What was your first mountain bike?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum What was your first mountain bike?


This topic contains 92 replies, has 86 voices, and was last updated by  Framebreaker 1 week ago.

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    My first mountain bike was actually a Western Flyer, probably like the one pictured above, which I received as a Christmas gift in the late 80s/early 90s. Truthfully I asked my parents for a 10 speed bike, thinking they’d get me a road bike like my neighbor had. Instead, I got a mountain bike and never looked back!


    I like to say my first real mountain bike (not department store quality) was a Bridgestone MB-5 which I purchased used from a local bike shop in 1992. It was a rigid steel bike but had QR clamps on both the axles and the seatpost (a big upgrade IMO then). [Not my bike in the photo, but my frame was the same color as this one.]


    Mine was a bike made by Murray (who also made lawn mowers and small engines). I don’t remember what the model was but it had cantilever brakes, chain rings the size of dinner plates, no suspension ( which was probably a good thing) and was heavier than my car. This was the first bike I ever rode on single track. My first real mountain bike was a GT Aggressor 2.0, a step up from the Murray but still not great.


    My first mountain bike was a 20o8 Trek Singletrack 590, which my parents bought for me for my tenth birthday. I still have it, though it is just a frame now ’cause i destroyed everything else on it. It had the old V-brakes and three cog setup on it(it seems ancient now!). I like to say my first real mountain bike was a 2014 Specialized Hardrock 29er hardtail, which I worked over the summer to buy at my LBS(which by the way, is the greatest bike store I know of. Paul’s Cycling and Fitness.) It has everything a modern low-end hardtail has and was a great upgrade. I have smashed and bashed that thing up until the time of last week, when I bought a Specialized Enduro. The Enduro is the greatest bike I have ever ridden. Awesome.


    It depends on your definition of mountain bike. Long before that term even existed, I was a kid riding bikes through the New England woods in the 1970s. But after the term “mountain bike” was being used by manufacturers, the first bike I had that was marketed that way was probably my 1992 Specialized Stumpjumper. Steel, fully rigid, purple. That was a great bike. 🙂


    Same here. As kids, we were dirt-bags bombing through the woods on whatever we could piece together. Later, when ‘mountain bikes’ were a thing, I got a GT Rebound. Hardtail, RockShox Jett up front with like 25mm of travel 😉  But whoever says you need a $5,000 carbon frame to really hit the trails is wrong. I used that thing to shred up in Dupont for days on end.

    Ignorance really was bliss….


    I still have my first mountain bike, it’s still in good enough shape to go to my son. Back in the day when Schwinn was American made, I bought a Moab 1, found a trail so step I couldn’t get the side pull brakes to haul it to a stop, so I put some Avid Arch v-brakes and a Marzocci shock on it.  Still ride it.


    Yeah, like those guys said, it depends on how you define “mountain bike”.  When I was a kid in the early 70s I would take my Schwinn Typhoon and hit all the cross country ski trails around the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.  The fenders, chain guard, etc., disintegrated from pounding over all the rocks and roots.  What fun!


    My first mountain bike if you want to call it that was a huffy. I broke that bike on the first single track I rode. My first real mountain bike was a Giant Yukon. It was black with purple fireworks in the paint. Brings back a lot of memories.


    1987 Specialized Rock Hopper. Put fat boys on it to ride the streets in DC and Farmer Johns for the trails through Rock Creek, Battery Kemble, and Glover Park that we would poach.  I was still mostly a skateboarding punk creep at the time, but the mountain biking took over in the ensuing years.


    I built my first “mountain” bike to trail ride in Michigan back in 1970 out of a old Schwinn steel frame my step grandfather gave me. Added flat straight bars, wide knobby tires. it looked about like this before I stripped it. 


    My first mountain bike was a 2000 Trek 4500. Last year I decided to bring it out on the trails once more and lets just say it didn’t survive. Now it is hanging on my wall.


    I noticed most of us started off on some sort of entry level or department store bikes. I’m no different. My first mountain bike was full-suspension Mongoose that I bought used. After trying riding it on real singletrack I’ve realized I need a real bike, not just to survive but to actually enjoy the trail. So I got 2011 Stumpjumper FSR 29er and still enjoying it every ride.

    While technically Mongoose was one that hooked me up on sport, I consider Stumpjumper as my first MTB.



    for those that can’t see it, I didn’t realize the site was going to forbid linking pics.  If you do a right click and open image in new tab you can see what I was trying to post.


    I started mountain biking in relative style on a used 2008 carbon Scott Ransom AM bike with 160mm of travel and a RS Lyric 2 step on front.  It was/is a totally fun playful bike.  The only problem was it was too small for me, so I learned the hard way the importance of frame size.  Too small of frame and too little skill as a newbie make for a bad mix, but most of the time even the spills were all laughs.  The bike is still going strong.  My middle son has it, and it serves as a great second bike especially to share with many gals.


    First MTB was Magna… got it for 75 bucks at a second hand shop. lol But I consider my Specialized Pitch my first real mountain bike…


    My first mountain bike was a Mongoose XR 1100. Bought on clearance at Walmart for $75. I didn’t know it wasn’t any good. So I rode it far, fast, and rough; long climbs (even though it weighed 39 lbs), fast descents (even though the fork had the damping of a pogo stick and the rear pivot stuck so bad that for a while I thought the shock was just for show, and the brakes tested by grip strength), and rough technical trails (I had no business riding Noble Canyon alone on that, but I did). I had a blast on it for about 3000 miles. I occasionally miss it. After getting myself and my sons real mountain bikes, I cleaned and tuned it and gave it to a thrift store. I wonder what adventures it provided to the next owner.


    A 2008 Specialized HRXC.

    I still have it, and ride it! It’s attached to my trainer.


    I guess my first mountain bike was a Murray as well. Rigid, of course, with cantilever brakes. It had brown paint with gold metal flakes in it. My dad removed all the stickers from the frame before I got it for Christmas. It replaced my 1970s Schwinn Stingray. I rode both of those bikes all over Charlotte on and off trails.

    The first really real mountain bike that I purchased for myself was a 2004 (or maybe ’05) Specialized Hardrock Pro. 3×9 Deore drivetrain, a Marzocchi coil fork, and Avid BB5 disc brakes. Black and blue paint job. I rode the absolute shit out of that bike. The frame wasn’t anything special, but it turned out to be a great platform for upgrades. Once I began working at a bike shop I swapped out parts. Eventually, it had a pretty blingy build with a Reba, carbon bars, upgraded drivetrain, and some custom wheels. I got it down below 24 lbs. and raced all over Georgia on it. I sold the frame on eBay several years ago, hopefully it’s still out there shredding somewhere.


    I am not sure what my first MTB was. I was very young (2nd or 3rd grade I believe) and My dad had found me a 20″ five speed kids MTB. I didnt have it long before it was stolen from the school bike rack.

    My next MTB was a good quality bike. I remember my dad had sourced it from the flea market (now days you could assume any bike at the flea market is stolen but back then the flea market had a more honest crowed, or at least that is how I remember it). I was told it was a Specialized stump jumper. My dad had stripped it down and painted it NEON GREEN… it damn near glowed in the dark…. I remember it had a “Height-Right”(spelling?) seat post spring on it, black foam grips, Shimano thumb levers, aluminum wheels with QRs, 18 speeds and flat pedals with cages.

    The one thing that stands out about that bike in my memory was the rear breaks. It had U-brakes (that’s what we called them at least) and they were mounted UNDER THE CHAINSTAYS.

    I also had a BMX with the same brake set up so it must have been a fad during that time. This must have been 1995 give or take a few years. And the bike I’m sure wasn’t new at the time.

    Funny how I hadn’t thought about the rides on that bike before now. Great memories of my dad taking 7+ kids on 10 mile bike rides. A feat I would never attempt! haha.

    *That bike also taught me a valuable lesson about tightening QRs correctly. I lost the front wheel, at the highest speed my little legs were capable of at the time, when I went to hop off of a curb. Woke up in the street with significantly less skin on the right side of my face and ear along with a big ol tire mark on the underside of the down tube.


    Now with all of the choices of mountain bikes, I love this question.  In fact, we were just having this discussion during a recent group ride.  To think of all of the options: 27.5, 29er, fat bike, full suspension trail bike, hardtail xc bike…and on and on.  What started most of us was a rigid steel bike!  My first bike was a 1994 Giant Iguana.  I paid $400 for it from a bike shop in Northern Virginia.  The bike was totally rigid with a steel frame…the thing was a tank!  I still have it today as I just can’t part with it.  I did some minor upgrades like brakes and levers, handlebars, and saddle, but kept it rigid.  Although I loved this bike and rode plenty of miles on it, I purchased my next bike in 1998, a Specialized StumpJumper Comp.  I rode this bike until recently when I finally upgraded to a full suspension Specialized Camber 29.

    Thanks for posing the question.  Ride on!

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