited by not reading my book.
    I have read both of your books and would recommend them to others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    Tom Ritchey, Jobst Brandt,and presumably others they rode with, lived in and around Palo Alto, which is about 50 miles south of Marin County.
    My question was about where they rode, I already knew that they were based some distance away from you. Though you would not have any first hand knowledge of what and where they rode prior to your first meeting in 1979.

    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    I did not meet Tom until 1979.
    So like most people contributing here, you would have had no first hand knowledge of what Tom was doing earlier in relation to his making of English style 650B roughstuff bikes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    John Finley Scott was a professor at the University of California at Davis, which is about 75 miles from Marin. I did not meet him until 1979 either.
    I guess by the time you met him he had moved on from riding 650B and was by then riding 26" wheel 'Mountain Bikes'?

  70. #70
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
    Reputation: MendonCycleSmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    15,394
    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux View Post
    Do the rims really measure the same as 700c?
    Yep, pretty much standard size for all bikes but childrens, by the late 1800's...
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  71. #71
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sbsbiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,233
    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Forgot to mention that this is in fact, a 29er (stick that in your collective 26" was the original MTB size, ear!), with an alternative, non chain, drivetrain, from 1896!

    And, yes, agreed, very YBB like, yet not, as YBB is pivotless, and this is actually a bottom bracket concentric pivot point, so suspension action is actually plush and active.....

    I love old bikes, and the suspension designs fro this era are my undoing. I want them all. But if you think Cunninghams are pricey, try to buy one of these gems.
    Do tell, what’s market/auction price for these late 1800’s collector bikes? I was thinking in the $5-10k range, but a Cunningham will run you $10k+if you can find someone that will sell....

    More pics here:1910 Pierce Chainless Bicycle - Dave's Vintage Bicycles

  72. #72
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    Do tell, what’s market/auction price for these late 1800’s collector bikes? I was thinking in the $5-10k range, but a Cunningham will run you $10k+if you can find someone that will sell....

    More pics here:1910 Pierce Chainless Bicycle - Dave's Vintage Bicycles
    handlebar: seems like two arms w/ one single bolt fixing the angle. It canīt be: it would not stay in place for one single ride.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  73. #73
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
    Reputation: MendonCycleSmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    15,394
    The bolt passed through a drum shaped piece, that has geared/indexed faces that mate, and hold firmly when the bolt was tight.

    Of course it could strip over time, but not in the course of a ride....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  74. #74
    artistic...
    Reputation: colker1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,226
    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    The bolt passed through a drum shaped piece, that has geared/indexed faces that mate, and hold firmly when the bolt was tight.

    Of course it could strip over time, but not in the course of a ride....
    Indexed faces. NOw i get it.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  75. #75
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mainlyfats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1,114
    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    Indexed faces. NOw i get it.
    The genesis of the mountain bike, according to Tom Ritchey-1915-dayton-spring-fork-52-1-.jpg

  76. #76
    oh my TVC 15
    Reputation: Forster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    3,369
    Quote Originally Posted by mainlyfats View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1915-Dayton-Spring-Fork-52 (1).jpg 
Views:	9 
Size:	105.5 KB 
ID:	1172190
    Funny that someone thought that was the solution at any point in history. If they only knew. Of course you could say that about the cam brake on the second gen cannondale MTBs.
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  77. #77
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    229
    It seems from the wide range of comments here that most off-road cyclist have their own 'Genesis' moment when they realize the potential of owning and riding a high quality off-road bicycle.

    For me it was in the in the English Peak District in 1981 when I first saw a Raleigh Bomber. The Bomber was not actually a mountain bike but a last ditch attempt by Raleigh to commercially tap into the British 'Tracker' off-road bike craze by putting 26x2.125 inch balloon tires onto a 'cycle speedway' style frame.

    For others it may have been reading about the Ritchey 'Mountain Bikes', seeing a photo of a Cunningham MTB or when they saw mass-produced MTBs in their local bike shops.

    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    The Marin County riders were not the first to put derailleurs on a balloon tire bike. The Morrow Dirt Club and probably others beat us to it. But apparently we were the first to put one of these bikes next to an Italian racing bicycle and ask the obvious question, "What if the balloon tire bike was built as nicely as the Italian bike?"
    The Above may have been Charlie Kelly's, 'what if' moment?

    However, Tom Ritchey is saying that his first 'Mountain Bike' Genesis event was the building of his first 650B roughstuff bike for John Finlay-Scott. He is also saying that this happened before he saw Joe Breeze's Breezer number one.

    Finlay-Scott 'Genesis' appears from his writing to derive from his passion for exploring the American wilderness. After after trying various modes of transport he came to the conclusion that a bicycle best fitted his purpose. So he experimented with putting derailleur gears onto a 26"fat tired 'post-boy' bike but concluded that the resulting bicycle weighed too much. His alternative approach was to acquire an existing solution in the form of an English roughstuff bicycle. This was probably after reading about such machines in the journal of the Roughstuff Fellowship of which he was a member.

    Tom Ritchey was not the only US frame-builder to make 650B roughstuff
    bikes for Finlay-Scott. In this picture you can see two of these bikes with Finlay-Scott's double-decker bus in the background.
    The genesis of the mountain bike, according to Tom Ritchey-1979-john-padgett-roughstuff-bicycle.jpg
    The photo is credited to have been taken in 1979 and the frame-builder was John Padgett of Nevada. It should in theory give us some idea what the Tom Ritchey framed version looked like.

Similar Threads

  1. Tom Ritchey brazing a mountain bike in England.. this is really cool.
    By colker1 in forum Vintage, Retro, Classic
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-01-2017, 01:58 AM
  2. GoPro mount for non-round handlebars (Tom Tom Bandit)
    By GRAVELBIKE in forum Videos and POV Cameras
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-01-2015, 08:52 AM
  3. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-17-2015, 06:26 PM
  4. Tom Ritchey is getting into the fat-bike scene!
    By kris7047th in forum Fat bikes
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 03-14-2014, 12:02 PM
  5. Tom-Tom Mk-II wireless gps receiver
    By Mtn-Rider in forum Where are the Best Deals?
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 08-14-2012, 10:07 PM

Members who have read this thread: 139

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •