Everything that has ever existed, will eventually be for sale on eBay.
Gary Fisher AC/DC
Today as I looked for anything interesting, I found this unusual Gary Fisher frame. It’s aluminium bonded to a carbon rear end, and the seller states it’s a warranty replacement frame from the Trek factory in Wisconsin.
Looking at it more closely, it has some very interesting details that I didn’t realize were on any production Trek or Fisher at the time.
Time for another installment in my painstakingly researched overviews of bike companies, this time we’re talking about Kona. They may or may not be Canadian. They may or may not be a company that exists thanks to copying someone else’s work. But you can’t argue that they are a quintessential Vintage Retro Classic staple, and they made some very nice bikes in their time.
Also, you can’t argue that they weren’t at the forefront of the DH and freeride movement that – I think anyway – was instrumental to today’s modern trail bikes. They still exist, with a very wide-ranging lineup, but today, let’s look at how they started;
1989 Kona Fire Mountain
Kona was a little late to the game, compared to the other vintage companies I’ve talked about, starting up in 1988. By 1990 they had a full lineup of bikes with some Hawaiian themed names that they’ve maintained right though today.
I have written about old Treks before, but I didn’t go into any depth on their early full suspension bikes – apart from the 9000 that I used to own that is. The Y-bike was their second attempt at a suspension bike, and it made a splash due to it’s futuristic design. But, much like their first attempt, it was not particularly good.
Replacing the 9000 series with something better should have been an easy task. “How do we improve on the completely uncontrolled travel, and horrific chain growth on this bike?” Well… let’s put a proper shock on it, and we’ll go with a URT frame.
No wait! Not that second thing! Dammit…
Along with Klein, Ritchey, and Yeti, Bontrager is a strong candidate for the Vintage MTB Mount Rushmore. His claim to fame was innovation and science. He worked in steel (and a few Ti bikes) and was famous for the saying “Strong, light, cheap; pick two.”
I doubt he was the first to say that, but who am I to argue? This is what happens over time. There are a lot of younger people that think Jeremy Clarkson was the first person to quip that “it’s not speed that kills, it’s the sudden stop.”
If you believe that, let me be the first to congratulate you on winning the lottery! You’ll just need to send me a small fee in order to collect your winnings.