, pub-5605095520821712, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0
top of page

The History of Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is a thrilling and fantastic sport of its time. Joe Breeze from Marin Country, California, has the credit for building the first fat-tire bicycle for rough terrains. Joe was riding on the rocky terrains near Mt. Tamalpais with some friends when he recognized the need for such a bike. The men used coaster brakes with one-speed bicycles from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. They used the term “my mountain bike” instead of “my road bike” for early vehicles.

According to Joe Breeze, fat-tire bikes were also used in Santa Barbara for mountainous trails. Joe and his bikes were professional road bikers and raced for Velo Club Tamalpais. Their blue and gold jersey carried a mountain logo as well.

Building the first-ever mountain bike

It was in October 1977 when Joe built the first fat tire bike. He used lightweight tubing inside fat tires; Earlier, such specifications were only used for fine quality road bikes. Other specifications included Phil Wood hubs, Schwinn S2 rims, and 26 X 2.125 Uniroyal Knobby Tires. Joe built the first batch of such bicycles. Breeze’s first bike made it to the various museums. Since 1978, it has been on permanent display at the Oakland Museum.

Innovation and Marketing

After building nine more cycles, the group needed to sell its product. Earlier it only included Joe Breeze, Gary Fisher, Tom Ritchey, and Charlie Kelley. From frames to fat tires, every bicycle builder added their specialty. After building almost nine structures, he needed to sell them but didn’t find enough business. There existed a gap, but people needed to realize this. Later Fisher and Kelley launched their Mountain bike business to sell Tom’s bike.

Trademark name of the bike Later Fisher and Kelley started efforts to trademark the name Mountainbike. Perhaps there were procedural deficiencies that resulted in the rejection of the nameword. Later, Bicycling magazine started the “name that bike” competition that saw a massive failure. The contest didn’t include the Mountainbike name because it was already rejected. ATB won the game, but it could not stand before more natural MTB (Mountain Bike, relatively quite honest).

Finding a gap and filling it with some offering is not enough. A complete mechanism is required to give a marketing push to the product. Fisher and Kelley made enough efforts to launch and then ensure sales of the mountain bike. Even today, the most famous mountain bikes are the Breezers made by Joe Breeze.

Earlier, an organization like USCF and UCI presented some resistance to mountain bikes. The number of NORBA (National Off-Road Bicycle Association) racers increased more than USCF racers; the latter backpedaled and made the new product inclusive.

Introduction of Mountain Bikes into the biking industry The first mass-produced mountain biking was made to the industry in 1982. At this point, the biking industry didn’t believe that idea would go beyond a fad. It thought mountain biking would remain a short-term trend that would vanish soon. It is pertinent to mention that no mainstream cycling company, including Schwinn and Fuji, showed interest in adventure sports. Only new companies (above mentioned one) innovated and introduced downhill and off-road biking. They also introduced suspension forks as shock absorbers. After passing through different experimental phases, the lightweight frame also proved to be exceptional support for biking on rough terrains.

It was in the later 1990s when mountain biking amassed plenty of enthusiasts. The adventure gained the status of sports resulting in the rise of the industry. After this period, a couple of more innovations followed. Most common structures that can be modified include lightweight gearing, front suspensions, disc brakes, and full suspension.

Future of Mountain Biking One thing is obvious; the design of bikes made them stand distinguished among the contemporary fleet. Builders focused on improvements in gear brakes and structure. We are not clear what other technology would be incorporated into these bikes to make them more developed and the latest. Innovation would probably focus on improving the same structure that made the design stand distinguished.

The future of mountain biking also depends upon how thrilling upcoming generations find it to be. The reason is that the development of technology has introduced more adventurous forms like water sports and air sports; both these games are attracting the attention of youth.

Yes, mountain biking can see its share divided among other adventure sports. But it would remain intact in terms of preserving its own identity. People who love hiking have an equal affinity for biking on challenging mountain terrains. Hence, prospects for mountain biking to evolve and become more adventurous are still glorious. It all depends on what the companies bring to keep the spirit of this sport alive.

1,575 views3 comments
bottom of page