I recently found this video detailing the The Ten Most Important Mountain Bikes of All Time. Now, when I say “recently,” I mean “at some point this year,” since it’s been several months since I’ve even logged in here. I had to deal with 1200 comments before I could even start on this post.
It’s an interesting list for sure;
– Joe Breeze Breezer
– Specialized Stumpjumper
– Kona Cinder Cone
– Yeti C-26
– GT Zaskar
– Verlicchi FS Works
– Mountain Cycles San Andreas
– GT LTS
– Intense M1
– Honda RN-01
Some good choices, and some real WTF moments too. Let’s break it down, and then look at my 100% correct list of The Most Important Mountain Bikes of All Time.
There are tons of people I’m sure that buy one bike, ride it, and are perfectly happy doing so. There are also tons of people – like myself – that follow a formula for bicycle ownership, and it goes a little like this;
S = N + 1
Where S is the number of bikes you should own, and N is the number of bikes you currently own.
What I love about this formula, is coming up with reasons for another N + 1 in your life.
Thanks to the tremendous time waster Pinterest, I found this very old feature about even older bikes. It’s a review of a 1995 book called Pro Mountain Biker, and it’s posted on Singletracks.com.
Reading this feature, I get the impression that the writer is knowledgeable of old bikes, but he often skips over important details. Details of the kind that makes me think he’s not that knowledgeable of old bikes.
It is very confusing!
As many times as I’ve written about Gary Fisher, I’ve yet to actually talk about his vintage bikes. He’s often referred to as one of the fathers of the mountain bike, even though he didn’t actually weld the frames himself. Even so, his bikes are highly sought after, innovative, and just plain cool as we’ll see.
Fisher Mt. Tam
Gary was an integral part of the Repack scene in California with Charlie Kelly, Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey, and several others you probably wouldn’t know. In 1979 he started Mountainbikes with Kelly and Tom Ritchey. They only lasted until 1983, but Gary started his own company that same year. Unlike Ritchey or Breeze, he wasn’t making the frames himself, but he definitely knew what worked, so he got good people to make frames for him, like Tom Teesdale.
Things clearly went well for Gary, as he was importing frames from Taiwan by 1988. In 1991, he sold the company to Anlen of Taiwan, but stayed on as president. In 1993, Trek bought Fisher from Anlen, and ran them as a mostly independent line until 2010 when Fisher became just a name on a special series of Trek bikes. Then in 2014, Fisher the bicycle simply disappeared, with not one word from Trek – or from anyone else judging from the searches I’ve tried – to commemorate it.
A truly sad end to a truly cool company.