Video: Flashback Friday with Tomac and Herbold on MTV Sports

It may be old school, but these pioneers got skills for the ages


Their handlebars were so narrow they could touch their thumbs at the stem, but that didn’t stop legends John Tomac and Greg Herbold from ruling the mountain bike world back in the early ‘90’s. And their prowess didn’t go unnoticed, even by the mainstream. In this 1992 segment from MTV Sports, the two world champions get radical with the colorful Herbold bringing the hype like Flava Flav and Tomac spittin’ bass like Chuck D.

Air Tomac

Back in the day, John Tomac and Greg Herbold went big on bikes we’d be afraid to ride these days.

And while the clothes and the gear and the edit may be a bit stuck in time, their skills are timeless, as is their love for the sport. Herbold works for SRAM preaching the gospel of awesome, while Tomac still rides quite a bit and is rumored to be slightly faster than his pro motocross son Eli.

HB Tomes

Herbold and Tomac’s styles and personalities may have contrasted, but they had world titles in common.

About the author: Don Palermini

Chicago-born Don Palermini became a cycling-based life-form in the sixth grade after completing a family road bike tour of his home state. Three years later he bought his first mountain bike to help mitigate the city's pothole-strewn streets, and began exploring the region's unpaved roads and trails. Those rides sparked a much larger journey which includes all manner of bike racing, commuting, on- and off-road bike advocacy, and a 20-plus-year marketing career in the cycling industry that landed him at his current gig with Santa Cruz bicycles. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, his four favorite words in the English language are "breakfast served all day," together in that order.

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  • Vespasianus says:

    Agh, the joy of a 150mm stem with a 19.5″ flat bar. Man, those were the days…

    I may not look it, but I still feel like Herbold when I ride my bike…

  • Reformed Roadie says:

    That made my day…
    When I started, it was 6 speed cassettes, friction shifters, cantis and bio-pace…

  • tyrebyter says:

    In my best dreams, those guys still kick my ass.

  • Loll says:

    Does anybody remember the Wrigley mountain bike commercial back in the early 90s?

    I thought I saw Greg Herbold doing a on ground back wheel 360 in it.

    That was also a classic

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