Throwback Thursday: Mountain Bike Action Ads from 30 Years Ago

Diamond Back was one of the most popular BMX brands in the country, and they were apparently eager to capitalize on their popularity as mountain biking exploded in the the 1980s.

Suntour was one of the most popular drivetrain systems in 1988.

Haro Designs was famous for its creative approach to marketing and advertising. This ad for the 1989 Haro Extreme mountain bike was a good example. The bike featured Shimano’s 21-speed Hyperglide drivetrain and a seatstay-mounted U-Brake. The bike sold for “about $600” according to the ad.

John Tomac was the hottest star in mountain biking in 1988. He had just won the NORBA National title as the winner of the National Off-Road Bicycle Association series. He also won the “1988 Swatch Overall World Champion” title.  The UCI didn’t start putting on their own Mountain Bike World Championships until 1990, so until then, other groups were putting on races that they were calling the “Mountain Bike World Championships,” and people were going to those races and battling for the titles. After the UCI got involved, the other groups quit trying to compete against the UCI with races of the same title.


Margaret Day and Jim Deaton got a full-page ad touting their achievements in 1988 racing.  Notice that Deaton was crowned “1988 World Downhill Champion, NORBA.” This predated the first UCI Downhill World Championship title by a couple years. As a result, Deaton’s “World Downhill NORBA Champion” title is seldom cited in any modern-day look at the downhill world champions of the sport.


Alan Goldsmith’s Supergo bike shop was quickly becoming one of the most successful mountain bike shops in the country back in 1988.  It was always a fun place to visit, as the shop had a broad selection of bikes and products and was conveniently located only a mile or two from the beach in Santa Monica, California, right off the freeway, so riders could head down to the coast for a ride and stop by Supergo without having to go more than a few blocks out of the way.

This is the December 1988 issue of Mountain Bike Action, where those ads appeared.