Video: Rob Warner Tries to Rebuild his 1996 World Cup Winning Bike

Mar 8, 2021
by Trail Creatives  

bigquotesI've never been a huge fan of keeping old bikes, but I knew if I was ever going to do a retro bike build, it had to be a good one.

Some say it was the most iconic moment in the history of mountain biking, a pivotal moment for the sport. Of course, i'm talking about my iconic World Cup victory in Kaprun, 1996.

Watch as I delve into my dad's museum to find my world cup winning Giant ATX990 frame and start to plan how i'm going to take on the ultimate retro bike build.

Can I even find all the parts to complete this build? I still don't know the answer to that! Make sure to subscribe to find out as we'll keep them coming until she's done. 

Enjoy,

Rob



104 Comments

  • 48 0
 I was there racing and if remember correctly, there was an afterparty with a longhaired drunken mess leaning on a shed and I told my friends: "jep, thats the winner."
  • 4 0
 Fabien Barel inspired name?
  • 21 0
 Love this shit because I'm old... and because Rob is awesome..... and because.... it actually make a point, although it was not the point the video wanted to make.

I have an old (~16yo) steel custom 29er hardtail. It's always my 2nd favorite bike, after whatever squish I'm on now.
It's got 135mm rear, a non-tapered headtube, a 27.2 seatpost, and 2.3 inch tire clearance..... I know that the industry moves fast, but damn... I can barely pass the thing on to my kid as bike to ride to school w/o buying stupid expensive parts, or super crap parts..... Good luck Rob.

Also, here's a preemptive #OKBoomer.
  • 9 7
 I'm a not boomer who bought a 26'', straight steerer, 27.2mm seatpost bike in 2013. It's already almost impossible to find forks and tyres are getting harder each time I need them... I understand that the market must be fairly small, but given how many millions (billions?) of similar bikes must still be going around, it screams planned obsolescence to me...
  • 12 0
 Saved for years to afford a set of Chris King hubs. Within 6 months boost was announced and I keep my old hardtail in large part because those wheels still work on it.
  • 2 2
 Loads of cheap 26 stuff still. It's just at the actual level that mtb is at, it's performance driven so high end stuff keeps up with what's 'best'. If you want £2 tyres by the container load you'll still easily get them in 26.
  • 4 0
 @FatTonyNJ if it’s old and your 2nd favorite bike after whatever you ride now. It's you most favorite by far
  • 3 2
 @Rigidjunkie: There needs to be push-back on this - if standards constantly change there needs to be backwards compatibility, even if its just making old parts and adapters available. Its fair enough that a new bike is way better than my old bike, but that also doesnt mean I should be forced to upgrade just because I cant find parts anymore...
  • 7 2
 @JPones: I have a hard time understanding this argument. MTB's had one hub size for a couple decades, then DH hubs were introduced, then boost. Now we are sitting with boost and the DH hub standard. That is not constant change, that is glacial pace change. There was talk about needing to widen the rear hub starting back in '93 or something and it finally happened over 20 years later for bikes that were not DH or Freeride type bikes. It definitely sucks if you save up and buy your dream part and then replace your frame right afterward which has new standards, but I don't think that is the industry's fault.
  • 5 4
 @JPones: I can only imagine how upset you are that your spare parts from your new car don't work on the car you owned just a couple years ago. Imagine getting upset the wheels from your Mustang won't fit on your Camry.
  • 4 2
 @insertfunusername: With regards to that one particular example, perhaps. There is no question that standardisation and longevity have always been issues in the industry, regardless of whether you think the time frame is reasonable or not. There are few other sports where parts become non-existent a decade later or are otherwise non-compatible within a matter of years. Lets not pretend for a second that this isnt as much about planned obsolescence as it is development. And here's a bet: anyone who thinks the situation is just fine are also the new bike every second season or so crowd. The amount of waste in this industry is insane.
  • 5 2
 @JSTootell: yeah that analogy almost works...keep trying tho
  • 3 3
 @JPones: I can still get any part for my 1994 fat chance, and my 1987 Eddy Merckx, it would be kinda annoying if the Simplex derailleur on my 76 Peugeot went bad(totally different mount than the standard derailleur), but that is the only part I can think of on any of my bikes that would be very hard to source.

The only annoying parts that I can think of were all the bb sizes that existed up through the 90's with different spindle lengths and bearing spacing, even taper angle on the spindles and threading into the bb shell, that was super annoying, but luckily went away once 2 piece cranks became the norm.

Sure there are a bunch of brake pad shapes now, but that is the only weird part that I can think of on bikes at the moment, where a common wear part needs a specific replacement and there are several dozen shapes, but that is why I stick with common brakes and always have an extra set around.

What part have you found is no longer available for a fairly recent bike?
  • 2 2
 @insertfunusername: Good points - I like a man who actually has something to say. TBH my biggest issue at the moment is the switch to tapered head tubes, making it hard to keep an old DJ frame fresh. Similar issue is with the switch to thru axles rather than QRs - sure plenty of QR hubs out there but less and less specialist (ie DJ) ones. BBs are probably the worst offender. Now obvs there is no adapter which could allow my straight head tube 2011 DJ bike to accept a tapered 2021 fork, but it still sucks. I would like to see a world where you spend +5k on a bike and its not redundant in just a few years. For example if it was standard for bikes to come with replaceable dropouts, it would be much easier to upgrade, say axles.
  • 4 0
 @insertfunusername: A decent straight steerer fork.
Most of the used forks are pretty clapped out and there aren't a whole lot of options for new.
  • 4 0
 @insertfunusername: actually, it was square taper until about ‘97 when octalink came out but wasn’t very popular till 2000’s and wasn’t around long. Then we had isis bb standard, powerspline and that was it for internal bearing bb. Then external (2-piece) came out and we had hollow tech 2 (24mm), gxp (24/25mm), and powertorque (25mm spindle) and now they make a 30mm external bearing bb.

Now.. now we have bb30, bb90 and bb95, bb86 and bb92, bb30a and bb30-83, pf30 as well as some frames still using threaded bb/external bearings. Oh and also specialized’s narrower version of bb30, the osbb. At least 3 shell diameters like 1mm apart.. what is the point of that? To be proprietary and sell more crap. We now have 4-5 rear axle standards, 3 front. Many people are forced into buying parts due to lack of compatibility, much moreso than the past. And it turns people off the sport, cool, smart people that don’t want to blow $ every season. This is definitely consumerism, if you can’t see it you’re in denial imo. Yeah I’m glad we don’t ride 90’s bikes anymore but it really shouldn’t be impossible for a small bike shop to stock the necessary assortment of tires, tubes, brake pads, etc like it currently is.
  • 1 0
 Similar problem on a ~2008 hardtail: finding a straight steerer, short travel, 20mm axle fork is more or less impossible new, and way too much hassle to figure out on the second hand market.
  • 3 0
 @JPones: head tube diameter has seemed to always change over time. That has seemed to stop changing the last 10 years or so though, so that is nice. Depends on the diameter of the headtube but for some headtube you can just go to an external lower cup and then use a tapered fork in a frame meant to have a straight fork. Though there are not as many options I do think that QR required DJ rear hubs are still pretty easy to come by. Many hubs just need new end caps and they can be QR, 135 thru or 142 thru.
  • 2 1
 @emptybe-er: BB's are always going to have to interface with 2 parts of a bike and therefore there have been many standards. The big looser here is the shops that feel the need to stock these parts, or the consumer that shows up to the shop that has chosen to order them in when needed. I think you even forgot some standards in there. There are big difference in the best interface for a carbon frame vs a metal frame, then a few shell widths out there and of course a few spindle diameters, so a bunch of combos. Should some of those options go away? Maybe, 30 mm just seems to cause some seal problems, but people would be pretty mad if they weren't around as a new and current product and therefore available everywhere.

There are several rear axle standards, but only 3 different hub shell widths. I can't really think of one of those hub shell widths that should go away, since I think it would be a hard sell to get XC riders to run a DH width hub.

The thing I always see in these arguments are people that perceive that they got burned by a standard change. I have never really seen parts become not available entirely. It is hard to put some top end 2021 components on a decade old bike, but there are still parts for that decade or even decades old bike. Like for my 1994 MTB I don't think I could put a new fox 34 on it. As it has a threaded headset and a narrow steel head tube, but I am fine with that.
  • 2 0
 @emptybe-er: *Standing Ovation* 10/10
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: For me its not about getting burned or ethics or any of that, it mostly about needless waste in the interest of "progress" or selling bikes but whatever, it doesnt really make a difference but yeah needless redundancy. Sure specialisation is required and new standards and technology develop, but the end result is still that you need a new bike.

Sure there are era parts available, but condition is often not there and neither is the availability of internal components needed to repair old forks for example. So my QR hub burns out on my '11 DJ - new standard for DJ hubs is thru axle, so now I need new forks, except the new standard for forks is tapered headtube so now Im up for a new bike. Im not blaming anyone or crying conspiracy, simply that the industry gives no consideration to this and the outcome sucks. Im not sure what the answer to all the propriety bs is, but again, the outcome (1000 different standards) still sucks.

It would be sick to see old frames - CLASSIC bikes - smashing down the trail with fighting-fit, new components. I dont think retro-fitting will ever be perfect, but i think the industry could do a lot better than it does and all it requires is commitment.

For example with BBs - core of the problem is the threading/frame interface - tolerance is very tight so you either have a BB which fits or doesnt. BUT if frame mounts for BBs were designed to be bigger and incorporate an adapter where outer side matches the frame thread and the inner is whatever you need, then you could mess around with spacing and threads.

Obvs this would be a major deal and big commitment from the industry, possibly even a change in thinking...but I would love to see the iconic bikes back for more than a victory lap.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: Again all good points, cant argue them BUT its the "some" that gets me - youre 100% right - the headtube on my 2010 Gambler was fully replaceable (whatever you may think of that design, however the rear could not take a 650B but again with upgrade-able dropouts who knows) - some bikes are far more upgrade-able than others but thats exactly what I'd like to see more of - that same forward thinking and capacity to customise or retro-fit becoming the standard, not the exception.
  • 1 0
 Know what? Nevermind
  • 1 0
 @JSTootell: No one is...bye
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: “shops that feel the need to stock parts”? Well you want that tube/brake pads/tire today and not next week, don’t you? That’s what shops do, they stock parts so they can turn people around asap. But a little shop can’t stock 50 sets of tires to cover road, gravel (20 sizes alone here), kids, 650b/26” long haulers road, 27.5 and 27.5+ and 29”. Oh and a few fat bike tires.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: and the reason there have been many bb standards is not because cranks have to fit bikes it’s because bikes and cranks have been all over the place at the same time with virtually no cross compatibility. How many standards have there been for bmx bb’s?
  • 1 0
 @JPones: if your hub burns up and it is more than just a bearing problem, just a dt swiss 350 , or a Sun Ringle SRC. They both come in QR, and are only 2 of many options for a high end QR replacement hub still being made today. The fork will eventually get hard to work on and there are not a lot of high end straight head tube forks. You probably have a few more years of a healthy new old stock market for a high end fork that will fit your frame though.

If you want to keep older bikes out doin their thing it is definitely possible, it just takes a bit of extra work. It isn't reasonable, in my opinion, for the tech to not keep advancing, because it would be nice to put flashy brand new top end components on my 12 year old bike and I want to be able to walk into any bike shop and just buy those parts off the shelf.
  • 1 1
 @emptybe-er: tubes??? all the parts you mentioned would make sense to carry, except brake pads for every conceivable brake. It would have been neat if all the brake companies had settled on maybe 8 shapes of pads to use, but they did not. It is not possible or at least reasonable for a shop to be carrying the many dozens of pad designs out there at this point.

For tires, I don't think it is unreasonable for a shop to have something for every size available to get someone going down the road or trail. However trying to carry a large variety of every size options is not reasonable. That would quickly turn into something like you discribed with needing to cary at least 50 part numbers, so you would be sitting on several hundred tires, and some of those you would likely never sell outside of a closeout sale 5 years later. Not a good investment.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: Im all for progress, I just want consideration given to backwards compatibility. If I had to choose, obvs I'd choose innovation but I dont believe they need to be mutually exclusive. You can still release new stuff and support old stuff.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: Again youre right, but I dont want to be stuck in a position where im choosing from an ever shrinking pool of era parts.
  • 2 1
 @JPones: I mess around with cars some. Talk about a mess of incompatible parts. Oh you need a new PCM for your 2001 grand cherokee? They changed that part several times during that generation and they are not compatible. So you need to get the exact part number from the original computer, then get it programmed by a factory certified tech with a special tool, or from the factory itself, because it only works if the computer knows your vin number, and it will need to know your exact mileage, then it will talk with the key chip reader, if you have a gray key, if you have a black key, you don't have a chip reader and it is easier.... That is actual compatibility issues, with no consideration for the user. Of course anything is possible, as I am also getting everything together to put a 2013ish mustang V6 and the associated trans into a 1976 volvo wagon, kinda fun sleeper/grocery getter/kid hauler car that should actually still get good mileage. But that involves custom work and I will need to weld up some motor and trans mounts for it, then put in an appropriate rear end and I'll likey fab up some stronger suspension members, but still possible, anything is possible.

Bike stuff is amazingly compatible though in my opinion. I could go to any bike shop and upgrade every part on my 94 MTB with modern high end parts off the shelf, with the one exception being the fork, I would have to hunt around a bit for that. You can mix and match different brand shifters and derailleurs, it is crazy how compatible stuff is. My gravel bike uses a shimano 105 shifter 11 speed moving a sram X1 MTB derailleur(and it has also shifted a 12 speed Shimano and 11 speed Shimano derailleurs), it is running a MTB rear hub(Sun Ringle SRC) and a 10-42 MTB cassette, but then still has a wide range front 2x crank(44-30) on it, that the derailleur is not supposed to be able to handle, but it works fine with. I think it is really amazing how compatible and available bike parts are, even when they are well out of production.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: cars? How about moto? You don’t see a bunch of crazy shit going on with standards every year, do you?
  • 2 0
 @emptybe-er: I don't know a lot about moto, but you can't even use the hubs from one manufacturer to another, right? I don't know of any part that would work on a bunch of motorbikes other than handlebars and brakes maybe.
  • 22 0
 It's like watching ADHD
  • 22 6
 warner eating only the finest the haute cuisine of small britain has to offer
  • 6 0
 Bit harsh, at least compared to the Leberkässemmel there is a nice variety of textures with the crispy crunch and the ingredients can be identified on the packet.
  • 1 0
 @Riggbeck: depends on who made the lkw and if it comes with abs
  • 22 1
 You sore losers really are the wurst...
  • 2 0
 @Sethimus: maybe they were blended animal and wholegrain mustard crisps?
  • 36 0
 A German walks into a tasting room and orders a white wine.

Server: Dry?

German: No just one.
  • 14 1
 I didn't know that Rob Warner ever won something, except my respect for being the funniest and rudest mtb commentator!!!
  • 7 1
 those two things aren't mutually exclusive! In fact, they tend to be intrinsically connected.
  • 12 0
 Recipe for the sandwich?!
  • 10 0
 Love that he complains about boils growing on his nose when he is eating a crisp sandwich for lunch...
  • 6 0
 @curtaincarot bread, butter, crisps.
  • 4 0
 hits dial, then takes monster bite...
  • 2 0
 @excavator666: Oh yeh, with some cheese yum yum
  • 4 5
 Not crisps. CHIPS!
  • 4 0
 I forgot about crisp sandwiches for years, since before I was married. Made one up in front of my European wife and her mother and they stared at me open mouthed, like something they needed to scrape of their shoe, as I proudly wolfed it down.
  • 5 0
 @streetkvnt-kvlt: Being in an intercontinental marriage, this is a source of constant tension and may one day result in a divorce.
  • 1 0
 @Mugen: Adult acne is no joke.
  • 3 0
 @excavator666: if you really want to freak her out, take one glass, fill it with Sprite or Coke. Then add one or two scoops of ice cream. Results are delicious though met with initial looks of disgust and anguish.
  • 1 0
 @trailhound79: what's wrong son?
  • 8 0
 In case you haven’t seen his Wikipedia page, “According to Warner, in a video streamed to Pinkbike on 2 June 2014 titled The Lost Rob Warner Story, he actually won the Kaprun World Cup with an STI he picked up in Les Gets a week before” Big Grin
  • 12 0
 How is his Subaru relevant to winning or not?
  • 2 0
 As much as would be difficult to remember what bike he was riding 25+ years ago, sure he remembers that his world cup win got him on Giant?
  • 9 0
 Rob is correct. Kastan made many of high end, one-off type bikes 'back in the day'. Linn Kastan is actually the founder of Redline BMX bikes. Now owned by Seattle Bike Supply. Apologies for the nerd out there. Big Grin
  • 5 0
 Would prefer to see an ATX 1 rebuild, the version with the RST XXLs. Getting the 990 right will be a bit of a challenge, particularly finding a '96 Z1
  • 3 0
 RST High fives mate, I think I have a set kicking around somewhere in the garage.
My dad and I got bidding on a retro and awesome condition ATX 1dh a bit back on eBay, we dropped off around £750 and it was still climbing! I’d love to have a blast of one still!!
  • 1 0
 @McArdle: The ATX 2 production bike came with High 5's. The ATX 1 came with Boxxers but Rob was using XXLs on the pre-production version.

ATX 1 rides like crap, just like every DH bike from that era.
  • 5 0
 If Trainspotting was a documentary...
  • 11 0
 Chainspotting
  • 3 0
 In case anyone hasn’t seen it, here’s Chainspotting youtu.be/L_A2exFmvn0
  • 1 0
 I was racing at Porc n Robs brother Rich was with when he called home n found out the news Rob had won. A few weeks later the footage was on Eurosport n yes it rained but rob still rode in the wet same as the rest n took the win a first for A UK rider
  • 2 0
 F'n Rob, the stupid Alexa in my house started babbling because it heard him on this video asking it a question. By, the way. it had no idea who he is. Still a legend though!!!!
  • 5 0
 Don´t look at the time!
  • 1 1
 I have personally have known Rob for over 30 years , since before he ever rode mountain bikes , he has done a hell of a lot in his career which has helped shaped mountain biking into how it is today , so don't slag him off , he's a great guy ! He's done more for mountain biking than most of us will ever dream of doing......
  • 3 0
 HA! Good shit that was...
  • 3 0
 Retro mountain bikes are so cool. I wish they rode as good as they looked
  • 4 1
 End of thé vidéo , still just a frame. Fail
  • 2 0
 Robs channel is great, he is such a funny bloke. Nice to see him slightly unredbull sanitised !
  • 1 0
 Pre-2000 bikes qualifies for the Vintage MTB Festival vintagemtb.org Rebuilding a 1995 Marin Eldridge Grade atm with blue chainrings...
  • 3 0
 Red spring though
  • 2 0
 How many of you went to test the egg theory after watching this??
  • 1 0
 I've done it before. Must have better grip strength than Warner because for me it ended up with an eggsplosion! It's hard, but not impossible.
  • 2 0
 His YouTube channel is absolute gold. Effing love it.
  • 1 0
 Once it's built, send it on a modern course. Or get a young'un to do it. #progression
  • 1 0
 Geez Rob didn't your mum tell you not to talk on the phone with your mouth full of chip sandwiches?!
  • 1 0
 There is a whole separate culture of retro bikers out there... its nuts actually.
  • 1 0
 this is legitimately entertaining. Authentically, organically funny, innit? I want to see Rob and Ricky Gervais together.
  • 1 0
 Those fucking basecamps cut my Achilles heal in half bastard!
  • 1 0
 Biggest challenge is not trying to build it, but trying to ride it.
  • 1 1
 I don't care about your zit Rob, tell me about your history and about the bike.
Btw are you living with your parents?
  • 1 0
 Seems Rob would agree!
  • 1 0
 funny.... :-)
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