Here at Mtbr, we’re privileged to have access to the latest and greatest. When we hop on a bike that’s just five years old, it’s obvious just how much better those annoying incremental “improvements” have made modern mountain bikes. So what about if you went back even further, say 25 years? In this video by the Global Mountain Bike Network, Neil Donoghue does just that. In one corner of the ring, a 1992 Trek 9000. As any old-timer can tell you, this was not one of Trek’s finest. It used a simple single pivot design to achieve 70mm of travel using a shock that consisted of simple a rubber elastomer.
Since the rear end has no damping, the bike would top out when descending, and bob horribly when climbing. The only bright spot was the fork, which was a Trek branded unit made by Showa that offered a whopping 40mm of travel.
Today, you’re hard-pressed to find a full suspension mountain bike with under 100mm of travel. Other differences include bar width, stem length, axle diameter, wheel size, and geometry. So…pretty much everything.
That raises the question, is it still possible to rip on a vintage mountain bike? Of course! Just watch Neil. Granted, he is a world class rider. I wouldn’t expect most riders would be able to ride a 25-year-old bike without stacking it.