Pinkbike Poll: What Year Did You Start Mountain Biking?

Mar 23, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  
In the grand scheme of things, mountain biking is still a relatively new sport. It depends on which origin story you subscribe to, but it's generally accepted that modern mountain biking is somewhere around 40 years old. That means there are still plenty of riders out there who were around for its humble beginnings in Marin County and Crested Butte, Colorado – the same can't be said for other action sports like the skiing or surfing, which have much longer histories.

I started mountain biking back in 1995, as an awkward 7th grader loooking for a way to explore the overgrown access roads underneath the powerlines near my house. It didn't take long to figure out that riding on singletrack was infinitely better than those steep, loose dirt roads, and soon I'd developed a full blown addiction, one that still hasn't subsided, even now, 23 years later.


Matt and Robbie Hunter in Kamloops British Columbia September 2016
Do you remember that first ride? Photo: Sterling Lorence


The question of “How long have you been riding?” is a common one, and I'm sure many riders (myself included) are guilty of using it as a way to pre-judge a potential riding buddy, despite the fact that here's no direct correllation between how long someone's been riding and how skilled they are on a bike. Need proof? All it takes is a visit to a bike park to be instantly humbled by the number of fearless pre-teen rippers.

That being said, there's a certain amount of pride that comes with sticking with a sport for so many years. For those first couple of seasons you're still a wide-eyed newcomer trying to figure out the basics, and then before you know it five years have ticked by, then ten, then twenty, and all of a sudden you find yourself telling stories about how bikes were so much different back in the day.

As the 2018 riding season gets underway, it's as good a time as any to do some tallying to figure out how many years of riding you have under your belt. So, how about it – how many years have you been mountain biking for? By mountain biking I mean actual off-road riding, not just riding around your driveway and neighborhood as a little grom.




What year did you start mountain biking?




227 Comments

  • + 254
 2056. I come from the future. Ebikes DID NOT take over, so keep calm and carry on.
  • + 42
 How bout them snakes on those planes?
  • + 17
 Screw the snakes!! What's up with that glowing briefcase???!!
  • + 58
 Send pics of 36er DH bikes please!
  • + 16
 I heard that eBikes and Skynet had a stalemate...
  • + 22
 It was never Skynet bro. It was Facebook. Well, I can’t say too much for fear of altering timelines and causing a rip in the space time continuum and all. Let’s just say sh!t gets crazy real fast after the great Proxima Centauri migration of 2032.
  • + 4
 @Samuel-L-Jackson: and Boost+....
  • + 27
 How the hell do you wipe your ass with those sea shells??
  • + 1
 @Samuel-L-Jackson:
Try not to rip a hole in the space-time Calliope, that forces you to get a temporal pair-o'-socks which you can't not put on.
  • + 5
 If you see Michael J Fox running around or hiding in the bushes, just leave him alone.
  • + 2
 2029 Rides with T-1000
  • + 6
 Wait! You’re from the year my drivers license expires!!
  • + 10
 What year did Trump get kicked out in??
  • + 8
 @CALEBTNORMAN: He followed the Chinese model. President for life.
  • + 17
 Probably tried to pay the Chinese model for sex @metaam:
  • + 11
 @metaam: Negative my friend. See 2a.

@poah: He wouldn't pay the Chinese model for sex. His lawyer would pay the Chinese model to keep quiet.
  • + 4
 Tell us about that New SRAM DUB with 28.99999999 mm instead of 28.99.
  • + 3
 @Samuel-L-Jackson I believe this about as much as I believe your acting in movies. Wink
  • + 2
 @rrolly: You want to be careful what you say. Has no one told you he's a bad ass motherf*cker?
  • + 2
 When did I start?
Too late.
  • + 4
 @Session603: he just ran up to the Chinese model and grabbed her by the p@ssy
  • + 68
 Well if the poll is to be believed Pinkbike is not, in fact, populated by a bunch of teens and 20 somethings that can't afford gear but rather a bunch of old gummers that are ticked off that they spent their early years in the woods instead or focusing on their careers so they could buy "dentist" bling later in life.
  • + 14
 Nailed it.
  • + 19
 some of us older riders are pissed off about the constant change in "standards," especially since we rode gnarly trails on 26" bikes for years.
  • + 7
 Spent my nights in trade school. Became a plumber. Rode like hell the entire time. The big mountain trip to Switzerland was incredible. I can afford to ride what I want to. It's been a pretty rad trail since 1992! Cheers dust!
  • + 2
 @Dustfarter: Not exactly, you've made some assumptions there. Some could have started riding 2 yrs ago but are aged 65. Others could have tarted 15 yrs ago and are only aged 19. Unless you're going purely on the comments.
  • + 7
 @SeanC1: I was at a Scott demo day this afternoon, and amazed how the youngsters were dissing 26" wheels and hardtails. I told them that all wheel sizes are good, as long as the frame geometry was designed for that size, and anyone can float with a long-travel full suspension, but if you want to learn how to really ride, a hardtail will teach you.
  • + 6
 You know, I was gonna shut up and not say anything, but, I will. It’s disappointing that 90% of the comments seem like they come from teeny-boppers and 20 something year olds. Implies that the older commenters think like young, lost millenials. Please, just bring the down votes and comments. I will somehow survive and drive on, regardless.
  • + 2
 @Scottybike36: I was just going off the poll results that most starting to mtb in the 90's....
  • + 1
 It's really not that hard to afford nice bikes and gear in your twenties if you survive solely on ramen and generally live like a pauper
  • + 2
 Yeah, or all the 15 year olds claiming they've been riding since '82.
  • + 7
 We're ticked off because were old, and shit hurts, wife and kids, PB is our vent, Now GET OFF MY LAWN! #26forlifeFTW
  • + 2
 @Dustfarter: That's when the first two of the Five Great Advances in MTB's were available and made the sport more friendly to the masses - indexed shifting and front suspension. It also made the bikes look much more bitchin'.

The last three of the Five Great Advances are tubeless conversion, disc brakes, and dropper posts.
  • + 1
 @CaliCol: ride on brother, don't drive
  • + 1
 @Geochemistry: Geometry is the Sixth Great Advance...
  • + 1
 Whats my name.
  • + 50
 As a kid I lived in a very rural area so we rode trails all the time. We didn't call it mountain biking, we just called it riding our bikes. Remember these bikes?

www.norco.com/timeline/img/photos/1973.jpg

Heavy as hell and totally unpractical but they were the cool ride to have.
  • + 4
 Exactly the same for me. My parents were forgiving me to go on the road so I had to ride somewhere and it was in the wood behind my house at 5 years old with my BMX. I still go there from time to time.
  • + 6
 forgiving = forbiding
Typo! Smile
  • + 6
 My brother and I each had one of those. Heavy as heck, but were the best thing ever. We rode it down to the 7-11 one day, and they got stolen while we were inside buying Slurpees and Big League Chew gum Frown
That day still comes into my mind every time I lock up my bike!
  • + 3
 My cousin had a homemade version back in the 70s. I was around 9 years old. Weighed about as much as I did. Only rode it down one of our hills once, having to push it up ended that.
  • + 5
 I had basically this exact bike in the early 80s. Rode it everywhere all the time. One time we built what seemed like a massive jump on the street in front of my house. This kid borrowed my bike, sent it, the front wheel came off in the air, the forks dug into the hot asphalt when he landed and he did a full face plant on the street. Lost 4 front teeth on top. Still, the bike was pretty cool.
  • + 8
 About the same for me but I was riding standard, balloon-tire, paperboy bike...whatever you called them when everyone else was riding Stingrays. 26" wheels with knobby tires and full fenders, riding trails in Westchester County, NY. I dreamed of having a suspension and a derailleur...this was in the late 60s. My first actual mountain bike was in 1983 when I was in college in California...a Diamondback Ridge Runner. It's still in the garage and my son used it in college for getting to class...back where I bought it. Now I ride a Yeti and I'm not even a dentist.
  • + 11
 Ok, I need to amend my poll answer. '76 not '94 if you count hucking a shock bike 3' drop to flat and building a ramp to launch far enough to clear 5 brave neighborhood kids lying side by side. That's gotta count as free-ride or something.
  • + 3
 I has one of those also back in 1979. Remember we setup a jump at the bottom of a huge hill and I must have caught 7 feet of air hitting that, and then after I landed caught another 4 feet of air :-) LOL. There was no rebound in those shocks!!

www.vintagebmx.com/community/lofiversion/index.php/t1024304.html
  • + 1
 yup road them as a kid in the 70,s , then 10spds became the rage , bars rolled up LOL.
  • + 1
 Well, if that's the case Smile
I can change my box to about 81.Where I lived We would climb castle hill. Get on our BMX's an drop down the near 70° chute cos there was a huge booter at the bottom
  • + 1
 Riding bikes and go off jumps...right back to where we startedSmile
  • + 2
 @lRaphl: for me it was BMX in the forest too, actually had a hard time trying to calculate what year it was haha
  • + 1
 @maxetak: lol, you never want to be the fifth kid...
  • + 1
 One of my friend got one of those, it was so cool. One day on a "jumping" session on sketchy jumps made of planks and bricks he landed from about a feet or so and the bottom bracket just fell to the ground, the bike literally broke in two, that was a nasty crash.
  • + 18
 I would not have guessed that so many people on PB started riding pre 2000. Cool.
  • + 3
 Based on what information? Immature comments in the threads or you think some of us older people don't ride? Smile
  • + 11
 Hey! Some of us oldies can drop the best immature comments on PB
Smile
  • + 1
 @nojzilla: with age comes experience.
  • + 12
 My great grandpa invented mountain biking. He use to ride his bicycle in the forests and mountains as a forest guard and shepherd back in Italy. He would tell his son "someday Enzo this will become a great sport...we will call it Super Enduro".
  • + 1
 Ever hear about that military exercise where a regiment rode bikes with wooden wheels across hundreds of miles of North American backcountry as an experiment in replacing horses back in late 1800's? Not exactly mountain biking but interesting story.
  • + 1
 I started riding pretty late, myself. Like 1904 iirc.
  • + 2
 @ecologist: Buffalo soldiers. US army experimented with bicycle infantry in 1896. The battalion covered1900 miles in 40 days.
  • + 7
 Before the phrase mountain bike existed.
I used to love riding dirt on my ten speed.
That's five gears in the back two up front.
I remeber hiking up mountains thinking: I wish I could ride down so much easier on the knees.
  • + 2
 fk you're old man!
is this the Sshredder I met in P.G.back in mid 90's?
  • + 1
 Ditto - I guess I could claim about 1982 then, on my Sears 10-speed, loving smooth dirt trails. At 14 I'd never heard of CX but all I knew was it was fun.
  • + 6
 Welcome!!! The 14 people that started riding this year. Your in for a treat for this is the best sport you could ever be into. It's a small community but we all have one thing in common... We love to ride bikes. Know your limits, ride hard, and promote the basics of riding by having fun! Cheers!!
  • + 3
 BMX, MX in the 80's, first mountain bike in 1996. Instinctively knew to push that bike harder....
  • + 1
 Is this where I introduce myself?
  • + 9
 44 years ago. those guys in Marin didn't invent it. Scottish blokes were doing it decades before them.
  • + 65
 in WW1 (around 1910) the italian army had Bianchi develop full suspension bicycles for the Alpini (mountain troops).
These bikes where dedicated downhill mountain bikes and could also be folded so they could be easily carried on a backpack or shuttled on mules up the mountain. I guess Eagle was not ready back than...

bsamuseum.wordpress.com/1911-bianchi-military-folding-bicycle

So no, mountain biking was definitely not invented in marin in the 70ies.

Visiting a museum on the alpine war in northern Italy I saw an old black and white film where they raced them against each other down the mountain just like they did with skis in the winter time which started the whole Ski racing thing in Europe but for some reason the biking thing didn't really pick up the same way.
  • + 14
 @michibretz: Thanks for posting this its very interesting mate
  • + 13
 The head angle on that Bianchi was wayy ahead of its time... talk about slack!
  • + 4
 @michibretz: So rad!!
  • + 2
 Very cool. But 44 years ago isn't "decades" before the guys doing it in the 70s in Marin. 44 years ago was only 1974. Maybe you were saying you were late to the game for a Scot.
  • + 9
 Nobody cares WHO invented it. Let their dick comparison commence. But the fact that it WAS invented is a good thing.
  • + 4
 @dbendixen: I was 4 years old. I lived in the country and rode my bike off road with my parents and then friends.
What I'm saying is generations of Scots before me were doing it
  • + 7
 @chezotron: The Marin guys seem to care
Quite a lot actually. Especially every 10 years.

Yes. bikes are awesome. Most of them. no matter where you ride them.
  • + 1
 @G-A-R-Y: Sounds like their own personal problem. Funny thing is you can barely ride in Marin country without getting a ticket. Pretty certain they didn't invent it but they did weld up the first specific frames for mountain biking. Still....doesn't say much. But it did start the evolution.
  • + 2
 @michibretz: Also, the Swiss army was using bikes in the mountains for a long time before Marin claimed it.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_army_bicycle
  • + 10
 @chezotron: Bicycles were a main transportation method of European armies in the late 19th - early 20st century.
You also got the Austrian Steyr Waffenrad and the Germans even had a specific Polizei (police) and a Dienst Rad (Service bikes for public sector workers) for example. The French had bikes from Peugeot amongst others, In Great Britain a big supplier of bikes was BSA (British Small Arms Company) and the regular Italian troops had bikes without suspension long before 1911.

The interesting thing about the Bianchi is that to my knowledge it was the first full suspension Bicycle specifically design for the mountains.
The Marin county fellows used beach cruiser in the seventies. The first purpose built mountain bikes from them didn't come around till the early eighties and it took them another decade to come up with suspension.
They did not invent it but they were the first once selling/marketing it.

I totally agree It doesn't matter who invented it.
What i think matters is when history is told wrong because it doesn't fit someones marketing strategy....
  • - 1
 MURICA.
  • + 2
 @michibretz: Yeah. Maybe they should state that the ones in Marin were the pioneers of MARKETING mountain biking.
  • + 3
 @michibretz: wow thats something rare! Thnx for sharing
  • + 2
 @michibretz: Nice history! And the early Tour De France races were essentially the first gravel grinders and they were self supported as well. We moved away from the sports origins only to come back decades later. It’s crazy to me that I’ve been doing this sport for about 33 years and that 33 years before that was the early 50’s and to think what cycling was way back then. I can only think what mountain biking will be like in 33 years for my 8yr old son.
  • + 2
 @whambat: I love that part of bike history...when road riding first became popular, paved roads were rare and crappy anyway.
  • + 5
 The Americans didn’t invent mountain biking, they invented media coverage of it
  • + 2
 @michibretz: Bianchi had a division that developed that bike, but then it . . . . . . . . . folded.



#cantpunliketippie
  • + 1
 @michibretz: thank you very much indeed
  • + 1
 @G-A-R-Y: I’m not a Marin guy. Just wondering what you meant.
  • + 3
 The invention of the bicycle pre-dates the invention of asphalt by about 40 years. It was all done in the dirt back then.
  • + 2
 @fenderbag: The first recorded use of asphalt as a road building material was in Babylon around 615 BCE, in the reign of King Nabopolassar. In A Century of Progress: The History of Hot Mix Asphalt, published by National Asphalt Pavement Association in 1992, author Hugh Gillespie notes that “an inscription on a brick records the paving of the Procession Street of Babylon, which led from his palace to the north wall of the city, ‘with asphalt and burned brick.’”
  • + 1
 @Geochemistry: pinkbike is very educational sometimes! I never knew this, or that bianchi build mountain bikes in 1911!
  • + 1
 @G-A-R-Y: very cool! Someone ought to create a documentary about it.
  • + 5
 As kids (circa 1977-8, yes, I know I'm old) we used to rag around the woods on old heaps of junk, but no one called it mountain biking. My first 'proper' mountain bike was A Trek 7000 that I bought in 1989. So what year should I click on? For me, the year I first rode a bike built specifically for riding off road and marketed as a mountain bike (or ATB) is the relevant answer.
  • + 5
 So basically we are a bunch of old men. I love the looks of horror when you tell newbs what MTBing was like 25-30 years ago. 3 things I have enjoyed since i was a child and hope I can do the day I die, Skiing, cycling and fishing.
  • + 6
 I love it! It happens all the time at the skatepark, local dirt jumps, and basic urban thrashing..."How many years you been ridin' man?" I ask "How old is your dad?"..."Oh then I've been ridin' 12 years "longer" than your dad's been "alive" and then I ride away leaving them with that look...followed with the usual distant call from behind me..."That means your like...". "I know how old I am damnit"! "Why do you think I'm riding like this"..."Because I Love It!!! I remember calling my bike a time machine 10 years ago. "Ridin', R-I-D-I-N. Man now that's livin"!
  • + 5
 I had an old Raleigh rigid mtb as my get around town bike back in the early 2000's - I occasionally rode it out to local villages on the tow paths by the canal/river but didn't "off road".

In 2002/3 I went for a cycle across the country (Coast to Coast route in England - Whitehaven to Newcastle) with some friends and parts of our route took us down fireroads in the woods and rocky farm tracks - I loved it and shortly after my friend took me to the singletrack in Swinley (which back then was worth riding).

A couple of weeks later I got a proper hardtail (alloy Merlin Malt 2, mechanical discs, bombers etc), broke that one wrapping it round a tree, got a Rock Lobster, then a Cove Handjob in reasonably quick succession (broke the Rock Lobster too).

15 years on and I'd ride every day if I could - currently suffering with a back issue and longing to get it fixed so I can go get my fix!
  • + 1
 Holy shit, here I am thinking it was probably around 2006 or so... but you made me realize the first time I road a proper mountain bike was in Bath, England in 2001... Just reading 'tow path' brought back a flood of memories. Having grown up in Houston, TX we had no idea what a tow path was so we rented bikes and went riding for the day. Pretty sure it was a GT, not sure of the model.
  • + 1
 So glad you brought up the Raleigh. I had a fully rigid Raleigh that I used to ride Mt Seymour on the Shore. We rode down an old creek bed which was crazy. Getting bounced around those baby-head rocks with no suspension was nutz. We could barely feel our hands at the end of a run!
  • + 4
 Based on the usual tone of the comment threads, I didn't expect to see the rough bell curve peak around the early 90s. Maybe the millennials are just more vocal than the core reader base.
  • + 3
 My parents bought a pair of Free Spirit “mountain” bikes from Sears in 1983. Bull moose bars, steel wheels and cranks. Then I upgraded to a CCM from Canadian Tire two years later. That bike at least had aluminum parts, but my god did it break a lot. I remember one of more occasions pedalling home with one crank arm. Those two bikes were the basis to knowing how to work on bikes hahaha
  • + 1
 Ahaha! My brother and I had the same bikes. Rode them all over Calgary growing up.Tough-Lite-Steel!
  • + 1
 Right on; similar story here
  • + 3
 2015, when I bombed ski resort work roads and ended up at possibly the biggest joke of a bike park- okemo- on a bikesdirect gravity that had no rear suspension damper whatsoever, just a coil spring. I had no idea what I was doing but I had an absolute blast which fueled this unhealthy addiction and I have since gone from that piece of crap to a vitus escarpe, and now I'm on a YT Jeffsy now that my parents have finally caved in and let me spend every cent I had made during the summer on a bike.
  • + 3
 Started jumping/ riding in 1973 with a quill stem, rat trap pedals, and a COASTER BRAKE*! (*Try that today!) moved up to a Supergoose with freewheel skyway2's, then the "Summer of 1992" happened. My buddy came riding up on a yellow Bianchi lugged chromoly 10 speed frame with wide flat bars and fat knobby tires, what's this? I exclaimed,"it's called a mountain bike"! I rode it around the block, and returned to write him a check (remember those) for 75$, and he walked home(thanks, sorry Andrew!) I then purchased a new Mongoose Rockadile with super shitty elastomer SR Suntour forks (50mm travel) man I loved it! Must be kinda like the first time people try heroin, I remember how it grabbed me and I was hooked instantly!!! I rode in nike high-tops, jeans, t-shirt, bandana, and leather work gloves...and a wicked mullett....Stylin'! Still got the Supergoose and the Bianchi too!
  • + 2
 @lancifer Dude, you must post some pics of the Supergoose and Bianchi!
  • + 2
 @bman33: That's funny you say that, as my next "project" is the Bianchi! (current is late 80's GT Trials ricochet).
  • + 3
 2013 at the age of 30 not ridden a bike for 20 plus years was never really into em June 2013 my first ft William World Cup 1 week later my first 3 week trip to whistler and first ever go on a downhill bike. Now 6 world cups later and 5 trips to whistler. 1 norco aurum 2 zestys and a Santa Cruz nomad I think I’ve got a problem I’m now hooked.
  • + 2
 1993, remember the actual ride too!! There was a local rider who was sponsored by the local shop and as part of a sales drive they offered a group ride for all the local kids in the Easter holidays. I had just got a new bike which was a Raleigh MTB, had BMX's before it, so went along with a few mates. We'd been riding local dirt trails in woods before but not like this so it was a complete eye opener. By the time we got back I was fully converted to MTB. Never stopped since, although I had a barren patch of few rides around 2006, maybe 4 or 5 over the year due to ill health and injuries, I can proudly say I have ridden offroad continuously for 25 years.
  • + 3
 does pedaling around a vacant dirt lot on my huffy mud puppy when i was 5 and got off my training wheels count as mountain biking??? if so, put me down for '92, otherwise ill have to say '02
  • + 1
 ok memory is hazy apparently, account page says i joined pinkbike in '01. definitely mountain biking by the time i discovered pb
  • + 2
 I got my first real ten-speed Bought it at the five-and-dime Rode it till my shins bled It was the summer of '69 Me and some guys from school Had a crew and we tried real hard Jimmy quit and Jody got married I should've known we'd never get far Oh when I look back now That summer seemed to last forever And if I had the choice Ya I'd always want to be there Those were the best days of my life Ain't no use in complainin' When you got a job to do Spent my evening's down at the drive-in And that's when I met you Standin' on your mama's porch You told me that you'd wait forever Oh and when you held my hand I knew that it was now or never Those were the best days of my life Back in the summer of '69 Man we were killin' time We were young and restless We needed to unwind I guess nothin' can last forever, forever, no And now the times are changin' Look at everything that's come and gone Sometimes when I see that old ten speed I think about ya wonder what went wrong Standin' on your mama's porch You told me it would last forever Oh the way you held my hand I knew that it was now or never Those were the best days of my life Back in the summer of '69
  • + 1
 extra rep for an American riffing on Bryan Adams
  • + 1
 @taprider: I’m glad you caught the reference. Because, Everything I do, I do it for you.
  • + 2
 1981. Treks first run of Antelopes. Somebody showed up in town with a first run Stumpjumper and all four of us that rode road had to ride it. Then we had to have one. No dealers around so we contacted Trek. Minimum order, 4. So, we bought 4. The grim steepness of the front geometry combined for serious toe overlap resulting in OTH launch into a handy rock pile. Undeterred by the broken kneecap, I continue. And yes, according to some, I'm old as fuck.
  • + 2
 always rode bikes , but didn't buy an official mountainbike til my early 20s , riding habits didn't change much , but there was less pavement because I used my car to eliminate a lot of that , use your bike to get to your happy place , with assistance from your Tacoma eliminating the middle man ,rode all day as a kid and try to do the same now
  • + 3
 I always find it funny when people ask how long I've been riding, I literally cannot ever remember not riding bikes, they've always been part of my life and hopefully always will be.
  • + 2
 I remember taking my brother's Diamondback from him in 1991 because he owed me $300. Pimped out with LX and a hefty CrMo build. Then I got a Schwinn 9Five with a "suspension" fork. Mag 21. I was BIG pimpin then....Good times.
  • + 3
 I remember being so excited for the mag 21 60 mm 'long travel' option.
  • + 3
 @Flowcheckers: You're CRAZY! Who will ever need that much travel?
  • + 1
 @chezotron: Bingo.

I had to rent a bike in Moab once in the early 90's as mine broke. Don't remember what it was but it had 4" of travel and I HATED it; felt like riding a couch. Ha! Been on 6" bikes for about 8-10 years now.
  • + 1
 @IamZOSO: And who would ever want to be clipped in to their pedals?!??!? Heresy!!!! Yeah, I'm out of feet to put in my mouth.
  • + 4
 Is this poll telling us how old Pinkbike readers are or what years mountain biking adoption was popular?
  • + 2
 That's my question. I had a "mountain bike" in the mid-90s, but didn't get a real bike until '99. Maybe everyone is closer to my age but just started hitting real trails sooner than I.
  • + 1
 1992 I bought a bright orange GT Pantera. Rigid as hell! Bent the forks, got Manitou II front forks. Change to Onza clipless pedals and used the pedal strap for good juju, tied it to my seat rails. Got some pretty bitchin Nike Poobah shoes, and haven't stopped since. I still have the pedal strap (juju) on the seat of my DH bike, which makes it older than a high percentage of people riding.
  • + 1
 '85 to '89 I rode my brother's 10spd road bike on dirt roads and trails all the time,'89 got my first MTB ,low end but with cantilevers,wide aluminum rims and 3x5 transmission,with oval rings (not Biopace).
Wish I had those legs today.
  • + 1
 SoCal Dirt biking-BMXican as a kid. Got into MTB after moving to Santa Barbara 1rst hard tall in 97 an one year later 1rst gen Santa Cruz Super 8 came out. SB was perfect for DH bikes! Easy to shuttle.. Awesome times!!
www.pinkbike.com/photo/4927513
  • + 1
 Got my first MTB in ‘87 equipped with the first version of Deore XT indexed shifting. Lugged frame, 3 x 6 biopace 28-38-48, canti front u-brake rear, Arya RM20’s...Entered my first XC race eleven days later. I was hooked. The next season I had my first hand built frame - OG fillet brazed Off Road Toad.
  • + 3
 Can't remember exactly. Around 1990 when I first had a bike with knobbly tyres. Mountain biking has just been something I've done for as long as I can remember.
  • + 1
 Well...there obviously was a lull in the 2000's. Personally I started in 1999, but basically stopped riding for 2004-2014. I know there were market recession in 2001 and 2008 - but for some was these the dark days of MTB? Did others quit or experience a lull in the 2000's? Why? Tech too expensive for given value? Lost interest? Lack of trail development? Life got in the way (career, family, etc?)
  • + 2
 I started in 2000 but in my mind 2007 will always be the peak of mountain biking. So many awesome bikes, gear, and movies came out that year and it was the year that I was the most excited about riding
  • + 1
 True that.
  • + 1
 I started riding off road BMX in the 70s. The first "real" mountain bike I rode would have been a friend's bike in the mid-80s. It was some single speed job with 26" knobby wheels (Maybe 24"). I couldn't tell you what it was, other than we used to call it the elephant bike. I quite disliked it as it was very heavy and lacked the manoeuvrability of the BMX. It would not be until 1997, when I bought a Raleigh Avalanche, that I would finally move over to mountain bike permanently.
  • + 1
 Telluride....'88. Specialized Rockhopper Seafoam green, buddy had some sort of GT or Fuji, seemed like the model was name of a place or a mountain.....can't remember.......Can't believe we were biking back then. MTB was not super common I don't think. (Specialized has sued about everyone since then, did not know about their suit happy culture back then. Maybe they calmed down now, great bikes, but hate the legal aspect. )
I guess first exposure to what MTB could be was a bmx action magazine in late 70's that had two guys that modified their GT bmx bikes and rode them down Pikes Peak....I was fascinated by that.......still am.
  • + 1
 I was riding off road before but bought a Gary fisher montare in 1991, with elevated chain stay. Fantastic bike and could do all sorts of tricks. Broke the frame on the seat tube, as others seem to have done too, but that was a fantastic fun bike.
  • + 3
 2003, unless you count riding mountain bikes on dirt roads, in which case 1992. RIP Nishiki Manitoba that got robbed off my porch...
  • + 1
 My first mtb was a 93 Raleigh stutterbump. Full rigid,24" wheels, steel boat anchor. Rode that until it fell apart. Then I got a univega alpina that had a AMP linkage front shock. That bike got ran over, but I kept the shock. Next was a cannondale killer V with a Manitou shock. Great bike, race XC in high school with it. Good times back then.
  • + 1
 ~1990 Avanti Nomad all black with day glo orange rigid forks. Sketchy AF. Think I crashed within 30 secs of my first downhill... vividly remember the log, the lack of skill in avoiding the log, the corresponding bent front wheel....
  • + 1
 Seems like a lot of people started in the early 90's (myself included.) This could be the truth, or it could be that guys and gals our age have the time to answer a poll and read Pinkbike instead of chasing tail and partying (partying for me in my 40's now means staying up past 10.)
  • + 1
 Damn it.
  • + 1
 I'll say 1991 cos that's when I got my first real MTB. But I use to ride my box everywhere and anywhere, I did my first actual MTB ride in 1989 on my friends older brothers modified Morrison Sidewinder.
  • + 0
 I started with Trials when i was 12, and moved to MTB around a year after that. i had a really good sense on how the bike felt and should feel, my dad always pushed me to be brave. now i am wasting my time on this comment when i really should be training for my first sponsored race in less than a mounth
  • + 1
 I was thinking, before you were born, but I started in 1993... so not before the biggest year on the poll... still riding with my kid. What a blast. Teaching a 3 year old makes it feel like the first time all over again.
  • + 4
 I didn't start mountain biking, mountain biking started Me.
  • + 2
 Started out as a way to access cool places to smoke pot that offered good cover and concealment from adults and whoever else wanted to disrupt the party!
  • + 3
 Is this about wheel size? 26 is still around, now called Enduro kids bikes, cost $10k
  • + 1
 So 1990 seems most popular in poll. What was happening in that year to make us all take it up. Specialised hardrock in pearlescent white, then kona cinder kone. I remember those alpine star bikes and gt timberline
  • + 1
 Schwinn and raleigh were what you could get when all the first batch (750 bikes?) of stumpjumpers were gone - I had a schwinn high sierra . . .Think it was summer of '83 . . .
  • + 1
 My first "real" mountain bike was a Scwhinn Mesa GS. Around 1996/97. Bought with hard earned highschool money. Prior to this it was whatever my parents bought me from Canadian Tire (CCM brand).
  • + 1
 I ride bikes. My first time on a bike in the woods was 1983, following my Mom, Dad, Sister and their friends. They were all on horses, but that didn't seem fun to me so I took my BMX bike.
  • + 1
 Remember the question. When did you first start Mtn Biking. As in riding an actual mountain bike. Unless your hanging with the original fabricators in the 70's you weren't riding mtn bikes.
  • + 1
 1990 on a proper mountain bike, maybe it was 89. Before that though, we rode bmx bikes on singletrack, usually on trails that would have your bike confiscated if you did it today.
  • + 1
 I started in 1992, and rode a few times a year when I went to visit my grandparents in Wisconsin...as a regular addiction, mountain biking probably really took hold in about 2000, when I was more mobile!
  • + 1
 2006 when I was going into high school. I couldn’t stop watching Drop In and Ride Guide Bike. Those shows are what got me addicted and my parents thought I was insane for spending $1500 on my first bike Razz
  • + 1
 Bought my first bike at 2005.. Such a good times) schwinn mesa with rock shox judy sl, on single track and single wide wheels, maxxis mobsters and with brutal bar titec el norte iv)
  • + 3
 i started two years ago and can already make it down the pro grt at windrock
  • + 3
 how fast u make it down tho? it is a race track youre talking bout after all. if you ride a race track slow, it doesnt count lol
  • + 1
 I have been mountain bikeing for 26 years and raceing xc back in 93 to 2017 now that's 25 years that's long time for me from glyncorrwg.
  • + 1
 As much as I guess this poll result is biased towards the people actually enjoying being part of this sport, who cares, 1992 for the win! woowhooo!
  • + 2
 My girl fiend bought my first bike in 1999. I’ve never looked back. Sometimes it’s way more than a sport.
  • + 1
 All the time!
  • + 1
 I put it down as 2003 because I started to really get serious that year, but then broke my back and had to wait another couple years again. 2006 was the year I started again.
  • + 1
 South face of Mt. Ashland, Oregon 1972, riding deer and xc trails on a Stella with touring tires,( about 36 mmw wide).
didn't get a proper mtb till 1990.
  • + 1
 What was your first real mountain bike? mine was a 2000 Schwinn Moab 2. For 900 bucks, everyone said I was crazy when I paid that much for a bike back then...
  • + 3
 I'm old. But not as old as some of you guys!
  • + 2
 Im old, but not as . . . .oh wait. Just old.
  • + 1
 I want to say «hi and welcome» all those who answered 2018! You’re lucky to have it all in front of you and great bikes to choose from! Good luck!
  • + 1
 i watched Seasons in 2008 on Easter Sunday. Bought my 1st dual sus bike in MAY 2008. A Demo 8! Been a season ticket holder at Northstar ever sense. Im 54.
  • + 1
 !987. Saved up from a summer job for a rigid 21 speed (there weren't many other options lol!). I've been addicted ever since!
  • + 1
 I rode bikes all over the farm as a kid, any trail would do. Got my first mountain bike in grade 11. A 1989 Rocky Mountain Fusion.
  • + 1
 I didn't count my Schwinn stingray but yeah we busted through all sorts of trails on it starting around 1977. At the time it seemed like the most natural thing in the world.
  • + 2
 1970's, a Raleigh 10 speed road bike,Cowhorn bars and knobly tyres, i invented mountain biking.
  • + 1
 I had my first "wall mart" mtb in 89 but I don't think it counts. I bought my first proper mtb I 09 so that's the year I see as the start.
  • + 2
 20 years ago, when MTB was a weird thing in my country. 3 years later first local dirt jumps were born.
  • + 1
 At 18 years old I bought a Gary Fisher Paragon and thought it was awesome. Little did I know that whack geometry stunted my skills for years to come.
  • + 1
 Got my first real mountain bike in 1988 - a Jamis Dakar. I had been riding BMX bikes all over my little town for at least 10 years before that, though.
  • + 3
 Effing didn't realize everyone on this site was so old
  • + 1
 Always rode bikes,started Mt biking with a stump jumper went to a Gary Fischer ,then to GT s and never looked back...get off the couch and ride year round,Bigfoot us waiting!
  • + 1
 Proper trail mountain biking 2014 In proper urban drop offs on a down hill probably 2000 BMX bikes, my whole life
  • + 1
 Is this a market research age demographic tool in disguise? And I thought I was the oldest dude on PB.
  • + 1
 Raced BMX in the 80s (Hutch and Pro Lightening) and then MTB in '93 (Raliegh M50).
  • + 1
 98 when i was two my dad put me on a bike and have never wanted to get off since!
  • + 1
 Really interesting how there are definite lows right after major catastrophes such a as 9/11 and the late 2008 recession.
  • + 1
 Wow....good observation....
  • + 2
 My first mtb was a 1989 haro escape 24"
  • + 1
 The majority of my riding has been off road so I've been riding MTB since I was 3, 1981 then
  • + 1
 Shiet; o'l I am, but having fun by the ton still! 1987 Nishiki Barbarian ruled the woods back in the days.
  • + 1
 6 years old on a yellow CCM 16" bmx in McClure's woods and Rioux's quarry in 1985. No helmet. I still have scars.
  • + 3
 1991...hence the name.
  • + 1
 94’ 6th grade Pittsburgh, hitting dirt jumps with my green and purple Trek Antelope 4500 lol!
  • + 1
 I remember building BMX style bikes by converting my CCM banana bike with a ten speed seat and moto bars
  • + 2
 Still got my '93 Norco TNT (first gen XTR, early RockShox Mag 21)
  • + 2
 I'm here wondering what the hell happened in 1989
  • + 1
 Haha, I replied 1989--January '89 took posession of my first mountain bike or ATB as they were called then, it was a 1988 Mongoose Hilltopper 18 speeds baby!
  • + 1
 And what happened between 1999 and 2005? What possibly was more exiting than starting to ride?
  • + 3
 1989 "The Summer of Love", Raves,E's,Hash,Skunk,Coke,Acid, and i survived it all Smile
  • + 1
 It just really took off in my school around 89/90 with loads of guys in my year buying bikes. Pretty common to have 30 people turn up for a ride over the moors or go play in a quarry. No suspension in sight other than the occasional flash guy with a girvin flex stem.
Lots of Saracens, Raleigh lizards, specialised hardrocks, Trek 820/830, Marin muirwoods and GT's except for the rich kids who got orange clockworks.
Still got the first copy of MBUK magazine I bought in '89 somewhere. Has John Tomac on the cover!
  • + 2
 @pigman65: Haha, me too, but I'm pretty sure I remember riding through that period too. Unless those trips were stronger than I thought. That smiley face emoji meant something different in those days. ACIEED
  • + 1
 Started last year when my friends introduced me. I wish I knew about it sooner! Can’t get enough!
  • + 2
 Started 02, peaked 2008, been getting worse ever since.
  • + 2
 Looks like the 1990's were the golden years.
  • + 2
 Btw when did specialized officially coin the phrase mountain bike?
  • + 2
 Good way to find your target audience
  • + 1
 Hey pink bike, how about a favorite bike ever thread. That might be fun for us all!
  • + 1
 October 1985 (14 years old) was when I picked up my first ATB....a 15sp Raleigh Maverick with canti brakes and alloy rims.
  • + 1
 1986. Bought a Nishiki Bushwacker from Deep Cove Bike Shop, as it was called then. What I really wanted was a Ritchey.
  • + 1
 1997 with 17 years old, I get a job as a bike messenger and then rode with some friends to the mountains.
  • + 1
 Glad to see the 25 1 year olds that are already participating in surveys on pinkbike. Start em young!
  • + 2
 started when raleigh bombers came out...
  • + 2
 Raleigh Bombers, now you are talking! I remember their ads in BMX Action Bike.
  • + 1
 1986, Mt Tamalpias -Bike: Schwinn High Sierra- age 10.
  • + 1
 early 80s ... riding the old clay pits on my Raleigh strika
  • + 1
 2008 Gary Fisher Piranha. Before that the Schwinn had dirt duties
  • + 1
 Bunch of old heads in here...
  • + 1
 Purple Trek 7000. Full XT. Bar ends. White tires.
  • + 1
 1985...no suspensions,5speed derailleur ???????? good times!
  • + 1
 lots of peopole who started in the mid 90´s... didnt expect that!
  • + 1
 Interesting you can *almost see it correlate with market trends
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer Next poll what was the brand of your first mountain bike?
  • + 1
 not sure exactly but what year was the raliegh mustang/bomber???
  • + 1
 OH an can I tick 2007 as well, that was when I saw 4X online an started my second era of MTB having been burnt out an too old for BMX
  • + 2
 1989 diamondback ascent.
  • + 1
 wow, most 1992 - the year I was born! Smile
  • + 1
 %*$£# I’m old!!!
  • + 1
 Rolling since 1975
  • + 0
 No wonder I'm fast.
  • + 0
 Too late
  • - 3
 Since I was born

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