Old suspension bikes

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I found a really great thread on the Ridemonkey forum last week. I noticed on Statcounter that someone had linked my Pong magic fork post to a thread named “Pictures of old and obscure suspension bikes”, so I followed the link over to check it out. What a great collection of old suspension designs. If you need a reminder of how much suspension has evolved over the last 15 years, spend some time looking at these pictures. For me, viewing this thread brought back a lot of memories. I was working in a bike shop that carried the Trek line when the good old full suspension 9000 came out in the early nineties. At the time, the only suspension bicycle that I had ridden was one of those full suspension Yamaha BMX bikes that a kid in my neighborhood had in the seventies. Compared to that, the 9000 felt OK. The elastomers were not great, but at least they didn’t pogo like a big coil spring. The main thing I remember was that the pedaling really affected the suspension. It wasn’t that great, but I have to admit that I thought it was cool at the time. Luckily for Trek, they jumped on the URT bandwagon in a couple more years. For more pictures and a little history on the Trek 9000 and other vintage suspension designs, check out the museum section of First Flight Bicycles website. If you are ever near Charlotte, NC, you can stop by the shop and see some of the old bikes in person.

Okay, away from suspension talk for a bit. Some of you may have noticed that my posts have been a bit sparse lately. Since I started this blog, I have written these posts quickly during lunch. They have always been hurried (and probably full of errors) but I keep the blog up because I enjoy it. Lately, I have been way too busy to think much about the blog. I have tried to get something quick posted each week, but most of the topics that I really want to cover have been continually slipping. So, I think I need a break from the blog for a while. Maybe a week, maybe two weeks, who knows. I’ll be back sometime, and hopefully I will be recharged. In the mean time, check out some of the excellent blogs that I have listed in the sidebar.

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4 Comments

  1. Fritz February 28, 2007 at 6:40 pm -  Reply

    You’re doing great James.

    Speaking of old suspension bikes, last week I saw anold steel Softride bicycle with the Allsop saddle on a beam — it was one of their bikes from the early 90s. I just searched and was surprised to see that they’re still around.

  2. aidee March 14, 2007 at 8:01 am -  Reply

    Wow, the top photo is of a chopped up Kirk Precision MTB frame – the shame…

    I’ve been enjoying the spoils of building up a Kirk frame up into a singlespeed MTB!

  3. James March 19, 2007 at 4:24 pm -  Reply

    I used to work in a shop that carried those Kirk frames. They break fairly often anyway, so maybe it was already trashed before someone hacked it up.

  4. Anonymous April 26, 2007 at 10:23 am -  Reply

    Don’t forget the Mantis Pro Floater which pre-dates most of the bikes pictured. Pro Floaters are actually still sought after have a few comopanies dedicated to making parts for them.. noteably, disc brake adapters. Way ahead of it’s time, Mantis also produced mixed metal bikes, monocoque, elevated stays, prototype bikes to carry kids (kids up front over a smaller wheel), ect. A story on Mantis would be timely, as Richard was *way* ahead of his time, and his designs are amazing for just a two person shop.

    http://www.vareseweb.it/sport/immagini/mb/normale/mantis_pro_floater.jpg

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