- 'Rites of Passage' Bikes – is there a definitive list?
My mate had one of the turn of the century Explosif’s in blue and it was lovely. But I preferred the steel Caldera. In fact here’s mine.
[url=https://flic.kr/p/LFSn2]Kona Caldera – May 03 – July 05[/url] by Alex Leigh, on Flickr
Now that was a perfect singletrack bike in the Chilterns. Never should have sold it.Posted 3 years agoSpinMember
I started to wonder if there’s a list of bikes – as a committed/deluded/passionate/obsessed mountain biker you ‘should’ have at least ridden and probably owned.
The closest thing might be your first MTB, your first FS bike and the first bike you dropped in the vicinity of a months wages on. For some this might be one bike.Posted 3 years agothisisnotaspoonMember
+1 for a DH bike, on the basis you wont get anywhere near it’s limits it doesn’t matter which one.
An XC bike, a really brutally stiff, long top tube, 110mm stem, 80mm forks, fashion be damned XC bike. The modern equivalent of a Cannondale CAAD F-series.
Anything in between is a bit of a compromise.Posted 3 years ago
Reading the angst on the ‘should I sell it’ thread, I started to wonder if there’s a list of bikes – as a committed/deluded/passionate/obsessed mountain biker you ‘should’ have at least ridden and probably owned. The petrol head equivalent would be the Alfa Romeo I guess.
The Santa Cruz Chameleon comes to mind. You cannot ride one without grinning. Or, as you get older, grimacing. Not sure what the classic steel or Ti frame is (I’m biased and would say Trailstar and Hummer) and that’s before we get onto FS (LTS maybe?)
What says the hive mind?Posted 3 years agocrazy-legsSubscriber
no such thing – rites of passage bikes, who comes up with this crap lol
Maybe not now but Back In The Day™ when there were fewer bike brands, fewer people riding, none of this interweb forum stuff, you could pretty much guarantee that a good percentage of your riding mates had all progressed through certain makes/models of bikes as the fashion of the time dictated.
The two that spring to mind are old steel Kona (usually Cinder Cone or Explosif) and a GT (usually a Zaskar).Posted 3 years agoorangeboyMember
Think most of the stuff we will list here is now obsolete to most people.
Things move on mostly for the better ,
I love my old Saracen killi flyer but now people have a choice you don’t have to buy a full on xc bike with tight angles and scary handling
But I’ve been Doing this a while I have a soft spot for retro stuffPosted 3 years ago
Sts until it breaks
Classic specialized steel rockhopper
And something else I still have ,a early giant mcm carbon ht with sids and onza ho brakestheredsnapperMember
For me it was a Raliegh Grifter….surely a Rite of Passage Bike should be the bike that made you want to cycle….not the aspirational bikes that we’d all love to have, that’s something different altogether!
My Grifter was everything I ever wanted, got me into and out of loads of scrapes, made me giggle and also blow out of my arse at times when I road it….and there was the magic of finding it on Christmas morning and wheeling it out to try and ride in the slushy snow of the Sheffield streets…..pure magic!
RedPosted 3 years agoandyvMember
Another vote for the Spesh Rockhopper here.
(The only bike I’ve literally ridden to death cracking both chainstays. I salvaged the main tubes and welded them into my race car so it lives on in another form)
Along the same lines as most early steel Konas, GT Zaskars etc in mid 80s simple MTBs. The formula that today’s boutique bikes exploit so well.
Or a “rite of Passage” bike could be a bad one, everyone should try a bike so bad it feels like it wants to kill you! I tried a mates early Full Suss Spesh XC (early 90s?) that really did’nt want a rider onboard and took every oppoutunity to throw me off.Posted 3 years ago
On a slightly tangential note, I rode a mate’s 06 Enduro we’d fitted new drivetrain, brakes, stem, bars and reverb too. It weighs exactly the same as my nukeproof mega am (and the spesh has a coil shock) and rides superbly. Which makes you wonder about the ‘progress’ of the last few years.
Other than a slightly steeper head angle and non tapered head tube, it’s hard to see what’s that different! Even the Fox36’s of that year are still a class fork.
On that note alone, it should be included.Posted 3 years agoandyvMember
That was Spesh FSR not XC, had to do a google picture search to bolster my frazzled memory. Anyhow one of these:Posted 3 years agoNormal ManSubscriber
If we are talking BITD then any MTB that was bought too big for you under the ‘he/she will grow into it’ mentality!
I clearly remember early ’89 and smashing downhill on a Dawes Ascent with the saddle slammed low in the frame, not because I’d dropped it but as it was a 21.5 inch frame!
Although that bike was a revelation with 15 gears, canti brakes and cro mo front triangle after my ’85 Raleigh Maverick with steel rims, sidepull and centre ridge tyres.(the latter got replaced pretty quickly!)
Braking on that Raleigh was more an ‘optional extra’ and presumably a box I’d forgot to tick! That said I learned to descend pretty well! Although it might also explain why my body is so beaten up now, all those years after the lesson’s!!Posted 3 years agoahwilesSubscriber
It’s my firm opinion, that once someone decides that yes, this mountain biking thing is for them, they should have to spend a year running something really old, with:
no suspension other than an optional flex-stem.
quill stem – that’s 150mm long
really crap 1.8″ tyres.
and it has to be at least 1-size ‘out’.
it would help newbies realise that even ‘rubbish’ modern bikes are fantastically brilliant.
perhaps even tarts like me should be issued with ‘red cards’ for saying things like ‘the head angle’s 1degree too steep’ / ‘the chainstays are 10mm too long’ / ‘i’m struggling with my forks – i need separate high/low compression damping’
sorry princess, you’ve gone soft, back on the %hitter – till you learn your lesson.Posted 3 years agocuriousyellowSubscriber
My first proper MTB was a Claud Butler Cape Wrath. It had:
– My first disc brakes. Which I oiled when they began to squeal. Much hilarity ensued on the descents.
– Rockshox J1s(?) which had two settings. Locked out, or bottomed out.
– Quad brakes, which were pretty good until they went squidgy and I couldn’t figure out how to bleed them.
– Cup and cone wheels which wouldn’t turn after I tried to service them. Fixed that in the end.
I then spunked a load of money on new wheels and a few blingy parts. More than the bike was worth to be honest before flogging it for £150. The bloke who bought it was cannibalising it for the parts. 🙁
It was also a 21″. I now ride a 16″ Whippet!
Zero nostalgia, but I feel sad when I think that frame will get no more use. It could have been someone’s run around bike. We had some great times together and I learned a lot about riding and spannering with that bike.Posted 3 years agosoulstealerMember
A Spooky Metalhead or anything by Brooklyn Machine Works. Somehow they managed to do things completely differently but get it oh so right! Plus there’s the boutique bike/niche bonus! Lucky to have ridden/owned both. I don’t know what they did to make the metalhead ride like it did but it sure knew how to flatter your skills!Posted 3 years ago
The topic ‘'Rites of Passage' Bikes – is there a definitive list?’ is closed to new replies.