10 Wild Historic Bikes - Sea Otter 2021

Oct 7, 2021
by Trevor Lyden  
Given that the event is called the Sea Otter Classic, it only makes sense to show some classic bikes from our sport's past. Feast your eyes on some of the good, bad, and downright wild bikes that we found at the venue, from an 1895 Lu-Mi-Num to Palmer's Specialized DH bike. Do you ever own or ride any of these? Which one would you most like to take for a ride today?


1895 Lu-Mi-Num No. 303
1895 Lu-Mi-Num.





1999 Porsche FS Evolution
1999 Porsche FS Evolution.





1993 Look Monoblade KG196
1993 Look Monoblade KG196.




1986 Kestrel 4000
1986 Kestrel 4000.





1882 Baylis-Thomas Harvard
1882 Baylis-Thomas "Harvard."






Still a bike but this one is gas powered. Classic Honda at the Yoshimura booth
Still a bike, but this one is gas-powered. Classic-looking Honda at the Yoshimura booth



An Italian classic with a special Wiler-Triestina signature finish
An Italian classic with a special Wilier Triestina signature finish.





The very first Stumpjumper circa 1981
The very first Stumpjumper circa 1981.



Shaun Palmer s 1996 FSR DH
Shaun Palmer's 1996 FSR DH.



Unknown age Manitou
Manitou full-suspension bike.





107 Comments

  • 124 0
 If the lu-mi-num rode by me on the street and you told me it was the 2021 model, I would probably believe you. Things a work of art for it's time.
  • 24 0
 ...even more so considering the "Harvard" is only a decade older
  • 2 0
 Better than the original manitou ones that had a set of forks doing the rear suspension
  • 12 0
 Are those considered carbon rims
  • 3 0
 beautiful piece of art!
the loose chain realy bothers me tough Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @sack-zement: yeah, and the notice panel zip tied on the top tube bothers me even more Frown
  • 1 0
 I would beef those cranks up a little.. But lets go!!
  • 31 0
 crazy progress in design from 1880s-1890s... (does that Lu-Mi-Num even have an integrated headset??) and it looks like we've just changed axle standards and fork rake in the 130 years since...
  • 14 0
 25LBS!!!! 25LBS!! 130 years ago DAMN!
  • 4 0
 @gossman: A shame that light weight came at the price of self-destruction!
  • 16 0
 @ronkraft8: Yeah, that sort of thing never happens anymore...
  • 1 0
 ..and now a days we get our panties wet over a .3 degree head angle change year over year. Wild.
  • 30 0
 Mountain bikes have changed more in the last 15 years than road bikes have since 1895 apparently…
  • 4 0
 here in Italy the design of mountain bikes has suffered from the tradition of road racing. The bike is like that and you don't change!
  • 23 0
 Manitou fs looks sweet. Note how the same linkage is used on the latest xc bikes.
  • 1 0
 Indeed super sweet. Back in the day, I recall specialized making a lot of noise about their yoke as a means to get around the seat tube. Seems the industry just recycles old tech.
  • 1 0
 I had a similar easton tubed mongoose with a longer stroke rock shock rear shock. It was a loaner bike between a few of us. At the time me and my buddy had no idea about the bike or frame. It ended up in landfill.

I did a quick google for nostalgia and curiosity it doesn't look like it at all. It was an amplifier 2. Still great times and sad it ended up as landfill.

foto-thumbnails.mtb-news.de/cache/1448_auto_1_1_0/52/aHR0cHM6Ly9mc3RhdGljMS5tdGItbmV3cy5kZS92My8yNS8yNTU3LzI1NTc4Mzktdm9iaW1yYXM2dWE4LWRzY18wNjU5LW9yaWdpbmFsLmpwZw.jpg
  • 22 0
 Palmer's Specialized just does it for me. Even still. Just completely rad.
  • 17 1
 "The same year, they produced a hard-tail model, the first commercially available carbon monocoque mountain bike. That bike, the Kestrel MXZ, is in our mountain bike display."

If only someone had visited that display...
  • 6 0
 The sign is probably the same one used when the bike is on display at the Marin Museum of Bicycling, which has a much larger collection than what's shown here. The Kestrel MXZ probably wasn't on show at Sea Otter.
  • 3 0
 Ahh fair enough
  • 19 1
 That "classic" gas-powered 2019 Honda Monkey
  • 12 0
 Always loved the look of those unpainted AL and Ti frames from the 90s showcasing the welds and shiny CNC'd bits. That Manitou is a thing of beauty.
  • 9 0
 I remember years ago chatting Mtb with a wealthy guy who just wanted to buy the Porsche FS. I was like, ‘mate - just don’t’. And no matter show much explaining I did he couldn’t get past the idea that ‘if it’s a porche, it just HAS to be better’

No idea if he bought it
  • 5 0
 My boss bought one, slightly later version, Cane Creek rear shock, full XTR (rapid rise!!) and Magura brakes. I borrowed it for about three years, it was my XC bike and it was a rocket.
  • 13 0
 Ah the penny farthing…..the OG mullet
  • 11 0
 I'm going to need to see a huck-to-flat on the Harvard
  • 11 0
 All that sweet, sweet innovation and not a battery in sight. I love it.
  • 9 0
 the first stumpjumper, aka a direct ripoff of Tom Ritchey’s mtb from the year prior! gotta love spesh…
  • 1 1
 It may have been a direct rip off of the Ritchey but they had the business smart to be the company to do it. Their business decisions to push boundaries with something new or to copy the correct design when needed is what makes them so successful. If they hadn't ripped off Ritchey, Specialized, mountain biking as a whole or even Tom Ritchey would not be where they are now.
  • 3 0
 Specialized bought a few bikes from Gary Fisher who used Ritchey made frames. Sensing something was up with Specialized wanting to purchase his bikes, Gary purposely gave them some models with incorrect geometry forks, and even the incorrect geometry was copied by Specialized ! Got to hand it to Gary for sensing something was up with the big S. This story is in his autobiography which recently came out.
  • 2 0
 @Sscottt: Tom Ritchey should be thanking Mike Sinyard for ripping him off. Got it.
  • 7 0
 Amazing how similar the Stumpjumper's geometry is to the current bikes, tip that seatpost forward and touch and yer bang on!
  • 1 0
 Short stem, wide bars, slack HA - looks positively modern.
  • 1 0
 Someone was selling a nicely maintained / restored 1986 Stumpjumper for $600 near me recently. It looked like it had been sitting unridden in someone's garage for 35 years. Even while touring or riding rail trails, I'd be afraid of scratching it or dropping it and damaging original parts that can only be found on eBay.
  • 1 0
 @LouWeed: I found the same thing in Ashland, Oregon except it has modern tires... I have switched out the pedals to old Tioga's and thats it. The color is "Midnight Violet"

It was $40 at a garage sale Eek
  • 6 0
 Er, wasn't Palmer on Intense in '96? His Intense Cairns world champs bike had the now famous stars n stripes paint job. The specialized deal was 1998 onwards wasn't it?
  • 1 0
 That paint job! The flag in the wind!
I think it was painted by Troy Lee?
  • 4 0
 I always wanted one of the Risse Terminator shock (I know that one is an Astro 5).

They looked badass and simple - the oil circuit is the switch. Steam Punk before it was a thing. Something you could pull apart and service. Huge oil volumes like God intended.
  • 2 0
 I know of one in all black at a local bike shop over here but they won't sell...
  • 6 0
 The bike from 1895 looks amazing. Did they forget to adjust the chain/sliders or is there a reason there's so much slack?
  • 1 0
 Easier to do wheelies this way.
  • 6 3
 Those ex-Trek engineers originally formed a company called Carbon Bik, which produced road and mountain frames (road bik and mountain bik) and then a disagreement on WHICH carbon construction method was better let to Bik's breakup and the engineers forming two different companies (Aegis and Kestrel) and Brent Trimble started his own brand (Trimble) as well.
  • 7 0
 so SRAMs flat top chain is really 19th century tech
  • 3 0
 Anyone else shocked with how slack the first stumpjumper was? A quick google shows that it had a 67 degree head tube angle.

With everyone talking about how geo for mountain bikes evolved from road bikes, yet clearly thats not quite the case. How did we go from slack, to steep, and now back to slack again? Anyone have any info on that? Seems like an interesting topic.
  • 1 0
 I think it was the racing. Fit fast pedalers wanted to be more aggressive, over the front. Similar to the road bike fit they were used to, as opposed to being upright, and in control... Thankfully bikes started being produced for their specific duties, XC, DH, DJ etc...
  • 2 0
 Probably the HA steepened up when we started moving off fire trails on to purpose build technical singletrack. Slack HA and STA is no fun on technical terrain. Slack HA and steep STA is where it’s at. STA took a lot longer to steepen up, likely due to historic influences from the road (where seats have traditionally been slammed back and there are regulations about how far forwards it can go).
  • 1 0
 I kind of want to take mine and put a short travel old Marzocchi on mine... an original specialized Honzo!
  • 5 0
 Palmers bike is still a glorious beast. Had a poster of that on my wall as a teenager.
  • 2 0
 Palmers bike is from 98' Worlds. He still raced for Intense in 96'. Should talk about that single crown Manitou fork with extended legs. I have on of those prototypes on Cully's 95' DBR DR.
  • 1 0
 I also doubt the Porsche is from 1999? Sachs was taken over by Sram in late 1996 and if I'm not mistaken by 1999 the Sachs range was discontinued. Same with the Look, looks ike a 1992 model to me, including the Campagnolo Record, By the way, I have repaired a frame exactly like that one, The carbon is laminated over a foam core - typical from that period, I seem to remember the Kestrel was made that way too. Lightweight wheels too BTW.
  • 2 0
 @Vindiu: Joe send me pics of that Porsche 2 years ago and I believe he asked me if it's worthy displaying. It's a Votec anyway and in Germany there's always a few of them for sale, no one wants them. Votec frames and especially their forks look good though, but I wouldn't advertise a car brand - especially as they didn't make it.
I would have to check on the year, Sachs was still producing under their name in 98', not sure about 99'.
  • 2 0
 @dirty-sundays: Yeas, from what I recall 1998 was the last year but I might be wrong. Could also be some inventory that Votec / Porsche used. Those Votecs caused quite a sensation in Germany in the early to mid 90s but by 1998-1999 they were already a little bit long in the tooth.
  • 2 0
 I used to have some of those Sachs grip shifters that are on the banana Votec Porsche, at the end of one long race blood was pouring out of my thumbs where the skin used to be. I used them with full finger gloves after that.
  • 1 0
 That manitou still looks amazing today.
I’m genuinely surprised that the Sachs shifter on the Porsche bike hasn’t fallen apart just from someone looking at it. I’m even more surprised at the condition of the rubber on it.
  • 1 0
 Wow! That 1895 looks awesome!!!Very sexy looking bike,very modern indeed if compare it to 3d printed parts for bikes today. The forks are even aero forks,those guys were visionaries. You see this bike pass you by the side,you would think it was made yesterday. It would fit Schindelhauer bikes catalog today no problem.
  • 1 0
 First: I was expecting MOUNTAIN bikes.

Second: Only Palmer's rig and the Manitou DH truly matter. Okay, and the Porsche made by Votec. Okay, the StumpJumper too.

Third: That Selle San Marco Era saddle has nothing to do on that Manitou and I seriously doubt anybody used VelociRaptors in those days for DH. Honestly.
  • 1 0
 My shop was an early Kestrel dealer and i was lucky enough to have owned a 4000. That thing was so far ahead of it's rime. Such a great ride. Then i sold it to help finance a black and green carbon csx. That was also a dream back then. Cool nostalgia PB. Thanks.
  • 4 0
 that lu-mi-num bike is beautiful.. wild not seeing welds
  • 2 0
 And integrated seat post clamp, what a beauty
  • 1 0
 Weirdly I've had two of the bikes on this list. I've got a 1999 FSR DH (please someone sell me some X-Vert Ti) and borrowed the Porsche for a longer time. Albeit the later version with XTR, Cane Creek and Magura Brakes.
  • 4 0
 Holy shit, that lu mi nun bike is 100 years ahead of its time!
  • 3 0
 Funny to see how Palmer’s specialized back end looks really similar to the current enduros’ and demos’
  • 2 0
 That Manitou full sus bike. What's with the front fork? They had a prototype DH fork back then? First time I have seen this fork.
  • 3 0
 There seems to be a lot of very first stumpjumpers out there.
  • 1 0
 More now than when they were first made. Smile
  • 3 0
 What cranks are on the manitou? They look like eEwings.
  • 4 1
 The original titanium cranks,made by a company called Propeller. Unicorn stuff for collectors.
  • 3 0
 @anotherbikerguy: You're right,I messed up my old files.
  • 3 0
 The harvard was an OG in the mullet game… poor head tube angle though…
  • 1 0
 I actually got to ride one of those OG penny farthings recently. They are easier than they look to get up onto since the big wheel provides a lot of stability once it's rolling. Scary AF once you are up there though. Gives a whole new perspective to going OTB
  • 2 0
 Dope manitou. And the willier finish is so uh the perfect root beer color!
  • 1 0
 That's funny--it looks like they're bringing out the vintage b/c they don't have enough of the new stuff in stock to show. Pretty genius.
  • 2 0
 When you see a Honda (as little as that one), that cost 1/2 of a "real" mid range mtb, you know something is wrong
  • 1 0
 Couldn’t resist. A rough modernization of the classic in photo shop!

www.pinkbike.com/photo/21446500

How the old becomes new again!
  • 2 0
 First bike is amazing! And they don’t weld ‘em like they used too.
  • 2 0
 Not much Kashima going around …..
  • 2 0
 LOVE TO SEE SEAN PALMER'S BIKES!
  • 3 2
 E bikes are motorbikes remember. So that Honda at the yoshimira booth is actually an e bike.
  • 2 0
 Bonus manitou in one piece
  • 1 0
 That Wilier... a friend of mine were racing on one, and all of us just dreaming of...
  • 1 0
 If you answer anything other the Penny-farther are you even interested in bikes?
  • 1 0
 I love the "stack of dimes" welds on the Manitou. So so good looking in chrome.
  • 1 0
 1882 is the best of them all!!
  • 1 0
 Palmer's sharpied out Michelin Comp 24's ftw
  • 1 0
 the pain on the Wilier is ace!
  • 1 0
 Any chain that is not tensioned make bike ugly as f
  • 1 0
 Track dropouts it would be easy to tighten the chain, but I'm guessing since it is not a roller chain more like a link chain it has to be run slack. But if anyone knows jump in.
  • 1 0
 Steel cranks on an all aluminum Manitou bike?
  • 1 0
 Sweet Wings, titanium
  • 1 0
 Titanium! Sweetwings they're called. They are a pretty interesting design, they use a splined interface and a single attachment bolt.
  • 5 0
 @dirty-sundays: sweet wings were and are steel
  • 2 0
 @Tigergoosebumps: and I was always sure they were Ti. Thanks for the correction.
  • 2 0
 @Tigergoosebumps: me too, thanks for the catch
  • 1 0
 That lu-mi-num is beautiful. Look at the fork!
  • 1 0
 very cool very cool very cool
  • 1 3
 Every post about classic bikes always has to have a bloody Shaun Palmer bike in it. Far better classics bikes to show from riders back in the day that weren't a flash in the pan like he was.
  • 1 0
 You watch your mouth, Matt!
  • 1 0
 @phobospwns: Why? What are you going to do about it?
  • 1 0
 Hope the stumpy doesn't have air in its rear tire
  • 1 0
 Kestrel looks sick
  • 1 0
 Carbon bar ends. Lol.
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2021. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv42 0.014728
Mobile Version of Website