Now THAT Was a Bike: 1993 AMP Research B2

Oct 8, 2018 at 14:44
by Richard Cunningham  

Amp B2 1993 That was a bike
MTB HISTORY
1993 AMP
Research B2
Vintage Mountain Bike Workshop photo


The AMP B2 is unique among mountain bikes because every aspect of its frame, fork, and suspension was designed and manufactured by AMP Research in Laguna Beach, California.

This story begins with Horst Leitner, a young engineer and motocross racer who left his home in Austria to set up shop in the Unites States. He founded AMP Research and among his many endeavors, he invented a motorcycle rear suspension that removed braking and acceleration torque from the suspension action, which led him to design and manufacture ATK motorcycles in the 1980s - one of the first competitive four-stroke motocross racing bikes.

Most of us, however, know of him in reference to the "Horst Link" dropout, which is ubiquitous today, but was an important invention in the early 1990s, when dual-suspension mountain bikes were in their infancy.

By 1993, Horst Leitner was still racing motocross every week, but his new passion was riding mountain bikes on the trails near his Laguna Beach home. It didn't take long for the inventor to come up with an
improved mountain bike. Initially, Horst developed a simple rear suspension for Specialized, and it marked the brand's entry into the dual-suspension arena - well, kind of.

Leitner was convinced that rear suspension was going to revolutionize the sport, and quickly became frustrated with the boys at Specialized, who, in his words, "Seemed like they wanted to make a suspension bike, but were screwing around and going nowhere." Patience is not one of Leitner's virtues, so before long, he had assembled a small factory that began churning out aluminum-framed dual-suspension bikes, the likes of which, the bicycle industry had never seen before.

AMP B2 1993:
• Use: cross-country / trail
• Aluminum double down tube frame, 4-bar suspension, 3" travel
• AMP F1 linkage fork, aluminum upper, chromoly lowers, 2.5" travel
• AMP through-shaft hydraulic coil-shocks, front and rear
• Head angle: 71 degree, Seat angle: 73
• Brakes: cable-actuated cantilever
• Sizes: Small, medium, large
• Manufactured in Laguna Beach, California


Amp B2 1993 That was a bike
Horst Link: Leitner facilitated the creation of a successful four-bar rear suspension by moving the seat stay pivot from its traditional place above the dropout, to a position significantly below and in front of the rear axle. Vintage Mountain Bike Workshop photo


The model B2 featured here was Leitner's first production model and a benchmark for light weight and simplicity. Its seat stays drove the shock directly and were not laterally supported by a rocker link. To facilitate this suspension configuration, Horst designed a hydraulic through-shaft damper that mounted directly to the seat stay strut. With a bushing on either end of the shock shaft, the damper could handle lateral stress without self-destructing like a traditional shock would.

Amp B2 1993 That was a bike
Theoretically, there was no need for a pressurized IFP piston inside AMP's through-shaft shock, because the fluid volume remained constant. In reality, the shock always had a little air inside and the hissing sound it made during the rebound stroke was called "AMPhysemia." Vintage Mountain Bike Workshop photo


His compact F1 linkage fork is still a bit of a marvel today. Horst designed it to emulate the axle path of a telescopic fork, while keeping all the moving bits up top, so he could still use cable-operated rim-brakes. The fork was suspended by a stiff steel spring tucked under steerer tube, while damping was handled by a pair of impossibly small through-shaft shocks, pinned to the sides of the linkage arms.

Amp B2 1003
AMP's minimalist four-bar linkage fork design was intended to be a lightweight cross-country design that could compete against equally spindly 50-millimeter-stroke telescopic forks from Manitou and RockShox.


Leitner had no problem with bucking tradition or arguing with unsympathetic press. His made-in-the USA ATK motorcycles had polarized both the media and top motocross racers against his off-center engineering solutions and alternative suspension concepts.

After weathering that storm, Leitner was unfettered by a fresh-faced mountain bike industry infatuated by cross-country racing and titanium hardtails, whose illuminati preached that rear suspension was a laughable folly. He aimed for the heart - to create a dual-suspension XC bike that could prove them wrong.

His engineering approach was unique in that he took nothing for granted. Simplicity was his religion. He challenged every aspect of traditional design to discover a better solution or a more effective way to manufacture it. For example: in place of a conventional shim stack and a mechanically-valved damping piston, his shock damping circuit used a $1.25 square-seal that shuffled back and forth over a series of holes to control rebound and compression flow.
The Build:
Stem: Ringle Zooka Quill
Headset: Chris King Threaded
Bottom Bracket: Shimano Cartridge Bearing
Handlebar: Answer Hyperlite
Shifters: Shimano XTR M900 w/ Grafton Perches
Front Derailleur: Paul 409
Rear Derailleur: Paul Power Glide
Brakes: Grafton Re-Entry levers, Speed Control cantilevers
Crankset: Grafton Speed Sticks, Shimano XTR 26=36-46t
Pedals: Shimano XT 737
Wheels: Ringle Super Bubba hubs, Mavic 217 rims
Tires: Ritchey Z-Max Hard Drive 1.95
QR: American Classic
Seatpost: Ringle Moby
Saddle: Selle Italia Flite
Grips: Scott AT
Cogs: SRP Titanium 7-speed
Bar-ends: Titanium (from Dave Wiens)


Amp B2 1003
Like many rear-suspension designs, AMP's B2 did not play well with cantilever rim brakes of the time. The off-angle cable pull eroded braking power, and soon-after, Leitner would develop his own disc brake system to put that issue to bed.


Horst's approach to creating the lightest possible bicycle was to begin with prototypes that were intentionally too weak to survive and then reinforce each aspect that failed during testing until the product evolved to its optimum strength-to-weight ratio. To that end, the B2 was crazy light for its time. At 23 pounds, it rivaled elite-level rigid XC bikes. Leitner's quest for the lightest possible suspension bike, however, would eventually become a liability.

The B2, with its F1 linkage fork, its twin down tubes, simple rear-suspension profile and bare-aluminum finish, was a complete concept at a time when most suspension designs still appeared to be college science projects. They handled well, and as advertised, the suspension did its job without interfering with the rider's pedaling action. When pushed hard, however, the B2 was too fragile to hold up under aggressive trail riders, and it was too flexible to convert pro-level cross country types over to the dark side.

The legacy of the B2 was living proof that it was possible to build a dual-suspension mountain bike at a competitive weight and with comparable pedaling performance of the generic '90s era hardtails. Horst continued to progress the design. Successive models had additional travel, linkage-driven shocks, bolt-on seat masts, and improved shock technology. Horst also developed an ingenious bonding technique, used to assemble both aluminum and carbon fiber sub-frames, many of which were sold under the Mercedes brand.

By the end of the 1990's, AMP Research halted its mountain bike manufacturing business with the B5. It was a beauty, featuring an aluminum main frame; a bonded-carbon, linkage-driven rear triangle; a 3.5-inch-travel F4 fork with carbon blades and dual dampers; and AMP's cable/hydraulic 4-piston disc brake system. I had one for a couple of years and, contrary to many reports, it was one of the most reliable bikes I owned in the '90s. But, it was the simple-looking B2 that still captures my imagination.

The B2 was the first lasting blow dealt to the cross-country hardtail and an example of the level of ingenuity that would be necessary for future designers to bring the dual-suspension mountain bike to where it is today. Ultimately, Horst Leitner's aptitude for invention and his courageous insistence to manufacture every key component turned out to be the downfall of the B-series bikes. Stranded without a source for replacement parts, relatively few rideable examples survive today.


Special thanks to the Vintage Mountain Bike Workshop, AMP Research and Motocross Action Magazine for archival images.



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141 Comments

  • + 91
 Dont call it vintage its from my era
  • + 23
 We're not that old yet. Retro maybe, but not vintage.
  • + 19
 It's a classic, let's stick with that.
  • + 6
 If you want people over 40 to stop visiting this site, then ya, let's call 1993 vintage...ugghhh
  • + 2
 Maybe, but the most recent two generations were too young to ride it or not born yet, therefore i believe it qualifies as vintage
  • + 1
 there's a very thin line between vintage and obsolete
  • + 9
 ...no, ,lets face it:We are old! Wink
  • + 5
 @themountain: Yo, we're still young enough to do the hip hop hooray, hey, ho! Old people just do that shit.
G's up, ho's down.
  • + 3
 "AMPhysemia." Simply brilliant!
  • + 4
 @retrogressionage: It’s a 40 year old sport so yes 1993 seems vintage.? considering most people seem to think a bike made in 2008 is a worthless dinosaur I would say a 25 year old bike should count as vintage how about my 89 Bridgestone is that vintage. What year counts too you.
  • + 3
 That reminds me of the good ol’ days when I was out hardtailing the untamed bush behind Hillary’s back.

Signed,

Bill C.
  • + 11
 The 1993 Mongoose Amplifier = AMP B2 was may first full sus.
Broke the frame twice, backend was super flexy, had Judy DH & HS33 race lines, steep stem and risers on it.

Restored it recently with all 93 parts (Chris King, Cook, Trialgins, Real, XTR M900, Control Tech, Flite Gripshift...),
and now using it for bike packing (gravel roads), it is perfect for this purpose (3 bottle cages and 50mm travel front & rear).

I was so happy with it, that I also bought and rebuilt a 1994 B2 as city racer, 9.9 KGs!

www.pinkbike.com/u/one38/album/AMPs
  • + 1
 @one38: They look great! Particularly the 'city racer'. I'd be interested to know how you have mounted the brake calipers, as it's not obvious from the photos. Cheers
  • + 1
 @hamplanet: it’s a 1994 b3, These Frames and forks came with mounts for amp brakes (which are also on the bike). Main issue is that there weren’t any IS or postmount standards, yet, and custom made adapters are hard to find, so i stick to these brakes right now, even if they suck (everybody who ever rode them knows).
  • + 1
 @loganflores: I have been around long enough to remember the Diamondback Mean Streak.
  • + 1
 @birddog69: I’ve got an olddiamondback accent I can’t figure out the date on its my lady’s favorite frame must have been one of their first 1 1/8th headtube frames. It’s surprisingly light.
  • + 1
 @one38: I have an original Rocky Mountain Cirrus frame that I am currently building to stock specs. Oldies but goodies!
  • + 1
 @one38: Ah cool. I ask, as I still have my first proper bike and plan to rebuild at some point. It's a 97 Orange Clockwork, with no disc brake mounts, so looking at different options currently. Owned since new, and will never let her go!
  • + 1
 @retrogressionage: by definition vintage is only 20 years old.
  • + 51
 Sigh. I had an AMP fork back in the early 90s. My wife bought me one for our second Christmas together - we're still married - and I put it on my Cadex CFM3. Loved that bike, loved that fork. Then it got stolen. I still think about that bike and WISH I had caught that thief in the act. I'd just be getting out of prison about now, amazed at the changes in mountain bikes these days.
  • + 44
 I remember this bike, and it was a great design, but had a bad reputation for being flexy and unreliable (ie broken frames and the like). I think the only thing that maybe could or should have been added to the article is the fact that this design, the Horst link, is still one of the most prevalent designs for rear suspensions today. The short list I can think of manufacturers that use this design as follows:

Specialized
Norco
GT
Cannondale
Rocky Mountain
YT
Canyon
Transition
Felt
Scott
Knolly
Guerrilla Gravity
Cube
Radon
Mongoose

Pretty impressive for a design that was invented 25 years ago!
  • + 6
 You can add Jamis to the list....it was their Dakar design for a few years
  • - 11
flag Boardlife69 (Oct 16, 2018 at 10:21) (Below Threshold)
 Wait, are we talking about the featured bike or Trek minus the horst link?
  • + 30
 how could you forget Ellsworth? Oh sorry it uses ICT, which is of course 100% different. Just ask them.
  • + 3
 Giant also did have their chainstay pivot considerably in front and below the rear axle. More so than we see nowadays (except for Fuji then).
  • + 2
 Also add Ghost (e.g. AMR).
  • + 6
 Loads of German brands actually. Nicolai obviously. And Alutech.
  • - 4
flag themountain (Oct 16, 2018 at 13:23) (Below Threshold)
 @vinay: Alutech???...what a joke!
  • + 1
 Take out felt, they use a weird hybrid of horst and maestro
  • + 2
 I had 93... AMP had excellent warranty and customer service though. After cracking/snapping 5 frames, they replaced the down tube and beef up the bottom bracket for me. Also, snapped the aluminum block on the fork too. Pushing the bikes to limits back then.
  • + 2
 @dc40: Almost bought one of these but no one was bring them to Vancouver. Thankfully I waited and got a Cannondale Super V with the banana swingarm much safer for shore riding. Loved the concept though.
  • + 2
 Horst had some wonderful ideas. One of them was NOT his outlook that the paying customer should also be his R&D Dept. I owned an ATK motorcycle in 1988. And I’m not over it yet. Only thing with two wheels I ever owned that was genuinely terrible
  • + 22
 Ha! I had one of these in '94/95'
Went from a Rockhopper to the Amp and whoa! Super plush! Wink
When it's all you know, and it's the best thing going, then at the time you're riding it you're on something special. And special it was. Really light, pivots wore out fast, fork was divey but at the time seemed plush, more plush than the Manitou (disintegrating rubber bumpers!). Of course the whole thing was noodley but I don't think we much cared or even thought about it back then. We just rode our bikes and had fun.
  • + 1
 Rockhopper ftw
  • + 20
 Don't forget Dave Turner was the test pilot for Horst and helped with some of the development; he later founded Turner bikes and took the Horst Link quite a bit further before Tony Ellsworth forced him to stop using the linkage Dave helped develop.
  • + 20
 He just criticized specialized for being uninnovative. Lawsuit coming in 3...2...1...
  • + 14
 You know what would be cool to have in these articles...In the build spec sheet...have both the MSRP of the bike when it was built in 1993 as well as the MSRP of the bike in today's dollars. I am old enough to remember how coveted this bike was in 1993 and it had an MSRP to match. I would be curious to see what it would cost in today's dollars compared to some of the 8-10K steeds we now call outlandishly priced.
  • + 2
 I was trying to figure this out earlier harder than I thought. Someone commented about 2500$ in 93 with inflation that’s 4343$ in today’s dollars. I looked up the 93 specialized stumpjumper best I could find was 1500-1800 (correct me if I’m wrong please anyone) maybe that wasn’t the top end model. So that comes out to 2868$Averaged in today’s dollars. So 4343$ In today’s dollars got you a top level bike back then and 2868 got you a high end specialized.
  • + 3
 @loganflores: Interesting...I would have thought it would have been higher.

Some of the bikes from the 90's were wild. Bikes like the Karpiel Armageddon, the Brooklyn Machine Works, the Cannondale Fulcrum, etc...some crazy envelope pushing back then. Almost like bike companies were releasing a bike like the Polygon Xquarone every year. Compared to now a days...companies make their rear ends boost 157 from 150 and call it innovation. Maybe the bike has been perfected.
  • + 1
 Guy on a local CL has 2 apparently ... selling one for 1k CDN
  • + 1
 When I worked in bike shops in the mid ‘90s a super high end bike would run $4k. A “good” bike was about $1k. Prices of bikes have gone up a small amount if you take inflation into account but doesn’t explain why every bike tested on PB is a 30lb pig that “isn’t too heavy”. My Trek VRX is 27lbs and a porker IMO... my hardtail is about 24lbs with heavy Atomic flatties. Those bikes are 20+ years old - tech has come a long way since then but evidently with a heavy price @loganflores:
  • + 1
 @IcehawkOS: I think one of the differences in a top level bike back then and now would be volume I imagine a top level bike back then that cost 4000$ was much more the equivalent of buying custom made bike with all the add ons now you would know better it may be my youthful ignorance. If that is true than the cost of bikes has stayed about the same despite almost all consumer goods dropping in price.
  • + 11
 So happy mountain bikes continued to evolve. I started riding in the late 80s and lived through this era (on a HT though). It's nice to see the old bikes but I have no interest in ever throwing leg over one of these bikes again. Just looking at the old geometry makes me cringe and my back and neck ache. Despite all the amazing technical progress over the years, what boggles me the most is how long it took to figure out proper geometry, wheel size, and tire width.
  • + 10
 I can barely look at a set of rim brakes. The Ritchey stem on my old Brodie Expresso is long enough to be used as a broom handle!
  • + 3
 @Wayners: I had a 150mm Syncros stem and I was running my bars at about 550mm, with bar ends of course.
  • + 10
 I love these articles, and I love the "now THAT was a bike" series title. I always end up having an internal dialogue with the title--"Are you SURE that was a bike? Looks like some kind of 2-wheeled pterodactyl robot to me."
  • + 7
 "Leitner was unfettered by a fresh-faced mountain bike industry infatuated by cross-country racing and titanium hardtails, whose illuminati preached that rear suspension was a laughable folly...."

Well, first things first.
The new / radical and wonderful new designs ALWAYS suffer by the fashion nazis (and mostly spoiled brats) of their times. This seem to be an axiom.
To prove my claim, i invite all to check the collective negativity which (always) hits like a tsunami every radical / fresh design of our times, as long as it doesn't look like a....session! Just check the comments under PP article about the Structure Cycleworks new wonder.

Great article, as always Richard. If i may so, i challenge you to investigate and eventually write about this timeless negativity. How the first mountain bikes were mocked by the roadies of that time. how the first FS bikes were rejected by the, then "experts".
And most important,
How this tendency reflects over the mountain bike evolution. New designs have to smooth their way, in order to be visually acceptable.
All in all, the long road of the mountain bikers social evolution!
  • + 6
 great article , I own one of the original AMP's - however I disagree with the last sentence. I contacted AMP when I needed parts a few years ago & they were able to provide everything - they said they will continue to supply parts indefinitely ( they are still in business but now produce pick up accessories) .
  • + 7
 Dual sus with disk brakes and 24 pounds. 28 years ago! Obviously bikes are more refined now. Still the man set the bench mark at the time of where mountain bikes were headed.
  • + 1
 And bikes now survive more than a day and don't ride like wet noodles.
  • + 7
 I don't think it's a "true four-bar rear suspension" if it only has 3 bars. The first photos are better characterized as a "McPherson strut", while only the yellow photo at the bottom has four-bars.
  • + 7
 ITS THE HORST LINK THAT IS THE TRUE INNOVATION, at least according to the patent
  • + 5
 Yeah I was going to say the same thing, it's a Macpherson strut. I am surprised RC didn't get that right since his Mantis bikes used the same suspension design.
  • + 20
 @VicSandrin: You and Jason are correct. The Horst Link facilitated the first successful four-bar-link bicycles suspensions. I left the Mac' strut reference out on purpose, because so few people understand or know what a Macpherson strut is in the context of cycling. It revolutionized the auto industry in the '70s. The Datsun 240Z used it on both ends, Porsche's front suspension used it, which gave the cars that high-fender look. Mostly, it was used as front suspension on every cheap econo-box sold from '72 through '89. Horst and I thought it would be a good way to control the shock ramp-up and make a lightweight suspension, but shock makers (who came from motos) refused to consider the concept because they said that shocks could not be built to handle lateral loads. I guess they forgot that they also made suspension forks. It's still a concept worth exploring today.
  • + 10
 @RichardCunningham: then give it a go richard. I miss your innovative design days!
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham: I think "facilitated" the future of 4-bar design is a much better way to characterize it. Both Specialized and Amp Research sold McPherson strut bikes which showed that the industry had yet to really understand the concept of "instant center" and "anti-squat" in those early days.
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham: there is still one rolling around our local streets in Daytona Beach. It is a police officers Patrol bike. She rides it occasionally on patrol and I always comment on it. It is the Mercedes-Benz model. I have tried to buy it off of her several times just to throw in the collection but she will not let loose of it.
  • + 1
 Yes it is a "true four-bar" linkage. Pivots are only one way to connect the bars. Sliding connections can also be used. A Macpherson struts are a type of four bar linkage.
  • + 10
 water bottle mount too!!!
  • + 1
 2 of them
  • + 5
 I had a Dagger FS frame that used the B2 technology. It was a noodle, but at the time I used it for everything from XC to DH and DS. I actually lose a pivot bolt and I just zip tied to together to finish the day, worked out just fine :-P
  • + 4
 I had these front forks I inherited from a friend. They worked great for XC in the mid 90's.
The downfall of this design was that the industry shifted from the titanium hardtailed xc racers to North Shore Extreme in the late 90's.
I moved to North Vancouver in 96 and took my Amp forked bike out only once.
While recovering from multiple endos, after being schooled on Mt. Fromme, I was looking elsewhere for longer travel forks.
I still have scars from that ride.(Like real scars from tearing open my leg)
I think this might be part of the reason we didn't hear much from AMP after the late 90's, 3.5" just wasn't enough.
  • + 3
 That’s what she said.

Also, cool story Hansel.
  • + 2
 @WasatchEnduro: savage but well executed. Bravo.
  • + 7
 Hopefully I'm not alone in saying we've been waiting for this bike to be featured. Way ahead of its time.
  • + 4
 Yeah I rode Amps (and a Dagger) all through the 90's. Some of the same big mountain epics I do today.

I rolled out my B5 last year and could barely ride it up the street - The stem was so long and the bike so spindly and sketchy. I can't believe we not only rode big epics but also tacked what we considered gnar on that thing.

The bike wasn't pristine by any means but I still sold it for $700 on ebay, I was surprised by that, even though it was one of the first bikes using carbon in the tubes and lots of other innovative stuff.
  • + 4
 I had one of these in ‘96. Rebranded as a Mongoose Amplifier. Had a full Deore LX setup, Mavic 721 rims and the obligatory Panaracer Smoke and Dart tyres. It was super light and so different from what I had been riding.
  • + 2
 Ah the good old AMP, i have had a few and still have one now, tore the head tube off of my first B2, sold the following B3 and about 5 years ago picked up a sweet period correct B2 that is now all shiny and hanging from the ceiling in my spare room. Ride report? Flexy, light, and fun 25 years ago, every now and then i get the urge to do a decent ride on it but decide otherwise.The early to mid '90's were exciting times in the mtb world , a bit like now, but now is way better.
  • + 1
 What a cool article. My pal had a B4 back in the 90s, and he also put an Amp F1 fork on my ‘95 (or ‘96?) Kona Fire Mountain. We took them riding to Yankee Springs and Fort Custer near Kalamazoo when I lived there.

Just got back from riding this morning with a 2017 bike that has, what else, but a Horst link. Things change and yet they stay the same.
  • + 1
 stunning bike but that rear shock was just shocking (pardon the pun). It was a total loss system with a screw thread on one end which you had to keep winding in to compensate for the loss of oil. We always had a couple of shocks as you knew one would always be on the work bench.
  • + 1
 My riding buddy in the 90's had an AMP fork. He anodized all the parts of it purple and had the lower legs custom painted to match his frame.
In a cross country race on Mount Hood (oregon), he went over minor jump and the fork bottomed out and exploded apart, sending him to the ground. It was RockShox Mag 21 after that. That is about all I remember about that fork.
  • + 1
 Whilst pretty complex - its beautifully minimalist and still looks like a bike - you could imagine with a little tweak it would still pass for modern - The Foes FAB and MC San Andreas looked like spaceships. A nice era of MTB
  • + 1
 I had the fork an a s works steel from that time... freaked me out to loose little parts from that thing nearly every ride...still got it at home though - so happy to sell it to an enthusiast..but still some smaller parts missing haha
  • + 1
 I had the Mongoose branded version of this bike and damn was a beauty. After this I got the AMP B5 which looked even cooler with the seat mast, AMP mechanical disc brakes, and linkage fork. It was truly a golden age and I had more disposable income.
  • + 1
 So perhaps someone can explain this to me.

The rear break has a cable attached to the rear triangle. When the rear is compressed the distance between the break base and the rim does not change. But the cable shrinks as the travel between the base of the break and the break lever shortens. Right? that would mean that the breaks would not work at all when compressing the rear. Or am i getting this totally wrong ?
  • + 1
 I rode a 2000 b5 I bought brand new till last year. Rebuilt shock three times maybe. I think I could have rebuilt the shock out on a ride. The shock was super easy to rebuild and the manual explained how to build the tools you needed. I had my neighbor make new bearings with delrin and never had another issue.
  • + 1
 I still have mine but mine was badged a Mongoose. I broke the seatstay/ Macstrut and the new one didn't have the mongoose on them it now says Amp. I also put one of the forks on my 36er it actually worked ok for 20 year old Tech.
  • + 1
 One of my favourite wacky retro MTBS for sure..

ANYONE WANNA OWN ONE? you can buy one of mine, Almost as cool as this one and not nearly the price tag..

vancouver.craigslist.ca/nvn/bik/6725335356.html
  • + 3
 The B5 was my dreambike growing up. In an era of Y frames this bike was head and shoulders above the rest.
  • + 1
 I remember seeing a section of a mountain bike video with these being ridden hard around the streets of San Francisco. I'd love to see that again, no idea what it was called!
  • + 3
 I have a B3 with full AMP discs - totally ridable and beautiful. Someone should buy it!
  • + 2
 Awesome article that makes me fondly remember the old days when it was a mystery if my bike would make it to the end of the ride without a major failure.
  • + 1
 At the Bromont ski hill, you did not notice the AMP suspension...just that the cable rim brakes were now grossly inadequate for the speed you were now carrying. The pads would melt on your first run.
  • + 3
 I had this bike..raced DH, slalom and xc. Short stem riser bars..thing was lightness haha
  • + 1
 Memories. I had that fork on my old Bridgestone. I had a chrome gas cap door on my old Miata that was made by AMP Research. Wasn't sure if it was the same company but it turns out they make automotive accessories now.
  • + 3
 That bike ticks all the boxes, it even has the Mavic 217 rims. And the paul derailleurs soooo awesome.
  • + 1
 I also had the Mongoose Amplifier version , with a 'conventional' fork . Broke my leg in 15 places riding that thing. I still walk funny from it, and my balance was never quite right either. Still, I loved that bike.
  • + 3
 What was the price for it back then and what would that number be today with inflation?
  • + 2
 Specced like that, head to toe w/ boutique CNC parts & Ti bar ends, the bike probably cost $2500+. Have google help you w/ inflation math.
  • + 1
 had one, loved it at the time, still do - in a nostalgia kinda way. would be scared to death to ride it today. rim brakes, noodley frame, steep head angle, long stem and minuscule tires. it's miraculous i survived.
  • + 3
 I had one of those forks...I am legally required to say nothing more.
  • + 2
 I rode one of these back in the day...loved it. My shop let me take it out on a ride and I had a blast....such a cook bike!
  • + 1
 Currently building up a B4 frame I found at the Thrift store in Fernie for 5$. It was nearly new. Stoked to ride it once it's finished to see what they were all about.
  • + 1
 I’ve got a large B2 - almost ridable, cool old bits, built it as a replica of my first dually. If anyones’s looking for one, drop me a line. I’m near Sydney, Awestraya.
  • + 4
 loved my z-max tires.
  • + 2
 My favorite tire of all time. I can still remember the two wheel slides into every corner!
  • + 1
 @salespunk: haha, ahhhh those were the days
  • + 1
 Especially in red or gumwall colours!
  • + 4
 But, who is Paul?
  • + 7
 Pauls Components. www.paulcomp.com
  • + 0
 Owner of the bike : )
  • + 9
 Paul is the rear derailleur.
  • + 5
 If you don't know Paul, you don't know Chico.
  • + 7
 More important to riders of the era was "who is Moby?" He's the post made of Ringle's proprietary explosium alloy that blows up & takes your family jewels with him!
  • + 5
 I think" the Walrus was Paul"
  • + 2
 Paul really grinds my gears.
  • + 3
 I have a B5 in the garage...
  • + 1
 check out that stem! whats that like 160mm haha and the seat about 6 inches higher than the bars. all jokes aside i remember lusting over these bikes.
  • + 1
 Ha- wow , still have mine too. Hard time getting rid of bikes through the years... Original Sachs grip shift still too.
  • + 2
 I had the first Turner burner then the O2. Lucky me.
  • + 1
 I still run that same fork on an old hardtail that use to cruse around my work campus.
  • + 1
 I soo wanted one of these when they came out. Then the Mountain cycle San Andreas came out.
  • + 1
 My bicycle sign in the top of the hill is a amp . Rincon Mountain Bike Pro Shop in Puerto Rico
  • + 1
 Actually has a ton of pretty good attributes that even some modern bikes are missing.
  • + 1
 Which? I had one and by today's standards it's a fkexy pile of nostalgia and not much more. Big Grin
  • + 0
 @bman33: The top tube looks made for compression, and the down tube looks made for tension.
  • + 1
 All the machined bits are extremely nice looking.
  • + 1
 I bought one of these forks when they first came out. Going from rigid to this was insane! At least we thought.
  • + 1
 Nice part spec. I miss the cool factor of the little CNC machine shop parts that took all weekend to set up...
  • + 2
 New bikes are so damn good.
  • + 1
 I can't wait to look back at a bike like the new Yeti SB130 in 25 years like this
  • + 2
 I had only the fork in my hardtail. Cracked it twice!
  • + 1
 The Mercedes Benz versions of the AMP B5 was the thing of my dreams back in the days.
  • + 1
 Think the bike that really got things going was the ProFlex with the Girvin front fork, I still have my 856!
  • + 2
 That was my first suspension bike, put the inch Judy on it and the girvu. On a Cannondale hard tail. Both bikes were so rad. Key word being "were"
  • + 1
 Front/rear brakes should be swapped. Smile Had Grafton brakes on my bike for a long time. Smile
  • + 2
 pads were misaligned in both pics.
  • + 1
 The B2 is a thing of beauty. True craftsmanship.
  • + 1
 Anyone has a picture of the Devinci / AMP frameset?
  • + 1
 Oh wait I see it swings forward of the head tube. Interdasting.
  • + 1
 Very nice article, I enjoyed the read and learned a lot!
  • + 1
 Had one, great frame....shit forks!
  • + 1
 I remember the de kerf amp soft tail in candy colors mmm that red
  • + 1
 I had an AMP fork on my TREK 8000 in 95'... so sketchy!!!
  • + 1
 Used to drool over pics of this bike in MBA
  • - 3
 What a beaut! I recall first seeing 1 of these at the Toronto bicycle show all those years ago! I wasn't even in high school yet, so buying 1 was not an option. I did, however, leave with a most excellent pair of Ritchey Zmaxs! Still some of my favourite tires Smile

What's sad is the fact that despite 25 years passing since it's original design there has been little to no improvement in FS bike designs. Just look at the current crop of 'offerings'. They are mostly all Horst link or 4/faux bar. Engineers have given up on R & D - see ingenuity- and left everything up to the marketing people.

What a joke bicycle design has become. I ain't paying anything near what they want for what basically amounts to copycats of a 25yr old design, and I sure as hell ain't going to pay for the marketing they use to try and make them seem any different.

Congratulations bicycle industry! I will never purchase a new bicycle again.

Thank you Mr. Leitner! For creating such an incredible design that still remains at the top.
  • + 1
 What a beauty!
  • + 1
 Looks great
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