MTB Hall of Fame Announces Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, Shaun Palmer, Rob Warner & Diddie Schneider as 2023 Inductees

Mar 10, 2023 at 8:07
by Ed Spratt  
Images from the 2016 MTB Hall of Fame as sent over from Hans Rey.

The Marin Museum of Bicycling & Mountain Bike Hall of Fame has announced the 2023 Hall of Fame inductees, a group of four mountain bike legends whose contributions to the sport have helped shape it into what it is today: Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, Shaun Palmer, Rob Warner and Diddie Schneider. We'd like to recognize each of their riders for their immense contributions to the sport and note the well-deserved place each of these riders has earned in mountain bike history.

bigquotesFor 2023, the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame honors an international cast of 4 luminaries, each of whom have left an indelible mark upon our sport in the arenas of competition, race commentary, and bike park design and construction.Marin Museum of Bicycling

Shaun Palmer


bigquotesWithout a traditional cycling background, Palmer’s approach to the sport was inherently different—he dressed different, he acted different. Unlike his competitors—who utilized a mix-matching of XC and road race equipment that didn’t quite seem to match the quickly evolving technology of the bicycles they were riding— Palmer wore baggy motocross-style gear, skate-style shoes and flat BMX-style pedals. Palmer’s tattoo-clad appearance alone seemed to perfectly match the persona of “downhill”—loose, fast and unapologetically different. In parallel with the bike’s innovation, Palmer was equally innovative in terms of the style gravity riding necessitated. In a world where form follows function, Palmer provided a vision for the sport that none before him could see. While physical fitness was the core value of “cross-country,” Palmer offered a new perspective for “downhillers”—where attitude ruled all.Marin Museum of Bicycling

Read more here.

Diddie Schneider

bigquotesTrail builders from all over the world have been inspired and motivated by his work, he had a huge ripple effect that has changed our sport and the way of where and how we ride. Trail building, bike park, and destination potential was long not recognized by the majority of our industry and riders at the time when Diddie was one of few who recognized and pioneered this trend first. Diddie has also amassed a huge amount of media attention, from bike magazines, TV and media – and through his many published articles. He has been a keynote speaker at numerous trail building and tourism conferences worldwide and his trails and parks are recognized by insiders as the industry standard of the highest quality.Marin Museum of Bicycling

Read more here.

Rob Warner

Master of ceremonies was of course the one and only Rob Warner. He was on form as always but with a bit more of the craziness much like we used to see in his Forecaster days.

bigquotesRob will be the first to acknowledge that, had he put as much effort into his racing career as his commenting job, he might have had a much longer time as a pro. Racing’s loss, though, is our gain, as his commentary and hosting of the World Cup Downhill and Cross Country series on Red Bull TV over the past ten years have been peerless, attracting many viewers to become fans of what are considered to be the blue ribbon events of mountain biking.Marin Museum of Bicycling

Read more here.

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå

Hear her roar. With age comes cunning.

bigquotesPassion for the sport and hard work; the key factors in the fantastic journey and career of Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå. Her achievements include 10 x World Champion, 9 x European Champion and Olympic Gold in Athens 2004, but it is the 30 UCI World Cup wins that range from 1996 to 2018 that demonstrate the determination that has allowed her to reach the highest levels.Marin Museum of Bicycling

Read more here.


  • 120 0
 I'm pretty sure that's the only picture of Rob Warner that's ever been taken.
  • 50 0
 only shot of Rob with clothes on.
  • 5 0
 @k2theg: true story
  • 84 0
 Shocked that Palmer and Warner aren't already in there...
  • 14 1
 there's a "Bicycling & Mountain Bike Hall of Fame" ....?!
  • 7 18
flag ybsurf (Mar 10, 2023 at 9:15) (Below Threshold)
 @SATN-XC: marin county have anything related to bike...?
  • 11 10
 with how much old mountain bikers talk about Palmer, I was surprised when I just looked up his results...I knew Rob Warner had that WC win, but assumed Palmer was more successful racing. Dude also had a single win.

and head-to-head they were really close, splitting the 18 times they raced against each other:,4001


But yeah. Halls of Fame are strange, always seem to be run by weirdos.
  • 19 0
 @owl-X: NORBA Nationals were one of the main measuring sticks in those days... unlike now how it's all UCI WC.
  • 9 19
flag ChazzMichaelMichaels (Mar 10, 2023 at 10:37) (Below Threshold)
 @owl-X: Yeah I guess as I get older I think the same thing. What exactly did he do for downhill? We are back to skin suits almost. Maybe he put it back a decade! About the only thing I can think of is draw some money in, but was that for him or for everyone?
  • 20 0
 @owl-X: Let’s have Palmer and Warner settle this on the Repack course the morning after the induction ceremonies/night out in SF. Charlie Kelly officiates.
  • 6 4
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: What did he do for downhill?? He made Shaun Palmers Pro Snowboarder. That's what he did for downhill.
  • 30 0
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: Palmer was already well known as a pro snowboarder and had serious star power outside of the sport. By demanding, and getting, reported seven figure contracts, he opened the door for other downhill racers to land much bigger contracts, which helped to professionalize the sport during the late 90's heyday. Unfortunately the sport crashed shortly thereafter, so his bigger legacy ended up being Fox 360 pants, Vans, and flat pedals, which is pretty killer too. HOF material, without a doubt.
  • 6 0
 @DirtCrab: his TLD painted bus should get him in the HOF all by itself
  • 3 0
 @owl-X: THAT is absolutely fascinating ! Mad to think they we so close. Proves that back then, personality’s were as big as results. Or not !
  • 13 0
 @owl-X: So, gaining entry into the HoF isn't always results base. It can and should include your contribution to the sport and both Rob and Palmer inspired a generation of riders to GET into the sport from their antics, videos and racing.

And while ill admit the entry to HoF used to be a bit of a clown car, it's far more legit now than ever.

Proud of these people for getting in and I advise anyone to stop by the HoF in Fairfax, its a great walk through history.
  • 9 3

Without Palmer, dh as stand alone bike or racing event never rally takes off. Without dh, the free ride movement of the north shore in the early 2k’s doesn’t happen. Without either of those two parts of the sport, your modern day long travel trail bike would still be a 100mm bike, which is what they all riding back then…
  • 16 0
 @owl-X: but those don’t reflect the near misses with 96 in Cairns where he was 0.1 off the gold medal and similarly at 99 Are when he was leading at wiped out on one of the last corners.

As someone working as a teenage in a bike shop in the mid/late nineties, Palmer was everything to downhilll. I get the haters because he’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But honestly, he was just a sea change from the Lycra crad crowd. I remember he fell out with Fox clothing and wore jeans scribbled with Specialized during qualifying, suffice to say that was fixed by the finals - I’m not saying that’s what you want, but how many of todays riders would have the belief/confidence in their worth to pull the same?
  • 19 0
 @owl-X: It's hard for the youngins to grasp just how much of a hand grenade Palmer was to the establishment in both ski/snowboard culture and biking at the time. Those in power feared him; those coming up idolized him. He changed the trajectory of the sport in a major way. There was outright hostility to "his kind."

And that's why in 2023 I still can't ride my f'in snowboard at Mad River Glen!
  • 12 0
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: Palmer came into mountain biking as a pro snowboarder and MX racer. He also owned a snowboard company. He was basically unknown in mountain biking and then started doing very well immediately. His story probably wouldn't have been so intriguing if he looked like everyone else. But he wore MX gear, didn't follow any of the trends, and said what he wanted. He got noticed in a big way.
  • 16 0
 @owl-X: You had to be there. Everything changed when Palmer came on the scene. Turned the whole sport upside down.
  • 5 9
flag deadmeat25 (Mar 11, 2023 at 8:52) (Below Threshold)
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: As you get older..? You sound about 12.

He did more for downhill than you'll ever do for anything in your whole sad, pathetic and inconsequential life...

What an ignorant prick...
  • 1 0 Palmer was in 3 years ago yeah.
  • 4 3
 @deadmeat25: Did more for downhill? Same record as Rob Warner, Cedric Gracia had better results than Palmer over that timeframe. I'm nearer 50 than I'm 12. I was a Palmer fan, had the poster, still have one of the bikes. But what did he genuinely do for DH?
We are back to tight clothing, salaries have not increased, arguably Red Bull have probably done more for DH's exposure. I get that he was exciting, and the bad boy and we all love the lager swilling, oh could do better if I trained. But perhaps Vouilloz had a second or two up his sleeve in Cairns? We'll never know, and don't need to.
I suspect Palmer did well for him, why not ask for the big salaries if someone will pay it? It certainly hasn't trickled down if the latest surveys are anything to go by.
  • 5 0
 @ChazzMichaelMichaels: You had to be there, Chazz - I was. USA treated the UCI series like the oddball Euro uncle it was back then. We followed and raced the US NORBA series until Palmer, Missy, Donovan, and Rockwell started to make waves and clouds of smoke.
  • 2 0
 @owenbfoster: That was snowboard hof, not MTB.
  • 1 0
 @stikmanglaspell: ah. that makes more sense. what a go-getter
  • 45 0
 Gunn Rita's 2018 win in Andorra at age 45 was epic - her 30th XCO win against an extremely powerful field (Jolanda Neff came in second). She absolutely deserves this honor.
  • 8 0
 Oh, and I forgot to add that all the wins were on her hardtail. She said it on a YouTube video once.
  • 38 0
 That M1 looks like it has the same seattube / head angle as the Grim Donut, just the wrong way round!
  • 7 0
 reverse engineering?
  • 4 1
 If they built it the way modern bikes are built, it would have broken early and often. Forks and head tubes were not strong enough for modern slack angles.
  • 29 0
  • 2 0
  • 9 0
 Its "ABOUT F%^&ING TIME!!!!"
  • 2 0
 Figured I was too late to the party to make that comment.
  • 27 0
 Shaun Palmer singlehandedly un-dorked mtb.
  • 28 1
 I'd say that title goes to Missy Giove.
  • 17 0
 @Swede16: She opened the door. Palmer came in and burned down the house. They both walked off into sunset together with beers laughing at the chaos
  • 22 4
 Keep pretending. MTB has been completely re-dorked by Enduro, Strava, fanny packs and tight fitting stretchy clothes not called Lycra.
  • 1 9
flag deadmeat25 (Mar 11, 2023 at 8:53) (Below Threshold)
 @Swede16: Oh f*ck off lol
  • 15 0
 I find it kind of sad that most of the times you see Palmer mentioned these days it's all "He brought baggy moto pants to DH! He sang in a punk band! Attitude!" and little mention of what an incredibly talented multi-sport athlete he was (and probably still is!)
  • 8 0
 I was racing expert in the NORBA circuit when he was around. Him racing guys like Carter, King, Lopes, etc (who wee also bringing a BMX vibe) was fantastic. Palmer was oozing natural talent AND the drive and ethic to push it. He was a threat in any salmon race and most DH races back then. Not to mention his winter sport prowess....and made a 125 Supercross main. Bonkers!
  • 2 2
 Yup, guy was just special, one of those people with the tools to do literally anything...
  • 3 0
 @bman33: how does “salmon” racing differ from “slalom” racing?
  • 6 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: one is raced in the water and smells much worse than the other.
  • 15 0
 seeing old school pics of Napalm makes me want to did threw my dusty bins of VHS bike vids and watch “chainsmoke”
  • 2 0
 yes! pretty sure we had that running on a loop on a TV at a shop I worked at in the late 90' times!
  • 3 0
 Now I want to get my tapes and DVD's out too. Still have TONS of that stuff. ....back when the videos had some feel to them and not made by every guy with an iPhone.
  • 2 0
 I watch chainsmoke on youtube at the beginning of every bike season. It takes me right back to that happy place when I was a kid. Some of the songs are on my biking pump up mixtapes. "kids, kids, yeah the kids don't know"
  • 9 0
 Good god would you look at the size of that front chain ring on Palmer's bike. Congrats to Rob, I can't imagine watching a DH race without his voice, it is kind of engrained in my head.
  • 5 0
 well you're about to find out this year. Or not, because nobody I know will actually buy any Discovery subscription
  • 3 0
 his voice is my inner monologue on mtb rides. Phil Lliggett, when I ride road. My GF couldn't care less about MTB racing, but loves Rob's commentary.
  • 11 0
 While everybody is commenting on Palmer and Warner, I'll tell it as it is. Gunn-Rita is an all time legend.
  • 8 0
 Something is wrong when Rob Warner is in the MTB Hall of Fame for his commentating skills, but yet no longer commentating WC DH races.
  • 5 0
 He'll forsure be doing the redbull DH series that is on its way.
  • 4 2
 @spottba: Rob Warner and Sel Masekela. I hope it happens
  • 7 0
 You can hear Warner's voice through the picture! Gonna miss his commentary!
  • 3 0
 ..he's stilling doing commentary but with Crankworx now
  • 1 0
 @SATN-XC: That's awesome, I didn't know that!!
  • 5 0
 Didie Schneider, not to be confused with dee sneider from twisted sister, who dismantled Nancy Reagan in court
  • 4 0
 Haha..! Both legends Smile
  • 3 0
 He also dismantled a rich Australian mining magnate named Clive Palmer who started up a right wing political party and stupidly ripped off 'We're Not Gonna Take It' for his advertising campaign. Dee made many Australians very happy.
  • 5 0
 Looks like they got the head and seat tube angles mixed up on that M1.
  • 2 0
 ROB WARNER all the way , not only he was an Amazing Rider but also , to this day , he is probably the biggest ambassador for the Sport in the World through the years... "how does Rob sit down with balls that big, dude"
  • 1 0
 That will be another rad weekend and good party in Fairfax! I can only encourage all of you to visit the Hall of Fame, if you can't in person, look at their homepage and educate yourself about MTB history - or just refresh it if you lived through those years!
Side note: People get not inducted purely based on their results and accomplishments, but also on what impact they had to the history and development of Mountain Biking.
  • 4 0
 5.10 Schneider, best work shoes I ever had...
  • 2 0
 Glen O’Brien tried to sell me a pair of palmers fox pants with naplam across the arse for ten euro back in the day. Man I regret not buying them. Palmer is a legend
  • 2 0
 Rob best commentary will be replayed at the ceremony
  • 2 0
 They read my mind:

"You only need to re-watch Danny Hart’s World Championship-winning run to understand how Rob Warner puts in as much effort as the racers on track. That one clip is probably one of the most-watched mountain bike commentaries online at nearly five million views."
  • 3 0
 Mad respect to Gunn-Rita winning an XCO WC race at like 45 years old
  • 2 0
 I’d always assumed Palmer was already in there.
  • 3 0
  • 1 0
 i think and hope that digger is already a member of the hall of fame of mtband hope ted tempany eill be soon
  • 3 0
 I just looked at the Wikipedia page for it here: and it's extremely weird. It's long on Californians, early frame builders, pre 1990 race stars, and after that, just kind of random. The good news is that in 2005 they inducted "The British Columbians" (i.e. all of us?) and then in 2010 the Fro Riders? Like they couldn't be arsed to name figure out which of them might be important enough to put in on their own. Darren Berrecloth is in there but not Wade Simmons or Brett Tippie. Josh Bender (2018 ) is there but not Brandon Semenuk. Bender is actually historically important in a certain way but it's shocking that they don't have Todd Fiander and Dangerous Dan who are, along with whoever figured out how to run modern lift-served bikes parks, responsible for the modern face of mountain biking. At least there seem to be a number of trail building and advocacy people in there, so that's somthing.
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 And to this that WCDH let Rob Warner go. Such a fail.
  • 1 0
 P Dad!!
  • 1 1
 wait, there's a MTB hall of fame???
  • 5 0
 Yep! Located where rich, salty octogenarians no longer allow mountain biking.... For now
  • 2 0
 @C8503: Marin is NIMBY's and "get off my lawn"'s birthplace.
  • 1 0
 Speed and Power
  • 1 2
 The MTB HoF became lame after it left Crested Butte. Change my mind.
  • 6 9
 I'm too young to know anyone but Warner, who are these people?
  • 96 0
 shaun palmer is widely regarded as the "nice boy" of late 90's mountain biking. his welcoming attitude and warmth was rivaled only by his dedication to training. he retired in 2005 to focus on becoming a children's book author
  • 34 0
 Gunn-Rita is one of the most bad-ass xc racers ever. Won her last WC gold at 45!
  • 3 17
flag handmedowncountry (Mar 10, 2023 at 8:29) (Below Threshold)
 So...Nino Schurter. He's the men's version of GRDF. Olympic gold medalist 4x XCO World Champion 4x World Cup Champion 6x Marathon World Champion 6x European Champion
  • 5 0
 @arek: This comment deserves a thousand likes
  • 9 2
 Are you 7? GRDF retired like 4 years ago.
  • 11 1
 @Dopepedaler: rather than give a women credit where credit is due you bring up someone not even relevant to the story.
  • 4 0
 @alexdeich: Do they still do "comment gold" on the pinkbike podcast? I haven't heard it for a while. Top contender right here.
  • 16 0
 @JoeHelvoigt: It's clear that my comment did not land with the gravitas I intended. The original poster said they were too young to know any of those names. As such, I took the most current example of a (well-known) generationally dominant mountain bike racer and used it as an analogue for how insanely, utterly dominant GRDF was in her illustrious career. It was not meant to diminish GRDF accomplishments. Quite the opposite. It was meant to highlight just how historic GRDF's performance were and that when talk about mountain bike racers (men and women) GRDF needs to be one of the very first people you mention. But, if I have to explain it this much I have clearly failed. sincerest apologies to all those of whom I have offended with my less than adroit syntax. So yeah...gimme those down votes.
  • 3 1
 @Dopepedaler: Your 1st post would have been an apt response if someone had called GRDF a female Schurter; "No, he's a female Gunn-Rita. She did it first". I shall DV your first comment and UV the 2nd for appreciation of your humility. Good to recognise when people admit they made a mistake
  • 2 11
flag deadmeat25 (Mar 11, 2023 at 8:59) (Below Threshold)
 @Dopepedaler: Yeah but it's cross country dude, and cross country is to mountain biking what speed walking is to athletics, professional mincing...
  • 2 0
 @alexdeich: aka the Tinker Juarez of his time
  • 2 0
 @deadmeat25: Don't scared of the XC racing.
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