i grew up during the height of the mountain bike revolution. not the joe breeze days of getting stoned with gary fisher and terry potts in the marin headlands; but the days of john tomac, tension dics and ned overend and tinker juarez (pre-trunk full of “i don’t know what that’s doing there, i’m a bike racer, officer” marijuana), and missy giove. this wonderful period, of course, was back in the glorious 90’s, when jeans were meant to be torn, flannel was ok to wear in public and if you owned a bike, it was a mountain bike.
i saw this bike (shown above) while at work. it brought back memories of my youth. the thing that stuck out most, was the amount of anodized parts that were available then. the whole fixed gear revolution that is taking place today seems corny and trite to me- in that, there is pressure to have everything powder coated the same color and have this rim or that component be sprayed down in some horrid paint job. but back in the day, it almost seemed like a funny accent to highlight your bike with. anodized canti hanger, candy red ritchey pedals, colored plastic specialized toe clips: THE WORKS! the colors were funny and metallic, mostly neon, and sometimes jackson pollack’d.
and it was an effort to acquire these gems! you couldn’t simply roll into a shop and obtain a color coordinated ride. no, sir. it was a matter of slowly finding these rims here, that headset over there, oh- this bar plug? fell off some pro’s ride at a race. yes, you could call up salsa and speak with them about spraying your stem a specific color for your custom ritchey.
where are these parts today?! ebay has forsaken them, swaps refuse them at the gate, shops deny their existence! this magic period has been lost on today’s cycling youth: rookies, ignorant of a colorful past, richer than the hue of their deep-v rims.