The final round of the British Downhill Series saw a collection of riders from back in the day who all came together to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the great Jason McRoy's passing. The gathering of old school racers, known as the BDS Legends event, brought together thirty legends who were all trying to see if they still had it in them. Predictably, this made for a race to remember, with the legends easy to spot on the course as many were wearing their original race kit... even if it was a little too tight for some.

Something else that stood out was the shiny new bikes that are a far cry from what these gladiators used to compete aboard. Consensus came back on how good these new machines handled and rode compared to what was used years ago, which was hardly surprising. The new bikes inspired a lot of confidence, enabling the legends to ride even faster than they anticipated, which, of course, called for a visit to the medical tent for some of them.

During the event, longtime Giant rider Rob Warner had spotted a partly period-correct Giant ATX One locked up in the finish arena that belonged to the BDS Events Village Manager, Tony Standish. After taking the bike for a quick spin around the car park, Rob came back having reignited some old, fond memories of racing a similar bike during his prime. We asked him if he fancied a spin down the track on it for old time's sake, which would have been quite the photo opportunity. He, unfortunately, declined with a determined focus on putting in some good practice laps and having a respectable time and position come Sunday's race, but we did manage to talk him into taking part in a bit of an experiment.
The 00 Giant ATX1 vs. The 15 Giant Glory Si Paton and Rob Warner
Rob is a man of his word and a bet is a bet.

Seeing Rob on that old ATX One got the creative juices flowing, and after a quick chat to BDS head honcho, Si Paton, a plan was hatched: timed practice at the legendary One Giant Leap Llangollen, a steep and technically demanding course where the emphasis would be on the bike and handling skills rather than fitness. And how to make it even more interesting? Back-to-back runs with Warner on his 2015 Giant Glory and the nearly antique Giant ATX One.

Rob jumped at the chance, and the date was confirmed.


Views: 26,459    Faves: 70    Comments: 6



So, what did Warner have to say after spending the day riding the ATX One and the 2015 Glory back-to-back?

bigquotesIt was such a wicked day, getting the chance to ride two Giant DH bikes with over a decade between them. The track wasn't that rough, but where there were braking bumps, the ATX One definitely felt rough and definitely a lot harsher in comparison. The ATX One obviously had inferior brakes, tires and narrow bars amongst many other factors. The narrow bars weren't the end of the world, though, but it seemed harder to find balance coming out of a turn. The ATX One was also a little small for me, but it definitely felt like an ATX One.

All those memories of that bike came flooding back; just the way it felt, the way it sounded. On this day, the tires on the ATX One really made it difficult. They were period-correct Tioga's and they were desperate - it must have been the compound as the tread was still really good on them. The main problem was that I literally could not slow down on the slippery track, especially on the steep bits. This meant I could not get off the brakes like I could on the new Glory. In the dry there would have been different issues like the brakes not being as strong and the suspension would then have been more of a factor. Even on this day, I used two fingers on the lever a lot in an attempt to stop.

I really don't think the bikes are miles apart, unlike the times. My Glory is full factory and it was up against an ATX One that is damn near original but was never set up for me, either. Everything just works a bit better on the new bike, but the biggest improvement for me, at 6' 5", has to be the geometry. The new DH bikes are long, solid and safe feeling, and they inspire confidence throughout the ride. Although not as far off as the time tells, the ATX One just didn't perform, but a huge amount of that could simply be put down to the tires and lack of traction.


Views: 31,758    Faves: 57    Comments: 3


Timing

Eleven seconds separated the two bikes, but that difference wasn't spread out over the entire length of the track. ''Looking at the times, the 2015 Glory was eleven seconds faster in the steeper part of the track,'' explained Chris Roberts, Head of Action Sports Timing. ''Between the two split points on the flattest part of the track, there was no difference, but then on the short, steep sections where it goes down over the jumps and drops, the Glory was another second faster.'' And what do that eleven seconds look like on the speedometer? ''The average speed between the two different bikes was only 2km/h,'' Roberts said of the difference, which apparently adds up.


The 00 Giant ATX1 vs. The 15 Giant Glory Si Paton and Rob Warner
  The bike's spec is not correct, but the tires, shock, and AC chain guide (which came stock on the ATX One) are all from the same time period.


The 00 Giant ATX1 vs. The 15 Giant Glory Si Paton and Rob Warner
Warner coming through on his 2015 Glory.
The 00 Giant ATX1 vs. The 15 Giant Glory Si Paton and Rob Warner
The same corner, this time on the ATX One.

The 00 Giant ATX1 vs. The 15 Giant Glory Si Paton and Rob Warner
The steeper and faster sections were where the differences between the two bikes were most noticeable.
The 00 Giant ATX1 vs. The 15 Giant Glory Si Paton and Rob Warner
The ATX One, with its much shorter wheelbase, never felt as stable as the big glory.


The 00 Giant ATX1 vs. The 15 Giant Glory Si Paton and Rob Warner


If you want to get timed like Rob Warner then Action Sports Timing are now offering this service to everyone. "Practice like the Pros" with Professional Race Timing with at their Timing Days service at venues across the country.



Visit the feature gallery for high resolution and additional images




MENTIONS: @lunatyk / @si-paton



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218 Comments

  • + 441
 looks like a 2015 ellsworth
  • + 90
 But prettier
  • + 167
 Please don't insult the ATX like that.
  • + 20
 Maybe I should let Rob borrow my Replica it will probably give a better test results www.pinkbike.com/photo/10327849
  • + 4
 its a bike that's 19 years older than today's 2015 bike and yet it still is only 11 seconds behind on a trail. Put today's components on it and I'm sure it will perform nearly the same as a 2015 giant. So even if a 2015 ellsworth looks like a 1996 bike, I wouldn't blame them if it works. Its like saying a porsche 911 is hideous, but porsche kept its design for over 30 years for a reason.
  • + 16
 porsche tried to kill the 911 with the 928 but people kept buying the 911 anyway so they stuck with it. now if we would only keep buying 26er's.............................
  • + 0
 Love the 928....
  • + 1
 @keystonebikes lol that's a good point man, except if companies make wheel sizes over 26" with great geometry people will most likely still buy them Frown
  • + 3
 check the timing, on the last 30 seconds he lost barely 0,5 seconds (first split to finish).

btw they should have put new Minion DHF 60a tyres onto the ATX. Basically just like the ones from 15 years back but without the loss in performance due to lying around.
  • + 1
 Its crazy how much more travel that old 888 holds over the new boxxer in that corner
  • + 1
 My mistake those are not 888s. Super t or Jr t maybe?
  • + 1
 @keystonebikes: If only a bikes's wheel size guaranteed brilliant engineering, but it doesn't and it's completely illogical to think it would. There are great 26ers and shite 26ers. Same goes for the other wheel sizes. It's about the design and execution of the whole bike. That's what makes a great bike,
  • + 1
 Yes.. That is a Super T
  • + 0
 My guess is that the ATX head angle is slightly steeper and the BB height slightly higher.
  • + 1
 offset bushings fixes both.
  • + 2
 Great article, pics & videos. I for one would like to see more of these comparison, do one for each company. i.e. Intense M1 vs M16 etc. Makes for good winter time reading.
  • + 1
 @heavyp that is a beautiful rig!
  • + 157
 now swap all the components between ATX and Glory.
  • + 51
 That would be interesting
  • - 32
flag Metacomet (Dec 7, 2015 at 5:07) (Below Threshold)
 Swap components and relative frame sizes and I think the ATX would have a very good chance of pulling ahead of the Glory. Even if it were just the brakes, tires, and frame sizes.
  • - 4
flag properp (Dec 7, 2015 at 5:21) (Below Threshold)
 Our trails have become way more advanced also friends. So don't forget when they built these bikes very very few trails were as extreme as we have today. There were very few riders sending it like they are now doing. Not only have the bikes advanced but us riders have stepped it up forcing industry to keep up with us.
  • + 58
 and quite possible to do @bigburd... now if you tested 03 Enduro and 2015 Enduro, then wanted to make such swap you wouldn't be able to do it - nothing would fkng fit...
  • + 10
 It would be interesting to put brand new components (and fork and shock) on an old frame. The difference would be minimal.

There's something to be said for having an old frame and upgrading the components given the geometry if good.
  • + 13
 @WAKIdesigns I thought that was the new industry standered to make sure that the parts are different spec(size) from last years model.
  • + 8
 Im currently in the process of building a rig around an '03 Intense M1 frame but with modern components, (2013 RS Boxxers, Hope V4s etc etc) Been put on a bit of a back burner at the moment but shall be alive next year. Should be interesting to see how it rides against my mates Gambler when the components are very similar and the only major difference is the frame.
  • + 12
 @WAKIdesigns - actually I did almost exactly that in 2013. I had a 2004 S-Works Enduro frame and put a 2012 Fox Float RLC and RP23 on it, with complete XTR M980 kit, Conti MKII's, and Easton Haven carbon cockpit/seatpost combo. It was absolutely fantastic (and alot cheaper than a 2013 S-Works Enduro). It also came in under 27lbs, which is right on par with the new Enduro. That said, the new Enduro was still noticeably better, as is my current Tracer. You just can't make up for the old geometry with new parts.

I still get questions from guys who ride with me now and rode with me back then - "so you went from a 2004 to a 2015, is it really that much of an upgrade?", and my answer to that is no. It's definitely an upgrade, but my Enduro build from 2013 cost me about $1800 not counting the frame cost, and my Tracer is a $6500 bike. It's definitely not worth the price difference, despite being better.
  • + 11
 old vs. new would be a great series for the winter. put some new parts on an old frame and i think it would be quite a reality check.
  • + 9
 I'm in the process of buying an Ironhorse Sunday frame in size L. With an angleset fitted it'll sit at 63 HA and should be relatively long. I'm looking forward to seeing how it will ride compared to the Mondraker Summum I had when built with decent mondern spec. Looking at numbers, weight will be the only difference. The industry tells us things are progressing, and they are, but not nearly as quickly and as far as they'd have us believe.
  • + 22
 Ok so did anyone lese notice the fork is like a 2006 era Marzocchi which even by todays standards is a decent fork and appears to rake out the bike? Throw on a circa '96 fork and do it again !
  • - 1
 older bikes use to come with a lifetime warranty @ 1/3 of the price of today's bikes
  • + 14
 So according to the down-votes, people are still adamant that if you took away the tacky rubber, the braking power, and the proper size/fit of the new Glory, swapped those properties over to the ATX... That even then the Glory would have still put down faster times than the ATX? That's not quite what Rob was saying from his experience of actually performing this experiment.
The points he repeated most frequently was a lack of grip, lack of braking power, and too small of a frame and short wheelbase for his body size. The ATX here was a medium, and what he rode back in the day was essentially an XL slacked out to 63.5. He also said if he was on his old custom framed bike, but with the same period components, he suspects he would bring those times to within a few close seconds. The time differences as they stood were way less than he admittedly expected.

There is NO denying that The Glory is a better bike and far more capable in every way than the ATX.
There is also no denying that the ATX he rode had a Huge handicap placed on it just by being Completely the Wrong Size! lol
There is also no denying that the 70a duro Tiogas on the ATX were going to completely suck for those conditions, compared to whatever tire compound was on the Glory... 43a? 50a?

All things being equal, the Glory is of course going to be better and faster and able to do things way outside of what is capable on the ATX.
However... give the size, braking, and tire advantages to the ATX and things are going to get very interesting on a track like this.
  • + 1
 He was also a young man then aboard the ATX, It's really hard to know how he would do on a proper size bike. I though it was a neat read regardless and didn't expect a different result. Faster, but not as faster as you'd think. I think current rubber and brakes makes it an unfair comparison anyways, the point was to compare bikes then and now and as you can clearly see - tires and brakes are parts of the bicycle.
  • + 3
 @sicmoto instead of an angleset, or maybe in conjunction with an angleset, try some offset bushings. The biggest difference I noticed between the old Sunday's and the 26" pivot phoenix was the lower bottom bracket on the latter.

Also I don't know if the Sunday is the best example, as that frame was a decade ahead of its time.
  • + 4
 @Metacomet, i totally agree with you. as a matter of fact, i make it my business to build up old frames with new(ish) parts simply because there is not a huge performance gap between frames from yesterday and today. even geometry can be made close with different fork and shocks, headsets and offset bushings. the only reason standards change is an attempt to make all these old and reliable frames irrelevant. keep what ya' got, and just get better on it i say.
  • + 2
 @DARKSTAR63, so you never upgrade your bike? you just go get a new one? new tires on an old bike would make it a FAIR comparison.
  • + 0
 But that would defeat the purpose of the comparison. Why stop there ? Swap out the shock the drivetrain, angle set, wide bars .... I don't know, I suppose tire swap would be ok since it's potentially old rubber for the purposes of this I say don't change anything else. @keystonebikes
  • + 18
 I think that in most conditions, todays Tiogas and Kendas are not going to give you much chance against a super modern tyre like DHF 3C or Magic Mary. I mean Kenda has managed to do the impossible: they made mud packing tyres with hard compound and poor grip which at the same time wear out fast. Only Crank Bros make products like that.
  • + 0
 DARKSTAR63, i guess bike to bike, then yeah dont change anything. i'm talkin' frame to frame since parts change on every bike all the time. even from the factory, parts are different on each price point.
  • + 1
 Cheers @hamncheez. Definitely agree with the 'ahead of its time' statement. I remember being like 15 and watching Sam Hill in awe and now that I'm pining after another DH bike nostalgia is proving to be a pretty big factor.
  • + 1
 That's the thing, frame to frame, suspension design to suspension design, not as much has changed. It's still a bicycle. They have gotten lower and longer, slacker. That's it. It's rest of the stuff hanging off it that makes today's bikes so good.
  • + 2
 @properp I don't know what's going on in your area, but tracks back then from when I raced were way harder. Some were not only hard to race on but just plain hard to ride. I remember having elite men not wanting to race a section of this one track because it was too scary.
  • + 1
 Funny thing.. If I was to compare my old Enduro to a new bike, it would be closer to a Stumpjumper or Camber given the amount of travel and such.. My old 03 Sworks would still be a decent trail bike, but I would be hesitant to compare it to s new Enduro.
  • + 2
 Things get more interesting when it comes to trail bikes. Weight reduction while maintaining and improving strength and stiffness has changed the game.
  • + 5
 I think brakes and droppers were biggest game changers with trail bikes. Then respectively tyres, cockpits and suspension. Everyone talks about how good Enduro bikes are at descending but God damn how good climbers they've become.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns @DARKSTAR63
Absolutely. SO hard to establish a good reference between an old trail bike and a modern trail bike. The range of capabilities of a modern trail/am/enduro bike is so greatly different than a trail bike from 1996. Disc brakes and dropper posts completely ripped the lid off of what was capable on a trail bike.
Flat out XC race to XC race, not So much has changed aside from a bit of weight and disc brakes.
But to be fair, heavy hitting trail bikes just did not exist back then. They were what we ALWAYS Wanted, but they just did not exist. It was either XC or DH. Or DH on your XC bike.
  • + 2
 frame design hasn't changed much over the years, but the manufacturing and building of them has, as i've noticed all the newer frames are much stiffer and lighter even at the lower price points. same goes for wheels - lighter and stiffer.
  • + 2
 @Metacomet absolutely right, or XC on your DH if you wanted to jump off of things and not break stuff haha
  • + 2
 @Metacomet We have had heavy hitting trail bikes for some time now, but they were just called freeride bikes and weighed 40 pounds.
  • + 3
 Guys, ever since this Pinkbike community self-appreciation came along we don't argue anymore, at least not as we used to - there's too much hear! Hear!. We are slowly yet inevitably turning into MTBR and as everyone knows deeeight likes that. The moment people like deeeight accept you, it means you are beige. We should fight beigism at all costs. 26 For Life!!! Sam Hill is the best - in your face you dentist on a too expensive 10k Nomad! Howdy!
  • + 4
 carbon is the devil !!!!!
  • + 3
 @keystonebikes If I can cut through it with my pocket knife it's not a worthy frame material. 4130 for life!!!
  • + 1
 chromium molybdenum. will outlast every other part on your bike. i would love to see a 4130 dh/fr frame come out right now.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns You should come and ride in Peaslake if you like Dentists on stupidly overpriced bikes (I spotted 1 Nomad with an Ohlins and another with a Push rear shock)... Sooooo many overpriced blinged out plastic enduro bikes when a good hardtail will do nicely.
  • + 2
 @keystonebikes You could get one made if you know the right people. As you say it would be worth the money as it would last forever. If you crack it just get it rewelded. If you ding a tube just get it repaired. Try that with a carbon frame... unless you build it for yourself.

CARBON = PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE
  • - 1
 Fartymarty - I shall come and sell them some bikes! Please ask them what forum they are using. BTW there is a crack in my carbon frame...
  • + 1
 @fartymarty, i know there are some guys out there to build a custom. i'd love to see a massed produced one though. but not asian. ive drafted my own singlespeed 8" fr/dh bike. gonna use ox platinum chro-mo. just working on a good jig. imagine how reliable that would be without all the circus shit hanging off it!
  • + 1
 Waki... You never see the bikes on the trails, they usually clean and on the top of equally overpriced European cars. Sounds like its time for you to buy a steel 29er hardtail. I rode through the 90's and saw so many cracked bikes it wasn't funny hence my skepticism of aluminium let alone carbon.
  • + 2
 @keystonebikes @fartymarty
Whats wrong with BTR Fabrications? Anything? The Pinner and Gasser look like what you're both after, but I'd love to check out any one of their bikes.
www.btr-fabrications.com/portfolio/gasser
  • - 1
 I am an ambitious man, I have far reaching plans and I need to reach to those rich buggers! It ain't matter if they ride or not! Where can I find them: coordinates?!
  • + 1
 @Metacomet, thats pretty close. i'd really like to be able to set it up singlespeed. like if Dobermann le pink and their stella dh got put together. that would probly be my last frame i'd ever need.
  • + 1
 @Metacomet The BTR bikes look good but read a review from Steve Jones in Dirt about it not quite being right in terms of flex. The one I have my eye on is Starlin Bikes dirtmountainbike.com/longform/homemade-bikes-starling-cycles-bristol-uk#fHfUVcBcgpAMvm1Q.97. He makes a nice clean 150mm bike that's had a bit of geometry input from Mr Jones. I am waiting until hes got a Pinion. The bonus is he's less than 200 miles away. The UK is a hot bed for little guys making nice frames - mostly hardtails but I see this extending to full suss bikes with time.
  • + 2
 My co worker has a DH frame in the works with this guy -
www.lichenbikes.com/projects

Sounds and looks awesome.
  • + 2
 I have a 2002 Rocky Mountain RM7 for sale if anyone is interested. Completely stock except for a 2015 fox van r rear shock and replaced rear rim. www.pinkbike.com/photo/12662226
  • + 2
 Want!!!!
  • + 1
 Awesome article. I would love to read more of this kind of thing @pinkbike a lot of users have old bikes in great condition. It would be a wonderful winter series as someone said.

Off topic, I've heard it said many times that in the world of superbikes, if you take a ten or 15 year old one and refurbish the brakes and suspension and put modern tyres on, it will equal a brand new one in the hands of a normal bloke. They haven't come on that much.

The old ATX One just looks so short. Like a squashed image from photoshop.

I would love to see a rehash of that design with modern geo and parts.
  • + 40
 Comparing 20 years of improvements, less than 10% improvement in time and speed isnt really that much at all.

Imagine still having the old ATX (in the correct size for the rider), but it being upgraded over the time, with modern suspension, some Minions, wider bars and some new 4-piston Zee brakes... I think the time difference would probably go down to only 2 seconds?
  • + 120
 The biggest difference is that Bomber hasn't had any maintenance since 1996. And still rocks.
  • + 18
 Ain't that the truth @bishopsmike! I've got a mate with some Monster T's from the early 2000's and they've never been maintained - still running as smooth as the day they left the shop, without a single second of maintenance. They might weigh about as much as a small cargo ship but that's not the point...
  • - 5
flag jdendy (Dec 7, 2015 at 5:40) (Below Threshold)
 Just take the same bike, swap tires and convert it to tubeless and the times would be the same or with such a small margin of variance that it would be negligible.
  • + 5
 @Mattin I have a Keewee Cromo 8 which they started making in 99 (I bought it in 2004). 47" wheel base, 64 degree head angle. I've upgraded components and had the rear shock pushed. It's still a damn quick bike and my skill is still the limiting factor.

I think the big difference in the last 20 years is good 29ers. Now they are quick.

@DirtboxTom - I also had some Monster T's. They were the plushest forks I have ever, and probably will ever own. That was without having a negative air spring which made them even plusher.
  • + 1
 @ Mattin.... the old ATX is exactly upgraded as you described.. The fork is from few years later than 96... bars are way wider, and has 4 piston brakes...
  • + 1
 You can't just say "swap over new parts and nothings changed"; the improvement in components is just as important as the frame! The frame is just another component. You have to look at the bike as a whole.

Plus, one persons single timed run on each bike is hardly a good sample size, especially when the individual has logged hundreds of hours on the old bike in his prime, training at the world cup level.

Finally, the new glory is more than 11 seconds funner to ride.
  • + 5
 Disagree - 10% is loads.

Imagine 10% on a 5 minute WC track. That's 30 seconds..
  • - 1
 A Downhill Meme would say: analyzes differences between Sam Hills 2012 and 2016 Pulse, talks angles ,percentages and seconds - still rides slower than Sam Hill in 1995...
  • + 12
 I'd say the difference was Giant.
  • + 1
 Let's also keep in mind that most of the components have become much more durable and reliable. That's huge for us normal riders.
  • + 2
 I'm not sure I agree with you there @dhx42... as in the example of the old Marzocchi forks and some of the older bombproof framesets, etc etc I find old kit was 'built to last'. I'm not so sure newer components are quite the same as we constantly push for lighter and more minimal products. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but it's a trade off!
  • + 3
 Old Marzocchis have no low speed compression, they were built for hucking. Off course at those times nothing was better. Pre 35mm Boxxers were a joke. Dorados were kind of ok but then Travis came and things went south. Compared to todays offerings, as far as DH goes you can live with it if you put the X-Firm springs but for XC and Trail riding those Z1 or AM forks were bollocks, they were bobbing like stupid, all standing sprinting efforts were becoming a waste of energy. Also keep in mind that iconic fork like 66RC2X weighed at 2.9kg while recent Lyrik with same travel comes at 2.1! There is no doubt that open bath coil system is superior in terms of durability but it just cannot be compared with forks like Pike or 36 RC2 or modern CR350 in the performance department. They are nearly as plush offering fantastic stability over bumps and under braking. Don't let nostalgia distort reality for you.
  • + 1
 @bishopsmike: that bomber can't be from 1996. It's rather from around 2004.
@dirtboxtom: your friend is lucky then. The Monster Ts are pretty much unbreakable, but compared to other marzocchis from around the same time they had an image of being leaky.
@mojomaujer: fork is roughly 2004 I guess, much better than the stock fork indeed. Reading the text they say the bars were narrow and that the brakes really lacked brake power. Also the frame was way too small for him and the tyres lacked grip.
@hamncheez: I totally agree with you on looking at the bike as a whole. But after reading this, I would much rather buy a decent second hand frame from around 2005 for $200 on eBay than spend $2000 on a brand new frame. For example if you compare the geometry of a 2005 Coiler to a brand new Process with 150mm suspension, the main difference is the top tube length, but you could simply buy one size bigger on the '05 Coiler.
@justmatthew: 10% is indeed much if you'd compare two modern race bikes. But if you compare 20 years of cycling evolution it is not much. When listening to all the marketing sh%t they tell us about how we need 27.5 to be faster, need the latest suspension technology to be faster, need carbon to be faster etc, etc.. You'd think that a nearly 20 years old bike should be at least half as fast as a modern bike.
  • + 1
 For reference if you take the equivalent lap times of F1 around monaco since 1992 to 2011 (Same length of time in modern history) the overall improvement is roughly 4%.

www.motorsportsetc.com/info/spd_mon.htm

Less than half that off what we have seen in the DH world in the same period of time...

Since 1996 the Nissan GTR has gone from a Nurburgring time of 7:59 to 7:08.69 or about a 10% decrease in lap time.

On the Losail circuit Moto GP pole position lap times have decreased by 3% since 2004 (So you could guess that lap times have come down roughly 6% since 1996)

We really dont have a lot to complain about even if it is only a 10% improvement. Of which I am dubious...


And yea inaccuracies and whatever. We still dont have a lot to complain about...
  • + 2
 If you compare it like that, than it is indeed a lot of improvement. But if you're comparing it being one of the first downhill bikes ever vs. now. The first racing cars vs. modern racing cars would have a bigger difference aswell.

But I agree; It's a matter of how you look at it, and I also agree we have nothing to complain about Smile
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns sorry maybe I wasn't clear, but i think you've missed my point. Modern components are considerably better - smoother, plusher, lighter, more efficient and more responsive (in most cases). However I'm not so sure the same can be said for modern gear when it comes to durability - stuff seems to break more easily these days!
  • + 1
 Yes it does break more often but you can't have it all. Most modern dampers are more complicated. Remember that one of the main reasons the Italian Marzo went bankrupt was due to too high production costs and prices unacceptable for OEM market.
  • + 1
 @DirtboxTom maybe we are all shredding harder!

Or more realistically, as in my case, we weigh 40 pounds more than when we were on our 05 888 CRs
  • + 1
 I guess I was thinking more in terms of brakes... Some of this too may have less to do with performance and more with enjoyment as Waki points out. There is no question that glory is more fun and confidence inspiring than the ATX
  • + 25
 i'm new to pinkbike discussion groups. felt compelled to comment, so if i don't follow proper protocol, let me know. it's just that i loved this story. brilliant idea. both men played a huge role in making this feature what it is -- outstanding.
  • + 61
 throw in some puns, nonsensical references to 'physics' and comparisons to a Trek Session next time - you'll get there ;-) Welcome
  • + 16
 @thomdawson you sound like you are wanting take all the Glory for that comment #26forlife
  • + 1
 @deadlloyd I smell what you are cooking.
  • + 8
 Rob got norb.
  • + 3
 The more comments the better; more variety of opinions shows that we are not all "sheeple"
So don't hesitate to say something different here tup
  • + 2
 Welcome to the house of comments deadlloyd. Remember that it is rarely relevant whether you report facts or opinions. We will eat anything. Just remember to be able to take a joke and watch for sarcasms. E-bikes are cool alright!
  • + 15
 He's 6'5" and the ATX-1 is a medium. That one pic looks like me on my kid's bike. I wonder how much different things would have been if the bike had been sized right/set up for him.
  • + 3
 no doubt, he looks massive on that thing...
  • + 1
 Giant man on a giant bike!
  • + 1
 I apologize for that, that was just awful
  • + 1
 No wonder he didnt feel confidant on it!
  • + 14
 Just goes to show how good the industry is at selling us shit wee don't need, but want...27.5 my arse...
  • + 18
 I blame Enduro... or Obama
  • + 3
 I've demoed the 27.5" Glory on back to back runs against the 26" on the same track and I like the 27.5". Not enough to make me buy a new bike, but if I was looking for a new DH rig, I'd definitely go 27.5, and I totally see why manufacturers are ditching 26" on new bikes. It's not world changing, "I have to have it now" better, but better enough that I wouldn't consider 26" for a new bike purchase.
  • + 3
 Like Warner said, it's the geo that makes the biggest difference. The 27.5 Glory has different geo than the 26", it's longer. So the negligibly larger wheelsize feeling better is likely psychological and it's the longer bike giving you more stability and control. that and the "new bike syndrome" along with fresh tires, brakes, etc.
  • + 2
 the wheelbase is probably the biggest factor there. my enduro bike is 2" longer than that atx!
  • + 1
 I recall reading an article a while back that described some testing by world cup team(s?) indicating their riders were going on the order of seconds faster on the 27.5 bikes over the 26ers. Seconds in WC can mean a win, so I see why they want it, so it follows that it would trickle down to production bikes as well.
  • + 3
 Endurobama. That can't be a coincidense Smile
  • + 11
 Awesome feature - good work!
  • + 6
 In 1997, Tomac raced a rebranded Intense M1 for Giant. That bike showed up in '98 or '99. Crappy image of the WC finals: s3.amazonaws.com/medias.photodeck.com/b7260561-a187-4b19-8688-40b4b2a237a4/A20353-JOHN-TOMAC_bigthumb.jpg
  • + 3
 Those Intenses were top shelf DH bikes for that time, head and shoulders above most all other bikes. Mongoose did the same thing as Giant, along with Iron Horse, I believe.
  • + 3
 Add Haro to that list as well.
  • + 1
 Haro had Intenese make them bikes with adjustable seat towers, otherwise Identical. That was when Kirt Voreis, Mik Hannah, Mike King and Minnaar rode for them. They sold the bikes, called the DHR, under the Haro name for a number of years. I really wanted one. I did own a Mike King designed DSR from that era doe.
  • + 2
 I really wanted the DHR. I liked the look more than the M1. Minnaar won a world champ on one.
  • + 7
 Is that a 1996? It looks like a triple 8 on it which wasn't made until mid 2000s. Maybe my memory doesn't serve me correctly but that bike doesn't look 1996 to me.
  • + 4
 the fork is the only thing not period. the original atx came with a 6" travel boxxer
  • + 2
 The fork is not stock indeed
  • + 2
 Yea that fork alone would have made a load of difference to the times. Put it back on the original 6" boxxer and drop the front end back down to where the standard off the shelf bike would have had it and life would be a whole lot scarier...

Also its probably worth noting that Rob's Factory glory is basically an off the shelf bike with a few tiny tweaks. Where back in the day his ATX almost definitely wasn't from some of the comments of read about his old set up.
  • + 4
 Further reinforces my theory that speed/competence is 80% rider 20% bike, particularly at a pro level. That said, 5-10 seconds in the pro ranks is just short of a decade. Also I think a intermediate and above rider will benefit much more from modern advancements and a nicer bike than a pro would. Pro's (or former pro's in this case) are so skilled that they could probably ride a wal-mart bike down a track within 20-30 secs of a world cup DH rig. The average joe rider on the other hand probably wouldn't even make it down the track on a junker, but would perform reasonably well with a top-o-the-line rig.
  • + 2
 seat time > parts
  • + 4
 Great article and video. Looked like a fun day out and thank you for comparison.
I used to have an ATX 2 from 1998 - raced it on and off until 2005, around 1999 every privateer seemed to have one.

The bike Rob is riding is either 1999 or 2000, the only changes from the 1998 frames were the position of the rear brake mount, in 1998 they had it inside rear of frame (Hope No.1 mount I think) and from 1999 onwards they were mounted on top of the seatstay. I seem to remember the Giant Pro riders were racing them from either late 1996 or 1997 onwards.

Should have popped on a set of Michelin Comp 16's or 24's, would have helped with the grip, much softer rubber and from the correct era..
  • + 3
 This comparison is stupid when you have a bike that is sized too small for him and then compare the results with a bike that fits him perfectly, regardless of the age and wheel size. Having owned a 99 Dirt Works Piranha with a 2003 Bomber and Avalanche Suspension, you could give me that bike now and I wouldn't complain.
  • + 3
 Fun comparison, but the old bike with newer fork, new brakes and wheels is cheating a little bit Wink
Mostly the brakes!

On side note, Old RF Turbine will weight a pound less than the truvativ cranks.
  • + 2
 Curious what the full track times were. 3 min, 4 min, etc. What I mean is on this track there seems to be roughly a 1/2 sec performance increase per year (19 yrs apart and 11 sec difference). That's pretty meaningless though because it only applies to that one track. Assuming a normal dh track of 4 min on the modern bike that would mean that over 19 years technology has made us 4.5% faster which is pretty cool. But that also means we only average a little more than 0.2% improvement in technological advantage each year which isn't too significant. Long story short, what that really means is that for every year your bike ages you only loose about 7 seconds per hour. At least for a dh bike. It would be neat to see the math on this for trail bikes, xc race bikes, and road bikes too. Maybe we can do a boost meter for dirt jumpers to convert the experiment into vertical blastage instead of a measurement of time.
  • + 6
 enjoyed that article, thanks Si
  • + 3
 I had Warners ATX1 in college, bought it off Mylo and rode to crap out of it. It broke in Moab at that horrible DH race on the rocks. Did my race run with the broken chainstay ducktaped together.
  • + 2
 I wish he could have borrowed "Smilin" Miles Rockwell's ATX, It probably had the factory geo Warner was using and offered a better comparison to the Glory. Check it - www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDijpChV_L8
  • + 1
 He looks so sketch on the old bike. It's way to small on him that he is totally scared to even do that first little double jump. If he had his original glory set up for him I think his times would have been within 2-3 seconds apart. If you are an x-large rider on a medium bike, you gonna feel like gong over the bars constantly. Totally scary and you will let off the throttle big time!
  • + 1
 So the new Glory bags you (and by "you" I mean not me but pro who rides like a striped ape) a 10% improvement for a 300%+ upcharge, more or less. Seems sensible. I bet Rob could gain another second jumping on a $10K S-Works Demo, right? The industry wants to sell that. Time to replace my 2004 Big Hit so I can be faster & pass the family money dorks on wet dream rigs a fraction of a second quicker!

I was on the lift last summer with an ex-pro just out having fun, said he had a family now so he couldn't risk the injuries anymore & just rode for laughs. He was on a short travel 4X just obliterating the DH runs, making everyone in sight wonder if he was human. Money can't buy you skill, or balls. Seeing the next level dudes ride what you ride will straighten you out about how good you think you are.
  • + 6
 grampa vs grandson
  • + 21
 is that what you type in porhub search?
  • + 1
 pop pop pop **shots fired**
  • + 2
 Waki... You never cease to amaze me.
  • + 0
 Waki with the f*cking roast! @WAKIdesigns
  • + 1
 That's surprising to me, I didn't expect that big of a difference. Personally, I think the rider makes the bike. There's some people who have never ridden a bike, and they would be terrible on a downhill course, versus a professional.
  • + 5
 11 seconds over 20 years isn't much.
  • + 4
 A small improvement in performance over 20 years but an astronomical increase in prices. Also lets not forget that the guy who tested the ATX was a bit too big for the bike which I'm sure was a definite factor in not obtaining an even faster time.
  • + 2
 I really think if the ATX had modern tires, that 11 secs would be way less... I get the period correct aspect, but tires are a major wear item in DH. Plus, Minion DHFs have been around a long time.
  • + 4
 Great feature! He's still got the skillz too - if only he had pedaled more, well, at all...
  • + 1
 I think its all down to spending alot of cash for minor improvements... road and off road bikes its all the same. If you don`t have the cash you may be a couple of seconds of a friend, not life or death... First world problems ; )
  • + 4
 Better brakes and tires and I think it would have been neck and neck finish
  • + 1
 I'm sure Intense might not be happy about it, but I'd love to see somebody like Shaun Palmer on these two:

www.retrobike.co.uk/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=133641

millrace.com/images/library/zoom/specialized-demo-8-ii-copy-225595-15.jpg
  • + 4
 I wonder if Claudio watched this.....
  • + 3
 that bike model was World Champion with Miles Rockwell in the year... 2000 !!! why 1996?
  • + 3
 My bike from the 90s would be terrifying on the trails I ride now. Terrifying.
  • + 1
 I wonder what the difference would be on two bikes that are the right size for someone... Pretty cool write up. Nice to see some different stuff every now and again. Should do an entire series of these...
  • + 2
 In 1996 a giant dh bike would be more close to this... www.pinkbike.com/video/402967

or this
www.cycleexif.com/giant-atx-990-john-tomac
  • + 2
 The 1997 ATX970 was my first proper bike. I was blown away by the plushness of the RST Mozo Comp forks and the spring at the back... Weirdest feeling ever was riding full sus for the first time. Stuck beautiful Judy XL's on the front and later turned it into a 5.5 inch bike with the BETD linkages. Frame cracked in several places about a month later (6 years into its career). Still use the Avid BB (now BB7) brakes I upgraded to then.
There was no ATX One in 1996, as already stated...
  • + 3
 whoa... are those BOMBERS???
  • + 3
 Glad to see a love for the history of the mtb bikes. Keep it coming PB.
  • + 4
 '96 ain't dead!
  • + 1
 Conclusion: Rob Warner is still faster than you, and would be, even if on a clunker folding bike with no suspension ridden without pedals.
  • + 2
 Wasnt someone racing an atx dh in the wc until relatively recently? Possibly a british guy?....
  • + 3
 Ben Reid?
  • + 1
 Thats him! Cant find any decent pics mind...
  • + 1
 I think Reid rode that bike over ten years ago. There was a recent interview with "Smilin" Myles Rockwell and his ATX from 2000 here- www.pinkbike.com/news/tpc-museum-series-1-2000-giant-atx-one-dh-with-myles-rockwell-2015.html
  • + 2
 all about traveling and shagging birds .... so brutally honest waner is the man
  • + 3
 I want to see a period-correct M1 vs an M16.
  • + 3
 Would've been cool to pit the ATX against the current Reign.
  • + 1
 uther then the fact that that video was simply awesome.....Just because....Its Rob Warner...being all us old guys over 40/////RAMFB.....Will Kill on Command,.,,,
  • + 3
 For some reason the 1996 doesn't feel right to me.
  • + 2
 I'm surprised nobody's pointed out that that the ATX ONE DIDN'T EXIST IN 1996! IT'S A 1999!!!!
  • + 1
 i imagine an atx with modern parts,a fox fork,dhx 5 shock, code brakes,saint gruppo and schwalbe tires it would be great to see that atx boosted hehe
  • + 2
 More of this please! Rocky Element DH vs Flatline. Diesel vs Session. FSR vs Demo. Lobo DH vs Fury....
  • + 1
 Any WC ex rider could ride a big wheel down a track and still beat me on my uber bike!
  • + 1
 Props to Warner looking so confident on a decade old bike that was two sizes to small for him.
  • + 1
 Awesome comparison! That Glory still looks small for Rob Warner. I think he'd need a geometron!
  • + 2
 Warner narrating Warner. Never thought I'd see the day.
  • + 2
 Sprinting is for the birds!
  • + 1
 I would like to see the DH TEAM added in here for comparison. Still the best dh design ever imho.
  • + 1
 So can anyone enlighten me on the reason they made the ATX so short back in day? They had to have had a reason for it.
  • + 1
 Bit odd to compare using a bike that doesn't even come close to fitting the rider.
  • + 1
 Have a new one of these for sale, the 2015 Glory that is. Please someone buy it already. Great bike.
  • + 1
 My pencil looks thicker than the ATX's front triangle...... JK I kid, I kid
  • + 1
 That ATX One looks bad ass even by today's standards. So are those the original brakes from 1996?
  • + 2
 So is Rob Warner telling me my 26in ain't dead?
  • + 0
 FANTASTIC work you guys! Great video, can you please make one with 2003 Spec Enduro and 2015 E29 or old Giant NRS and current Reign? that would be amazing!
  • + 1
 or V10...
  • + 3
 Think 1999 was the year.
  • + 1
 More of this,Pinkbike,please!
...I miss my ATX One (with Goldtec rocker arms,so much travel!)
  • + 2
 sim mas esta bike não remonta a 1996!
  • + 2
 Exacto,deverá ser de 99. A de 96/97 tinha o basculante muto mais pequeno,só fazia 6" de curso.
  • + 1
 ATX ONE was a pioneer/pathfinder/LEGEND !!!!
REVOLUTIONIST!!!

THANX for it!

hell yeaaaaaaaah!
  • + 1
 well, i would expect a bike that is almost 20 years newer to do a lot better than that. also 26 is not dead and never will
  • + 1
 I have lightly used 1996 ATX One DH for sale. PM me if you are interested Wink
  • + 2
 Really enjoyed this article thanks PB
  • + 1
 ATX One was my first DH bike :-D
Was the only Giant I have ever owned though.
  • + 2
 This bike is not from 1996 at all, how can they say that?
  • + 1
 Handled like a barge, weighed a metric tonne and bogged down like hell. BUT you couldn't break one!
  • + 1
 A fine effort! It brings a tear to the eye..Frown
  • + 1
 Best article I've read all day.
  • + 1
 Nowt better than Rod Warmer when he's off duty.
  • + 1
 Still not 26" comments? This could be a new record
  • + 1
 1996 giant with 2015 parts
  • + 1
 The atx is the same age as me, wow
  • + 1
 "Shagging birds" HA! Gotta love the British.
  • + 1
 Both of the bikes looked way to small for Rob
  • + 0
 I'd be more interested in seeing 2006 Glory vs 2016! I remember when the former was still new it looked so sick.
  • + 1
 I'd love to see a comparison between the ATX One and a 2015 Reign...
  • + 1
 I saw someone racing an ATX this season at Plattekill
  • + 1
 Did the ATX One come out in 96 ? Mmmmmmm
  • + 1
 Warner is just a nice down to earth chap.

how tall is he actually?
  • + 2
 6' 5", he says in the article
  • + 1
 Don't know how I missed that! Thanks!
  • + 1
 So there's another reason not to buy a new 8000 Euro carbon wonder bike...
  • + 1
 Because Warner says the new bike is better in every way?
  • + 1
 @Verbl-Kint on the money that would be a good one with korvarik riding
  • + 1
 I would ride the 1996 bike
  • - 3
 So what have we learnt here then? The modern bike it better than the old one! Who would have thought that??
  • - 4
flag Matt76 (Dec 7, 2015 at 12:01) (Below Threshold)
 Yes prop me down fanboys buts its true, total waste of time!
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