Mine was a 1992 Raleigh Heat, bought at the local bike shop. It was completely rigid when I bought it, I later put a Rockshox Quadra on it. I also upgraded the bike to clipless pedals back in the day and that was a total game changer. Both in the way I rode and how I wrecked. LOL..
I sold the bike about 15 years ago, I know the owner still. I have tried to buy it back but he won’t sell it… I just want it for sentimental reasons.
My dream bike that I would go by and look at every other week was a Raleigh John Tomac. That thing was baaad!
My first was a Miele mtb but I never really could ride that thing off road. I got my hands on an M800 C’dale in 87 ish and that was the first off road bike purpose built for the job. It sucked at speed but climbed like a goat over the rocks and crap I had for trails back then. Prior to that I was a kid screaming around the Back river woods in Montreal on a succession of Peugeot road bikes since 72.
My first was a Raleigh that I found abandoned in a ditch alongside the road. I tweaked on that thing all the time before I eventually gave it away. Easy come easy go. I found an old Schwin a few years back and after tweaking on it for a while I gave it away too. The last one I fixed up and gave away just last summer was an old 26″ steel frame, no suspension Huffy. I actually liked that one and it fit me good for thrashing on the trails. It weighed more than 50# and never gave me a lick of trouble. The guy who got that one was a wildland fire fighter that I worked with and he was tickled beyond belief that he was getting a bike for nothing. I only have room for one bike or I’d end up with a poor boy’s bike shop.
First “mountain-ish bike” was a Schwinn Stingray. I converted it over to full BMX from Sears catalog ordered parts! It was a BMX bike, not really MTB.
My next bike was a Raleigh C30 hybrid, rigid with twist grip shifter. I changed out the tires to full knobby for better off-road trail capability. Also replaced the cushie spring seat with a much better seat, and also swapped out the crazy long stem. Rode that mostly on fire access roads and multi-use trails in New England. I also rode some crazy trails with it that I should of not been able to with that bike. Great learning experience.
My first real dedicated MTB bike was a Airborne Zeppelin Elite. I upgraded the tires, rear shock, front shock, seat, seatpost, seat clamp, handlebars, grips, and stem. I still have it, and still use it sometimes.
1992 GT Police bike with rear rack and huge, weak lights compared to LEDs. Great bike, but they have definitely come a long way in suspension and brakes. It also had 26” steel rims, and the cheapest deraileur you could find……thinking about it, they have made leaps and bounds in MTB design.
First MTB was a Huffy I did my first race on it at 14 and managed a mid-pack finish in spite of its boat anchor-like qualities.
First non-dept. store bike was a ‘93 Jamis Durango. I think I upgraded every component on that bike: went from Alivio to LX drivetrain (aka, the level below XT for the younger readers), upgraded wheels from Weinman to STX/RC hubs with Sun rims, and rigid 1” treaded headset RIGID fork (yeah kids, that was a thing!) to a threadless 1” first-gen Judy XC fork. Raced that bike all over PA till ‘97 ( including Jr-Ex at the first NORBA National at Seven Springs outside Pittsburgh.
My mom’s old 1980s Gary Fisher Excalibur. Rode it down Rough Go (Annadel, CA) and broke the suspension, so now it’s a fully rigid bike, and I still enjoy riding it from time to time. I now have a 2008 specialized epic full suspension