Most people tend to treat mountain bikes lightly and forget their impact on our lives. They are suited to the roughest kind of terrain and were only invented recently. However, they have evolved over the little time they have been around and become a sport. Tamarack resort gives the history of mountain biking and why mountain biking in Idaho has become an important hobby.
The Earliest Mountain Bikes
The first bikes were intended for riding on smooth terrains. In 1896, Paris bikers made the very first mountain bike. In the early 1940s, Cyclocross was invented as a way to keep fit in the cold season. It turned into a sport with a championship taking place in 1950. The sport involved taking the bikes to rough terrains for speed. In the same period, the Velo Cross Club Parisien was created by a Paris group related to modern mountain biking. The Rough Stuff Fellowship was established in the UK to clear the way for the sport there.
The earliest mountain bike was built in 1966 by Oregon-based D. Gywnn. He was the first to give it its name and some of the bike’s first inventors.
Mountain Biking (History in the US)
Since 1970, there have been several groups laying claim to the present-day mountain bike. In this period, cyclists changed old bikes from the mid-century to facilitate freewheeling races. One bike that exceptionally stood out was the Schwinn Excelsior, which had a frame modified to take on the rough terrain. These bikes also had fat tires and enhanced handlebars and were known as Klunkers. They were alright for biking in the mountains but would easily take damage while in use.
Joe Breeze, a biker, got fed up with repairing the klunker and making custom bikes in 1977. The Breezers, as they were named, had a steel alloy structure and two tubes that went diagonally over the frame. These were a vast improvement over the klunkers but still heavier than modern mountain bikes.
Incidentally, Tom Ritchey and his two friends formed a company called MountainBikes. The road bikes featured wider frames that could accommodate larger tires. Eventually, Tom left, and the company was renamed Fisher Mountain Bikes.
The Bicycle Industry and Mountain Biking
From the late 1970s, companies that made mountain bikes for the Japanese and Taiwan market found ways to make the bikes simpler and cheaply. Hence, this made them popular with biking groups that were still starting, and the sport started gaining an audience.
Modern Mountain Bikes
Heading into 1990, it became evident that mountain biking was a permanent and established sport. The sport also became more popular, and the mountain bikes were easier to buy. The bikes, too, evolved inefficiency, and there was a better choice to pick. The bikes had a pedal that supported cycling uphill and going through rough conditions. The bikes are equipped with a large wheel surface and can ride over all kinds of obstacles.
Bike resorts are also being made open to the public, allowing visitors to participate in any bike riding activities on their tracks. Mountain biking has become more mainstream and allows anyone to try it for themselves. The bikes are more easily accessible to the general public, and anyone with interest can obtain one to ride.
Mountain biking has evolved significantly in such a little time. It has gained massive popularity and is known for its enormous appeal, which is expected to stick around for even longer. Bikes are getting better with the design that considers different terrains that bikers would ride.
Fans and enthusiasts are getting more contemporary brands of mountain bikes. These have massive engineering improvements that have been made possible by advances in technology. The bikes are tested virtually and are constructed from modern materials. These are stronger and more capable of taking on the rough terrain without any damage to the tires.
The history of mountain biking has come a long way from its very early days of the Klunkers and the breezers. It has gained greater public attention, and enthusiasts are growing in number. The design and construction have also significantly improved, and the new bikes are more robust and easier to ride. Therefore, this is evidence of continuous produce engineering and improvement of the designs.