Throwback Thursday: Vintage John Tomac Footage From the Early 90s

Feb 20, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  
We've just uncovered this gem of a YouTube channel that has been posting footage from UCI races as old as 1991 for more than a decade. It's a bit of a treasure trove and there are hundreds of videos of old tech and racing with hardly any views. Some of our favourite stuff was of race footage of the legendary John Tomac, which we have compiled below.

Tomac was a force of nature across mountain biking and on the road. He won the XC World Cup overall in 1991 and came second in '92 and '93. He also came second overall in the inaugural World Cup downhill series in 1993 behind Jurgen Beneke. He ended his career with five World Cup XC wins and three XC wins, making him comfortably the best crossover athlete between the two disciplines ever. His greatest success probably came in 1991 when he became World Champion in XC and won the silver in the downhill on the same weekend. He also raced road cycling for the Motorola team and raced at the Tour of Flanders, the Giro d'Italia and Paris–Roubaix.


Kaprun, Grundig Downhill 1993


Kaprun was a notoriously long and pedally track and it was the season closer for the 1993 Grundig season. Tomac had taken his first win at the third round that year in Mont-Sainte-Anne, but hadn't been on the podium for the rest of the season. This run saw him finish third behind Jurgen Sprich. It was a charging Beneke who took the win and the overall series from a teenage Nico Vouilloz at the last gasp.

Metabief, World Championships Downhill 1993


Metabief in France hosted the World Championships in 1993 and although it wouldn't result in a medal for Tomac, it would be the USA's best ever as Mike King took the win and Myles Rockwell came third for the men and Kim Sonier and Missy Giove took silver and bronze respectively for the women. Here, Tomac is on a prototype Raleigh bike that uses carbon tubes and lugs. Sound familiar?

Winning the 1991 XC overall in Berlin


Tomac was battling with the UK's Tim Gould for the entire 1991 season. Gould had enjoyed the upper hand since round one but it was in Berlin that Tomac finally overtook him and took the title in the process. It was his second win of the year having picked up a victory in Manosque earlier in the year:


Here is Tomac, taking that win in Manosque, drop bars and all!

An early 90s shreddit


There may not have been much of an internet to put this on but the sub-3 minute shreddit of hucks and drifts was as cool in the early 90s as today.

John Tomac today


Bell visited Tomac in 2017 to get his reflections on his career in racing and explore his new life working on a ranch and managing his son's motocross career.


165 Comments

  • 78 1
 Not forgetting his BMX career..

There will NEVER be another like JT. Imagine a pro xc rider converting (and actually being competitive) in DH today? Nope ain’t gonna happen.

I was lucky enough to meet the man himself while in the Uk for a media trip when Tomac bikes were a thing. My heart was racing on the first climb on our ride in Wales, I knew he was about 3-4 riders behind me .. and sure enough on the most technical part of the climb, I ATE HIS DUST AND LOVED IT

Legend.
  • 34 14
 tomi misser won both xc and downhill world tittle this last year
  • 11 0
 @Danigalactic: I know what you mean and what he means...
  • 57 1
 @Danigalactic: Just to clarify a few key differences. Tomi won the masters category, Tomac won Elite. Tomi won on a xc bike & a DH bike. Tomac rode on the same bike, a Raleigh Signature
  • 7 0
 I also met Tomac on that media trip in cwmcarn, but at the end of the ride. for a guy whos accomplished so much, hes so humble.
  • 5 0
 @Danigalactic: but didn´t make it on PB cover sadly.,.
  • 7 1
 @scantregard: Tomi won on an enduro bike on Mountsaint Anne... probably the less enduro track of all...
  • 28 0
 @scantregard: in all fairness everyone used the same bike for xc and dh back then, they were just called mountain bikes.
  • 19 13
 > There will NEVER be another like JT. Imagine a pro xc rider converting (and actually being competitive) in DH today? > Nope ain’t gonna happen.

To be fair. DH was not what DH is today. It was more like a XC time trial that happened to be ran without any climb.
  • 7 1
 @Danigalactic: galactico, Tomi ganó en categoria Master 40 B. John Tomac ganó en absoluto Wink
  • 9 0
 @b45her: I know, i've been riding mtb since 87. but the Tomac fact record still stands.

Juli Furtado is the only person to have won worlds XC AND DH, but on different bikes on different years
  • 4 1
 @PauRexs: I rode mt st anne back in 98, i know the track. sorry i'm biased, just a massive Tomac fan Smile
  • 6 0
 he also raced Road for 3 or 4 years and was extremely competitive! he did it all on 25.4 mm handlebars.. haha.

P"
  • 9 0
 I think the only comparable current athlete is VanDerPoel, getting rainbow jersey in CX (3rd overall), Euro Jersey in XC (2nd Overall) and the Sprinters jersey at tour of Britain in addition to winning 4 1-day races and 3 stage wins all last year.
  • 2 20
flag Yaan (Feb 20, 2020 at 9:17) (Below Threshold)
 Yes but that was not a downhill race, that was 9 min of pedalling on a gravel road.
The 90's influence from roadies was the worst time in mountain biking, 130mm stem, flat bars (680mm), shit geometry and toe straps.
  • 14 1
 @Yaan: It was what it was because the alternative to having a bike that could handle gnar would have been over 50lbs easy. Trails evolved as the bikes did, and the bikes did not evolve faster as that was as fast as the market and technology allowed. Easy pardner.
  • 1 0
 Albert Iten of Switzerland or Italy also won World Cup/Champs Elite in both XC and DH about the same time as Tomac
  • 4 0
 @Yaan: 680mm bars ?! That was DH in the early 00's,my friend.
Early 90's bar width never went beyond 540mm. Albert Iten won the 91 DH worlds on a 500mm or less handlebar.
  • 4 9
flag brappjuice (Feb 20, 2020 at 12:26) (Below Threshold)
 @Danigalactic: If we're throwing names out there. Sam Hill has gotta be in the talk- with his success in the EWS and DH.
  • 8 0
 @taprider: Albert Iten won world champs DH in 91 & euro XC champs in 94. he never won XC world champs

at the 91 worlds Tomac slowed down in DH qualifying so he could start the actual race run in last place, thereby knowing everyone elses times to beat. unfortunately that tactic didnt work out as it rained for Tomacs run, which cost him the win to Iten

Tomac also had 2nd placed world champs in 97. pretty certain he came out of retirement to win the mammoth kamikaze in 2004 & 2005 as well.

sorry i'm a biased Tomac fan. i'll stop now Smile
  • 6 0
 Another legend back then... Titles in both disciplines: Juli Furtado
  • 5 0
 Don't forget Tomac has NORBA dual slalom title too
  • 8 0
 @Yaan: Mountainbiking is a spirit, a lifestyle, enjoying yourself riding off-road and trying out where your own personal limits are. The sport evolved over time, as most things do, but I had loads of fun on those old style bikes riding single track back in the 90's. There's no need to be too sentimental about it, but there sure is no need to dismiss those times as "roadie influenced worst" whatever times. Now get out and ride. Happy Trails ???? (still got a signed Tomac poster from the 90s somewhere that says just that)
  • 3 0
 @opignonlibre: being a professional ride in your chosen discipline, is like being trained to be a welder now days. The disciples are so specialized and technical that you have to have the prowess to come out on top. This is that today in WC races, EWS etcetera. Everyone is so technically skilled in a single discipline that, to be skilled in more than one is very admirable
  • 6 0
 @Yaan: What's funny is some of the same DH pro's of that day are ripping fast by today's standards despite age. Perhaps that "not a downhill race" was actually pretty f*cking fast on that equipment.
  • 7 0
 @nozes: And the forks! I got my Manitou Mk 1's in 1990. They were amazing, almost 40mm of travel!! :-D
  • 2 0
 @notsofastoverfifty: yeah! and somewhere between 50-100% of non-adjustable sag, depending on body position. Suspension was not very buoyant
  • 2 0
 @scantregard: Having gotten into MTB in 1994, a little after Tomac's greatest successes, to me the 1997 season remains particularly outstanding. A new breed of fast and more exclusively DH-oriented racers had come up and I never thought, naively, that Tomac would be able to compete with, let alone beat, these. Then he won the final World Cup race in Kaprun and came second in the World Champs after Vouilloz. What a feat! I'm also particularly fond of the 1997 season because Beneke likewise did really well on Schwinn after two seasons without any major results. Ah, the memories.
  • 2 0
 Also worth mentioning his short pro road career. National crit and TT champion, as well as some big Tours and Classics for Motorola. Dudes a Moose!
  • 43 1
 Suspension that didnt work: I had a Rockshox Mag 21, air oil and about 45mm usable travel
Cantilever brakes: Used to brake with 3 or 4 fingers and could never really slow down once you were flying..
Tioga Psycho tyres 1.96 with absolutely no grip
22 in handlebars
Frames and rims that just cracked....
We had fun, but sure dont miss the old bikes.
  • 5 1
 My first fork was a Mag21 too. You put air in the springs (both sides were open bath with air and oil in one big chamber) using a basketball inflating needle in the topcap. You had two choices: Set it with a bit of sag and bottom out on every root and rut, or stay topped out even when hammering and not move a single mm unless you hucked the bike to flat.
  • 5 0
 bikes so much better now...it really means you can enjoy riding so much more...
You don't have to worry about your brakes doing much more than squeal, that your tires would grip (then they weren't going flat) and you had control with suspension that works.
  • 8 0
 Srsly. Looks like he's riding a squirrelly road bike on those DH courses!
  • 6 0
 I rode a Mag21 for a while. They were considered top notch!

And don't forget looooooong stems and top tubes; very steep head angles; and, of course, nothing but 26.

I've still got a 93 Cannondale Delta V that I use on a trainer. The thing is so long, I feel like I'm laying on the top tube. Adds to the trainer suffer-factor.
  • 4 0
 @Pisgah: You still riding on that Delta from time to time? Just Donated my Delta V 2000 from 92 to the Marin Museum of Mounatinbiking. I rode mine around town and took it out on the trails every once in a while just to put things in perspective again.
It got too scary riding around on that bike with those angles and the long stem. scariest for me was that the handlebars where a foot and a half below the seat. even climbing it felt like I am going to go over the bars any moment.... lol way scarier than riding the trails on my cross bike, honestly...
  • 4 0
 You Mag21 guys had it easy. My first fork was an AMP.
  • 2 0
 @SJP: Oh man I used to drool over those as a kid. I always think of them when I see new linkage forks come to market 25 years later.
  • 2 0
 @SJP: I had the AMP fork and quite liked it except for medium hits it excelled. Too bad medium hits are the bulk of what happens when you ride LOL.

Gave up on it when I broke the linkage.
  • 2 0
 Sounds familiar, I had a Manitou 3...I think the coating on the stanchions started to wear on the 2nd ride and the elastomers worked, well, like elastomers did. Panaracer Smokes and Onza Porcupines did alright though. Canties were junk but v-brakes were mildly better.
  • 1 0
 @diabsoule: I had a similar set up on my Cannondale F1000, with a Campagnolo groupset! Oh, happy (sketchy!) days :-)
  • 1 0
 @SJP: memories! I almost went for the Amp fork on my b3 (profile pic) but decided on the ‘96 Manitou “ti buldge fs” instead with a whopping 90mm of elastomer squish. The tiny rear shock immediately blew up and the frame was beyond flexy but refused to break. That alcoa aluminum must’ve been some magical shit
  • 1 0
 @SJP: Ditto. On a Cadex carbon tubed lug frame. All us old guys are coming out of the woodwork again for these retrospective articles. Smile
  • 3 0
 @big-red: I wish I had mag-21s.....my first suspension frorks where Scott Unishocks!
  • 2 0
 @FurryCrew: damn dude. My condolences.
  • 2 0
 @SJP: You AMP guys had it easy. My first forks were CrMo unicorn rigid's!
  • 2 0
 @XCAussie: ew yeah, first mtb was a 1992 giant sedona. Rigid steel with plastic one-piece brake/shift combos and cantis. Modulation for days!
  • 42 0
 I went to Fort Lewis College in Durango in the early 80s. A skinny blond moto rider named Greg Herbold was in the same dorm when I was a freshman. A few years later, my buddies got mt bikes (but I didn't - what a dumbass!). A guy named Ned swung by the house to go for a (road) ride with my room mates once or twice. And Johnny T was often riding around town as well. Dave Wiens tried his hand at ski racing for a season. It wasn't until Ned won Worlds at Purgatory that I understood what was going on with this mt. biking thing. I know "Cool Story Bro!" Or is it "OK, Boomer?"
  • 15 0
 Cool story. It's okay to be a boomer.
  • 21 1
 @Geochemistry: back when cool shit actually happened without a million people watching, and people got famous for actually doing stuff instead of IG.
  • 5 0
 currently in Durango and you'll still see Ned and Greg around town. Ned is still a beast on the bike, not sure if Greg still rides tho
  • 3 0
 Having "been there" for that era, that's a great story!
  • 26 0
 I saw John Tomac (and his son Eli) at the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Durango, Colorado, as a star-struck 12 year old in 1994, the Golden Era of MTB — and my gosh, I’ve never seen a cowboy hat that big since! That was shortly after I began spending countless hours watching him ride, often on VHS in slowno, emulating his techniques and style for hours and hours in front of my house and on trails.

By 2000, I had turned pro at 18 and ended up beating him in DH at a few NORBA races — and I don’t think he had any clue that he had played such a major role in making me the rider that I was. He was always super nice to talk with and ALWAYS put on an excellent show =)
  • 3 0
 I just wanted to be him when I was 11 or 12. I remember watching some of those early videos on Eurosport, again and again on VHS. My favourite was I think MSA 1993 when he won. You actually turned pro and raced him too, that's cool!
  • 26 3
 Wonder what ever happened of his son and what he does these days, quite a legacy to live up to...

Wink
  • 6 19
flag mitochris (Feb 20, 2020 at 4:13) (Below Threshold)
 @jamesdunford: Easy, He's a motocross rider.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eli_Tomac
  • 25 2
 @mitochris: check the batteries in your sarcasm detector.
  • 13 0
 @ReformedRoadie: yes, I know. I noticed/realised too late and couldn’t edit it anymore. Slow day at work. ;-)
  • 2 9
flag Velo1 (Feb 20, 2020 at 7:41) (Below Threshold)
 @jamesdunford: His son Eli is arguably the best motocross and supercross rider today. When he is on he is unbeatable. He's an absolute beast on dirt bike.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypjcqTm-YbA
  • 1 0
 @mitochris: good one!
  • 3 0
 @mitochris: I thought I’d see how long it took Wink

ET is on fire this year. Seems to have the consistency and starts both fixed... I don’t see Kenny coming back into the fight, we may have to rely on Webb. Has been a great season so far.

Okay, so yeah, bicycles. Oops.
  • 1 1
 @Velo1: we all know jeffrey herlings is actually the best don‘t we?
  • 1 0
 @jamesdunford: he needs to pull his finger out this year and get it done! I want to see him put it together. When he is on it watching him blast outside of turns is something else
  • 21 0
 John Tomac, Myles Rockwell, Nico Vouilloz, Missy G, Brian Lopes, Tinker Juarez.....wow, I could go on and on.
  • 7 0
 Deadly Ned, Joe Murray, David Wiens, David Turner, Susan DeMattei, Cindy Whitehead, Rishi Grewel, Jacquie Phelan...
  • 8 0
 Tinker is a very active rider and you can follow him on Facebook. Guy is still a machine putting in some serious training miles every week and competing all over the globe. He's a pretty amazing rider.
  • 1 0
 @mark2203: And one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. I think he may have the longest cycling career of anyone, as he too started as a BMXer.
  • 2 0
 @mark2203: I recall some story where he broke his seatpost in a major race, he threw the broken stump into the woods and finished the race STANDING UP.
  • 2 0
 @twozerosix: That was Cindy Whitehead, at the 50 mile The Sierra 7500, see more here:
mmbhof.org/cindy-whitehead-buccowich
  • 1 0
 @Geochemistry: her too then!
  • 2 0
 @Geochemistry: Good catch. I would ride with her regularly when I lived in the desert.
  • 1 0
 @Geochemistry: I remembered when that happened.

Then about ten years later, my carbon post snapped remounting after I had to dismount because some people cannot hop over logs...
Shoved it into my camelbak and raced...for about 20 mins more.
All I could think about the whole time was how the hell did she pull that off???
  • 1 0
 @mark2203: Tinker is a little Mighty Mouse. He's like the Energizer bunny!
  • 14 0
 That penultimate video, it looked like he was riding a hard tail with a 40mm fork, cantilever brakes, 580mm bars with bar ends, 150mm stem, 2" tyres and his saddle at full extension. So much steeze and pure speed. Imagine if you could've put him on a modern bike when he was in his prime. Arguably the greatest all round cyclist ever.
  • 9 0
 And just the other day I was watching his son dominate in Sx too, must be good genes!
  • 7 0
 Bombing downhill with those narrow bars looks utterly terrifying. I can’t believe it took so long to realize what a difference a few extra inches can make
  • 19 0
 Cue obvious reply...
  • 1 0
 That’s what she said?
  • 6 0
 The people's champ. You gave a wave mid-race at McDowell Meltdown in Phoenix in the 90's on trails I helped build, as a kid that was super inspirational.
  • 4 0
 The fact that these riders were just as fast, smooth and effortless, on almost rigid bikes, with eraser-like pads on their canti-levered brakes, flag-poles as seat posts, and 26” wheels from Jurassic Park.....RESPECT!

It’s just like watching a 60s video of mororcycle racer Malcolm Smith, you’re just in awe but can’t help clenching your jaw.....
  • 2 0
 This, and other early footages proved that we may have the blingest full sus around now, but the true essence of mountain biking is still ripping on a hardtail. Amen to that!
  • 2 0
 I remember watching him at the Helen Georgia world cup in '96. He wasn't really near the front but his skills were a level above everyone else. There was this steep root step up that all the other pros got off to walk up. He floated right over it. Super impressive.
  • 2 0
 I met John once at Interbike, the last year it was held in Anaheim. He was giving out mouse pads as SWAG for Tomac Bikes. I was so star struck that when I shook his hand after he gave me that mouse pad, I simply yelled, "THANK YOU!", then walked away. (picture a Napoleon Dynamite, exiting the stage), that was me...

I was so nervous I didn't know what to say, other than thank you...
  • 2 0
 Love these vids! Getting sp nostalgic,eurosport
on a 21' CRT TV,no internet, Especially the 1991 with all the Legends! Overend, Tinker etc..and DJERNIS! THREE gold medals 92 93 and 94,so underrated, will still smoke most people on his rigid ritchey steel bike.. miss the 90s,love to hate the neon lycra,moustaches and lousy bikes..but natural trails not parks,ahhh :-) mtb was freaky and underground ish..but hey it's all about riding!
  • 3 0
 I had a poster of him in my room when I was a kid. Absolute role model for me. Ned Overend was cool, too. Man, what a trip down memory lane...
  • 4 0
 I remember a photo of Overend in a bike mag where he was sitting on the ground, facing the camera with his shaved legs crossed in front of him. They didn't look like human legs. All muscle with veins and arteries that looked like they'd been glued on the outside by a movie makeup artist. That's when it hit me just how far away from the pros I was.
  • 4 0
 does he even have a handlebar in the first video, or does he grab the stem directly? 0.0
  • 3 0
 Legend, mega skilled and big wattage, Definately one of the best of his era a probably all time. Yeah, I've been around a while.
  • 3 0
 I started riding in 1994, scary thing is so did Greg Minnaar, he started his riding about 3 years after this... and still going strong! Absolute legend.
  • 6 0
 29 ain't been born
  • 2 0
 But 650b (27.5") had already come and gone for it's first round.
  • 5 0
 The King of the one true discipline........... Mountain Biking.
  • 4 3
 I remember watching Norba races back in the day at Deer Valley. Numerous riders would ride dual slalom, XC and then compete in the downhill race. Those were true professionals and athletes. Not some asshat racers who go to the white house and show their ass.
  • 1 0
 I have some old home video footage of Tomac winning a Norba Nationals race at Deer Valley somewhere. I want to say it was 1995 or 96? Tinker Jaurez and Ned Overend were racing too. Those dudes were awesome!
  • 2 0
 Man, I would LOVE to read a PB article about which year a new "change" was introduced. Like which year were Full Face helmets a thing. When did lycra go away. When did bars become wider? etc. That would be an awesome read.
  • 1 1
 The problem is that most of these changes were incremental. Bars didn’t go from 620-780mm overnight. Full face helmets were slowly introduced before being made mandatory for downhill by the UCI. Lycra slowly phased out in DH, then started coming back before being banned for downhill by the UCI. It’s all incremental, except when the UCI steps in
  • 1 0
 Bikes have come a long ways. In 1993, I was riding a Trek 830 rigid. 1999, a Gary Fisher Kaitai. That Kaitai with a SID fork and v brakes got me through my first ride at Downieville. A few years later I rode Northstar for the first time, but on a Titus Riddler hardtail with a Fox fork and Avid mechanicals. On that bike I was able to ride upper Karpial. I loved those bikes, but would never go back to them. I would love to go back to my ache free, unbroken mid 20s body.
  • 1 0
 Johnny T was my idol growing up, poster on my bedroom wall. In Mammoth 2002 he showed up to race the Kamakaze and I sat at a table nearby star struck. His kid Eli just a little dude at the time, pointed me out to his dad “that freeride guy”. Eli is now a legend in his own right.
  • 1 0
 Met him a couple times in the late 90s as a industry employee...to say I was stunned starstruck is an understatement. He's a quiet dude socially, classy. As a rider, his insights into the bike were often misunderstood, but, he had a unique style and understanding of equipment, and it made sense to go fast.... he was steady adopter of a vairety of wheels systems (TIoga) and frames (mixed material bonded frames) that significantly damped the ride....His preference for pre disk, Magura rim brakes made sense if you ever felt them on the move, massive modulation . The degree of fine control was radical in comparision to the powerful but snatchy v-brakes of the era. Finally, gripshift...lordy everyone hates the gripshift. BUt, properly set up, even on DH bikes, it allows rapid multi gear shifts in both directions and NEVER has accidental changes...IF you copied his ergonomic set up. The dudes bike were FAST and unique .
  • 2 1
 Awesome footage !

But comparing that period with our currect times, is a bit weird no?

XC & DH have evolved so much and to win them you need so much specialization, much more than what was needed then.

I mean; Nino & MVdP can probably do easily what Tomac did (no disrespect). But winning a DH race on a DH track as we know it today? Don't think so, not even close.
  • 1 0
 I figure he inspired me to take my body and bike to places it was never meant to go. Things broke often.

At the time I kept thinking why my mountain bike fork was not as good as the one on my 1970's Norco MX1200 bmxmuseum.com/bikes/norco/89886 >, when you were carrying speed over roots or rocks.
  • 2 0
 It's funny, this is the same year McGrath was throwing his first nacnacs in supercross, by comparison this sport was in the dark ages. Cool to see Eli carrying the name into the premiere sport now too.
  • 2 0
 In the 1993 DH world champs Tomac got a 20 second time penalty added to his finish time for wearing a skin suit as the UCI said it was unfair
  • 9 1
 Is that the same UCI that measures how high your socks are at road races?
  • 3 0
 I vote for an immediate UCI rule change stipulating that all DH races must be run with bar ends.
  • 2 0
 1993: „Using interesting drop bars on a mountain bike. Let’s get a look at this next time.”

2020: “Gravel Bikes Exist Because Mountain Biking Is Now Boring”
  • 4 0
 Can we dub a drunk Rob Warner screaming over the top?
  • 3 0
 stay on yer bike johnny!
  • 3 0
 0:49 on the first video. Rare to have such footage on a DH race.
  • 1 0
 Haha, yeah, that one was epic, genuine camera work Smile
  • 2 0
 the sad part is that the track looked rougher than leogang for the most part lol.
  • 1 0
 Remember seeing Mike King riding the wooded section in Metabief World Championships in 1993, was unbelievable riding, could really see why he won!
  • 1 0
 Man forget his legacy, look at how tame those crowds were! I saw a guy with white shorts, penny loafers and his shirt tucked in and hair combed. What a time to be alive!
  • 1 0
 I still tuck my shirt in, shave my face, comb my hair--and not in the rich self-absorbed way either with hair gel and fancy clothes. I swore off white shorts though after falling in the mud once in front of a huge crowd. No penny loafers.
  • 1 0
 That Metabief track looks like a putting green. All nice and trimmed up just so, must have been terrifying on the tires we had back then.
  • 1 0
 Metabief track was no putting green!
  • 4 1
 These videos need an edit with Rob Warner doing the commentary
  • 1 0
 I first rode "DH" (ski lift up) on a Fuji Diamond in 1997. Basically a pogo-stick on wheels, grip shift, bar ends & rim brakes, good times!
  • 4 1
 Look at Tomac shred on that "gravel bike"
  • 4 0
 I think the kids call it "monstercross".
  • 1 0
 The thing back in the 90's was the frame flex and the terrible tires. 26 X 1.95 tires were just plain stupid. The power-post was a great idea but nobody ever used it!
  • 1 0
 I think JT is still my only MTB hero, exceptional across all cycling disciplines, and a true gentleman and sportsman, thanks for being a great role model!
  • 1 1
 I had grip shift in 1994 I think I would nick name them mis-shift.... not having to move your hand from the bar... hmm....1st video.
  • 1 0
 All I can say is wow. Wow in every sense of the word. Mountain biking was, is, and always will be the raddest.
  • 2 0
 Wo yeah retrospective bike.
  • 2 0
 Note, even downhill bikes had bar ends
  • 2 0
 they were more handguards in this application
  • 1 0
 John - do you remember a day you spent riding with my mate Paul? He has fond memories of it and talks about it often.
  • 1 0
 Kaprun Downhill course looks like the typical gravel route in southeastern Tennessee.
  • 8 0
 Those tracks do look pretty tame by todays standards, but when your pinning it in a half shell on a rigid 26er on 2.1 tubed tires at 45psi with 600mm flat bars and a 120mm stem, they become quite technical.
  • 3 1
 I was listening to podcast that interviewed Johnny T and Ned, they both agreed that they have absolutely no interest in riding those old bikes anymore. Tomac even admitted that out of the two of them, he thinks if they were both young again, racing their preferred event and riding modern equipment, Ned would be naturally more successful. The equipment and experience with it (since MTB was so new) was half of the "limiter" back then, and with Tomac's BMX background he was way more comfortable at speed over technical terrain. Tomac thinks the improvement in equipment, along with the increase in popularity of downhill and enduro means that he'd have a lot more competition with his skillset - Ned however was more of a training nut (he would ride 40 hours a week) and if racing Marathon, Road, Gravel events, would probably be really competitive - at 65 Ned is still a force to be reckoned with!
  • 1 0
 @Speeder01: hahaha, that’s a lot of “technicalities “
  • 1 0
 @Speeder01: don’t forget, looks like he’s riding 3x too! Hahaha
  • 1 0
 for those of you old hats still riding your 26" 2003 aluminum bike saying its just as good as the new expensive bikes...
  • 1 0
 I still have a never ridden Kenda Cortez Tomac signature series tyre in the original box.
  • 1 0
 Think I have a Tioga Farmer john or his cousin?
  • 1 0
 Preparing a Vintage MTB Festival in the Belgian Ardennes this summer, stay tuned!
  • 1 0
 That Shredit is his segment from Re-Tread. 99% sure the music has been changed during him riding for DRM purposes.
  • 1 0
 LMAO only back then could they get away with calling buddy the "Vanilla Gorilla".
  • 2 0
 John Tomac was always my fake name to give to the cops.
  • 1 0
 It's crazy seeing him so young, not knowing Eli Tomac would come along and be a pro MX rider as well.
  • 1 0
 That subreddit was pure gold. Loved it
  • 1 0
 I still have my Tomac DH rig in the loft! - That was an awesome bike.
  • 1 0
 Magnum 204? That was a work of art, the rear end... Oooh
  • 1 0
 The commentary is delightfully quaint
  • 2 0
 Long live the King
  • 1 0
 Always wanted one of those Giant ATX 990s that he rode.
  • 1 0
 Tomac Was a beast, but man have we come a long way.
  • 1 0
 Those narrow bars.... it hurts just thinkin about them
  • 1 0
 The bar ends and 500mm bars are rad.
  • 1 0
 This Xc race an absolute cracker! Zadrobilek the first redbull Rider ever
  • 1 0
 Just saw that and had to re-wind to make sure they did, in fact say RedBull!!!
  • 1 0
 I had no clue Redbull was around back then!
  • 2 0
 @turbo8: Yea back in these days redbull was banned in Germany for its high taurin values just Austrian market to serve..
  • 1 0
 Husker Du? Yes, I do. I saw that kid race.
  • 1 0
 Kids these days don't even know...
  • 2 0
 Quill stem mayhem!
  • 2 2
 I wonder if there are any millennials on here wondering why he is rocking tsunami flip bars ?
  • 2 1
 Why do people always rip on millennials? I mean I’m not one but I don’t get the constant bashing.
  • 1 0
 Awesome history lesson. Hope the kids are watching.
  • 1 0
 1991 manosque pt 2 at 00:47- was that riders fork on backwards?
  • 1 0
 Did he invent the stoppie?
  • 1 0
 I told you guys riding mountain bikes in spandex can be cool.
  • 1 0
 Damn I’m old.
  • 2 0
 We’re not old, time just flies when we’re busy shredding the trails....
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