Mountain biking is a sport that has progressed massively since it’s conception. Of course not all of us were there back in the day when the original repack riders were hammering around San Francisco’s surrounding mountains. In fact they’d just started racing mountain bikes the year I was born (check out Charlie Kelly’s site for more info). Yet even in the time I’ve been into the sport the changes have been significant. Look at this photo of Steve Peat from 1993:

Steve Peat in 2007

Photo from MBUK

Rigid Kona, early SPD pedals, helmet with about 9 vents in… My first mountain bike was being hammered around the trails on the hill behind my house in the late 1980s. I started racing and buying mountain bike magazines in about 1992 and the trends and technology were very different. I remember the first suspension forks – early Rock Shox and Manitou models being introduced. SPDs came along replacing clips and straps. There was a lot of skepticism towards many new technologies, but not half as much as the amount which followed early disc brakes and full suspension frames.

Still the big companies threw lots of money into R&D which progressed the designs and ideas. Eventually they began to convince people with light, expensive and strong components and designs that worked efficiently. The benefits became tangible. This is why these days Steve Peat is racing something very different and despite the debate between hardtails and full sussers still refusing to die, Peaty is undoubtedly riding a lot faster, getting bigger air and hammering the trails more aggressively than he used to.

Steve Peat in 2007

Photo from Dirt

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

One thought on “Progression”

  1. Thanks for the link.

    When I go out and ride my full suspension bike with the great brakes on a legal and awesome singlegtrack, I find myself laughing at how far I have come with this.

    When you started riding off road, at least you could get a bike that worked!


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