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Vintage MTB Gathering 2019: Old Bikes, Good Times

What was it like to ride revolutionary mountain bikes back in the sport's early days? We got the tribe together for our Vintage MTB Gathering to ride and reminisce.

Written by: Spencer Powlison

Published on:

Posted in:MTB

The history of mountain biking is alive and well. Compared to most sports, it's still young, a few years short of its 50th birthday. This means that the revolutionary bikes and gear from the early days are still accessible to avid riders, not relegated to grainy black-and-white photos or climate-controlled glass boxes.

At the start of September, we put that history back in motion with our Vintage MTB Gathering. We wheeled a few of our favorite rides out of The Pro's Closet's Bike Museum, invited the community, and went out for a ride around Boulder, Colorado.

Riding vintage mountain bikes is a window into the early days of the sport. We can literally feel what it was like to be aboard bikes that were revolutionary for cyclists that had rarely strayed from the pavement. It helps us appreciate how hard it was to ride rocky, rough trails with no suspension technology, how carefully you had to finesse friction thumb shifters, or how frightening it was to rely on cantilever brakes to make an emergency stop.

Nowadays, we're riding modern marvels. Few mountain bikers would willingly give up that technology. Riding vintage bikes every so often helps us appreciate the evolution of the sport that much more. And most importantly, it's pretty damn fun.

Photo: Robert Jones | The Pros Closet
Photo: Robert Jones | The Pros Closet
Photo: Robert Jones | The Pros Closet Vintage MTB Ride Photo: Bobby Jablonski | The Pros Closet
Photo: Bobby Jablonski | The Pros Closet
Photo: Bobby Jablonski | The Pros Closet