Mountain Biking History



Mountain Biking History

Mountain Biking started during the 1970s in California, USA. Mount Tamalpais, better known as Mt. Tam, is widely considered as the origin of Mountain Biking. Often hailed founding fathers of Mountain Biking such as Joe Breeze, Gary Fisher, Charlie Cunningham, Keith Bontrager, and Tom Ritchey converted cruisers and balloon-tire bicycles into human-powered machines that are capable of passing through all kinds of road conditions. The first breed of mountain bikers were purely downhillers. They would ferry their bikes up a mountain with a truck and race downhill. They used coaster brakes in order to slow down from the descent. However, these old-styled brakes would heat up during descents in which they would have to be repacked with grease before going through another descent. This breaking mechanism was later replaced with cantilever brakes which were a lot lighter and much stronger. Simultaneously, riders felt that they had to bike up the hills or mountains in order to appreciate riding the descent, thus the birth of multi-speed bikes with shifters and gear in order to aid riders ride up the hills and mountains.

Much has changed since the 1970s. Popularity has grown and companies have taken steps in order to address this concern. Now, specific components for Mountain Bikes have been developed to provide better Mountain Biking performance. One can get a full suspension Mountain Bike with disc brakes cheaper than a road Bike of the same caliber. The rising number of professional racers help fuel the development of Mountain Bike technology. As the level of competition rises, the level of the performance of the bike will also increase, ensuring amateur level riders the technology of race ready machines at an affordable price.

During the early 90s, champions such as John Tomac and Ned Overend dominated the Mountain Biking scene. In 1996, the first Mountain Biking event at the Atlanta Olympics was held. This was won by Bart Jan Brentjens of The Netherlands. In 1995, the first Extreme Games were held in various cities around the United States. One of the events was Downhill Mountain Biking. In 1997, the Winter X-Games was conceived, of course with a Mountain Biking event as well.

Compared to other Outdoor Activities, Mountain Biking is a fairly new sport and recreational activity. From the 1970s, many aspects of Mountain Biking have developed and improved as people discover other styles of riding their Mountain Bikes. In addition, hundreds of different kinds and types of gear and equipment are available in the market today in order to cater the needs of thousands of enthusiasts. This inevitable evolution paved the way for mountain bikers to enjoy Mountain Biking better and for a lot of people to try this breathtaking sport

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