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Miscellaneous 2 96

Well, the most exciting Tour de France that I can remember in years is over and it is time to get back to reality. Right now, I have a ton of work to get done, as well as several personal projects in the works. I probably won’t have much free time to think about bikes or to look at cycling sites on the web for a while. If I am lucky, I’ll be able to squeeze some riding in, but that is about it. Posts will be light for a couple of weeks and I will most likely be slow to respond to any messages and comments, so please bear with me.

As you can probably guess, today’s post will be a quick one. Here is a grainy picture that I recently found stuck inside a book in my attic. This is me, around 1988, bunny hopping on my very first mountain bike. It is an understatement to say that mountain bikes have changed in the last nearly twenty years. Back then, most bikes, including off-road models, had lugged steel frames. Most mountain bikes also had really, really long chainstays. My bike featured a frame that was a tad large and a long wheelbase that made it track like a limo. It is hard to tell in this photo, but I also had the cool one piece bullhorn style bar and stem combo that was popular at the time. So who can guess what kind of bike this was? It is almost impossible to tell from this photo, so I will give you a hint. I ordered it from a popular mail order catalog because, as a poor first year college student, I didn’t have enough money to buy a Ritchey or a Fisher. This bike featured a mix of Suntour and Sakae parts and probably weighed over 30 pounds. It was not the finest bike available on the market, but it did its job well and only cost me about 300 bucks. The bike certainly took more than its fair share of abuse before I retired it in the early 90s to build up a lightweight (at the time) Cannondale with Deore XT components. I can’t say that I really miss my first mountain bike. Now, I have a K2 Razorback that weighs almost 10 pounds less even with full suspension. Still, I have good memories of many rides on that old bike. As much as I like to talk about expensive new bikes, this old photo reminds me that all bikes are good ones. Bikes are great, but riding is what is really important.


  1. Fritz August 2, 2006 at 3:14 pm -  Reply

    Anything affordable was pretty much all Stumpjumpers back then, weren’t they? I don’t remember them using Sakae components, though, but I could be wrong.

  2. James August 3, 2006 at 6:55 am -  Reply

    Good guess Fritz, but it was actually a Nashbar. A Stumpjumper would have cost me over twice as much and, as I said, I was on a tight budget at the time. It really was a good bike for the price and I think the bullhorn bars sold me on it. While on the subject, remember when Nashbar used to sell framebuilding supplies? The catalog business has changed quite a bit in the last twenty years.

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