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Glue Sniffer
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553 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm doing a bit of research on the history of 29ers and I keep finding conflicting information on dates. I figured, y'all might be able to help me out and get some 29er trivia bonus points (worth, like, a billion dollars on eBay) while you're at it.

1. Bianchi and Diamondback came out with the first lines of mass produced off-road 29ers. Was this in 1989, 1990, or 1991?

2. Gary Fisher re-came out with the first commercially successful line of mass produced 29er mountain bikes. Was this in 1999, 2000, or 2001?

3. White Brothers, Marzocchi, and Manitou all seemed to come out with commercially available suspension 29er forks at the same time, all around 1999-2001ish. Which was widely available first (so, not including the guy who knew a guy who got to ride a prototype)?

First one with the right answers has a giant wang! Go!

(And thanks for the knowledge.)
 

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Stokeless Asshat
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3,360 Posts
No points!

My answer is not worth any points but "most" will say that the 29"er was not invented until the Nanoraptor was introduced in 99. Before that it was just a lowly 28"er. :)

Jeff
 

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Sweep the leg!
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3,804 Posts
In 1989 I was selling both Diamond Backs and Bianchis at a shop in Dallas so I know which bikes you are referencing. But we didn't call them "29ers" or "Niners" or any of the currently common terms. I just considered them to be a 'cross bike with straight bars. I don't think we sold more than a handful of them either.
 

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Glue Sniffer
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553 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Fillet-brazed said:
there is a big thread on this somewhere. it got a bit heated if I recall.
Heh. Why doesn't that surprise me?

I tried doing a search, but (I know, shocker), doing a search for "29er+bikes+first" returns about a billion and four threads.

Either way, I shall search again.
 

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Premium Member
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48,238 Posts
catzilla said:
So, I'm doing a bit of research on the history of 29ers and I keep finding conflicting information on dates. I figured, y'all might be able to help me out and get some 29er trivia bonus points (worth, like, a billion dollars on eBay) while you're at it.

1. Bianchi and Diamondback came out with the first lines of mass produced off-road 29ers. Was this in 1989, 1990, or 1991?

2. Gary Fisher re-came out with the first commercially successful line of mass produced 29er mountain bikes. Was this in 1999, 2000, or 2001?

3. White Brothers, Marzocchi, and Manitou all seemed to come out with commercially available suspension 29er forks at the same time, all around 1999-2001ish. Which was widely available first (so, not including the guy who knew a guy who got to ride a prototype)?

First one with the right answers has a giant wang! Go!

(And thanks for the knowledge.)
1. The ones I would call 700C mtbs were offered in '90-91. Trek and Specialized also had models. The largest tires were 700x45 (Panaracer Smoke, Spec. Tricross II, and an IRC made Bianchi labeled model). Manitou (I have one) and Marzocchi (700 XC?) made 700C sussy forks for Trek and Diamondback.

About this time I drew a design for a 700x52 tired mtb. I may actually have to build it this year.

2. 2001 model year IIRC.

3. The Marzocchi came first (MX and Marathon versions). Fisher used them OEM for their first 2 (at least) years of 29er bike production. Without Fisher's spec the forks would not have been made.

Fisher then switched to Manitou for OEM. Again, the forks probably would not have been made without the OEM spec.

No clue on the White Bros. timeline.
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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8,254 Posts
jeff said:
My answer is not worth any points but "most" will say that the 29"er was not invented until the Nanoraptor was introduced in 99. Before that it was just a lowly 28"er. :)

Jeff
I would say your answer is worth all the "points". ;)

Without a few determined and influential people behind the idea for a fat 700c based mtb tire, Mark Slate and WTB wouldn't have made the Nanoraptor and the rest of the questions here would be a moot point.

And the designations "28er" and "29er" are pretty much Wes Williams of Willits invention, so the "name" goes back to him and his New Sherrifs and Townies that got converted and made to accept the Nanoraptor.

That's the start of it. The rest is fluff.

In the end, its just a bicycle. ;)

Ride what ya brung!
 

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Recovering couch patato
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14,019 Posts
I seem to remember Fisher and Nishiki simultaniously introduced their multi-29"er line-ups at Eurobike, late 2001, 2002 model year. I was there, pretty sure it was 2001. I only got my own Fisher a year later, after some time consuming failed custom attempts.

WB may have had a ridiculously tall 28" fork based off their 26" ones early on, and then it turned out to work great for 29". Actually still the lightest aftermarket telescopic 29" fork I am aware of, 1565g for mine, as was the BW.8. Many years later, flexier Reba's and Fox's still weigh much more.
 

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Premium Member
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48,238 Posts
shiggy said:
1. The ones I would call 700C mtbs were offered in '90-91. Trek and Specialized also had models. The largest tires were 700x45 (Panaracer Smoke, Spec. Tricross II, and an IRC made Bianchi labeled model). Manitou (I have one) and Marzocchi (700 XC?) made 700C sussy forks for Trek and Diamondback.

About this time I drew a design for a 700x52 tired mtb. I may actually have to build it this year.

2. 2001 model year IIRC.

3. The Marzocchi came first (MX and Marathon versions). Fisher used them OEM for their first 2 (at least) years of 29er bike production. Without Fisher's spec the forks would not have been made.

Fisher then switched to Manitou for OEM. Again, the forks probably would not have been made without the OEM spec.

No clue on the White Bros. timeline.
More from the early '90s.
Fisher and Klein. Both had a bike that would handle 700x45 tires. These bikes and the ones I mentioned in #1 were designed as mtbs rather than 'cross/hybrids and used the largest tires available at the time. I do consider them the precursors to the "modern" 29er.
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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8,254 Posts
DWF said:
Yep. Saw that just last night as I was research stuff about monster cross bikes. ;)

As Shiggy states: I also consider them the percursors of the modern 29"er, but then again, so are a lot of other bikes.

Say what you will, 29"ers started when the Nanoraptor came out. Period. Anybody can point to a thousand different ideas and say "that's part of the history", because it is. However; if you are going to look for a starting point in regards to what this forum is about, the Nano is it. That's the focal point.
 

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Non Dual Bliss
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6,240 Posts
Guitar Ted said:
Yep. Saw that just last night as I was research stuff about monster cross bikes. ;)

As Shiggy states: I also consider them the percursors of the modern 29"er, but then again, so are a lot of other bikes.

Say what you will, 29"ers started when the Nanoraptor came out. Period. Anybody can point to a thousand different ideas and say "that's part of the history", because it is. However; if you are going to look for a starting point in regards to what this forum is about, the Nano is it. That's the focal point.
Come on Ted, you know better than that. 29ers came out in the 19th century. It's just the term "29er" that's new and the term is an ambiguous & artificial construct at best. IMHO, of course.
 

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Premium Member
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48,238 Posts
Guitar Ted said:
Yep. Saw that just last night as I was research stuff about monster cross bikes. ;)

As Shiggy states: I also consider them the percursors of the modern 29"er, but then again, so are a lot of other bikes.

Say what you will, 29"ers started when the Nanoraptor came out. Period. Anybody can point to a thousand different ideas and say "that's part of the history", because it is. However; if you are going to look for a starting point in regards to what this forum is about, the Nano is it. That's the focal point.
But I really consider them all 700C mt bikes.
 
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