History of Mt Bikes: How It All Started
Mountain biking started during the late 1960s when repack races, or riding fast down mountain trails, started to attract the interest of the public. These races also paved the way for the creation of mt bikes, the type of bicycles suitable for mountain biking. The hobby of mountain bicycling eventually evolved into a sport; and it is in California where this simple hobby was first elevated into an athletic activity.
It was not until the late 1970s that road bicycle companies started manufacturing mt bikes. The person often credited for introducing the first purpose-built mountain bike was Gary Fisher. The mountain bikes of these times were built with wider frames and forks and wider tires. The handlebars of mountain bicycles are designed differently from regular bicycles. They are straight and transverse-mounted, unlike the usual dropped, curved handlebars found in road bicycles. The first mass production of mountain bicycles was done by Specialized and the models that this company manufactured were configured with 18 gears.
It was during the 1990s when the universal system of mounting the brake on the hub or frame was established, with the disc or rotor being bolted to the hub with six bolts and the piston or brake pad assembly attached to the frame using two bolts. It was also during this decade that mountain bikes started to have front suspension forks to make riding on rough roads easier on the rider’s arms.
Mountain bicycles currently offered in the market are lighter and have more suspension design options. Based on suspension, mountain bikes can be classified into four categories which include hardtail, fully-rigid, dual or full suspension and soft tail. The hardtail has a frame with no rear suspension but can have a front suspension fork. The fully-rigid bike is a sub-type of the hardtail with a rigid fork, while the dual or full suspension type has a frame-incorporated front suspension fork and rear suspension. The soft tail bikes are those models having a small amount of rear suspension and less than full suspension frame.
Since 2002, mountain bicycles with wheels measuring 29 inches have been introduced in the market. These larger wheels are meant to roll much better over road obstacles than the usual 26-inch wheels. The bigger wheels, according to mountain bike experts, cause some maneuvering problems.
The technological changes that have been adopted to construct the most stylish and most convenient models of mt bikes have created a competitive bicycle-designing business. Design innovations are still ongoing and we can expect more radical models to be offered in the market in the coming years.
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