What is a vintage mountain bike


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BICYCLE HEAVEN

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 25, 2014
164
268
Pittsburgh, United States
#1
I have the bike Museum in Pittsburgh and i have been buying up mountain bikes trying to build up that style bikes for display.I have a bunch late 70s and 80s and some early 90s mountain bikes and others,,What do you think is concerted a vintage mountain bike,,what would you like to see/???,,,,i have many bikes and i find its not the very very rare or has to by the high end bikes to put a smile on someones face,,,they like to see the bike they had when they were younger,,??????,,,,,
 

KingSized HD

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Feb 23, 2013
638
958
Herndon, CA, United States
#2
The list at mombat bicycles website is a great starting place: http://mombatbicycles.com/MOMBAT/bike_list.html

I’m partial to steel, no suspension bikes; early Ritcheys, first year Specialized Stumpjumpers, first year Schwinn Cimarrons (huh, maybe I’m partial to biplane forks) and gotta have a repack klunker or two to represent the birthplace of MTB. I’m leaving out some great names but others will bring them up.
 

SKPC

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Feb 2, 2018
999
5,622
62
Utah - United States
#3
Last years' latest and greatest are already vintage. The manufacturers are so caught up in making obsolete anything that works well, that you are always behind the curve with these bikes. You have a "vintage" bike the year after you buy it. 26, 29er, 27.5er, 27 plus, 29 plus, 26 fat...(the next best "improvement" will be ""26-plus") QR axles, Maxle, Boost, super-boost, slack seat and head angles, steep seat and head angles, short chainstays, long ones, long offset forks, short ones, threaded BB's, press-fit BB's, 1" headsets, 1.125" headsets, 1.5" headsets, tapered headsets, triple rings, single rings, double rings, 7-spd, 8-spd, 9-spd, 12-spd, single-speed, fat, semi-fat, Plus, shoulder-width bars, 800mm bars, no remote levers, all remote levers, droppers, no dropper, toe-clips, clipless, platforms, combo clipless/platform, too little, too much, it never ends. All of it conceived so you cannot swap new parts on to your old frame that you love so much. Today you are forced to buy all new or you are just not "with it". I am one who resists this madness. Icannot tell the difference between a Fox 32mm fork or a 36mm fork, nor can I tell that a maxle or Boost rear axle makes any difference in stiffness. I call BS on all of it.....
In terms of real classics, I think they were the 1st gen MTB's from the 1st makers from the 80's and 90's...Ritchey, Specialized, Ibis, Klein, Litespeed, Moots, and others I may have missed. 26"/hardtail/3x....quick release 135mm rear axles and threaded BB's with 1st-gen Shimano XTR. My 2cents here being an MTB rider. .
 
Last edited:

MarkKBike

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Apr 17, 2017
862
2,009
Chicago Suburbs
#5
I think one of the best periods to be involved in mountain biking was the 90's. There were lots of companies producing high quality components., and I used to drool though the catalogs and look for upgrades I could afford. The 90's bikes may not be considered vintage yet, but many of the higher end components are still valulable, and when in nice condition seem to be in relatively high demand and can bring in decent prices.

In my area, its not very common to find any bikes for sale that are decked out with upgraded components.

Many of these manufactures have now been put out of business by the larger company's "Like Trek".

I like them all, but think the 90's bikes, and the higher end components of that era, are the most interesting. Back then there were more smaller sized US based companies making neat stuff that I can even remember to list.

I now consider most of the 80's /90's mountain bikes vintage, even if others do not. Enough time has past, that the younger generation who is looking to purchase there first mountain bike, probably sees all this stuff as junk.
 
Last edited:

Bikerider007

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 13, 2016
101
46
49
#6
Late to the party but I have a soft spot for pre 85' so here is my .02. You won't have a huge crowd of younger must have this or that as BMX was king the time. MTB was trying to find itself so it played the adult card. For the most part colors were bland and not very exciting style other than Bullmoose bars and bi plane type fork. The first mass produced bikes will have a following or course. Here is my list of what I think are different beside the early top end Breezer, Ritcheys.....

-StumpJumper for steel (mid 81 brazed, mid 82 lugged) so those two stand out.

-Cannondale in 84 beat Klein to the punch for the first Aluminum mass produced and also threw a ringer in there. The 46er's 24/26 wheels on top of bullmoose and Bi plane.

-Other notables are some cross over BMX that had anno parts. Anno parts on MTB came much later (90s) so those are cutting edge. These are more rare than Ritcheys. Companies like CW, Hutch, Torker...

-Diamondback in 82 or 83 created Diamond shaped bull moose type bar which look cooler than the original.

-Ross Mt Whitney, Ross is credited for creating the first MTB Team. And they had that Cindy girl that was smoking hot! And the name was Ross Indians which is now seen as derog.

Backstories are always good. I'm sure there are more bikes to add but those stand out.
 
Last edited:

Pauliemon

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 22, 2009
363
656
Sacramento, California
#7
Last years' latest and greatest are already vintage. The manufacturers are so caught up in making obsolete anything that works well, that you are always behind the curve with these bikes. You have a "vintage" bike the year after you buy it. 26, 29er, 27.5er, 27 plus, 29 plus, 26 fat...(the next best "improvement" will be ""26-plus") QR axles, Maxle, Boost, super-boost, slack seat and head angles, steep seat and head angles, short chainstays, long ones, long offset forks, short ones, threaded BB's, press-fit BB's, 1" headsets, 1.125" headsets, 1.5" headsets, tapered headsets, triple rings, single rings, double rings, 7-spd, 8-spd, 9-spd, 12-spd, single-speed, fat, semi-fat, Plus, shoulder-width bars, 800mm bars, no remote levers, all remote levers, droppers, no dropper, toe-clips, clipless, platforms, combo clipless/platform, too little, too much, it never ends. All of it conceived so you cannot swap new parts on to your old frame that you love so much. Today you are forced to buy all new or you are just not "with it". I am one who resists this madness. Icannot tell the difference between a Fox 32mm fork or a 36mm fork, nor can I tell that a maxle or Boost rear axle makes any difference in stiffness. I call BS on all of it.....
In terms of real classics, I think they were the 1st gen MTB's from the 1st makers from the 80's and 90's...Ritchey, Specialized, Ibis, Klein, Litespeed, Moots, and others I may have missed. 26"/hardtail/3x....quick release 135mm rear axles and threaded BB's with 1st-gen Shimano XTR. My 2cents here being an MTB rider. .
You left out 36" wheels! Dirty Sixer mountain bikes for (real) tall people.
20170615_154205.jpg
 

pkleppert

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 26, 2010
236
378
Beverly Hills, Michigan
#8
The 40 year rule applies.
Whatever you didn't get for Christmas or your birthday is usually what everyone is looking for.
When I got into this hobby almost 40 years ago you couldn't give a StingRay away.
 

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