1994 Downhill World Champion Jurgen Beneke Auctions his Manitou Downhill Frame for Charity

Aug 30, 2020
by Ed Spratt  

Jurgen Beneke, the 1994 Downhill World Champion has launched a charity auction for one of his 1994 Manitou Downhill frames.

The auction for the 1994 Manitou frame will also include his 1993 Downhill World Cup leader’s jersey, complete with sponsor patches hand-sewn by his grandmother, with all proceeds going to the Wings for Life Foundation. A charity which uses 100% of its funds to help spinal cord research.

In 2010, Jurgen broke 2 vertebrae in his back but luckily he ended up making a full recovery with no spinal cord damage. This made him realize how close he had been to a serious spinal cord injury and following this, he thought it was time to give back to the bike community and those who aren't so lucky.

bigquotesWe all tried to push the limits. All of us crashed. Injuries came with the territory, but we were always expected to heal up and try again. Jurgen Beneke



bigquotesAsk yourself, how many 'oh shit' moments have you had? Have you crashed, been in an accident, have you been able to walk away, make a full recovery? Well, you’ve been lucky, haven’t you, just like me. I say let’s put in $10 for every close call you’ve had, and let’s celebrate how lucky we have been by donating to the Wings for Life Foundation. I know I’m putting in the first $50. Jurgen Beneke

Auction bidding opens September 1 and closes on September 15. You can find out more here.


74 Comments

  • 99 4
 So, you could ride it frontwards and backwards by just swapping the seat and the stem? Brilliant. That would be like having two bikes with different geos.
  • 5 3
 You made my day with this comment.
  • 16 0
 Its the Grim Manut
  • 5 0
 #Buttsteering
  • 9 0
 Actually has modern (grim donut) geometry in reverse, upright seat tube and slack head angle... so far ahead of its time
  • 2 39
flag ReeferSouthrland (Aug 30, 2020 at 23:58) (Below Threshold)
 I'm from that era, have the money and see no purpose whatsoever of buying this for mor tha 1k. Sorry, wasn't a fan back then of this design, imagine what I think now. Manipoop
  • 31 1
 @ReeferSouthrland: Thank you for the comment. - I am not selling this to make $$$. It's a fundraiser and you don't need to buy (bid on) the frame. You can give to the Wings for Life foundation and maybe deliver some hope to the racers that have lost such much because of spinal cord injury. gf.me/u/yi23y5 thank you.
  • 12 0
 I tried changing directions mid-run. Didn't go so well. Smile
  • 5 0
 "- heck my fork is so hard, my hands hurt
- oh, want me to lend you my seat stays ?
- ye... wait, what ?"
  • 2 0
 @benijets: Is the bidding really already over, or has it not yet started? I'd love a chance to have the frame that I've had on a signed poster on my wall for over 25 years!

www.pinkbike.com/photo/19321327

Either way, I'll be donating to the cause.
  • 22 0
 Awesome. First MTB mag I bought (in 1994) had Beneke on the cover, on this frame, as the recent winner of the Reebok Eliminator in Mammoth. Have wanted one of these frames ever since.
  • 17 0
 " Have wanted one of these frames ever since." - So, don't be shy )
  • 1 0
 I think he came in second behind Myles Rockwell, but won the world championship that year.
  • 20 0
 Where to begin with the sketchiness of those pioneering DH designs eh... Can't imagine the guts it took to stomp the pedal on this and hold it there. Legends. Good on ya Mr Beneke for donating such a treasured bike for a good cause.
  • 9 0
 i mean, it probably was a step up from throwing yourself down the very same slopes on fully rigid bikes, but still, yikes!
  • 18 0
 Seems face masks were also a thing in 1994
  • 13 0
 I loved that Atac stem. I remember the days when riser bars first arrived, unless you had an Azonic stem you had to put a penny in the stem clamp and screw the bolt in from the other side to open the clamp up to get the bend of the bars through. Ah, the good old days.
  • 1 0
 I remember the first riser bars were the Club Roost brand, and everybody was stoked on them until everybody started breaking them.
  • 12 0
 This is great Jurgen! I loved seeing all of this footage put together. I clearly remember sitting in many start gates wondering if my bike was going to make it to the finish. I will for sure donate as I know I have a had my fair share of close calls over the years! Hope to cross paths with you again one of these days.
  • 9 0
 thanks Joe. I was happy when your Dad eliminated the fear of snapping frames by building a solid bike with Yeti/Schwinn. The Straight 8 was the first legit DH bike of my life.
  • 5 0
 Jurgen, you're the man! I remember you smoking all of us in the Moab downhill racer, then beating all of our race times on your hardtail then you rode the whole Porcupine rim loop from town. I learned a lot from you and I had one of those oh shit moments racing indoor BMX with you in 1999 in Boulder. I wanted that frame so bad when it came out! I'll definitely be bidding high for it. Thanks for the inspiration!
  • 4 0
 thank you, those were fun days Smile btw. I still like to ride the rim from town. Cheers
  • 5 0
 Even though I would love to own that piece of history, I know I can't afford to buy the frame and jersey. Jurgen is a true hero for doing this, so I have made a donation on the GoFundMe. I implore all of you commentors to do the same, it's one thing to talk the talk, now lets see who will buck up and show their support.
  • 2 0
 YES, love you for that comment. I hope that the donor list of the GoFundMe will read like a MTB result sheet from the last 30 years. Let's make it happen for the racers that faded out of sight because of injury. gf.me/u/yi23y5
  • 5 0
 Five years ago I built a replica of his winning 1993 Manitou FS bike. Great MTB times with many different bike designs: www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=314917
  • 3 0
 I am actually going to put in a bid for this. Looking for unique industrial design to spruce up our R&D department testing room and this shows that it's OK to try weird and terrible ideas to see if anything sticks.

I mean, we make plumbing valves, but I like bikes and it's my company so yeah, that can justify the tax write off right?
  • 2 0
 God damn man, it's so hard to look at those people bombing down those trails with sketchily narrow bars, tire width and geometry, comparable to road bikes and sizing that makes these bikes look like size S for 2 meter tall guys. It's all so sketchy and I'm afraid just by looking at it.
  • 2 0
 I rode the prototype of this bike. Doug Bradbury had developed it and had it at the 1990 Worlds in Durango. I was checking it our and he let me (and I am sure others) take it for a short ride. It was pretty cool I must say, and amazing for a bike in 1990.
  • 2 0
 I got into Mt. Biking in 1994 and followed Jurgen's career all through the 90's. Thank you for doing this. I had a bad crash 15yrs ago and fractured my back. Thankfully I made a full recovery and still ride 4-5 times a week. As I laid on the ground with a spinal stinger and believing I was paralyzed for several minutes I was in complete panic mode. As feeling came back and I began to move I had the greatest sense of relief of my life. Not all have this fortunate outcome in our sport. I have made a donation and again thank you for doing this.
  • 1 0
 Jurgen, hats off to you for doing this - super rad! It's great to see this ancient footage and it brings me back to when I was just getting into riding in the mid 90s and seeing you in the World clCup on some obscure TV channel at an odd hour of the night - inspiring! Proof that you were going harder and faster back then than most of us ever will even with state of the art gear. I'm sure you still have enough obscure frames and sketchy prototype Michelin tires in your garage for a few of these actions. I'll be throwing in a few bucks and hope to catch you for a ride next time I'm back east! Cheers! -Mark
  • 1 0
 Awesome thing to do. Spinal injuries are so scary. Jurgen is right. How often do we get lucky? We push the limits of ourselves all the time. It doesn’t always end well. So yeah he’s doing an excellent deed here. BTW I’m glad this guy doesn’t show up at the ESC. None of us old guys would stand a chance!!
  • 4 2
 I thought Greg Herbold was the first DH world champion, and Tomac was the first UCI world champ. Beneke came along in 93 IIRC.
  • 4 0
 Greg Herbold was the first UCI Men's Downhill World Champion following a win at the original 1990 Durango event. Jurgin Beneke was the winner of the first UCI Downhill World Cup series, in 1993. So he was the first defending World Cup champion, maybe the custom back then was to call that winner the World Champ.
  • 3 2
 @slimjimihendrix: Albert Iten. He was the first winner of the world champs after the UCI took over in 1991. Tomac never won it, that was a brain fart. Tomac won the XC World Cup overall in 1991, not the DH world champs.
  • 2 0
 Greg Herbold was first UCI World champ in 1990!
  • 8 0
 @aljoburr: And allegedly cut the course.
  • 3 1
 @aljoburr: I stand corrected
  • 2 0
 @nozes: Local french lines!
  • 2 0
 @jaame: May be Tomac would have won DH worlds if was not riding roadie handle bars?
  • 2 1
 @aljoburr: I think the advantage of the Disk Drive offset the disadvantage of the drop bars. It was the chainring that did it. He went too big with the 62t. He should have gone for a 60t.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: Tomac won a national DH championship with the drop bars. Also twice finished 2nd at world's DH and also 2nd behind Beneke in the first World Cup.
  • 2 0
 I remember Jurgen Beneke racing a race at Plattekill NY around 1999. He beat all the pro’s by over 20 seconds. I think he been had retired a few years before that.
  • 1 0
 Doug sold Manitou to Answer. One day he started to weld a frame in his garage, and needed a fork for it. He called Answer, but he was thrown out. The guy had to buy a Manitou fork on the second hand market!
  • 1 0
 Nice one Beni! That’s something pretty special. Amazing gesture for a good cause by one of the greats! Incredible how hard they rode those bikes back in the 90’s
  • 1 0
 Pioneers who pushed the limits and forced the pace of MTB design .. So we all benefited in the medium-long term Just a little fact
  • 1 0
 I have one of those framesets. It was my ultimate lust-after back in the day. I found one about 8 years ago and jumped on it.
  • 3 0
 It belongs in a museum!
  • 1 2
 Maybe donate the frame to the MTB Museum in Arnhem? I am preparing to donate a Trek 9000 from 1993, the bike is unrideable, a rigid frame from this era is better then this crappy suspension system i.pinimg.com/originals/d5/03/56/d50356202eedbdeb9d8b5cccc4209e3d.jpg
  • 3 0
 @zoobab2: much anti squat on that? Think we need a full 3d scan and suspension analysis...
  • 2 1
 Seems like the average weight of riders was higher back then? Or maybe its just the bulky pads making it look like that?
  • 2 0
 I would be in, but HTA is not steep enough!
  • 2 3
 not my dream bike, my one was 1995 GT LTS found one with original RS suspension and original xt group set. but its a daily commuter and newer ben serviced. so probably waste of money.
  • 1 0
 Wow... that cracked head tube at 4:48. That bike has seen some serious brutality.
  • 1 0
 This is awesome. I want in. But it seems like the article and the video should make it easy to bid on the bike.
  • 1 0
 On snap, it’s just really not obvious on a mobile browser. Didn’t notice it on the last line.
  • 1 0
 Jurgen is amazing dude- what a great cause and such a selfless act.
  • 1 0
 Does Jürgen still live in the US?
  • 1 0
 I believe so yes, in New Jersey last thing I heard.
  • 1 0
 I think we could just put a fork on the back too and make a fs bike
  • 1 0
 But it needs a longer stem
  • 1 0
 That'd be a large donation.
  • 1 0
 Legend. Juergen and this bike were definitely favs.
  • 1 0
 The Pushmi-Pullyu of bikes. I wanted one so much.
  • 1 0
 Wow I had no idea manitou made frames!
  • 1 0
 Marin or Manitou?
  • 4 0
 Manitou. That was such a great looking frame back in the days.
  • 2 0
 Both!!!
  • 1 0
 A worthy cause.
  • 1 0
 Awesome work Jurgen
  • 1 4
 why not whole bike??
  • 1 0
 Because, he only has the frame/fork. The frame is cracked and not ridable, so it is going to go onto a lucky collectors wall anyways.
  • 2 0
 @tonestar: I think almost all of them cracked at the head tube...I know that's where the crack on my Manitou is but I keep holding onto it more as a memory of old days than a functioning bike...
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