From Outsider To A Popular Sport

Mountain bikes are a mass sport today. But that was not always so. The history of these bikes is not that old. It began in 1973. At that time, three friends in California wanted to explore an 800-meter high mountain by bike. But the mountain slopes consisted of steep gravel roads, which they could not travel by a conventional bicycle. That fact aroused the ambition of the three men. They also wanted to cycle on such a slippery surface. So they got tires for wheels from the 1930s from junkyards. These balloon tires had 26-inch rims, wide handlebars and no gears. That laid the foundation stone for today’s mountain bikes.

From Outsider To A Popular Sport
From Outsider To A Popular Sport

However, the first shortcomings appear in the test. These bikes were hefty. But when they thunder down the mountain for the first time, they know that the effort was worth it. Now the further development began. The first competitions took place just three years later. Back then, they had to relubricate the brakes after every descent. Those parts that were not compatible with the requirements were gradually further developed and replaced. First of all, mountain bikes got a gear shift. Then came the massive handlebar with the brake levers. The thumb gears and drum brakes followed. Joe Breeze built the first real mountain bike in 1977, which was a completely new development and not a modification.

Ready To Conquer The World

He reduced the weight of the frame and built-in stiffening tubes. The next generation, which is ready two years later, weighs significantly less again. Charles Kelly then triggers the big breakthrough. His articles in several bike magazines cause a stir. In 1981 he started a new magazine called Fat Tire Flyer Magazine. It is the first mountain bike magazine in the world. During the 1980s, the local phenomenon became a new movement. New aluminium components inspire the scene. Again, three kilograms are lost. But what has been missing so far, now comes almost automatically. The name of the new bikes is now officially Mountain Bikes.

Ready To Conquer The World
Ready To Conquer The World

Specialized Bicycle Imports was the first to recognize the potential that lies in this new type of bicycle. In 1981 they launched the Specialized Stumpjumper. This bike marks the turning point for the first large series of mountain bikes. Nobody could no longer stop the new sport. More and more manufacturers are entering the market, and demand is growing enormously. The individual components are newly developed and improved continuously. Tha affects the brakes, the gears, as well as the hubs and bottom bracket. Mass production is picking up speed and is taking the new sport to the remotest corners of the world. The idea of ​​three friends has turned into a global mass movement. The mountain bike has taken the world by storm. But the friendship of the three inventors falls by the wayside. After a big argument in 1984, they went their ways. But her idea has stayed the same and gives athletes all over the excellent world pleasure.