Vintage companies that still exist – but shouldn’t.

Unfortunately, not every company that made cool bikes back in 1991 are still making bikes today.  Klein, American, Fat Chance, Fisher, and others, all made cool and well respected bicycles.  But for whatever reason, they weren’t able to survive.  And, many companies that made cool bikes back in 1991 are still in business and making cool bikes.  Names like Rocky Mountain, Yeti, Ritchey, Brodie, Dekerf, and more.

But there’s another category to discuss – companies that made cool bikes in 1991 that still make bikes today, but they’re just not cool.

Diamond Back Axis Team

This is a 1991 Diamond Back Axis Team.  True Temper frame, Shimano XT parts, Panaracer Smoke tires, and a classic splatter paint job.  Maybe not the most exciting bike ever, but there are no junk parts on this bike.

Diamond Back, like GT, Mongoose, and Haro, sprang from the BMX scene, and were important to the early MTB scene.  At some point, they will get their own post here.

DiamondBack Axis Pro

But in the meantime, this is the 2014 Axis Pro 27.5.  A 6061 aluminum frame, Fox fork, Diamondback wheels (because they’re known for their wheels I guess?), grey paint, and the ever fashionable 27.5″ wheels.  I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with this bike, but I don’t really see anything here that catches my eye.  Nothing that would make me want to examine it any closer.

Mongoose IBOC Team

This is a 1992 Mongoose IBOC Team.  Aluminum, Yeti-like “loopstay” rear end, triangular top tube, and (why the hell not?) a 1 1/4″ head tube.  In all respects, a barking mad frame.  A lot of these feature were done for shock value probably,  but it was unique and it worked.

Mongoose was really important to mountain biking in the early days, and soon, I’ll write about why.

Mongoose Meteore Expert

This is the 2014 Mongoose Meteore Expert 27.5.  Again with the 27.5″ wheels – because “we” supposedly want these wheels – which are WTB rims on no-name hubs , some Shimano XT parts, Rock Shox forks, and you can buy it directly from their website for $2500.

Is this good?  I don’t know.  It’s probably not bad, but that feels like a lot of money for a hardtail.  Especially one that isn’t carbon.

I suppose it’s just me, but the current offerings from Mongoose and Diamondback I wouldn’t ever consider.

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