Old Skool

By StevieG - Posted on 13 November 2014

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

A friend of mine sent me this and I thought it was too good not to share - some early 90s downhill!


Epic video. Fully rigid, V brakes, bottle cages, lycra and seat heights to rival any road bike - recipe for plenty of OTB action!

Ah those were the days, zero suspension and the 89.9 degree head tube angle.... and a stem 3/4 of km long.

This would be even more hilarious if it didn't remind me so much of my entrance into the world of mountain biking, just a few years later. Rigid frames + crap brakes + ungroomed farm tracks = zero control.

The 90s can keep most of their technologies but they knew how to build frames. My steel Lava Dome frame is still going strong after almost 19 years. I have lost count of the number of modern alloy or carbon frames that have failed since then.

On a GT Tequesta at the NEMBA rounds( North of England Mountain Bike Association)
We'd do three events over one weekend on the same bike.
Downhill and observed trials on Saturday,
Xc on Sunday
I thought all my Birthdays came at once when I bought a Flexstem!

Imagine those bikes on Redbull rampage Eye-wink

That video was hilarious - I am guessing our wheels are also a bit stronger these days.

That was terrifying!(and hilarious) I was saying to a mate the other day, why didn't we get into mountain biking when we were younger and fitter? I'm not sure I'd have survived those days. "It's not about the bike" my arse!

what a blast....were these guys wearing gird iron gear for protection?

... but I can't say I blame them!

A mate of mine has an early noughties Stevens hardtail with elastomer forks. We swapped one day while he rode my 29er. I have to say anyone who can get around Manly Dam the way he does on that thing is a seriously good bike handler. It has the grand total of about 2" of travel.

Rigid 26ers with long stems, steep geometry, and skinny tyres? Urrrgh! I don't think I'd have survived long...

That clip reminded me of a ride you and I did a while back... Awaba - crash, glenrock - crash, kiwarrak - crash.... Arghhhhhhh!!! Bike and helmet excursion into the bush.... Good times!! Smiling

Was the worst on fully rigid.

At speed on fire trails in Christchurchs Port Hills the vibration through the bars would force your hands open so you had to let the bars vibrate around within your semi open grip to steer the bike and find the brakes.

Detaching the clip on the rear v-brake so your buckled rear wheel could still rotate also added to the OTB humour on those DH runs while kicking feet out of toe clips and trying to land in a tussock bush without hitting a sheep.

However it was riding Manly Dam on fully rigid after moving to Sydney that finally convinced me to try front suspension. Rocky as all hell.

Every now and then I look at my Demo 8 and think is this really still mountain biking, shudder and grab my full face helmet.

I remember barreling down a rough, steep land rover track in the Scottish Highlands with mist so thick you could just see the front of your wheel.

This was in 1988 on a fully rigid Muddy Fox Courier. The buffeting was so bad, you could feel your eyes jiggling around in your head and couldnt actually focus on anything, which was just as well because if you could see, you would have wet yourself.

As you can see in the video above, slowing down wasn't really an option because the brakes were completely useless. You just hoped to stay in contact with the bike as you tried to remember where the nearest hospital might be.

I also remember the rudimentary helmets.... to be honest, your only effective protection was a good sense of humour!

It was all great fun at the time, but I can't say I miss it !


@Black Flash lol, yeah

The only thing missing from our trip was the purple tie-dyed spandex. Eye-wink

As much as this is an hilarious video, one day people will definitely say "can you believe they used to ride Manly dam on carbon bikes, with disc brakes!". Hopefully we'll still be pushing pedals around in circles, but I'm willing to bet that the pace of change won't slow down! Smiling

You see this bike on the Oaks and at Knapsack every so often! It reminds me how soft we have become. Smiling


While where on the 90's. The speed i'd go through this section


I likey

The 90s was so vibrant in colours, not enough colour in todays racing!

Atleast Hi-vis is brining it back.

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