Throwback Thursday Quiz: Can You Guess these Retro Bikes From Their Silhouettes?

Mar 25, 2021
by Ed Spratt  
How well do you know your bike history? We have put together a collection of retro bikes with no branding, colours or decals, can you guess the correct makes and models?















































Whyte White












4.1.1








FSR Pro Enduro 1999.jpg



































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87 Comments

  • 48 1
 No Mountain Cycle San Andreas?
  • 6 1
 Seriously... I had the same thought. That had to be the prettiest bike of that era.
  • 2 0
 Are there any left? I think they all got used.
  • 5 0
 @iamamodel I thought the same thing. And every Yeti listed were borrowed designs that look just like other bikes... Sad they didn't show the Mountain Cycle, Foes, or some old Rocky Mountains...
  • 1 0
 @7hhuman: I saw one, out on a local trail, about 5 years ago. I also saw an old Proflex, one with the coil over shocks for and aft, last year, up in the Cuyamaca trails.( our local mountains). It was a well-preserved specimen.The rider said that he was actually impressed with how well the suspension worked after all those years.
  • 1 0
 @RayDolor: wasn't it Proflex that put the front suspension in the stem...small spring and damper in the parallelogram?
  • 1 0
 Spot on bro!
  • 2 0
 @fastford337: The Offroad Flexstem was from the same company as the Offroad ProFlex. The Flexstem was a simple hinged stem with different durometer rubber bumpers to soften the ride. Can't remember the parallelogram stem name ..... but I am sure someone will..... in fact maybe I can I think it was the softride???
  • 3 0
 @7hhuman: There's a geezer who owns a tattoo shop in my city that rides one as his everyday bike. Always stoked to see him on it. It's in good condition too.
  • 1 0
 @Woodpeckar: yeah, definitely Softride. Softride made a frame that was essentially a hardtail with a big leaf spring that the seatpost attached to, and then they had the suspension stem.

mbaction.com/down-the-trail-softrides-catapult-bike
  • 1 0
 Kept looking for one
  • 1 0
 My thoughts exactly! Loved mine for all its elastomer suspended faults. I felt like superman right up until I realised I wasn't....
  • 3 0
 @7hhuman: I still have MC San Andreas
  • 2 0
 @7hhuman: Theres one in near perfect condition hanging on the wall in my local shop.
  • 1 0
 @Woodpeckar: I remember when Team Ritchey was winning XC races with that stem (Softride). Never got to ride one, but plenty of riders in my area loved them.
  • 1 0
 @fastford337: The later Proflex had that Noleen coil shock to work the parallelogram linkage on the Proflex fork. It was actually decent and tunable.
I had an Alsop stem that had a small coil and a elastomer on its parallelogram linkage design. It was paired with a Ritchey Logic fork and a for then very floaty, big volume tire.
  • 1 0
 @Woodpeckar: I was thinking it was proflex that did a duel crown parallelogram elastomer suspended fork. But now I've come to type this out I think it might have been use or xlite, and I think it was called vector. Off to Google.
  • 1 0
 Muddled memory and replying to the wrong person, go me.
  • 1 0
 @dc40:
I Do too!

Imagine, though, a San Andreas with modern geometry and a pivot-pulley transmission! MC was always ahead of their time...
  • 17 0
 Those were the days when anything goes. Frames held together with cable, twin shocks on the back, bb 3ft of the ground... designing bikes must feel a bit more boring now days..
  • 1 0
 There are still some pretty innovative designs coming out these days. However, I think what made the nineties different was that it was the big name brands with the well known sponsored racers using all the wacky stuff. Nowadays the big companies and race teams seem to be riding fairly similar looking bikes.
  • 13 0
 Crushingly, I did better in this than the up to date ones, minus the elevated chainstay bikes which I kept wanting to be the haro extreme my best friend had. (Feeling old this morning)
  • 4 0
 Same. The worst was when I started mumbling about how the M3 shouldn't be in here because it's not that old, and then realized it came out almost 20 years ago.
  • 5 0
 Right there with you… I wanted all the e-stays to be Alpinestars Ti-megas, my dream bike back then. I was unreasonably excited when the last one was.
  • 1 0
 @JodyLeeJr: Mike Kloser let me ride that bike around the pits at a Grundig World Cup probably 30 years ago. For about 2 minutes I was the happiest 12 year old on the planet!
  • 12 0
 That PACE looks almost modern...almost.
  • 3 0
 I'd forgotten how long it was - they were on to something there!
  • 8 0
 That Pace DH bike looks like it was well ahead of its time. Long reach, long wheel base, slack-ish head angle, steep-ish seat angle, short stem, dual-crown fork, a rear end with proper kinematics, disc brakes, etc...
  • 11 0
 What no Pro Flex?
  • 3 0
 With girvin elastomers!
  • 4 0
 @Ben-76: or 9V batteries controlling the suspension!
  • 3 0
 I ja as a Pro Flex. I was so excited that I finally had a real mountainbike. With pedal kickback and a 150mm stem. It was an upgrade from the Walmart kind of bike...
  • 7 0
 I didn't realize that Answer had made so many different bikes/frames.
  • 3 0
 The Klein Mantra was like a retro classic Italian car (think any 70s Lancia or Alfa Romeo). So quirky yet so alluring, especially in red. You just had to have one even though they handled badly. And those rigid Kleins made aluminum really sexy.....and I mean really really sexy. Jerry Seinfield always had a different Klein hanging at the corner of his living room on every show.
  • 3 0
 Did you ever ride a Mantra? I had a Rocky Mountain Speed (same idea/URT), and if you even thought about braking while sitting down, it launched you over the handlebars.
  • 1 0
 @husstler: I almost died test riding one of those. Always loved seeing them on trail, you knew there was going to be an epic endo. Bud dam those paint jobs were baller.
  • 1 0
 I read a mountain bike magazine during the Seinfeld days that had a big interview with Michael Richards (who played Kramer). He was the big cyclist that pushed the set dec guys to put a bike in there, and he happened to be a huge Klein fan.

There were a few episodes where the bike was replaced with a Cannondale, as Cannondale gave each of the main actors a free bike in exchange for them replacing the Klein with their bike.
  • 1 0
 URT......Unbelievably Rubbish Tail......Softrides made more sense.
  • 1 0
 @Ben-76: IIRC their motto was "Suspend the rider not the bike."
  • 6 0
 SICK. More retro content please!
  • 6 0
 Vintage MTB quiz without a single Gary Fisher? No Ritchey frames??
  • 2 0
 The second I saw this article the first bike I thought of was a Mantis Pro Floater with a Girvin linkage fork...

Anybody else own one of those? The elastomers were so dumpy it took me 10 plus years to go back to full suspension.
  • 1 0
 I have the fsr as a townie, had one over 20 years ago also. Very good riding bikes but just fugly. Cant stand it. No room to drop seatpost with quick release due to shock location. Flagrant copy of the amp. The old sid forks were flimsy as a tin can. Had to put a marz on there even for riding around town.
  • 1 0
 Look how far MTB geo has come.

Now why can't I find a freaking road bike that is long enough to not rub my toes, a short enough TT to not rub other parts, slack enough to be stable at speed?

It seems like road geo is so tied to tradition it will never advance.
  • 5 0
 Where is the Foes?
  • 2 0
 shit i feel old, clark kent, really, couldnt put a proflex animal or a balfa 2step....... amp research..... or atleast a yeti arc with the rounded stays lol
  • 2 0
 I remember so many of these 'machines' from back in the day, and the only thought that occurs to me is "Mountain bikes were so fahking shit back then!"
  • 1 0
 That was a fun trip down memory lane... I remember quite a few of those from back in the day. Friends had a few of them. I still have a '98 Yeti Lawwill DH-6, although it's basically retired.
  • 4 0
 Back when we had to flip pages of a magazine to see pictures of bikes.
  • 3 0
 I knew almost all.. Some still feel like dream bikes to me. Does that mean I'm getting old?
  • 2 0
 Yup. You and everyone else commenting here (including myself!)
  • 3 0
 How many of those Honda bikes are floating around? Are there any?
  • 2 0
 Only the team had them - I believe 4 in all - one was supposedly stolen - Minnaar has his in his SA bike shop.
  • 4 1
 I only counted a handful that weren't uglier than a Polygon Xquareone
  • 4 0
 What no San Andreas?
  • 5 0
 Classic - and what about a Karpeil??
  • 4 1
 The fact that ProFlex isn't here is a crime.
  • 2 0
 IBIS the nicest
WHYTE the "most special" and by "special", I mean stop doing drugs!
  • 1 0
 Memories...good to see R.C's influence in all the elevated chainstay bikes--so many other great ones--Brave, Mammoth, Nishiki...
  • 1 0
 Some serious evolutionary dead ends got us to where we are today. Let's face it, it is hard to buy a shit bike now! Back then you could spend a mint on a Dodo.
  • 2 0
 Fun, but tough!

Where were the Sessions?
  • 8 0
 all of them
  • 1 0
 @fracasnoxteam: Seems they got mis-labeled. Big Grin
  • 1 0
 I did way better than I thought I would... which was still pretty dam bad.
  • 2 0
 Makes me wanna paint a bike Vanta Black.
  • 2 0
 I really showed my age there, and my geek credentials, hahaha!
  • 3 0
 There's only one Answer
  • 2 0
 To all the people asking for X and Y bikes: It's a quiz,not a inventory.
  • 1 0
 This list is nice, but i would be better with :
-Trimble
-Vario "No comment" (first one with elastomere suspension)
  • 2 0
 I got 16!
  • 1 0
 I got 20 ): enduro bikes I got all of them. Makes me feel like a nerd.
  • 2 0
 we've come a long way
  • 1 0
 I got 1 wrong. the clark kent.
  • 1 0
 Got every one except for the Clark Kent e-stay fat bike =)
  • 1 0
 How about the Factory Honda DH rig?
  • 1 0
 They all look like Session.
  • 2 0
 No Raleigh activator?
  • 1 0
 So many elevated chainstays.
  • 1 0
 That Ibis looks like it do some of the work for me
  • 1 0
 Turner should be represented here, like maybe a Burner.
  • 1 0
 I'm surprised they chose the Intense M3 as opposed to the original M1.
  • 1 0
 Sintesi Basooka?
  • 2 1
 My eyes!
  • 1 0
 That Kestrel. All the chainring teeth and none of the head angle. Eek
  • 1 0
 18/25
  • 1 0
 13/25
  • 1 0
 No Sintesi Bazooka? Wink





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