Throwback Thursday: Wade Simmons' & Shaun Palmer's Legendary Bikes

Apr 24, 2018 at 11:18
by Brian Park  
Pinkbike s 20th anniversary booth. Sea Otter 2018.


We were honoured to feature legendary bikes from Wade Simmons and Shaun Palmer in the Pinkbike booth at Sea Otter this year to celebrate our 20th Anniversary.


Thanks to Spinergy for providing the wheels.
The Wade Simmons signature model RM7. Thanks to Steve Mitchell and Rocky Mountain.





Palmer took 2nd at Cairns World Champs in 1996 on this bike. Thanks to Intense for providing.

Pinkbike s 20th anniversary booth. Sea Otter 2018.
The man himself.
Pinkbike s 20th anniversary booth. Sea Otter 2018.
Stars & Stripes.

Pinkbike s 20th anniversary booth. Sea Otter 2018.
SWAG.


Mentions: @RockyMountainBicycles @intensecyclesusa



98 Comments

  • + 81
 That head angle is approaching 90 degrees!
  • + 60
 If you swapped the seat tube angle and the head tube angle around, you'd probably be ok.
  • + 11
 maybe the head tube is bent? the HA on that M1 is supposed to be a "slack" 68 degrees, but in the photo measures more like 78˚ HA and 63˚ SA... which is the exact opposite of a 2018 Pole
  • + 8
 Most of it is probably the perspective of the photo and some lens distortion. Neither wheel is very circular, and the front is especially squished. Check out how much bigger the front tire looks on the right side of the wheel vs the left side! The bike appears to be leaning slightly towards the camera. And the fork is possibly turned a bit to the right, which pulls the head tube down and changes our perspective of the whole front end

And/or maybe Shaun was using a longer shock? It installed in the mounting holes for the lowest+slackest setting, but its possible that they were compensating as much as possible for a longer shock to increase travel
  • + 6
 But imagine, though -- at one point, that was the cream of the crop. And Shaun Palmer raced it, so it did make it down the course a time or two.
  • + 14
 +1 for DH bike with water bottle mount.
  • + 2
 @thinkbike: maybe the 68HA was measured with the rider sitting on the saddle sagging the rear down? Razz
  • + 2
 @cal992k: Current day Enduro machine with the STA/HTA numbers swappero
  • + 5
 Back wheel is on a block about three inches higher than the front wheel. Noticed it when I was there.
  • + 3
 It really amaze me, that it took more than 10 years to realize that slacker head angle will go better down the hill ...
  • + 2
 @Intoxication: The stress on the bushings might have caused binding? It's the only thing I can come up with to explain the delay.
  • + 30
 That RM7!!! Soo sexy even now, would bang
  • + 7
 True, a friend of mine has one in yellow, red an Black with a Marzo Shiver in the front. That guy got me into mountainbiking years ago... probably because of that bike.
  • + 4
 @aresiusbe: I had the yellow/black one, then the blue/silver frame the next year. It was a really fun bike and I had the good fortune to tour the old Rocky factory back when those were built there. RM7s were head-turners, that's for sure.
  • + 7
 yea, not enough bikes with flames these days
  • + 1
 The RM7 is sweet but I still like the RMX better
  • + 19
 Oh my god!!! So sweeeeeet! But never saw Simmons rode the Monster T model 2003 just the old versions and then he switched to the 888...anyway this is sick!

The palmer Bike is classic too but 2 years older before I got into the scene!

Next classis bikes please! Giant ATX One DH, GT DHi and still the most beautiful one -> Santa Cruz Super 8 with 99er Monster T and yellow Gustav M brakes.
  • + 6
 I don’t think it was meant to be an exact replica, just a representation of what the bike would have been.
I’m planning on doing a write up on my 2000 Balfa BB7 build when I get it back from the painters
  • + 2
 @chilli-biker: I wanted a 2x4 balfa so bad back then...
  • + 17
 What is Palmer doing now ? He completely disappeared from Intense projects.
  • + 6
 Didn’t I see him in a movie recently? The lead in Bad Santa wasn’t it?
  • + 7
 His IG feed is active. Looks like he’s riding moto and just got inducted into the U.S. ski and snowboard hall of fame.
  • + 4
 It is weird, he was heading up a junior American race development program and then it just vanished.
  • + 1
 @gramboh: Thought he wasl with IFR?
  • + 16
 And that's it? Just some pics and done?
  • + 10
 What I don't really understand is why it took so long for head angles to change to something which doesn't make you feel like you're on stilts...on marbles...motorcycles had way flatter head angles. Did really no one try a 65° head angle between 1996 and 2010 and realize that it was better for DH??
  • + 8
 Plenty did, pro dh bikes back as long as 2003-2005 where running 63º head angles, silly thing is , when they then sold these models to the public (such as the old Orange 222) the manufacturers steepened them.,
  • + 6
 Fabien Barel in 2005 Livigno worlds was one of the first to ask for a slacker head angle on his Kona..
  • + 14
 @vic690: lol yes! and the pinkbike comments section ripped him and kona apart for this. I think barel was at a 61-62 degree head angle.

Everyone was like kona sucked look what barel has to do to make this big rideable. Turns out they were right for so long.
  • + 1
 @nprace There is a lot more to it than that. For example, look at Palmer’s bike, and specifically, the chain ring. Could you imagine that bike slacked out? He would have be slamming that ring into everything. Drivetrains in the rear had to advance in order the shrink the chain ring in the front, and then bash guards could be developed that could fit around & protect the smaller chain ring, which in turn allowed a slacker HA.

Everything affects everything, and change is slow in an industry where the manufacturers are segmented instead of 1 company developing and building every part, like car companies.
  • - 3
 @ninjatarian: Disagree.
A steeper HA would drop the front end more than a slack HA, given the same fork travel (fixed). That means the steep angle would actually dive more and make the huge chainring collide more than with a slack HA. Also means that the fork wouldn't be as efficient in soaking up forward impacts and would be binding more against the bushings.
And as for chain ring size, the pie-plate chain rings were used because pedaling sections were far more prevalent, and they just jacked up the BB to compensate as much as possible. If you look at the cog size of DH bikes today, they're probably the most similar component to the old DH bikes, that you'll find. Actually, today's cog sizes probably average smaller (7spd now, limited on the tall end).
  • + 6
 Might sound weird - and I know they're seriously held back by "tradition" but I really want to see some progression in road bike geometry.

A longer rode bike that doesn't rub my toes with the front wheel and is slacker to not have super twitchy steering would feel way more stable on fast downhills. Add a low top tube so if you have a rack on the back you can step over the frame easier. Roadies don't seem to like change though, so maybe I'll just have to make my own..
  • + 2
 @davemays: Kona has been evolving their road geometry similar to what you describe. Check out the Sutra/Rove and other models.
  • + 1
 @oregonryder: Thanks!! Yay I love Kona, have a Process 134 and an old Scrap right now haha.
  • + 3
 @davemays: I wouldn't be surprised if there are UCI frame rules on head angles and such. Also no roadies I know use racks
  • + 1
 @davemays:
Exactly. I used to ride a little bit of Road in the offseason until I got tired of constantly hitting the tip of my shoe on the front wheel as I wear a size 12 US.
I do however, like the fact that road bikes are starting to see some updates in the form of thru-axles, disc brakes and somewhat longer frame geometry.
  • + 4
 @DHFX: current "gravel" bikes are much longer/slacker, and better for most recreational road riding (aka all non-racers who aren't strava junkies)

*that said* toe overlap is a silly issue outside of stop-and-go commuting/dense urban riding/doing a 3mph u-turn in a parking lot: at speed (which is what road race bikes are for) you lean the bike and it's a non-issue.

Anyway, try a gravel bike - great for road rides, plus similar to old drop bar mtbs and more capable with all the tubelessness and disc brakes and thruaxles you mention. totally fun on many trails
  • + 2
 @JonJonM: Yup, the road cycling lost like 50 years of innovation thanks to those UCI rules...
  • + 1
 @davemays: One issue to consider is crotch rocket geo. Very steep head angles with a lot of the body weight right on that front wheel. Handling at high speed rewards having enough weight on that front wheel to keep traction when the traction patch is the size of a dime.
If you are a casual rider slacker is better for sure, but I think the only thing that keeps the seat angles on road bikes from going to 90 and beyond (to the point where the crank is behind the rider) is human physiology. If there was a way to ride without destroying your reproductive area it would just make more sense to allow the rider to lay belly down.
  • + 3
 @davemays: Don’t you know that part of the mystique of being a roadie is dressing up in brightly colored spandex, jumping on a 15lb fully ridgid bike with the skinniest bald tires possible, pumped up to 90 PSI for that “oh so smooth feeling” on a bike with such a steep HA and big wheels that the steering is twitchier than an alley cat on meth, and riding it downhill in traffic at 50+ mph? It’s what it’s all about. Oh yeah and be sure to have 5 shots of espresso prior to riding so you can remain calm whilst playing in traffic. The intense shot of caffeine helps achieve equilibrium between the rider and the steering. It’s physics dude.
  • + 1
 @JamesR2026: Yup, there's a reason why they called him E.T. Well ahead of his time Wink
  • + 1
 @fattyheadshok: that sounds so fun
  • + 7
 I used to F*%$ing LOVE my old Magura Rim brakes!!! Soooooooo simple to setup and then just forget about them forever :-)
  • + 3
 And they were strong enough to crush a rim!
  • + 5
 We really could use a total bad ass like Palmer on the DH circuit again. That and another Peaty. Any thoughts on our modern day versions of them?
  • + 7
 Rat boy I guess is closest we've come. Hard partying jerk face attitude isn't very appealing to sponsors no matter how fast you are.
  • - 2
 He only raced like two seasons, had a couple of good results and then flamed out.
  • + 3
 @dthomp325: oh yea flamed out . . . . . X games, supercross. . . . etc!
  • + 2
 @mrgonzo: Rat boy decided to quit racing and his sponsors stood by him, i was chatting to him and peaty about it (with a beer), he said that he just wanted out as he was fed up of the pressure and weight of results on his shoulders, plus having all gadgets and gismos strapped to his bike was pissing him off. He said he just wanted to ride his bike and saw a way out by using social media for promotion of the brand, it was pretty sick that SC stuck by him, turns out he's more popular than ever now Salute
  • + 1
 Phil Atwill?
  • + 1
 That was the one that most came to mind @GTscoob:
  • + 1
 @MX298: he had 6 world cup/championship top tens. Certainly a great rider, but he somehow gets more hype than other riders with the same results.
  • + 6
 When people complain about 1 degree of head angle on new bikes, Palmer; "Hold my beer"
  • + 5
 Am I the only one wishing to see how a M1 with modern geometry would look like?
  • + 2
 What really really racks me off is i have never known anyone to get so much credit for coming 2nd!! Nico deserved all the glory for his win and he didnt get it. Nico was a 100% professional and an elite athlete for years in the sport. Palmer was a flash in the pan. Just because someone wears baggy shorts, has tattoos, an attitude and finishes 2nd does not make them a role model. It would have been nice to put Nico's bike on here instead.
  • + 5
 Like Palmer himself said in 'Chainsmoke' 'I definitely have the mental advantage...I'm not in half as good a shape as most of these guys but still get good results.' He was the person behind the image of mountain biking being a sport that required a big set of balls, and he helped promote a snowboarding and skateboarding kind of attitude to the sport. Not classy, refined, or professional but still getting the job done with a little something extra. That's what I identified with when i was first getting started riding and it's funny to me now seeing the sport being so welcoming to new riders because back then it was pretty intimidating overall.
  • + 1
 Palmer was just cool as f*ck though. I was 13 when he crashed into the scene in a whirlwind of attitude.

The M1 he rode was cool (that paint job), but the black Spesh FSR with Manitou’s was even better to my eyes.
  • + 2
 Que the fans boys!! Lol. Yep he crashed on the scene and crashed out just as quickly. Great role model that! There were far superior role models back then. All this rubbish about him making mountain biking cool was absolute garbage! Get a grip!
  • + 2
 Love this series. Would be stoked if you could do a look at one of the Tomacnium Raleighs (MT-1000 I think?) with the Tioga Disk Drive. That bike was the most fapworthy of them all to me in high school.
  • + 3
 That shot of Palmer's M1 with what is essentially the first boxxer,and in the background,the 2018 boxxer in the original colours. Throwback poetry,throwetry?
  • + 4
 Horizontal dropouts with qr skewers, and hydraulic rim brakes, oh the "something" old days....
  • + 3
 Every year have 20 year anniversary race where "vets" ride 20yr old bikes...
  • + 2
 That's been happening here in the UK, big props to @si-paton for putting together a "legends' race at this years GT Malvern Hills Classic (#wheresmydualslalominvite)
  • + 4
 Ahh man these were exciting times to be a mountain biker Smile
  • + 3
 Palmers intense is just legendary!! Crazy how short and steep it looks now though!! Still such a cool bike!!
  • + 1
 If you ever come to Bc I invite you to try my Balfa... you’ll get it.
It’s actually quite decent for its age but feels super cramped compared to the long top tube bikes out now.
  • + 1
 Bike is so cool but palmer... oh palmer, haha why do we keep bringing this shitbag back to life. hes rude, ugly and just a sour dude to try to talk to at events like sea otter.
  • + 2
 Thank you. Glad im not the only person who saw Palmer for what he was!
  • + 3
 Anyone else spot the crack on the m1?
  • + 1
 funny, because I just watched his interview with Rob again yesterday and was asking myself the same thing and try to find an answer on google or his instagram... no luck though.
  • + 1
 where?
  • + 2
 @steezer: where the head tube and bottom tube meet at the front. Circular crack.
  • + 2
 It's the paint. There have been other old M1's with mentions of it. It's thick paint that's 22 years old.
  • + 1
 @steezer:

Cable guide on the pic with Palmer's sig
  • + 0
 Yeah the paint is really bad above the chainguide. It's all webbing out and flaking off. Pretty sad that it's losing such a sick paint job as the years go by.
  • + 1
 Wade's bike got ripped off! They put the budget version of the Monster on there! T2=boo!
  • + 0
 more of this please!, there are so many sexy old school bikes, cant wait to see an old sam hill iron horse sunday, or a honda RN01
  • + 2
 RM7 should return to the production line
  • + 1
 Palmer is a multi talent badass. The bike above was for sale on Ebay a few years ago..
  • + 2
 Amazing the rear wheel stayed held on with a tiny road-bike QR skewers!
  • + 1
 Ha, love the paint on the Palmer bike. Funny the HTA on that bike looks similar to your average 120mm bike today.
  • + 2
 That stars and stripes intense is still the best paint job ever done.
  • + 7
 Steady now...!
  • + 2
 Kook of the day.
  • + 1
 That rocky mountain still look nice as fuck !
  • + 1
 Now THAT is a chainring.
  • + 1
 The golden era,YES!
  • - 3
 Do we really still care about these bikes?
  • + 5
 It’s history! Without any old bikes your “new” bike wouldn’t exist. You would be riding a road bike not a mountain bike!
  • + 3
 When you see one on the trails ask to try it. It will ride terrible, and yet the people who rode them did amazing things. Also, it was only 15 years ago when bikes with what is now xc geo were the only FR bikes we could get, and those bikes were only as good as they were at what they did because of these rigs. Fast forward to now and enduro is FR's child and the bikes you ride to do it are their grand children. This bike is your bike's granny.
  • + 2
 I get all that, I look at it like copy and paste from the last time pinkbike mentioned these bikes, especially that intense... we’ve all seen it. Do we all need a reminder that Palmer didn’t win? Do I need a reminder that M.C. Hammer had awesome pants? Or that there once was crystal pepsi? Nope, just like I don’t need a reminder that bike was a Sea Otter again.
  • + 1
 Starting to think someone pays for this crap to be published.
  • - 3
 Am I the only one who is sick of seeing Palmer's bike?
In recent years it has popped up so much.
  • + 0
 seriously! I don't care to see that shit anymore
  • + 1
 Palmer is an old bag of shit these days. His sea otter appearance every year is just uglier and uglier. who wants to see this old fart that looks like he hasnt shaved in weeks throw a leg over a bike red white and blue bike. Gwin is new american DH hero. kick Palmer to the curb his glory days are done.
  • + 1
 @treekilla: that’s rough, but I agree. It’s like saying I should still give a shit that Greg Minnaar rode a Honda mountain bike... I don’t.
  • + 1
 I am. Sick of seeing that bike which looks like a bag if sh*t. I had those Magura brakes and the were bloody awful then....by todays standard they will be absolutely abismal! Dont get me started on Palmer!

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