Mountain Bikes from 1986: How Much They’ve Changed

Our first issue of Mountain Bike Action came out with a cover date of July 1986. Among the articles in that issue was a four-page “Buyer’s Guide” showing some of the mountain bikes available at that time. None of the bikes had suspension, front or rear. However, if you look at the forks, you’ll see that all of them were curved as they approached the front hubs. That fork curvature, which was used on road bikes as well, allowed the forks to flex when the rider hit bumps, taking away some of the harshness when riding on rough terrain. The first suspension forks hadn’t arrived yet, so that flexibility in the forks was important back then. The brands represented in that first “Buyer’s Guide” were Cannondale (two bikes), Crotch Rocket (one), Diamond Back (three), Fat Chance (one), Haro (one), Hutch (one) and Schwinn (three).


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