Over the summer I posted some pics from a 1989 book called The Complete Mountain Biker and it was pretty amazing to see how much things have changed since then. Little did I know, I had another book on my shelf, Pro Mountain Biker, with full color pics of bikes from 1995, including some full suspension designs that will blow your mind.
Joe Breeze showing off a 1993 Breezer. Could this be the original Sh*t bike from Bike Magazine? It’s definitely the right color…
Outside of world record DH speed attempts, you don’t see too many mountain bikers wearing skin suits these days. The caption on this pic reads: “John Tomac is dressed in an aerodynamic skinsuit for maximum speed on a downhill course.” Good thinking.
Check out this early disc brake. The rotor looks like it weighs a pound and the overall mechanics look a little sketchy. I do like how the brake attaches to the fork – no need for disc mounts!
Notice the brilliant weight-saving circle cutout on this mountain bike frame!
When I was starting mountain biking in the mid-1990s, the Klein Mantra was the kind of bike my buddies and I would dream of owning one day. The book says “This Klein full suspension bike is one of the most radical designs around.” Rad indeed.
I’ll give everyone a moment to guess who this is. The bike looks like a Jeff Jones but in fact, it’s a Gary Fisher (who also happens to be standing behind the bike).
And you thought Lotus was only a sports car manufacturer. This bike actually features an early carbon monocoque frame and “the choicest components.”
Frankly I’m not sure what to make of this bike from Muddy Fox Interactive. “This design links the front and rear wheels so that hitting a bump with the front fork compresses the back at the same time.” Too bad the design ultimately ends up with more pivots than a tango lesson.
This bike appears to use matching shocks (front and rear) and you can just make out the Michelin sticker on the rear shock strut. Pro Mountain Biker says “Until 1995 the most suspension racers would use would be a front suspension fork. In 1995 several racers, including the ’94 World Champion Henrik Djernis, switched to full suspension bikes. Full suspension makes fast racing more comfortable.”
Aside from the white (!) tires and V-brakes, this design looks surprisingly modern for its age.
This doesn’t look like any Yeti mountain bike I’ve seen before! Note the disked rear wheel – and I’m not talking about brakes. The front chain ring on this beast is enormous – can you imagine shifting down to the smaller ring? The caption says “Yeti spend (sic) a lot of time testing their products on the race track.” I wonder if they spent any time testing this on the mountain bike trail?
This guy’s outfit (minus the exposed legs) says DH but the bike says XC baby! Skinny tires, V-brakes, and clipless pedals don’t really cut it on the slopes these days.
As a beginning mountain bike rider I always wanted a set of Spinergy wheels and it seemed like the only guys who could afford them were middle aged guys with more money than skills. Notice the circle cutout in the frame again and the chain retention device.
Another carbon fiber mountain bike, this one from Trek. Those wheels really look top of the line!
A specially designed “snow bike” with disc brakes, studded tires, and fenders. Oh, and a ridiculous looking frame and saddle that looks ready to dump the rider onto the top tube.
This type of mountain bike was probably pretty common back in 1995 and it’s awesome to see this guy getting air on a rigid bike with reflectors on the wheels. Ride on Mr. Ponytail Tight Shorts!
Another “snow bike.” This one looks more like a time trail bike than a mountain bike but I’m sure it was fast as hell in the right conditions.
Another Pro-Flex with a slightly different rear suspension configuration.
Many of the bikes shown above are in the hands of collectors these days and restoring (and riding!) vintage bikes isn’t uncommon today. We’ve even created a thread on the forum to share pics of vintage mountain bikes.
All the photos above come from Pro Mountain Biker by Jeremy Evans and Brant Richards. You can still purchase used copies of this book (in hardcover!) at Amazon.com, often for less than $4.